People Rushing To Give Hundreds Of Thousands Of Dollars In Just Hours For Brand New Adventure Game

from the monkey-island! dept

Whoa. After dinner, I did a quick look around the web to see if anything interesting was going on, and saw someone mention that the Double Fine Adventure project on Kickstarter had raised over $100,000 in just a few hours. I clicked to open the page, but then went off to do some other things, take my dog for a walk, tuck my son into sleep, chat with my wife, etc. Then I came back to my computer, and someone else mentioned that it had now raised over $200,000. And as I write this, it’s getting mighty close to $300,000. Who knows where it’ll be by the time you read this. Either way, the basic story is that popular game development shop Double Fine wants to create a new point-and-click adventure game, but says that no publisher will pay for such a thing (even though they have Ron Gilbert — the creator of the original Monkey Island games on staff).

So they decided to go to Kickstarter. And, as a part of that project, they’re also planning to create a documentary film about the making of the game… using the same filmmaking team, 2 Player Productions, who have also been working on a documentary about video game maker Notch (who you hopefully know already). But they wanted to raise $400,000. $300,000 for the game, and $100,000 for the documentary. That’s still a significant chunk to raise over Kickstarter… but clearly the public thinks it’s worth it. You should check out the awesome video that Tim Schafer, Double Fine’s boss, put together, embedded here:


The video is quite awesome.

Separately, Double Fine wanted to offer some super premium tiers which were simply too rich for Kickstarter to handle, so they had to post them to their own website. These include the following:


Pledge $15,000 or more:
Dinner with Tim Schafer and key members of the dev team.

Pledge $20,000 or more:
Dinner and BOWLING with Tim Schafer and key members of the dev team.

Pledge $30,000 or more:
Picture of Ron Gilbert smiling.

Pledge $35,000 or more:
Undoctored picture of Ron Gilbert smiling.

Pledge $50,000 or more:
Become an actual character in the game.

Pledge $150,000 or more:
Tim Schafer (that’s me) will give last four remaining Triangle Boxed Day of the Tentacles, in original shrink-wrap.” (Limit of 1) (Holy crap, what am I thinking? I only have four of those!)

There are plenty of interesting things to discuss about all of this, but one of the key points is that this shows how content creators sometimes can read a market much better than the traditional gatekeepers. Double Fine knows that no publisher would give them money for this game because the “experts” at those publishers (gatekeepers) don’t think there’s a real market for them. But there clearly is, and it’s all coming out thanks to the Kickstarter campaign, and this massive rush to fund the game.

I also find this amusing, coming just hours after someone was telling me on Twitter that Kickstarter was no way to fund serious development, because people just aren’t willing to pay for creating new things. It appears that plenty of people disagree. Anyway, we’ve embedded the pledge widget below, because at the rate people are pledging, I’m sure the numbers we talk about above are likely to be out of date pretty quickly, and it seems likely that this game will far surpass its $400k goal. I’m just wondering if Ron Gilbert will ever actually smile.

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Companies: double fine, kickstarter

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Comments on “People Rushing To Give Hundreds Of Thousands Of Dollars In Just Hours For Brand New Adventure Game”

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113 Comments
Anonymoussays:

It reached the first 100k within an hour of being posted. I donated before it hit that mark.

I have to say though I think it wasn’t so much Ron Gilbert but Tim Schafer that fueled the purchased. Tim Schafer is pretty widely regarded at one of the best, and has the best track record anyone could ask for. Ron Gilbert is great but Tim Schafer is the one people know more.

It already reached it’s goal, so this will be interesting to see how high it goes.

vegetamansays:

Re: Re:

I concur — I also follow GrumpyGamer on Twitter, and am full on in support of this because I think Ron Gilbert is a genius and can’t wait to see what happens here. I still have fond memories of playing Maniac Mansion in my youth and it is still one of my favorite games (and I see some fans are doing a 3D remake of it as well).

…And I see they just crossed OVER ONE MILLION DOLLARS on the kickstarter here! Holy crap!

PaulTsays:

“at the rate people are pledging, I’m sure the numbers we talk about above are likely to be out of date pretty quickly, and it seems likely that this game will far surpass its $400k goal.”

Yep, as I write this, it’s 107% funded and still has 33 days left.

“someone was telling me on Twitter that Kickstarter was no way to fund serious development, because people just aren’t willing to pay for creating new things.”

