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Schafer: Double Fine Adventure is a "chinchilla-based snuff game"

"A lot of nudity. I hope that was clear in the Kickstarter pitch."

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Image credit: Eurogamer

Irrepressible Double Fine leader Tim Schafer has given Eurogamer a little taster of what we should - and perhaps shouldn't - expect from the studio's keenly-anticipated crowd-funded adventure title.

During a hugely entertaining chat at Double Fine's San Francisco HQ, Schafer revealed that he's currently in "pre-pre-production" on the game.

"We're on information-gathering mode," he explained.

"At this stage on Grim Fandango I was watching every film noir movie I could watch. I'm talking to people like (Monkey Island creator) Ron Gilbert about adventure games, and thinking about them a lot, and playing newer ones, and getting my head back in that space. What have we learned since we were making those games, what was good about them? That's the phase I'm in now."

When pushed for something a little more concrete, Schafer offered up a shocking vision of what, alas, the game will not be about.

"I'm trying to think of a fake tidbit to give you," he said, pensively tapping his chin.

"It's all going to be about chinchillas. Did I mention that? I mean it's obvious as soon as you said old-school adventure that it's going to be chinchilla-based. A lot of fur tech. A lot of nudity. Super violent. It's going to be the first actual snuff game. I hope that was clear in the Kickstarter pitch."

Sounds amazing Tim. Who are you going to kill?

"The Double Fine team. All of them."

Even Ron Gilbert?

"Yeah. He's only half-alive right now anyway. He's kept alive by a machine in his office."

On a rather more serious note, Schafer explained that while the project will be true to its 2D adventure game roots, it will be more than just a nostalgic throw-back. There'll be innovation in there too.

"It's not going to be an adventure game that apologises for being an adventure game. It's not going to be trying to be something else and have a bunch of action elements or something like that.

"But it's not a museum piece or just a nostalgia piece. It's going to be fresh and feel modern and feel like what the next game would have been if I'd made one straight after Grim Fandango.

"I've got the chinchillas. For sure," he added.

"That's going to be the headline isn't it? Schafer's new chinchilla snuff film. That's going to be the thing that Kotaku extracts from the article and links to. Great. I can't wait to see the photoshopped picture of me killing a chinchilla."

Sorry Tim, we just couldn't help ourselves.

When asked if Double Fine is feeling the weight of expectation to deliver on the hype now that it's directly answerable to its fans rather than a publisher, Schafer replied that it's the bet kind of pressure to be under.

"Nobody pressures us more than ourselves in terms of making a good game. We make them to our own level of satisfaction and take a lot of pride in what we're doing. So we were always going to make a good game.

"But it definitely ups the scale and the scope of what we're talking about. It's the same budget as Stacking and Costume Quest now. It changes our ambition for the project but it doesn't change our quality bar, our sense of how good it has to be.

"It's a good type of pressure. Often in a publisher situation you're chasing their anxiety, because they're giving you this money, and there's a green light meeting coming up, and they're going to decide to go or not on the project.

"They're nervous about their investment so you've got to make them feel better about it so you do a whole demo of stuff you know you're going to throw out anyway but it makes them feel better about the game.

"Then you go back to work for a little while and there's another green light meeting so you have to make another demo," he continued. "That's the kind of pressure that I'm happy to be rid of. Now it's the fans and they backed the project because they believe in it. They'll have opinions,sure, but they essentially want the thing that we're making.

"They're not going to go 'we like it but can you take out the adventure elements?' It's like making a game for your friend or cooking a meal for your family. It's pressure but it feels worthwhile."

And is he still in touch with his 2D adventure game-making skills, more than a decade after his last foray into the genre?

"Yeah, I think so," he replied.

"I hope when it comes to the craft of it I think I know more than I did at that time. I think I'm better at crafting experiences than I was back then.

"The idea of going through and figuring out a puzzle and making it entertaining and how to tell a good story, I feel ready to do that for sure. I'm already to go on the game, coach. I'm excited. I can't wait to get in there, give it the best I got."

Unfortunately we'll have to wait a little longer than initially promised. Whereas Double Fine had hoped to get the game out by October, the increased budget means that production will run a little longer.

"Yeah, in my head, as soon as I heard $2 million it made me think a year. Before we were going to try and do October so now I think that a year is a good sounding time."

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