Double Fine’s Tim Schafer Talks Game Development in Behind-the-Scenes Kickstarter Video: Part 1

Double Fine Adventure Behind The Scenes

Second video talks times at LucasArts and writing process.

Head over to if you backed the project and watch the video

The promised behind-the-scenes videos of the development of Double Fine’s Kickstarter project continue

Ever heard of free writing? No? Well, neither had I until last week. Tim Schafer introduced me to it – not in person, but over the Internet. It was in the second video that follows the development of Double Fine’s Kickstarter project – which became the first ever to reach $1 million – and covers his background in game development.

The second video – called a Promise of Infinite Possibility – opens with Tim Schafer talking about writing the idea for the game. He didn’t have any ideas for the game initially, leaving the page blank, but by the third page he wrote the idea for the game.

He says a lot of people thought Double Fine had the idea for the game, but they didn’t. That’s because they wanted to develop as it was being recorded, and partly because Schafer believed his experience meant he would get an idea for the game. Writing is the first thing Schafer does when developing a game, and the first stage is Schafer thinking about a codename for the game. It’s about the process of getting ideas out of his head. This is where free writing comes in.

What is free writing?

Schafer says free writing is used when, as he says, disciplined and locked away in his office. It’s described as the way of getting past the blank page, which is often feared in university/college. It starts with random thoughts not related to the game, and stars and a line down the side of the page mark where the idea for the game begins. Also, even though each day may not seem like ideas are coming each day does push the game along by a little bit.

Schafer also showed a notebook for Grim Fandango, where lots of names were produced which were largely rubbish but led to Grim Fandango. When Grim Fandango was chosen, it covered basically the whole page with an exclamation point.

Schafer’s also been people who like interview games, figuring out what was good and bad about past games. Though as Ron Gilbert said to Schafer, do people love adventure games or the nostalgia?

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Jonathan is a writer on the technology and video game industries. He is comfortable with using Mac OS X and Windows; he began using Windows with Windows XP during his early double-digit years, and started using OS X in 2009 on a MacBook Pro. He began gaming on the SNES back in the 90s.

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