This is the sort of thing that makes me giggle. Yes, people are willing to pay, and pay handsomely, but you have to offer what THEY want, not what you want.

Offer a generic shooter, sequel 26 in a mediocre series or something that otherwise generates little real interest, then of course you won’t get a lot of interest in paying – especially before the product is developed. People generally aren’t interested in funding mediocre entertainment.

Here, we have a studio with a sterling track record, a head dev/designer with track record of making great games, extra content, a promise of direct involvement in some part of the development process and access to the finished product? You’d almost have to be stupid not to pay if the project is relevant to your interests, and you’re not stone cold broke.

Anonymoussays:

Good to know that Masnick takes some time out of his busy piracy apologism schedule to chat with his wife.

She’ll be leaving him inside of 24 months.

Anyway, Kickstarter is great. It’s artists basically saying “fund me/us right now, or you get nothing”.

I’m sure that’s what the founding fathers had in mind when they were looking to promote progress of the arts.

I Know Rightsays:

Re:

Anyway the major labels are great. It’s corporate psychopaths basically saying “if we don’t fund it it doesn’t exist or count and you’ll create nothing unless you sign away your career and control over your content.”

I’m sure that’s what the founding fathers had in mind when they were looking to promote progress of the arts.

Prisoner 201says:

Re:

“Good to know that Masnick takes some time out of his busy piracy apologism schedule to chat with his wife.

She’ll be leaving him inside of 24 months.”

Translation:

“I have lost all my credibility, my arguments are hollow and useless, I know I am beaten but the shattered remnants of my ego demands that I keep fighting in some way, any way. I am aware that using childish insults will only make me seem even more pathetic and only accelerate my plunge into the shameful sewers of discourse, but dammit dammit DAMMIT! WAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!”

Rikuosays:

Re:

This response just boggles the mind. Here we have ARTISTS being paid (ya know, the thing that copyright maximilists have been kicking and screaming over for years) and you still call this “piracy apologism”? And yes, what the artists say about funding us now is legit. How can you then pirate the work if they don’t make it? They’re getting paid before the work is finished, meaning that afterward, they don’t care how many people download the game – they’ve nipped the problem of copyright infringing downloads possibly leading to lost sales by ensuring they get their money beforehand.
Great way to legitimize the argument in our eyes here by hoping that a marriage between two people you don’t know will fail.

explicit cowardsays:

Re:

It’s artists basically saying “fund me/us right now, or you get nothing”.

Uhm, that’s what all artists who want to make a living out of their art do. The “only” difference is, they say that to us instead of saying it to the couple of studios – which puts the artist in a position of power he or she didn’t have before.

Before kickstarter due to the scarcity of studios the studios were the ones dictating the conditions – in most cases to the disadvantage of the artist. Now it’s the artist dictating the conditions, because there is no scarcity in potential funders.

1. The chance to find funders has increased.

2. There IS more money availabe, because the middlemen – who took the lion’s share of the profit – have been taken out of the equation.

If I was working for a studio, I’d start looking for a new job.

If I owned a studio I’d be scared like shit.

PaulTsays:

Re:

There’s absolutely nothing wrong in the story, everything is positive and it’s impossible to question either the legality or the workability of the business model. Must… type… response…

Quick! Emergency manoeuvres! Personal attacks! Insults! Fictional interpretations of how Kickstarter and copyright work! There, all better…

Were you the AC complaining in other threads that nobody takes you or those you represent seriously?

Anonymoussays:

Re:

I propose that this, amongst other quotes, be listed in a wall of shame that represents every single troll that plagues this site. Their aim is neither the success nor demise of industry. Their aim is not purposeful debate. Their aim is to smear, and nothing more.

And when future trolls attempt to distract from the issue, we’ll have standards – in black and white – to refer them to, as to reasons why never to take them seriously.

Drizztsays:

Re: EA

I’d like to add BioWare. 😉 (sorry, BF just doesn’t interest me…)

And while we’re at it, I’d like Blizzard to leave the unholy alliance with Activision.

Well, won’t happen, I’m sure. Though some of the people behind those companies may start their own company and maybe they can see Kickstarter (or something similar) as a better option.

ltlw0lfsays:

Re: Re: EA

And while we’re at it, I’d like Blizzard to leave the unholy alliance with Activision.

While I’d love it, remember that there really isn’t anyone left in Blizzard who was there before Activision took over, so it isn’t likely that they will ever leave. I’ve not bought anything Blizzard since they put their foot down on bnetd. Since then, they’ve attacked WoW private servers and starcraft 2 private servers.

