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Quoteworthy - Tim Schafer on Game Budgets

"Surprised that game budgets are so high? Well, listen--people are expensive! And LIVING people? Forget about it." -- Double Fine's Tim Schafer. Thanks Morris.

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18. Re: Quoteworthy - Tim Schafer on Game Budgets Feb 12, 2012, 16:16 Dev
 
Zyrxil wrote on Feb 12, 2012, 13:46:
At this point people are just donating to see how high they can get within the time limit.
kickstarter funding are generally NOT donations! They are purchases of a something such as a game (and perhaps other goodies). Basically a pre-order, except further out than most pre-orders are.

In this case, for $15 you get the game and the monthly video development diaries. I believe the dev videos are fairly unique, I've never seen a game on this scale that documents like that. Most of the "making of" special dvd stuff are only done after the game is done and they are heavily edited. In this case we will get to see the creative process from beginning to end while its happening. As the description says,

Double Fine is committed to total transparency with this project, ensuring it is one of the most honest depictions of game development ever conceived.

Also, they give you access to a private forum where you can have direct input into the process and the devs as its happening. Again, something I've not seen on this scale.

$15 is a bargain for that kinda access to the videos, process, and devs, and not to mention the game IMHO.

This comment was edited on Feb 12, 2012, 18:02.
 
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17. Re: Quoteworthy - Tim Schafer on Game Budgets Feb 12, 2012, 15:14 Prez
 
I assume he's speaking of adventure game budgets, which are normally higher than what people assume them to be given their relative simplicity. I can easily see Grim Fandango costing 10 million to make were it made today.

In general, most AAA game budgets are stories of waste and excess from what I've read. Sure, it's going to cost lots of money to make a game with high production values, but based on the insights of many prominent developers, the game industry is not one known for efficient project management and resource allocation.
 
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“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
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16. Re: Quoteworthy - Tim Schafer on Game Budgets Feb 12, 2012, 14:46 Alamar
 
eRe4s3r wrote on Feb 12, 2012, 09:27:
Also doesn't help when you have associated one voice to a big tv-role or movie role and suddenly you hear it in Skyrim, it completely jades immersion for me.

The stupid emperor in Oblivion was a prime example, and then there is that Dark Brotherhood guy.....

It depends on the actor... I've heard Patrick Stewart in various games, going back to Lands or Lore, and the first few seconds, it was like... hey.. that's so and so... Then I get back to the content (what they're saying) : )

Now, if it were Gilbert Gottfried, or bobcat goldthwait, that'd be a whole other issue : )

-Alamar
 
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15. Re: Quoteworthy - Tim Schafer on Game Budgets Feb 12, 2012, 13:46 Zyrxil
 
At this point people are just donating to see how high they can get within the time limit.  
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14. Re: Quoteworthy - Tim Schafer on Game Budgets Feb 12, 2012, 11:23 Mad Max RW
 
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/66710809/double-fine-adventure

So far they raised more than $1.6 million.
 
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13. Re: Quoteworthy - Tim Schafer on Game Budgets Feb 12, 2012, 09:27 eRe4s3r
 
Also doesn't help when you have associated one voice to a big tv-role or movie role and suddenly you hear it in Skyrim, it completely jades immersion for me.

The stupid emperor in Oblivion was a prime example, and then there is that Dark Brotherhood guy.....
 
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12. Re: Quoteworthy - Tim Schafer on Game Budgets Feb 12, 2012, 09:24 Ratty
 
just because someone is an expensive well known movie star doesn't mean they can do good voice acting.
Yeah, Linda Carter was OK, but not worth the millions they probably paid her.
 
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11. Re: Quoteworthy - Tim Schafer on Game Budgets Feb 12, 2012, 09:14 Dev
 
Ozmodan wrote on Feb 12, 2012, 07:10:
Well when you hire expensive actors to do lots of quest dialog what do you expect. Pick some people off the street, few would notice the difference.
HAHAHAHAHA. Yeah, no. Have you noticed one of the most common complaints in reviews about games nowadays is the poor quality of the voice actors chosen? You can often tell a non native english game by its crappy translation, and when the voice actor reads that crappy translation its even worse. In oblivion the complaint was everyone sounded similar (which is why beth hired 70+ voice actors this time around). Incidentally, just because someone is an expensive well known movie star doesn't mean they can do good voice acting.

IMHO, thats a good way to remove immersion from a game, have crappy voice work.

Now if you had said "hire some good reasonably priced voice actors instead of expensive movie stars" I would have agreed. Many games hire well known famous (aka expensive) names for some of the voice acting, thinking the famous name will get more buyers of the game.
 
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10. Re: Quoteworthy - Tim Schafer on Game Budgets Feb 12, 2012, 07:10 Ozmodan
 
Well when you hire expensive actors to do lots of quest dialog what do you expect. Pick some people off the street, few would notice the difference.

