Big Finish Games Talk Up A Tex Murphy Kickstarter

By Craig Pearson on March 21st, 2012 at 1:00 pm.

Tex, consulting Gamefaqs
Ah, FMV. It used to be the most exciting thing in the world to watch our PCs spin up interactive movies, but now you can do it in a web-browser. That’s the world Big Finish games are looking to bring FMV-led adventure game Tex Murphy into, a world where various little tricks pulled off using Youtube’s annotations can cobble together an interactive movie. But if the recent Kickstarters have taught us anything, it’s that age-old games with rabid fan-bases and a dream seem are managing to get by. Are there enough people out there looking for a cheesy noir detective? Tex’s Kickstarter won’t start until May 15th as they’re trying to figure out what exactly to offer as various reward tiers, so they’re asking for your input on those. Essentially they’re crowd-sourcing the crowd-sourcing, which seems ridiculously lazy, but if you’re a tiny developer with big dreams you do what you can. Announcement video announcing their announcement is below.

The original plan was for a modest return, but with Double Fine and InXile’s successful funding blitzes, they hope there’s a similar fervor for Tex. They note: “We hope to bring the next Tex Murphy game to an a much bigger, dare I say, epic level – More actors, locations, broader stories and yes – even meaningful, varied story paths. With these elements, we have a better chance of expanding the audience and a better chance of commercial success and continuation. All of this would allow us to make a true Adventure game with Immersive 3D world, Full Motion Video, and longer game play.”

Here’s a wee tip, guys: Hire Freddie Wong.

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47 Comments »

  1. Ett_1762 says:

    Good god…

  2. philbot says:

    Everyone wants a piece of the crowdfunded cake.

    • Bhazor says:

      Well all you do is take a cup of flour
      Add it to the mix.

    • Zeewolf says:

      I totally agree that there’s a real risk we’ll see a lot of devs just jumping on Kickstarter essentially to save money (by spending our money instead). I think it’s already happening, with games such as The Banner Saga – where it seems the project was already funded because the actual game announcement came long before the Kickstarter thing.

      But…

      This is Tex Murphy. Tim Schafer and Double Fine – well, that was cool. Wasteland 2, cool. But this is essentially the game Kickstarter was made for. Not only are the Tex Murphy games some of the finest in the history of PC games, but they represent a type of adventure game that just disappeared. No, I’m not talking about FMV, I’m talking about the 3D parts. Kind of like Amnesia, but married with pointing and clicking like in a traditional adventure game. It’s what should have been the future of the adventure genre.

      Besides, those of us who love the old games know how long the devs have been trying to make a new game in the series. Finally we have a chance of getting it.

  3. Farkeman says:

    I love where this Kickstarter thing is going , it’s like pre-ordering the game you are interested in which if not your pre-order wouldn’t be made at all , such a good model.

    We all have seen how evil publishers are (mostly) and the indie game scene and the current rising of Kickstarter one day might be enough to purify the gaming industry ! One can at least dream about it…

  4. Richard Cobbett says:

    Owning the games and the novels (well, Pandora Directive anyway – my UAKM went missing) and the radio drama, I feel my donation should be assisted by a Friends of Tex discount.

    In other news, I will be most annoyed if this one fails.

  5. Hoaxfish says:

    Having never heard of Tex Murphy, and having a basic dislike for FMV games… no thank you.

    • Richard Cobbett says:

      They’re a rare example of it being done well – at least as of The Pandora Directive and Overseer. UAKM was corny as all hell. The FMV was only half of it though – the other was the best attempt at room-raiding 3D environments ever done in a traditional adventure. Other games did it too, like Normality and a Greek series called Conspiracies, but Tex remains the best example.

      • djbriandamage says:

        The FMV was just a storytelling mechanism and the corniness of the medium added to the sappy, punny writing. Few series made me laugh so much as Tex, thanks in no small part to the mixed bag of acting talent, but mostly due to the very sharp and hammy writing. The protagonist is just so likeable!

        The other half is the game engine, about which I agree with Richard. Under a Killing Moon was one of the first 3D explorable worlds in an adventure game and they did quite a good job of it, especially for pioneers with no frame of reference. Access Software did a very competent job of combining the world with the video a-la Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

        I’m all over this kickstarter. I’m far more interested in this than Brian Fargo’s, I must admit.

      • LionsPhil says:

        Didn’t UAKM also have a bit where you had to hide from security robots in its odd old System-Shock-esque 3D first-person-ness? It’s been so long…

  6. Jockie says:

    Hrm, I wonder how long before this goes the way of the indie bundles, when so many people jump on the crowdfund bandwagon that the wheels fall off. Us gamers do like a good old backlash against something that was hugely popular five minutes ago.

    I’m sure there are people who hold Tex Murphy in high regard and can’t wait for this by the way, it’s just starting to feel a little ‘me too’.