I don’t trust any company that takes out volunteers who reverse engineer their protocols to come up with private servers because I’ve given my money to way too many companies who dropped their support of a product 3-6 years later and I was no longer able to play their game that I spent so much time and money on. I am happy that LucasArts hasn’t attacked the StarWars Galaxies emulator folks yet (I went out and bought Star Wars Galaxies specifically because the company didn’t attack the emulators even when it was shutting down its own servers.)

Michaelsays:

Nice

I want a future where private businesses are no longer able to bribe politicians, abuse citizens, and monopolize content. I want content creators and innovators to be compensated in a fair manner without any middle-men to pocket their rightful earnings, claim possession of their work just to suit their own greed and then hold us all hostage to antiquated copyright/IP laws which were originally constructed back when there was artifical scarcity.

Kickstarter represents a step in the right direction to change the way business is done in the 21st century. Give it some time — there will be many more innovative platforms for content creators to receive funding, public attention and, oh yeah, make some bread. Imagine that.

Anonymoussays:

Cris Duds should start a kickstarter to fund his grassroots campaigns, I am sure with the wide support he claims he has he will have no problems finding people to throw money at it.

Seriously though, imagine what will happen when Kickstarter matures and starts doing some serious marketing, using something like what Netflix uses to suggest new projects someone would like to fund based on their history, letting people mark people who they always want to fund and receive news from it, integrate with other tools maybe Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Statistics about suggestions people want to see of products and services.

There is just so much room for growth in there yet.

Hi-friggin-larious

At this rate, it will blow “Definitely NOT co-ordinating with” Colbert SuperPAC fundraising out of the water.

Wonder if Kickstarter can be used to fund an election campaign?
Do we think we can muster the support to create a new form of crowd-funded politics, where we actively work to supplant uninformed, corporately bribed politicians with intellegent, tuned-in, publicly “bribed” (in RIAA-speak) ones?

Anonymoussays:

Are people pledging to get a copy of the game? If so aren’t they just purchasing a pre-release copy? If not, what are they getting for contributions less than $15,000? Time will tell if the game was a worth making. Maybe it will teach some of the game publishing houses that there is still a market for these types of games. Then again, the game could flop and prove them right.

PaulTsays:

Re:

“Are people pledging to get a copy of the game?”

Certainly some will, but others have different reasons.

“If so aren’t they just purchasing a pre-release copy?”

That’s included, yes, but it’s not the whole story.

“If not, what are they getting for contributions less than $15,000?”

Check the Kickstarter site for the lower options. They get whatever they’re entitled to at the level they paid for, on top of the satisfaction of having made this game possible in the first place.

“Maybe it will teach some of the game publishing houses that there is still a market for these types of games.”

Hopefully. Then again, hopefully it will teach them a lesson. The market is for good games, not simply generic shooter X and sports game Y. While it’s too early to tell how good this game will actually be, the pedigree suggests it will be worth it.

“Then again, the game could flop and prove them right.”

That’s the beauty of it. Right now, unless they go hideously over budget, there’s not really any way this game can fail to turn a profit. Even if the game turns out to be a huge turd that nobody wants to play for 5 minutes (which is extremely unlikely), they’ve already made back their production budget and the thing’s almost marketing itself.

Most of the the investors will have been paid back for their investment merely by the developers completing the game, since that was all that their investment was promised to return.

Anonymoussays:

Actually, what I find funny about kickstarter is effectively, the “artist” is saying “I must get paid first, or I do nothing”. It’s the ultimate sense of both entitlement and self-worth.

In the entitlement world, this is way higher than anything that you guys usually bitch about. But it’s a “new business model” (cough cough), so it must be good.

PaulTsays:

Re:

“Actually, what I find funny about kickstarter is effectively, the “artist” is saying “I must get paid first, or I do nothing”.”

You people are yet to explain why this is different to the “old” models, yet this seems to be the only attack you can think of. Do game development teams just create games before they negotiate funding and budgets in your world? Or is getting the money necessary to do the work before you create it only OK if the money’s coming from EA and old school VCs?

Your flailing attacks are getting weaker by the day.

Prisoner 201says:

Re:

“Actually, what I find funny about kickstarter is effectively, the “artist” is saying “I must get paid first, or I do nothing”. It’s the ultimate sense of both entitlement and self-worth.

