We’re tired of paying for games that promise so much, but after we’ve spent our $65, we’re left empty, unsatisfied, and broke. Yes, I’m still talking about videogames. But what if you could guarantee that you’d be spending your hard earned money on a game that not only is incredible, but that you helped build from start to finish without ever leaving your room? No, you wouldn’t have to know anything about graphic design, C++ or HTML coding. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you a collaboration of Double Fine Productions, 2 Player Productions, and the reason for this project - you.
In the Beginning…
Tim Schafer, former writer and programmer for LucasArts in the 1990’s, started Double Fine Productions in 2000 and had a vision - a vision where honesty and integrity was the foundation of who they were and where games would be original and fun again. Name doesn’t sound familiar? You might know of their games Psychonauts, Brütal Legend, and Costume Quest, which won Best Downloadable Game of the Year by Spike TV’s VGA and PSN Game of the Year by Playstation Magazine in 2010.
Schafer had a brilliant idea that started with Kickstarter - an online company that allows creative minds and their dreams to become realities with the help of others who believe in the project. For now, the project is called Double Fine Adventure - dubbed the name due to the fact that Schafer dreams of a day where old school, point-and-click adventure games are magical and possibilities are endless. Not only is DFA just another game to look forward to, but coupled with 2 Player Productions, it will also be a full documentary of the game’s development from beginning to end.
And that’s where you, the fan, comes into play.
The Game Without a Name
DFP and Tim Schafer originally was hoping for fans to raise a total of $300,00-$400,000 for the game itself and $100,000 for the documentary. As of February 25th of this year, they have raised $2,227,006 with 64,928 backers and 16 days until this project starts. They actually raised a million dollars in 24 hours from their start on February 10th. First off, that gives me hope in today’s generation that appreciates the retro and the proverbial walk down memory lane.
Secondly, that means that with that kind of funding, all of that extra money is going to go back into the game and documentary so it can be released on multiple platforms, extra music soundtracks, overall better quality of the game and documentary, Things like that. but what they’re asking for isn’t just donations - there will be a private online community specifically for backers “to discuss the project with the devs and submit their thoughts and feelings about the game's content and direction, sometimes even voting on decisions when the dev team can't decide.”
The Naked Truth
“The game will be either great or a spectacular failure caught on camera for everyone to see. Either way, you win,” Tim Schafer
If you haven’t heard of 2 Player Productions, here’s a fun fact - they’ve produced behind-the-scenes footage for the Infamous games, Uncharted 3, and 27 episodes in the first season of Penny Arcade.
Double Fine doesn‘t want you to just see the pretty images, the comical panels and get-togethers. They want all to be revealed.
"They’ll get to see our brainstorming sessions. We’re going to get people together and do like we did in the old days, just sit in a room and talk about anything we want to talk about until we come up with a couple of puzzles each day. We’ll let people see that. And they’ll see what the artists are drawing, the kind of thought process we go into when we’re shooting, what character designs we like. We want to make them feel as much as possible like they’re here in the office sharing in the game development process with us." Schafer on the documentary
Cameras will be following the crew everywhere. It will be paparazzi in their faces at almost all time, I mean, you can’t be followed into the bathroom. That’s a little creepy. Nevertheless, this is their plan come approximately 2 weeks from now. This isn’t the first time they’ve done something like this though, however, it will be the first time that anyone will be able to see a complete start-to-finish of a game’s development without any idea of whether the game will be a failure or success.
|Psychonauts is one of the most notable games by Double Fine.|
The team isn’t nervous about doing this, being that they’ve taped an episode of G4 TV’s Icons while creating Psychonauts in 2005. That isn’t to say that it’s not hard work, though. It’s not just about calling the filming crew in to film for X amount of hours and then they go home.
When they filmed the episode for Icons, workers were far from having it easy. While the work is hard, the result, whether good or bad, will be worth everything. They’re looking to finish in October 2012, but who knows? With all the money that they raised, that means they have more funds to put extra content into the project, but as we all know from our Troll friends in World of Warcraft, “Time is money, friend.”
Oh, the Rewards!
So okay, you donate, you collaborate with the developers, and all you have left is bragging rights, correct? Wrong. Saving the best for last, there are rewards. You have to give your fans some sort of incentive. For a solid $15 donation, you get the finished game on the platform of your choice, access to the Beta on Steam and the video series, as well as the private discussion community. For $30, you get an HD download of the documentary with extra features, digital game and documentary soundtracks, plus the previous $15 reward tier. The rewards go up - and for those that go beyond the call, there are super premium rewards. Visit their website to learn more about all that.
Where Do We Go From Here?
The project will begin on March 10th at 8pm EDT and continue until somewhere around October. Inspired? Visit www.doublefine.com to learn more about the project, to donate to DFP, updates, rewards, and anything about the company you’d like to know. You can also visit www.2playerproductions.com to check out what’s going on with Double Fine Adventure on their end, plus anything that they’re up to. Have an idea? Check out www.kickstarter.com to learn how your dreams can be a reality.