Double Fine Adventure Documentary Is An Aching Grin

By Nathan Grayson on May 12th, 2012 at 8:00 am.

Tim's neck is permanently stuck that way from dodging giant wads of money people keep throwing at him.
I feel like uplifting documentaries may be the secret cure for all of societies greatest ills. This goes double, for some reason, when independent game developers are involved. Minecraft’s proof-of-concept made me feel like I, too, could single-handedly build a blocky bridge between Sweden and the rest of the world, and Indie Game: The Movie will probably be used to bring Sylvester Stallone back from the brink of defeat in the next Rocky movie. And now, along comes Double Fine Adventure’s variation on the theme, in all its zany wonderfulness. It is, however, also an irresistibly smile-inducing glimpse behind the scenes of a company just as shocked by Kickstarter’s piggy-bank-stuffing prowess as we all were at the time. Kick off your weekend by giving part one a watch after the break.

If you skipped right past the video to comment, I will now make you shift into reverse: Tim Schafer money montage. It’s in there. Seek it out and be delighted. Also, is it just me, or does Schafer’s game design analogy about dots creating an image sound like it’d make kind of a great game?

If you’re a backer, you can also watch episode two right now. And if you’re not? Well, Double Fine’s launched a “slacker backer” program via PayPal, because all the money evidently isn’t enough. Donating, as always, gets you  a free copy of the game, guaranteed beta access, entry into private backer forums, and – of course – every episode of the documentary.

So that’s a lot of things. So yeah, you may soon end up homeless from funding so many of these damn things, but at least you’ll have cool stuff.

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30 Comments »

  1. Hodge says:

    I’m in two minds about watching this, as part of me wants to ignore all the pre-release dev stuff and go into the game with no preconceptions. OH THE TEMPTATION.

    • JackShandy says:

      This episode doesn’t say anything about the game, just the raising money bit.

      • Hodge says:

        Yeah, I’d guessed that there’d be nothing specific this early on, but they’ll presumably get more detailed as they go on and I don’t trust myself to jump off mid-stream.

        • Xocrates says:

          They have stated they don’t intend to do plot spoilers in the documentary.

          That said, they do tell what concept Tim is considering for the plot of the game on Episode 2, which I admit sounds really interesting.

          • skittles says:

            They certainly give a very brief outline of the current planned plot. But that is very brief, i.e. they only mention what sort of people the game characters will be, and where it will possibly be set. There are no other spoilers, it simply discusses Tim’s process of coming up with an idea.

    • Contrafibularity says:

      You could think of it that way, but it’s actually more rewarding to hear these occasional nuggets of info, and since they’re obviously avoiding spoilers when making the docu, I very much doubt anything would in any way diminish your enjoyment of the game, in fact it’s probably the opposite.

      (There’s even been a scientific study into how minor spoilers would ruin the experience, but it turned out it could enhance it, and of course it’s been a literary device for a long time).

  2. rustybroomhandle says:

    Hodge – they are very good about not spoilering. The second episode talks about the initial brainstorming a little bit, and nothing much is said about any specific decisions. The backers also get a chunk of footage not included in the documentary – the last one being Schafer talking about working for LucasArts.

    Also, RPS – any chance of even looking at Legend of Eisenwald?

    • uncas says:

      Since I don’t mind a few spoilers, I’m watching. But I think if I was a spoiler averse fanatic, I would not have been happy watching that second episode, even with DF and 2PP blurred images and coy phrasing. If you are getting the documentary at the end, just watch it after you play the game.

      I agree though, that “Sidequest” was great and had absolutely nothing to do with the game.

      • Xocrates says:

        The only “spoiler” is what the game will probably be about. It’s not more of a spoiler than knowing that Monkey Island is about pirates.

  3. Demiath says:

    I just love Schafer’s beefy, adorably geeky notebooks (as in “an actual paper-related thing”, not a computer) from the backer-exclusive Episode 2…

  4. CaspianRoach says:

    For those wondering: music in the background is an edited version of a track from Dustforce OST (Cider Time), which can be bought and previewed here: http://lifeformed.bandcamp.com/
    It’s pretty amazing (the game and the OST).