In the entitlement world, this is way higher than anything that you guys usually bitch about. But it’s a “new business model” (cough cough), so it must be good.”

I agree wholeheartedly!

When I had a guy over to put glass panes on my balcony, he had the self-entitled self-worthy gall to negotiate the prise in gasp advance!!

When I buy milk at the local supermarket, I have to pay upfront or I get no milk!. Such self-entitlement!

The world is truly going down the drain!

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re:

“When I had a guy over to put glass panes on my balcony, he had the self-entitled self-worthy gall to negotiate the prise in gasp advance!!”

Yeah, but did he want to get paid before he went to school to get the training and license to do it, or did he only bill you when he actually did the work?

“When I buy milk at the local supermarket, I have to pay upfront or I get no milk!”

Did you have to go to the farmer, and pre-pay him for your next year of milk, so that he could go out and get a cow and work to produce it?

Wake up!

Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased)says:

Re: Re: Re:

Yeah, but did he want to get paid before he went to school to get the training and license to do it, or did he only bill you when he actually did the work?

Ummmm…?! This Kickstarter project is headed by a guy who already has a reputation. Way to fail, AC!

Did you have to go to the farmer, and pre-pay him for your next year of milk, so that he could go out and get a cow and work to produce it?

Wow! The store paid the farmer for the milk and I am sure that they worked the contract out ahead of time.

Endtimersays:

Re: Re: Re:

“Yeah, but did he want to get paid before he went to school to get the training and license to do it, or did he only bill you when he actually did the work?”

I take it you’ve never heard of student loans or grants…

“Did you have to go to the farmer, and pre-pay him for your next year of milk, so that he could go out and get a cow and work to produce it?”

Billions of dollars in tax payer money each year goes to dairy farmers to help them manage their farm. This is in advance of a drop of milk being harvested.

Soooo…yes, yes he did pay him in advance for his milk, and probably the contracting work but we’ll never be sure. The only difference between these examples and the kickstarter artist is that if we don’t like the project or the artist, we can choose not to fund it, unlike those entitled fat cat contractors and farmers!

Franklin G Ryzzosays:

Re: Re: Re:

LMFAO!!!

You maximalist types are really freaked out about stuff like this, aren’t you? It’s amazing that you could actually post comments like this trying to downplay the importance of these campaigns trying to conflate this with arrogance and entitlement.

Traditional game studios get paid by a publisher to do development way in advance and then they create a game. The publishers then distribute the game and make boatloads more money than they paid the developers. Kickstarter is a way for the public to fund the project upfront that they want to see created. The developers get all the money and the consumers not only get the game they want to play but the added satisfaction that without their support the game wouldn’t even exist.

You have truly taken pathetic to new heights! Thanks for the full belly laugh!

PaulTsays:

Re: Re: Re:

The mind boggles with you people. You can’t attack the validity of the platform, as it’s being proven viable again and again. You can’t attack the data, because it’s solid. You can’t attack the big vs. small artist angle, because both are benefitting from this. So, instead you retreat to a fantasy world where all people who require materials and budgets to work from have to create the work before they are funded for the materials. You refer to a magical alternate dimension where if only artists had the backing of corporations, they wouldn’t have to have money to create their art.

You think you have a point, but you’re really just proving yourself to be a dangerous fool, who has no business even discussing reality.

Re:

Do you really not get this or are you just completely bitter about someone else’s success?
This isn’t about entitlement, it’s a creator saying “I can make something that I think you might like but it’s going to cost me money to do so. If you think you might like it you can help make it happen.”
That’s not entitlement, that’s a pretty simple business transaction. And if it doesn’t garner enough support no-one loses.
It’s a massive reduction of risk for the creator (encouraging creation & culture – you know, what copyright is supposed to do) by spreading that risk (in much smaller amounts) over a much wider audience.
No need for licensing, collection agencies, ridiculous copyright terms, DRM or any of that cack.

Vsays:

Already happened

They already raised over a half million dollars. OVer $100,000 more than their goal of $400K.

And idiots say kickstarter doesn’t work?! Really?!

Here’s the truth… kickstarter doesn’t work… IF you have nothing that people are interested in.

But if people are interested in it, they will give up their hard earned money for what they percieve is value.

The problem is, people’s perception of what gives value and creators’ (especiall Big Media and in this case “gatekeepers”) perceptions of what gives value may be WILDLY different.

Trailssays:

But Piracy!