    • Blackcompany says:

      Agreeing with the ‘me too’ feeling. However, if it works – and right now it not only works, but it does so without publishers telling devs what they can make – then I am all for it.
      .
      Better this, than letting Bethesda, EA and other big houses determine what games we get to play for the remainder of what would then undoubtedly be a very short stint with gaming as a hobby.

      • Jockie says:

        Yeah, I don’t disagree, I think crowd funding can produce the kinds of games to cater to very specific audiences (of which I am a part), rather than always reaching for the overrated mass market. I just worry about oversaturation, we can’t resurrect every classic game that ever was and expect them all to be good.

    • InternetBatman says:

      I still buy bundles if they’re good or they match my interests. I imagine that’s what’s going to happen to kickstarter.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      I think the key difference is that Bundles are post-production, while Kickstarters are pre-production (sort of)…

      Basically, if people get “fatigue” from bundles, they can still buy the games that look interesting even if they’re no longer in the bundle, but fatigue can be lethal to a kickstarter project since the project relies on it taking enough money to meet that initial funding before it can “get made”.

      Either way, kickstarter seems much more risky in terms of “quantity” damaging the market.

    • Olderman says:

      This is different. Little changed for the average indie with crowdfunding. It’s a new way for people with credentials to get by. There are only so many people with credentials. Bundles helped the average indie in ways the crowdfunding rush probably never will, but they got worn out because they were open to just about everyone.

      I don’t see RPS pointing us to every new indie kickstarter. There are, right now, many failing to spark interest.

    • Luk 333 says:

      I don’t get it. Who decided that the bundles are in trouble? Of course there’s not the same level of enthusiasm as when the first two Humble Bundles were released, when people were buying the games out of sheer enthusiasm, even if they already owned them. There’s a greater variety of bundle systems and games quality, so it’s normal to not want to buy them all. From what I can see the numbers of bundles sold for Indie Royale and Indie Gala seems quite constant, while the Humble Bundle is still going strong.

      The Kickstarter stuff is quite different, where every project represents a new game. As long as twenty teams don’t propose at the same time a new 2D point & click adventure game, we’re not going to reach a saturation point. It’s not like there’s only one type of person that pledges money to Kickstarter projects; the games cater to different audiences and if there’s one thing in PC gaming, it’s diversity. So bring me Kickstarter projects for beat ‘em ups, isometric platform games, TBS/RTS/RTT games and whatever else you would like. The real thing that could kill the appetite for all these projects is if a majority of them will flop or not reach completion, if the Double Fine adventure will be a Simon the Sorcerer 4 or Wasteland 2 will be a Might and Magix IX.

    • FataMorganaPseudonym says:

      When they release bundles that are worthwhile, I buy them. When they release obvious “me too” cash-grab bundles, I don’t. I’ll apply the same simple principle to these Kickstarter things as well. Personally, I would be more than happy to help fund a new Tex game.

  7. Flukie says:

    You kinda need to spread these things out before people get bored of them.

    Its like bundles, they are becoming oversaturated.

    • Clean3d says:

      I concur, although the fact that these more high-profile Kickstarter projects seem to get funded fairly quickly makes me wonder.

  8. Fomorian1988 says:

    Having just become a Tex Murphy fan, I’d really love to give them all my monies. Well, almost all, I’m still waiting for the Anachronox 2 Kickstarter.

  9. Lars Westergren says:

    Argh, I want an Obsidian kickstarter damnit! …no offense to the Tex Murphy fans.

  10. GT3000 says:

    Hostile Waters: Anateus Rising Kickstarter, ho!

    Tack on 40k Chaos Gate sequel as well..Ho!

    • Bhazor says:

      Actually I thought Hostile Waters did everything it could with it’s single player. Anymore would have overcomplicated it or just been needless padding. The story felt finished and I doubt Ellis would be happy squeezing out a sequel.

      Now a HD remix with skirmish, custom maps and an online mode? Now you’re talking.

  11. Acorino says:

    Man, this is gonna be great! I love Tex Murphy and I say this while only having played UaKM so far. I just hope I have enough spare money to waste again when the 15th May comes around…
    …and to all the FMV sceptics: Tex Murphy is really the only series that understood how to use it well.

    • Squirrelfanatic says:

      IF it ever comes out, it may turn out great. I get the feeling that people are very optimistic with these Kickstarter projects that promise re-makes or new episodes of old (and popular) titles. In my mind, developers with Kickstarter pages need to show that they are actually able to pull these projects off in the first place.

      And then there is still no guarantee that the new game will be in any way similar in feeling and/or quality to the older games which helped the new projects to get the solid base of trust which made people give money in advance.

      • Prime-Mover says:

        It is a brave new world at the moment, and in time, it will be clear, if certain developers are unable to fulfill on their promises. It is, however, not entirely costless for a kickstarter developer to come short of delivering what is promised. I certainly doubt they will be able to amass any kind of support for future projects, with such a reputation. Thus in the future, only stand-up developers will even dare risk time and money on these projects, leaving the consumer, all better off for it.

