I seriously want more point-click adventure games from u guys in the future!!
If you mean a game developed by LucasArts, then that’s unlikely, because LucasArts has ceased to internally develop games in 2013. But their properties are licensed to other software houses which make games, like the Star Wars games or the remakes of classic Lucas adventures.
That’s more probable! Ron Gilbert, Gary Winnick (and I hope also David Fox) might develop other adventure games in the future. At least, I hope it!
Sorry. I meant Ron Gilbert and Team.
I agree: I would love to see more adventure games from Terrible Toybox.
I guess it depends on your definition of “near”. We’re still working on TWP, that will continue until the end of Oct. TWP has broken even, and will probably due fine over time (it has a very strong tail), but it hasn’t made enough to fund a new game. Kickstarter is likely to fund (at most) half of a new game, and I can’t afford to work for free for another two years waiting for backend to pay me far less than I could get just getting a job. That’s the ugly reality of indie game dev.
Now of this is not to say a new adventure (or adventure-ish) game isn’t possible, but I need to look at a lot of different options before deciding what to do next.
Non gamer converted into adventure game fan
Frequently Asked Questions (about TWP, Monkey Island and other things)
This is a good news.
Might mobile and Switch sales change this scenario or do you exclude it?
I wouldn’t underestimate Kickstarter: A lot of people missed the first Kickstarter. In addition you have the attention of the press and the players at the moment (and an active TWP community). Due to the open development process a lot of people have seen how much work it was to develop an adventure game and how much it cost. So I’m sure that more people are willing to spend more money in a new Kickstarter.
It’s unlikely to be enough to change the picture. even an extra $100K doesn’t make this possible. I know $100K seems like a lot of money, but you can’t think about it as $100K being in your personal bank account. 1/3 of that is lost in taxes. plus remember TWP cost $1M to make. Making a new game isn’t likely to be much less. While we save money in not building the engine, that wasn’t a huge chuck of the budget. Also, I could go get a job and make 2x what I’ll ever make on TWP and any money from an new game is a risk, so it’s far from guaranteed. I’ve taken a lot of risks in my career, and while they have been creatively fun, most have broken even finally or not paid out.
Yes, I could skip and trim the budget and cut the quality and take even more risks but I don’t know if I want to do that anymore. I don’t mind taking risks, but they need to be correctly calculated. I don’t think spinning up another point-and-click adventure is the right risk to take. Maybe I’ll stumble on a idea that changes that equation, but maybe not, and certainly not in the “near term”.
To enthusiastically jump into another point-and-click adventure, TWP would have needed to make $750K in profit, meaning after taxes and investors payout. We are magnitudes from that and PS4, Switch and iOS won’t change that.
Frequently Asked Questions (about TWP, Monkey Island and other things)
I wish I agreed with that. Granted it’s all crystal ball, but for all the new backers we would gain, we’ll lose an number equal to (if not more). A lot of people backed TWP because of the novelty of it, that novelty is now gone.
Also, if we pull a significant number of the current buyers into being backer, that means less sales and profit when it’s released, which means people working for backend will want to be paid more upfront. It changes the equation. In addition, we got away with doing an Kickstarter showing very little (actually none) of the actual game. we didn’t have a demo or even game play footage. That was a huge risk. I’m not sure we could get away with that a second time. Getting to the point where we could go that is a huge amount of pre-production work, again… working for free.
I won’t say “never”, but it’s not as easy as just putting up a Kickstarter.
Wow, in Italy tax pressure is currently 64,8% of the profits…
yes, I’m not wrong. If you make €100.00 profit, €64.80 goes away (global fiscal impact, including social, contributory, taxes).
Local indignation apart, your point of view is understandable.
Who knows, maybe you will get a job, with a fixed salary, less concerns, more happyness.
Maybe you could be employee at Dis…
Why do you assume this? You have re-activated a lot of the old adventure gamers. They even let play their kids TWP. And I’m pretty sure, that they now want more (well, most of them ;)).
Yes - and?
Ask on Kickstarter (or another platform) for the money you need to produce a new game - the whole game, including all costs. Chose an amount of money where you and all other team memebers can live from.
If you get this money, you don’t need the money from the normal sales, because you have the money already you need for the, let’s say, two years. And if you can’t get the money on Kickstarter, then you still can get another job.
I think TWP is one of the greatest demos ever. Broken Sword for example hadn’t a demo either.
What I have to pay to you, so that you are able to set up a new Kickstarter? I’m talking only about the costs for the preparation work of a new Kickstarter. (This is a serious question.)
Fair enough. If you are going to do something else, keep in mind, that we would miss you.
I don’t believe for 1 second I could fund a point-and-click Kickstarter asking for $1.5M, which is honestly what it would take to pay everyone normal industry (not even top) salaries and build a game to a quality level I would be proud of. There are too many people who have no concept of what it takes to make a game who would just shit all over the project and cause it to fail due to bad PR. I’ve seen this happen before.
