Getting Tim Schafer in front of a microphone is always cause for a good time, but the man is first and foremost a designer of some of the most respected cult classics in the field. At the recently held Develop Conference, Schafer recently outlined his company’s, Double Fine, upcoming portfolio, including four new games in the pipeline. Fans of Brutal Legend, however, may be said to learn a sequel to Eddie Rigg’s metal adventures is not among them.
“We got a phone call from a publisher saying ‘we’re not going to do a sequel to Brutal Legend.’ My fault was that I had not prepared for that, so we did not have a project ready to go…So we picked the best four, took them on a road show and showed them to publishers,” Schafer commented, “In a couple of months all four games got signed. So we became officially a multi-project studio. Trying to kill us made us multiply.”
The future business plan of Double Fine also appears to be in smaller games, “going small” appearing to be a much more preferable route to the publisher-heckled developer, “We’ve seen the benefits of it right away. The advantages of doing small budgets means there’s less compromise. Publishers are not as afraid of doing something unusual with smaller budgets, of $2 million or less. They’re less likely to grab your IP rights if you’re only asking for a small amount of money.”
At the same event, Schafer also reflected on his recent comments on Kotick (calling him, in short, “a prick” recently), “That was an accident. I need to keep my mouth shut…I was going to change the title of my talk to ‘How to give interviews and remember to check the microphone is switched off.'”
He concluded, “After the Eurogamer thing I realized I’m a little nervous about what I want to say. It’s shocking how you really can’t burn bridges in the industry. You start your own company and you don’t have to work for that jerky boss any more. Not naming names,” he continued. “Then it’s like Empire Strikes Back – you walk in the room and holy shit! Darth Vader’s at the table! It’s such a small industry, you see the same people over and over again. No-one ever goes away.”