Learn good development rules, and make sure you have a good design before starting.
 
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9. Re: Quoteworthy - Tim Schafer on Game Budgets Feb 12, 2012, 06:26 Dmitri_M
 
Sepharo wrote on Feb 12, 2012, 00:32:
elefunk wrote on Feb 12, 2012, 00:07:
I'm baffled at how people are so naive to think that it's unreasonable that some of those old games he's talking about cost $1-2 million to make.

Are these people on Twitter? You shouldn't be surprised.

twitter is just the delivery method. the real question you should be asking is are these people...people?
 
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8. Re: Quoteworthy - Tim Schafer on Game Budgets Feb 12, 2012, 00:32 Sepharo
 
elefunk wrote on Feb 12, 2012, 00:07:
I'm baffled at how people are so naive to think that it's unreasonable that some of those old games he's talking about cost $1-2 million to make.

Are these people on Twitter? You shouldn't be surprised.
 
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7. Re: Quoteworthy - Tim Schafer on Game Budgets Feb 12, 2012, 00:07 elefunk
 
I'm baffled at how people are so naive to think that it's unreasonable that some of those old games he's talking about cost $1-2 million to make.

I mean, seriously? 10-15 people across programmers, artists, etc. to make an adventure game sounds reasonable to me. Across 1-2 years, that easily adds up to a couple million. Especially if they're extremely talented people worth paying a good salary. Then add in all the other usual business costs, it's a no-brainer.
 
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6. Re: Quoteworthy - Tim Schafer on Game Budgets Feb 11, 2012, 20:32 nin
 
These games were great and sold great but as far as I know, they didn't cost millions upon millions to make. Just because you can spend millions on something doesn't mean that you need to, and there is a thing of too many people on a task.

He was only asking for 400K, and I think it's safe to assume he didn't anticipate the response he got.

 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
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5. Re: Quoteworthy - Tim Schafer on Game Budgets Feb 11, 2012, 20:31 Dev
 
Kitkoan wrote on Feb 11, 2012, 19:36:
How much did games like Amnesia, Bastion and Minecraft cost to make?

These games were great and sold great but as far as I know, they didn't cost millions upon millions to make. Just because you can spend millions on something doesn't mean that you need to, and there is a thing of too many people on a task.
Most of those indie type games don't really compare to that list of adventure games made by lucasarts though. Minecraft didn't have any voice acting, and was done mostly by 1 guy.

I don't know about bastion, it was published by WB, so they may have funded them.

He's making the list to show how much a typical top shelf adventure game cost to make back in the day. That's hard to compare to indie games made by a couple people.
 
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4. Re: Quoteworthy - Tim Schafer on Game Budgets Feb 11, 2012, 19:36 Kitkoan
 
How much did games like Amnesia, Bastion and Minecraft cost to make?

These games were great and sold great but as far as I know, they didn't cost millions upon millions to make. Just because you can spend millions on something doesn't mean that you need to, and there is a thing of too many people on a task.
 
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*automatically refuses to place horse heads in anyone's bed*
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3. Re: Quoteworthy - Tim Schafer on Game Budgets Feb 11, 2012, 13:17 Dev
 
nin wrote on Feb 11, 2012, 13:14:
Schafer's twitter has been a great read the past few days, especially the part where he's flying back and says that if the plane goes down, Ron Gilbert has to make the game by himself (and make sure he signs all the posters!).

Thanks for the headsup, I'll check it out.

In first few he says:

DOTT budget was around $600k (1993 dollars)
grim fandango was $3 million in 1998 dollars
He also implies psychonauts budget was close to $12 million (presumable in dollars back then)
Costume Quest/Stacking/Iron Brigade were $2 million
Full throttle was less than $1.5 million (in dollars back then)

Also he says because of the funding, in addition to mac port they will do iOS port too.

To do Psychonauts 2, he says they'd need $19 million.

"$955k! Guys, I'll make you a deal. If we hit $980k I'll add RTS elements to the game! And if we hit $1M, I'll take them back out!"

If you're wondering about @notch’s generous offer to help Psychonauts 2 happen, all I can say is that we are having a lovely chat about it!

This comment was edited on Feb 11, 2012, 13:30.
 
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2. Re: Quoteworthy - Tim Schafer on Game Budgets Feb 11, 2012, 13:14 nin
 

Schafer's twitter has been a great read the past few days, especially the part where he's flying back and says that if the plane goes down, Ron Gilbert has to make the game by himself (and make sure he signs all the posters!).

 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
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1. Re: Quoteworthy - Tim Schafer on Game Budgets Feb 11, 2012, 13:12 Dev
 
He's got a good point. Another reason why its unlikely this will be psychonauts 2. The couple million isn't enough.  
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