Double Fine Misadventure: First Major Kickstarter Game Hits A Snag

Tim Schafer writes candidly about his game ‘Broken Age’ running out of money, but this is just the nature of the beast.

Photo Courtesy of Broken Age kickstarter

Photo Courtesy of Broken Age kickstarter

Once upon a time, there was a website designed to crowdfund small, creative projects—a garage band’s new self-recorded album; a short film; a dance video. That website was called Kickstarter.

Then, along came Tim Schafer and Double Fine Adventure, the video game now known as Broken Age, which transformed the site into an indie video game crowdfunding platform overnight. Kickstarter termed it the “Blockbuster Effect.”

Well, not just a video game funding platform, but these days many of the biggest projects—from the Ouya to Star Citizen to Torment: Tides of Numenera—are video games or video game accessories. And these projects all have, at least in part, Schafer and his game to thank. Broken Age was the catalyst, the trailblazer, the portent of things to come.

And now, despite the $3.3 million the game raised on Kickstarter (and the additional $1.2 million Double Fine raised for its second Kickstarter game, Massive Chalice) Broken Age is out of money.

Turns out, even games not developed the traditional publishing route over-budget and over-promise.

“Even though we received much more money from our Kickstarter than we, or anybody anticipated, that didn’t stop me from getting excited and designing a game so big that it would need even more money,” Schafer writes in a letter to backers posted at Gamasutra.

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