Like many old school gamers, I cut my teeth on adventure games and have many fond memories of titles put out by LucasFilm/LucasArts back in the day. I spent many hours trying to solve puzzles in games like Maniac Mansion and its sequel, Day of the Tentacle, which came out nearly 21 years ago. If you have a lunch break to spare, sit back and watch as Tim Schafer plays through part of Day of the Tentacle while offering insight into the game's design.
In under 24 hours, Double Fine made gaming (and Kickstarter) history. It all started when the funhouse that funnyman Tim Schafer built took to Kickstarter to ask for a few coins in the cup of a brand new point-and-click adventure game. And by “a few coins,” we mean $400,000. And so – no doubt fueled by fond memories of pirates who fight like dairy farmers – a legion of adoring fans buried the Kickstarter account in nickles, dimes, dollars, and priceless family heirlooms. The end result? It breezed past $400,000 in mere hours. And it's still going. As of writing, it reached $1,250,476, officially shattering Kickstarter's record for most donations in 24 hours and most backers. Which is all to say damn. Oh, and let's not forget that Notch is essentially playing Robin Hood to Psychonauts 2 – except with less arrows and more proof that there is justice in the universe after all. So yeah, all-in-all, we'd say Double Fine's had a pretty OK week or whatever, we guess.
A disclaimer: We love Tim Schafer. We want to marry his brain, buy a house, and eventually win his trust so we don't have to keep him tied up in the basement anymore. That being said, we have to admit that we're not entirely sold on the Psychonauts and Brutal Legend creator's reason for refusing to return the PC's calls.
“As a developer we do not have final say in the sku plan for our games. That is the decision of the person investing the money, i.e. the publisher. We have much of the technology in place to produce PC versions of all these games, but there is still some more work required to make them shippable and that costs money,” reads a post on Double Fine's website.
“So far, our publishers have not elected to fund that work. Not because they hate PC Gamers, but because they don't see enough financial reward. Double Fine does care about PC Gamers, and we always push for a PC version, and will continue to do so in the future.”
When in doubt, blame the big, bad publisher man, right? And we can understand that. Well, mostly. Problem is, two and two don't quite make four here. For one, Double Fine's current publisher, THQ, has gone on record saying that we'll see “almost every one” of its core games on PC as long as it "makes sense." So, does it?
Well, let's have a look-see at Double Fine's current lineup, which consists of bite-sized downloadable titles like Costume Quest and Stacking on XBLA and PSN. Hey, isn't there another platform where experimental download titles can net their creators $350,000 a day? Also, we'd like to point out that Schafer himself – barely audible over our schoolgirl-like cheers as he admitted he'd like to make a Psychonauts sequel – said that Psychonauts earned the bulk of its recognition through PC-only distribution channels.
So Tim, are you sure you want to stand idly by while publishers give PC gamers the cold shoulder? This could very well be a literal million dollar question. Is that your final answer?