Double Fine Productions: “It’s Very Hard Hearing Suits Tell You What Gamers Like”
Massive Chalice project lead Brad Muir discusses past experience dealing with traditional publishers.
Double Fine Productions recently announced their second Kickstarter project Massive Chalice, a fantasy tactics game that has so far garnered $592,980 of its $725,000 funding goal with 26 days still remaining.
Recently game lead Brad Muir and Double Fine co-founder Tim Schafer sat down with GamesIndustry International to talk about just why the Kickstarter mode of funding is so much better. Muir talked about his first experience developing a game and trying to make it through traditional publishing means.
“The previous game that I was working on, called Brazen, I had been pitching that game for an entire year. That was a tough sell, trying to pitch that game to publishers.
“I don’t want to name any names, but the stop-motion aesthetic – that game was based on the Ray Harryhausen stop-motion animations – was always the sticking point. That people wouldn’t relate to it or think it was cool.
“This was just a bunch of businessmen, like suits around a table. It was very hard for me to listen to their opinions of what gamers might actually like. It’s a very weird thing, taking your ideas to a small group of businessmen and having them tell you whether they think it’s going to sell or not.
“I don’t think they always know best. That’s the cool thing about this idea. This idea is brand-new. We haven’t taken this idea to anyone. We developed it and took it straight to the backers.”
As Schafer elucidates, “When Brad had this new idea and he was really excited about it; it was like, ‘do we really want to throw this back to that same process again?’ Watch Brad spend another year pitching and compromising his idea?
“Or do we want to go down this road where we just have to test this idea with the actual people who’ll be buying the game. ‘Hey, do you guys like this concept? If you like the concept we can do it.’ Much simpler and much better. With money that comes with fewer strings attached.”
Given that the studio’s first Kickstarter smashed records and opened a flood-gate of support for games funded with the platform, we don’t see any signs of the process slowing down any time soon.