If you played PC games in the 90s, chances are you played some of Tim Schafer’s work. He worked on the Monkey Island Series and Day of the Tentacle, later going on to create such classics as Grim Fandango and Psychonauts. He recently took to Kickstarter to try and score some funding for a new point-and-click adventure game, as most publishers would consider the genre more or less untouchable these days.
He figured there were enough people out there who wanted a new adventure game that they could scrape together $400,000. That was last night. They hit their goal in 8 hours, and are likely to break a million dollars before the end of the day. In fact, just since I started this post, I’ve had to adjust the headline to reflect an additional
$50,000 $70,000 $100,000 that has been pledged.
Kickstarter confirmed to Joystiq that “there’s not been a project that has raised as much as this one in such a short timeframe.” Not even the Elevation Dock, which has made something of a splash. It’s easy to understand, considering the deal Double Fine is offering.
In addition to the game, for which $300,000 of the money was to be earmarked, they are partnering with 2 Player Productions to make a video documentary about the development of the game. A $15 donation gets you both the game and the documentary, which accounts partially for the massive uptake, but thousands more opted to give $30 or $100. It’s really quite a festival — over 23,000 backers as of this writing.
That’s understandable: Tim Schafer is something of a cult figure in gaming, and is really an optimal rallying point for a Kickstarter project. Thousands upon thousands have enjoyed his games and have been itching for a way to get involved and make another happen — but petitioning publishers and complaining on forums doesn’t do much. Pledging a few bucks does.
There are a number of these crowd-sourced games in the works, and some smaller sites catering to that audience, like 8 Bit Funding, have popped up. The age of the independent developer is upon us; there’s enough money going around and enough methods for funding that soon, no one will have to go hungry, least of all legendary developers with quiet but fervent global fan bases.
(Update: fixed video embed and changed headline to reflect that mil)