No one will give any money because of all you scurvy pirates.

Wait, they’re at almost $600k now.

I mean uhh… oh, yes, ahem… This is a one off, and no one could make Modern Warfare 8: Limey Killin’ Ruskies With Every Action Movie Clich? Ever Conceived with a model like this, so businesses must have the ability to shutdown websites on a whim, because video games are dying. Pay no attention to the Kickstarter badge.

Anonymoussays:

Re: But Piracy!

“I mean uhh… oh, yes, ahem… This is a one off, and no one could make Modern Warfare 8: Limey Killin’ Ruskies With Every Action Movie Clich? Ever Conceived with a model like this, so businesses must have the ability to shutdown websites on a whim, because video games are dying. Pay no attention to the Kickstarter badge.”

What’s most ironic is that had SOPA/PIPA passed, Kickstarter would be in their crosshairs.

Greevarsays:

I can't believe it!

It’s coming true! I’ve been dreaming of this day! If enough people chip in enough money, it could cover the costs and salaries it takes to make this game. If everyone is paid and the game is complete, do you know what that means? They can give the game away it wouldn’t be a loss because they’ve already been paid their wages! They would lose out on nothing and we get a game! I sooo wish I had the $15!

This is how it should work people! Fans throw money at projects they want done and the ones that get their asking price get made. People get their art, artists get their pay. Everybody is happy. If the artist doesn’t make good on the deal, nobody will ever fund them again.

akpsays:

Even better

Not only will people pay for new content development, they’ll pay to put old stuff back in print.

Check out this: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/599092525/the-order-of-the-stick-reprint-drive?ref=spotlight

Order of the Stick is a long-running web comic. Burlew has collected the comics into several graphic novels and supplements, but most are out of print now. His Kickstarter has raised almost $600k to put the books back in print. I’d venture to say that most of the backers (myself included) already own all the books.

It’s been pretty cool watching that one over the last couple weeks.

BigKeithOsays:

I'm a Backer!!

Just pledged my $30 as well. Sitting at $906,759 with 33 days left. Here’s hoping for enough money for an Android version! Point and Click adventure seems to be screaming for a touch interface (iOS would be cool too, but I don’t use it so Android it is!).

I just wanted to pledge to be a part of this. I think we’re watching something special here.

jsfsays:

There is demand out there

This and the Order of the Stick support just go to show that there is a demand out there for many things that larger companies don’t want to be a part of, but require more money than a small company can get via more “normal” means. Kickstarter is just one way of getting the support you need. Minecraft alpha and beta pricing is another.

You still need to have an appealing product of course, but if you do there is a market out there for it, and the internet and resources like Kickstarter that it enabled, make it much easier to give it a try.

TtfnJohnsays:

Despite the remarks of one troll who doesn’t seem to know what to do with this the project has now raised $1,085,494 and still going up.

Keeping in mind that this game is being developed by people who are well known for quality work and quality product if someone says Kickstarter doesn’t work then, I guess, we get to say they’re wrong.

And, in response to the troll, it’s not all that unusual for artists say “pay me first or you get nothing” which is largely how they made their living throughout most of time.

The Reality is that enough people like the possibilities of this game that they’re willing to invest over a million sight unseen due to who is working on the project.

Not bad, I’d say.

Anonymoussays:

Try 'Survival'

I’m totally going to contribute! This company is worth my money!

Contrary to popular belief, sometimes creating something takes resources: human labor and capital, and while some people would be willing to create stuff out of thin air, for the most part the creation process takes a lot of time. During this time, the creators have bills to pay, food to eat, and possibly even others to support. If they do not have ways to cover these expenses, then they might get kicked out of their house, die of starvation, or be so besieged by unfortunate events that they would never get around to be creative.

Our society is built around this thing called ‘money’ that can be used to take care of the creators’ obligations so that they can focus on creating and not where they might get their next meal. Not all creators have deep pockets of their own, so they must look elsewhere to get the money so that they can create and not die. For the most part, they need this money before the bills are due, so they ask for it ‘in advance.’

I might have used some big words, but did I break it down enough for you to understand?

Prisoner 201says:

Re: Re: Try 'Survival'

Exactly: I create music, games and art now and then as a hobby.

It’s just a hobby, because I have a job and lots of other obligations in my life.

If someone would be so kind to just give me a shitload of money, please? Then I could turn my hobby into a full-time …hobby. Anyway, it would really help.

You don’t want me to starve, do you?

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