      • Deano2099 says:

        Yeah, if only the developers behind this had been making high-quality story-based games aimed at the smarter end of the casual genre for the past five years or so…

        • Squirrelfanatic says:

          Such as “Three Cards to Midnight” and “Murder Island: Secret of Tantalus”? Actually, I can’t say anything about the quality of these games, as I have never heard of them before.

          The important point of my reply above still stands: People expect a lot from the new projects without getting any kind of preview and often even without detailed information about the financing plan or project layout.

  12. Khemm says:

    I don’t think we should complain that kickstarter is all the rage right now. If anything, we should be happy that thanks to this new game funding model, games that otherwise wouldn’t ever be made now have a chance to be worked on.

    Does it look like everyone’s trying to get a slice of the kickstarter pie? Absolutely, but for indie devs (and niche genres perceived as “dead”), it’s a huge opportunity – why sit in the corner doing nothing instead?

    • Squirrelfanatic says:

      However, it is interesting to see how popular Kickstarter as a choice for funding an Indy title has become. Especially since there are other funding platforms out there.

  13. BathroomCitizen says:

    Now they just need to Kickstart that Heretic 3 game I always dreamed about and my life will be complete!

  14. Bhazor says:

    An alternative way to think of this.

    To me its a way of giving money to developers whose games you never bought first time and who now won’t get money from them when you buy them. So I have £50 set aside for whatever Chris Avellone announces as an apology for not buying Planescape when it was released.

    Having finished the Tex games last year I’m giving the team $20 for that, Anything I get in return is just gravy,

  15. Bfox says:

    Are we returning to the Golden-age of PC gaming?

    • PearlChoco says:

      Valve should buy Kickstarter and integrate it in Steam.

      So they can let you know when new Kickstarter projects start, end, you can keep a list of projects you funded and keep track of their progress, etc.

      This could help Kickstarter stay relevant in the long run.

  16. SurprisedMan says:

    I think it was a mistake to announce this nearly 2 months before the actual kickstarter. Sure, someone might be $30 worth of excited about this right now, but how much in 2 months’ time when the initial excitement has died off? I think the people who would pledge a lot of money towards this still will, but they might lose people who are on the fence or not determined to pledge as high as they can because this way the thing will have lost momentum even before it has started.

  17. JoeX111 says:

    I don’t understand why so many people think these devs are just “cashing in” on the Kickstarter craze. If you follow anything Big Finish or Double Fine or Brian Fargo is saying, they’ve been trying to get these games funded for years. Now, suddenly there’s a new avenue open to them and they are embracing it. There’s nothing negative about that at all. If these guys even have a chance of making their dream games–especially something other than the latest Medal of Duty FPS–we should be encouraging them.

    • Khemm says:

      Exactly.

    • rustybroomhandle says:

      Also, have a look at this update on the Wasteland 2 page: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/inxile/wasteland-2/posts

      In particular:

      “And speaking of goodwill it occurs to me that we can harness the power of Kickstarter in a more meaningful way. Fan funding is bigger than me or Wasteland 2 as I have remarked before. The development community has come together to support us in ways that I didn’t think possible and our power as developers will ultimately come from us sticking together. Both gamers and developers have so much more strength than they realize. But in order to help facilitate the power of crowd funding I am going to suggest that all of us that do utilize this form of financing agree to kickback 5% of our profits made from such projects to other Kickstarter developers. I am not suggesting taking a backers money and moving it to another project.. I mean once a game has shipped and created profit that we funnel that back into the community of developers to fund their dreams. I am tentatively calling this “Kick It Forward” and I will be the first to agree to it. In fact, I will have our artists create a badge that goes on all Kickstarter projects that agree to support this initiative. Imagine the potential if another Minecraft comes along via Kickstarter and produces millions of dollars of investment into other developers. This economic payback will continue to grow the movement way beyond the current system. I hope others will join me with this idea and make this a true shakeup.

      Let’s get the power shifted around a bit!”

    • LionsPhil says:

      Jumping the gun a bit, ‘sall. The cynical and the exploitative will show up, but they are not these just yet. We’re still getting actual proven professionals saying “look, I want to make X, and can’t get the money from publishers”.

    • roobar says:

      The other way kick starter will work is as an EOI tool. When a dev is pitching an idea to the banks for finance they can say ” look we have 10,000 people shelling out cash on the basis of an idea.”
      The risk is that banks will demand it for anything other than AAA fps. I’m working on the theory they will need more than just kick starter to fund the dev.
      Also, if say wasteland is good and double fine and a banner saga are rubbish ( as examples, i hope they all rock) it will kill the model. Most of these are funded by nostalgia at the moment and that may not convert into sales so it may not be sustainable anyway