Double Fine Productions is exploring some alternate means of getting games funded. Earlier this week, Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson offered to help the studio jumpstart a Psychonauts sequel, and today the studio set up a Kickstarter project to raise $400,000 to make an old-school adventure game.
The project, dubbed Double Fine Adventure, is set to be an old-school point-and-click PC adventure game, much like the kind Double Fine founder Tim Schafer and designer Ron Gilbert made in their days at LucasArts. Gilbert made his name with titles like The Secret of Monkey Island and Maniac Mansion, while Schafer left his own mark with Maniac Mansion 2: Day of the Tentacle and Grim Fandango.
The development of the new game will be documented at every turn by 2 Player Productions, which created the Kickstarter-funded documentary Minecraft: The Story of Mojang. All backers who contribute $15 or more will get access to the serialized documentary, as well as early access to a PC beta and a copy of the finished game (both through Steam). Signed posters, original art, and lunch with Schafer and Gilbert are among the perks backers can get at higher tiers.
"Keeping the scale of the project this small accomplishes two things," Double Fine's Kickstarter page explains. "First and foremost, Double Fine gets to make the game they want to make, promote it in whatever manner they deem appropriate, and release the finished product on their own terms. Secondly, since they're only accountable to themselves, there's an unprecedented opportunity to show the public what game development of this caliber looks like from the inside. Not the sanitized commercials-posing-as-interviews that marketing teams only value for their ability to boost sales, but an honest, in-depth insight into a modern art form that will both entertain and educate gamers and non-gamers alike."
The game is expected to be ready in October, although Double Fine notes that "making games is hard" and the developers will give the project as much time as it needs to live up to the studio's standards. As for what happens should they surpass their funding goal, Double Fine will put additional funds first toward Mac and iOS versions of the game.
Double Fine is not the first established developer to turn to Kickstarter for funding. Tony Hawk: Ride developer Robomodo did the same last year for a Kinect game called Bodoink. That project was unsuccessful, with an aim to raise $35,000, but just over $5,500 pledged.
[UPDATE] Just hours after launching the Kickstarter campaign, Double Fine has amassed over $500,000 from over 11,000 backers, well exceeding the targeted $400,000 goal.