LEIPZIG, Germany--Double Fine Games' CEO and president, Tim Schafer, has worked on projects including the critically acclaimed Psychonauts, Full Throttle, and The Secret of Monkey Island. He usually has something to say about everything.
So today, at his keynote presentation at GCDC, Schafer disappointed the crowd--some of whom were clearly expecting some big news about the top-secret title he is currently working on--by not mentioning his latest project at all, except to say he would not be mentioning it. He said, "There were some rumours that I would be announcing the new game from Double Fine here at Leipzig, but this was a lot of erroneous information that was passed around, so I will not be doing that here. I'm not allowed to talk about the game yet."
However, in typical Schafer style, the Double Fine president then did reveal one new snippet of information: the time frame for the title, which he said would be coming sometime in 2008. He said, "I don't want to use this forum to plug my excellent, awesome new game, which is coming out next year." Details of the game's existence emerged back in September 2006, when a Securities and Exchange Commission filing from Vivendi Games let slip that the company would be publishing the next Double Fine game.
Schafer talked about topics including the difficulties of overcoming writer's block, having to let go of ideas that don't work, and dealing with criticism from others. He said, "With the current game, I had all this writing to do, and I kept putting it off and suddenly I came up with the name for the main character...And in the next few days I wrote about half the dialogue for the game."
He talked of inspiration as the "golden goose" that writers had to follow, feed, and hope would lay golden eggs for them. He said, "You can't lead the goose around, you have to follow it wherever it goes...And that comes up sometimes in games, when you've done a certain kind of game in the past, people want you to do that same game--they want you to just do that one again, do a sequel for that game. I think if your brain's telling you you've got to get on a new idea, you have to do that, even if you feel a lot of pressure to do the thing you did before."
The executive also drew the battle lines between "us" and "them." He said, "We are at war, and the enemies are...the publishers. No, they're not. It's not that easy. The enemies are mediocrity, laziness, and fear, and they exist in all of us."