When I went to bed last night, I had no idea that Double Fine’s Tim Schafer had announced a new Kickstarter project, one asking for donations totaling $400,000 to fund and film the process of making a new “old school” graphic adventure game. When I got to work this morning and started clicking around the Interwebz while my emails downloaded I saw that this lofty goal–well, $400,000 is a lot of money in my mind–had already been met. Geez. Take that, rollercoasters that go from zero to sixty mph in three seconds. Without warning, two conflicting feelings hit me at once: rejoice and disappointment. Let me explain.
First, the rejoice. Good for them! Way to go, Double Fine! Way to go, adventure game fans everywhere! It’s always exhilarating to see a Kickstarter goal met so quickly, with passion and desire fueling every contribution. In his Kickstarter commercial, Schafer points out that if he were to go to a traditional publisher with the idea of putting out a new adventure game, he’d just get laughed at. And that’s probably true. The genre is certainly not dead, but it’s not as mainstream as first-person shooters or big budget epic RPG romps. By using Kickstarter, Double Fine can create a game for fans, funded by fans. That sounds pretty fantastic.
Second, the disappointment. I kind of feel like I went to bed and, unknowingly, in the next room over, a great ol’ happening party was happening. There was cake and spiked punch and board games and laughter and Queen’s greatest hits were playing in a constant loop and everyone was excited and so happy to be there. It was the type of party that would be talked about for days after. I missed all the action though. The party was a success, and I played no part in it. I could have and would have, but I was sleeping. I guess I’m just bummed that I didn’t get to be a part of making it happen, and am rather left to simply contribute a little more to the pile. I’m sure that sounds really stupid, but it’s how I feel.
There’s 33 days left to go for the Kickstarter, with extra funds being put towards making the game and documentary as strong as possible, as well as for porting it to other platforms, such as Mac and iOS. I might still donate for the $15 amount, likening it as a pre-order now that it’s clear that it will all come to fruition–or I might not. The game will get made, and Double Fine is tentatively shooting for an October 2012 release, wherein I could just wait and pick it up on Steam then if it looks like a grand time. Which it probably will, seeing who is behind it. I mean, I think people liked Day of the Tentacle, Full Throttle, and Grim Fandango, and I know for certain that I enjoyed Costume Quest, as well as the core game ideas behind Brutal Legend and Stacking.
A lot of Kickstarters that I’m aware of are more for indie projects, so it was a little odd to see a known company like Double Fine using it to help get a game made. But to each their own, I guess. We are living in the future, after all. 2012 and flying cars and meals in pills. That said, where are the Kickstarters for Suikoden VI? Or Primal II? Or Jak 4? Well?