Tim Schafer, the leader of developer Double Fine, believes that his company can create interesting and innovative video games because of the relationship between the members of the team and because they have managed to maintain their independence from big publishers.The developer tells Rock, Paper, Shotgun that, “Making Double Fine, making a creativity machine, that just runs. It outputs great games, but really it’s the living, breathing machine itself that’s the thing we care about and work on.”
All those working at Double Fine want to have an outlet for their creativity and a good balance between life and work.
This does mean that Double Fine might not be making as much money as it could, but to Shafer, independence and creativity are more important than getting rich quickly.
Speaking about his relationship with publishers, the creator of Psychonauts says, “We don’t necessarily need these big, bureaucratic companies in between us. It doesn’t completely change the industry, but it opens up the doors for a lot of projects that were previously thought of being too niche to fund.”
The process that Double Fine used for its last few titles means that the studio has also been able to retain the right to its intellectual property for all releases except Iron Brigade (born Trenched), something that Schafer still regrets.
Double Fine has recently announced that it is prototyping a number of new games and is inviting all their fans to contribute to their creation and then choose which ones have the best mechanics and should actually be created and launched.
The process is called Amnesia Fortnite and has resulted in the creation and launch of Iron Brigade, Stacking and Costume Quest.
Double Fine is also working on a classic adventure project that it has funded using the Kickstarter service, with a launch date set for 2013.