Published on Kickstarter during Wednesday night, Double Fine Productions, founded by Tim Schafer, created a new video game project on the site with the goal of raising $400,000 over a period of 33 days. Double Fine Productions is responsible for games such as Psychonauts, Brutal Legend starring Jack Black, Costume Quest and Stacking. Detailed in the outline of the project, the $400,000 would be invested in the development of an unnamed, downloadable “Point-and-Click” graphic adventure game for the PC loosely named Double Fine Adventure.
Over the first eight hours that the project was live, Schafer and company raised the full $400,000 and broke $1,000,000 in approximately 24 hours. While this isn’t the first project to break the one million dollar mark, it’s definitely the fastest.
According to the project details, any additional money beyond the original $400,000 will be invested in making the game available for more platforms like the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 as well as translating the game into more languages, investing more money into voice actors and developing a unique soundtrack for the game in addition to the documentary series being filmed during the entire production process.
The minimum contribution to the Kickstarter project is $15 and that level of donation offers a finished copy of the game over Valve’s Steam distribution platform, access to the PC beta as well as the private discussion forums and the video series. The online community will allow all contributors to offer up praise or criticism regarding the direction of the game. At the $30 donation level, contributors also get a downloadable copy of the documentary series in high definition in addition to the game’s official soundtrack.
Prizes offered at the upper tiers include a game poster, a poster autographed by key members of the design team, a mini-portrait painted by the artists working on the game, a large painting related to the game or even lunch with Tim Schafer and Ron Gilbert for $10,000. Ron Gilbert is responsible for such games as Maniac Mansion and two of the Monkey Island games.
The Kickstarter project also directed interested parties back to the Double Fine site to offer up even higher donation tiers that range up to $150,000 and include rewards such as dinner and bowling with the entire team, a picture of Ron Gilbert smiling or becoming an actual character in the game. The highest donation level earns the reward of one of the last four Day of the Tentacle games packaged within the original shrink-wrapped triangle box in addition to all previous tiers. The triangle box edition of the game is a collector’s item and a sealed copy can go for $500 on eBay.
According to the project page, Double Fine wanted to experiment with Kickstarter to escape from the influence of publishers or investment firms. Since these sources control the flow of money into the project, they have the ability to shift the direction of the game in addition to cancelling the entire project.
As stated by Double Fine, Kickstarter essentially “democratizes the process by allowing consumers to support the games they want to see developed and give the developers the freedom to experiment, take risks, and design without anyone else compromising their vision.”
With all the funding from Kickstarter donations, Schafer and Gilbert can make all creative decisions related to the production of the game as well as control how the game will be marketed to the public. They also believe that the documentary series will be more honest to how the production process actually works compared to developer interviews created by marketing representatives at large publishers like Electronic Arts. At the time of publication, the current tally of this Kickstarter project stands at $1,121,405.
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