  5. ThinkAndGrowWitcher says:

    A most excellent blend of humour, back-stage info and warm-the-cockles story-telling, wrapped up in a well-filmed and tightly-edited production. Kickstarter follow-through done right.

  6. 12kill4 says:

    Awesome. Me and Tim Schaefer have the same model laptop (Lenovo x220). We’re practically best friends.

  7. Jabberwocky says:

    I’ve read a few criticisms about how kickstarter only funds well known / famous devs. Watching this video, I kinda think maybe that’s not such a bad thing – at least folks know there going to get something cool for their money. Maybe ya gotta work your way through the trenches before you should have the privilege of kickstarter funding.

    Personality goes a long way too. Tim is wicked funny. “Can we just nail down all the red dots? NO!”

    • StormTec says:

      Then these people need to actually go to the kickstarter website and have a look around. They wouldn’t even have to look very hard to find just a couple of projects that have reached their target in games alone (because kickstarter is not just for games, btw) that haven’t been much reported on/by people that, as far as I know, aren’t particularly famous.

      The cynic in me says that people who have been spreading the word that “kickstarter projects only work for famous devs/high profile projects” are simply butt-hurt that their personal favourite isn’t doing as well…

    • StormTec says:

      I’m not saying you are one of those people, of course. However, it might be interesting to look at this page: http://www.kickstarter.com/discover/categories/games/successful?ref=more and see how many projects there you’ve a) heard of and/or b) recognise the names of the creators. I personally recognised less than 5, but I’m pretty bad with people’s names, lol.

  8. michailnenkov says:

    crap, I was all like “i’m gonna steal that falling dot idea and make it into a game”. Then, I go here and get disappointed that I wasn’t the only one to think of it. I should stop being disappointed by this, I’m never the only one. I’m not special. Oh, well.

  9. MondSemmel says:

    I think at this point (with the first two documentary videos up) I already feel like I got real value for my money (I backed the game with 30 $ for the extra goodies of the HD documentary download and the soundtrack in addition to the game). The videos look very professional, provide real insight and feel really inspiring.

    • DrScuttles says:

      Same here. Hell, watching the first 2 parts makes me wish I’d thrown more money at the Kickstarter back in March. But I was broke at the time and couldn’t afford over the $15 tier.

      And I really, really want a copy of Tim Schafer’s Grim Fandango notebook.

    • Carra says:

      I was just going to post something similar. I’ve enjoyed the 2 documentaries, Tim is an interesting person.

  10. Xyzk says:

    Are they using Dustforce music in this documentary? Oo

  11. Amstrad says:

    I’m really glad they got 2 Player Productions to do this, they did an awesome job with the first season of Penny Arcade: The Series.

  12. MadTinkerer says:

    Aaaaaaand for those of us who do already have access to the documentary and WIP behind-the-scenes-concept-stuff:

    Episode 2 was pretty good, wasn’t it? They’re not giving much away yet (if you own a game called Maniac Mansion, you know there’s probably going to be a mansion in it*), but what they have is pretty interesting. It’s definitely the sort of thing that point & clickers do best, IMHO.

    EDIT: *This is AN EXAMPLE, not reflecting the content of the game. It’s not a Maniac Mansion game, and that’s probably mostly because Lucasfilm has the rights.

  13. Jackablade says:

    For those of you who put money down but haven’t taken the time to peruse the DF backer forum, as I was until yesterday, I’d highly recommend checking it out. There’s a bunch more content on there – discussions from artists, coders and Tim on how they’re getting started with the project, which will presumably continue to be update as it progresses.

    The art section has some rather nice videos of their very preliminary experimentation with translating Nathan Stapley’s art into a workable game environment, messing with parallax, simple lighting, camera zooms and such like. Some of the videos were leaked online a while back, but they’re a lot more interesting with some context.

  14. sirdavies says:

    [...]This goes double[...]

    I see what you did there lol

  15. cassus says:

    Such a feel good piece. I actually didn’t fund it when it was up on kickstarter because I was flat broke, but I’m gonna fund it on paypal, primarily to get access to the documentary. It’s kind of got that penny arcade reality show thing going, and I really like that.

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