The other problem with assuming you’ll make no profit and just cover dev is it never frees you. This is the same problem that a lot of devs get into wth publishers. They build games the publisher completely pays for, but there is no realistic backend, so they are caught back in the cycle.
Doing Kickstarters where it pays your cost, but there is little chance of upside is no better then working with a publisher. It might work a few times, but the one time your Kickstarter fails, and the whole thing comes crumbling down.
Companies don’t want portable games (just) because they are greedy, they need them to weather the failures.
I have no idea. I don’t have a idea I’m happy about yet. Once I had that, I would have a better idea of what is needed. We spent 4 months setting up the TWP Kickstarter. For a new one, I image 4 or 5 months, but that’s after I have a solid idea, and that might be 6 months from now. So, if we were to do another Kickstarters, it would be 9 months away.
I can understand that. I hope that you’ll think of a narrative+puzzles project that you like enough to give it a try.
In my opinion, your backers didn’t decide to give you money mainly because of what you showed them. They decided to give you money mainly because you were Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick. Their decision was based largely on trust and reputation.
Their future decisions about your next kickstarter campaign will be based on a Ron Gilbert and a Gary Winnick who have now delivered a very good game, proving (once again) that trusting these two guys was a very savvy choice. I wouldn’t underestimate the positive effects of your good reputation, which now is even better.
A similar experience has happened to me (in a different industry) just a few months ago and I was both amazed and worried, because I couldn’t understand how people could decide to buy something from me without any information about what I would have delivered to them. To me, there was something wrong and risky with this phenomenon. But in the end I did deliver something good and it’s unlikely that most of these customers will change their opinion when it will come the moment to sell them something new.
But you haven’t tried it - right? And I just can second what @LowLevel wrote.
Yes, of course. But you just have the choice of being payed in advance or after the release. In both cases you have to fear to get less money: In the first case you can’t make a new game, in the second case you can’t make a new game either. But if you get paid in advance, you have the guarantee that you can develop your game.
You would like to be completely free in all aspects (not to worry about money and have the creative freedom) - right? I don’t think that this is ever possible (except you are rich). Someone has to pay your bills. It’s a publisher or the players. The latter one could pay you in advance or after the release. In all of these cases you aren’t completely free.
(I’m working in a business where you have to cross-finance your projects - similar to the movie industry: You have one project that makes money and another project that produces only costs. The problem is that you can’t predict which project is successful. I think this applies here in the game industry too. There are several solutions to lower the financial risk: You could work on different projects at the same time. Or you find a payment model where the players will constantly pay for the game - like in Early Access games, episodic games, etc. Maybe one of these solutions is working for you.)
I agree that 1st there should be nearly no existing backer being disappointed and 2nd there should be many more. But Kickstarter is a completely different platform, just because thousands buy the game on Steam doesn’t mean a lot of them will consider using this “Kickstarter thing”. So I can understand there is scepticism.
Another problem is that not only preparation and running an active crowdfunding campaign needs time/money, but also afterwards you have to take care of backers (like the blog which was a lot of work and also means showing unfinished work).
If there is the possibility to get enough money to pay the first ~2/3 of the game there could by a Kickstarter late in the development process to fund its remainder.
This could also make the campaign preparations easier because there is already some of the game there for demonstration. Also there are likely already decisions about what special backer rewards will be possible, e.g. you don’t want to add game design relevant stuff so late to the game, meaning there won’t be backer items this time (and backers will understand).
It may be risky and if the campaign fails the game needs to be finished with a lower budget, e.g. maybe cancelling voices etc.
This is what Kickstarter has become. It’s really Kickfinisher. Raising 2/3 of $1.5M is the tricky part. You give up a lot for that money. You’re now under the control of a very different beast. Once you do a Kickstarter, you’re now under the control of two beasts.
I’d rather spend my time looking at games that are cheaper to build and creatively different and therefor more interesting for me.
Why not do it as an interactive comic (like “all you can eat”, not necessarily black & white)? I think it allows you to express your art just as well. And I assume it would allow you to at least halve the costs (and the development time). Maybe you could even show more stuff (“special case animations” become “special case pictures”).
I want to punch my self for mentioning this but what about in app purchases. I believe in profitability. I feel like sometimes large developers toe the line of extorting the customary in app purchases model.
You know, most of us would play a game just for your puzzles and humor all you have to do is use the engine to make a new game, all in programmer art, no music, no animations, no speech, and then open source the game data so anyone can add his own art, music and so on
Graphic puzzle dependency chart editor ™?
On a more serious note, I think we are all a bit sad that now you have a new P&C adventure game engine it might only be used once due to not only financial (though perfectly understable) but also creative reasons. Reuse would be the cheapest option probably, but also the creatively less interesting one.
That being said, I am sure all your fans are hoping to have more games using the thimbleweed engine, as long as you can come up with interesting stories, funny jokes and difficult puzzles.
If it helps to cut costs: you can drop the voice over (and spare yourself the clusterfuck).
But in general feeling a sad that TWP might prove to be a death spasm P&C adventure rather than a rebirth… but rest assured that you have fans that have proven to be very loyal over decades.