UPDATE 8.59pm: Double Fine producer Greg Rice has confirmed that the studio's pitched ideas are copyrighted, but in this case fans asked for Double Fine's permission and the studio gave it to them.
"They actually asked us about this and we gave them permission. We're super excited to see what comes of it!" said Rice in an e-mail to Eurogamer. "And yes, the ideas are copyrighted. There are legal lines on the pitch videos and the webpage. We're just letting them run with it for fun."
Bad Golf idea man Patrick Hackett offered Eurogamer the following statement on the matter:
"Personally, I was flattered by the idea that people would want to collaborate to make a game idea of mine. I really couldn't have been more excited to hear about this idea and told them I'd support them as much as I could."
"As for it being Double Fine's property - Greg and I brought the situation up to Tim and Justin and they approved of the idea, citing that any production should remain in the creative commons. Because of that, the project's source control repository is available for free and the final product will never be sold."
"Speaking again for myself, I don't see this as any harm to the Bad Golf concept - many of the team members working on the Community Edition want me to continue to push the idea at Double Fine to make the proper version. In fact, I see this as a huge boost to the possibility of a DF created Bad Golf title. Bad Golf 3 in 2015!!"
"One more note, again this one is personal: ideas are cheap and easy. Execution of an idea is everything. I'll never be able to create a product for every game idea I have. If someone else (especially a group of fans!) realises one of those ideas, that's just a shortcut to me playing the game!"
So there you have it: fans will make Bad Golf 2 and maybe someday Double Fine will make Bad Golf 3. Perhaps we'll even get the inevitably prequel: Bad Golf 1: Hole in One.
ORIGINAL STORY 7.32pm: One has to admire Double Fine tech guru Patrick Hackett's determination. When the studio decided to let the community vote on which game idea prototypes get made, Hackett pitched a game called Bad Golf, which was to be a four-player competitive affair in which players play golf while simultaneously attempting to demolish their competition with reckless cart and club behaviour. The idea failed to get greenlit, but that didn't stop Hackett from pitching Bad Golf 2, a sequel to his non-existent game, this year. Sadly, this too failed to capture the imagination of contributors, but that hasn't stopped a group of dedicated fans from banning together to realise Hackett's dream.
As detailed on a Double Fine forum post, when Hackett saw someone suggesting a fan-made version of Bad Golf 2 on Twitch chat the developer exclaimed "OH MY GOD. Pleeeaaaaaaase do this. I will help in any way I can. Yes yes yes, this is awesome."
There are currently 18 contributors toiling away on the project at GitHub, with many more expected to join.
Hackett's originally described Bad Golf as "the PGA Tour meets the demolition derby." His original pitch video summed up the game as follows: "Four players try to get their ball in a hole with the least amount of strokes. But in Bad Gold everyone gets a cart. Score extra points for finishing first. Run over your buddies' balls, tear up fairways [and] destroy golf carts."
It's an interesting idea for fans to pick up the pieces of a studio's rejected pitch, and one has to wonder if Double Fine regrets letting loose its ideas to the public, or is simply happy to have inspired fans to bring such silly ideas to fruition. I've contacted the studio to hear its thoughts on the matter and will update as I hear back.
The actual finalists in Double Fine's current Amnesia Fortnight line-up are moody noir piece Mnemonic, "a surreal first-person adventure where you explore and rearrange memories"; Steed, an "open-world action game" starring a horse tasked with protecting bumbling heroes; Dear Leader, a political satire about running a soviet-like post-revolution republic; and Little Pink Best Buds, Adventure Time creator Pendleton Ward's game about dicking around with goofy pink people.
You can buy the prototypes for Mnemonic, Steed and Dear Leader when they're ready by donating to Double Fine's Amnesia Fortnight 2014 Humble Bundle. Pay over the average price - currently $6.94 - to receive the Little Pink Best Buds prototype as well. The Amnesia Fortnight 2014 Humble Bundle is available for another eight days, so if you're interested you'd best pick it up soon.