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Tim Schafer

Please tell your friends about Amnesia Fortnight!

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Hi everybody! I wanted to say thanks to everyone for taking part in this crazy experiment. Taking Amnesia Fortnight public sounded scary but it turned out to be nothing but love and fun and games in the end! We loved interacting with the community and sharing the inner workings of our company to an unprecedented level.

And we loved getting prototypes for five awesome games at the end! Spacebase DF9! Autonomous! Black Lake! White Birch! Hack 'n Slash! So good!

So now we're done and the prototypes are available for download. If you haven't bought them already, better get them quick! There is just one more day to purchase the bundle. Friday night at midnight the bundle ends!

So, let me hit you up for an endorsement! Please tell your friends about Amnesia Fortnight and how awesome it was!

Q: Why? So you can make more money?

A: Yes! Exactly! Amnesia Fortnight cost Double Fine about $350,000 to do and we'd love to at least break even. That would make it much easier to do every year. Right now we are at almost $240,000 so it's not totally impossible to break even as long as we make a big stink about it. :)

(Actually, it's misleading to say $240k since some of that goes to humble and some to charity. Which is awesome. But all the more reason to make a stink.)

Q: OMG. Why does it cost so much money?

A: That's the cost of 60 employees working for 2 weeks!

Crazy, huh?

Anyway, if you loved watching all the videos and playing the protos even more than you thought you would, feel free to up your contribution! I will not try to talk you out of that either.

And yes, even if we made no money at all with AF, it would still be a success. First, because the interaction with the community is incredible and inspiring. But also because it's not a loss, but an investment in our future. It's an R&D project that leads to more games to make in the coming year, hopefully. But it would be great to break even. Heck, it would have been amazing if it had taken off like our Kickstarter and given us enough money to actually fund development on one of these games. But we'll just have to come up with some other creative way to do that. :)

So please share this link: www.doublefine.com/fortnight

And tell your friends that they don't need to go to school to study game design. They can just watch these amazing videos.

Thanks everybody!

-Tim

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According to my maths, Humble Bundle will need to generate approx. $500,000 for Double Fine to break even. That's a crazy amount! Best wishes, happy holidays, and have a happy New Year, Tim!

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Pffft. Why tell my friends when I can just buy them copies? Hang on, that gives me an idea...

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I wish I had friends to tell that would be interested in it. Oh well! I guess it would have helped if more publications wrote about the final prototypes, but that didn't seem to happen much, save for the Escapist article.

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Couldn't get any of my friends to contribute, sorry, but I paid $13.37 USD for the project myself. :)

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As always with stuff I like I tell my friends, perhaps too much =) I hope it turns out good financially. Merry Xmas!

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I loved having a window into Amnesia Fortnight, but it seems like those protos have value to Double Fine beyond the returns they got from the bundle itself. Now they have some new protos to pitch to publishers that could potentially bring a lot of money into the studio. They're a great asset. I assume this is why Double Fine had been continuing the tradition thus far anyway.

As for raising enough money to fund one of theses games, well... They do own the profits from Double Fine Adventure, which I would expect will exceed the Kickstarter money within 6 months of its release. Why not use that money to keep it going?

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I loved having a window into Amnesia Fortnight, but it seems like those protos have value to Double Fine beyond the returns they got from the bundle itself. Now they have some new protos to pitch to publishers that could potentially bring a lot of money into the studio. They're a great asset. I assume this is why Double Fine had been continuing the tradition thus far anyway.

As for raising enough money to fund one of theses games, well... They do own the profits from Double Fine Adventure, which I would expect will exceed the Kickstarter money within 6 months of its release. Why not use that money to keep it going?

Would probably be nice if they use that money for other adventure games. And they almost finished with the cave so they will probably need a new project again.

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Is my math right that that averages to $72.92 per hour per employee? Wow.

Yep, these are all approximate numbers, but proper game development definitely isn't cheap! It's worth pointing out that costs aren't just salaries paid, but benefits, office space, utilities like internets and electricity, etc.

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This was an absolutely one of a kind opportunity to be offered and I hope everyone got to take part. Super kudos to DF for willing to take a chance on their fan base to open up their creative minds to the community!

For all of you fans out there, if you want to prove DF right in their experiment to promote fan input into the making of games, and also afford them the opportunity to do this again in the future please consider upping your pledge to at least $10 if you haven't done so already!

You're getting 8 prototype games (many of which are very nearly realized games) and a 12 part documentary over 6 hours! You can't get a better deal than this!

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It is at times like these when a person wishes they were Dracogen. *makes it rain*

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Is my math right that that averages to $72.92 per hour per employee? Wow.

Yep, these are all approximate numbers, but proper game development definitely isn't cheap! It's worth pointing out that costs aren't just salaries paid, but benefits, office space, utilities like internets and electricity, etc.

Yeah, as nulian suspected too. Makes sense.

I guess my other question is: especially considering that the prototypes were sold, why does this year's Amnesia Fortnight need to be publicly supported? AF wasn't public in the past and it was funded by Double Fine, right? Why the change? In other words, what's the difference from last year except that it's public and it's for sale?

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Is my math right that that averages to $72.92 per hour per employee? Wow.

Yep, these are all approximate numbers, but proper game development definitely isn't cheap! It's worth pointing out that costs aren't just salaries paid, but benefits, office space, utilities like internets and electricity, etc.

Yeah, as nulian suspected too. Makes sense.

I guess my other question is: especially considering that the prototypes were sold, why does this year's Amnesia Fortnight need to be publicly supported? AF wasn't public in the past and it was funded by Double Fine, right? Why the change? In other words, what's the difference from last year except that it's public and it's for sale?

It sounds like the original Amnesia Fortnight was paid for with [del]money taken out of the publisher money budgeted to Brutal Legend[/del] SOME MONEY TIM FOUND ON THE SIDEWALK.

But it doesn't sound so much like there is a change in how they paid for the jam (i.e., I doubt DF was betting the farm on the internet giving them another 3.4 mil). I think all Tim is saying is that WOULDN'T IT BE NICE if the community/internet were so awesome and generous that the AF game jam was free this year?! And if it even made a little extra money that DF could put toward its own projects and wouldn't have to ask publishers/investors for? (i.e., wouldn't it be great if the fans helped keep DF independent?)

I don't think he's saying that anything is different or that DF is in any kind of trouble. I think he's just saying, from the CEO's perspective, that maaaaaaaaaaan that would be sooooooo raaaaaaaad.

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But it doesn't sound so much like there is a change in how they paid for the jam (i.e., I doubt DF was betting the farm on the internet giving them another 3.4 mil). I think all Tim is saying is that WOULDN'T IT BE NICE if the community/internet were so awesome and generous that the AF game jam was free this year?! And if it even made a little extra money that DF could put toward its own projects and wouldn't have to ask publishers/investors for? (i.e., wouldn't it be great if the fans helped keep DF independent?)

I don't think he's saying that anything is different or that DF is in any kind of trouble. I think he's just saying, from the CEO's perspective, that maaaaaaaaaaan that would be sooooooo raaaaaaaad.

Exactly. It's like "Oh you're a carpenter but you want to learn electrician stuff as well? Well here's two options; first you could take two weeks unpaid and spend your own money to learn the trade - or second you could take two weeks off and we'll pay for all/most of the training if you agree to let us film you during the process." Gee, I wonder which one makes better sense as long as you're not camera-shy.

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I caught the bundle at the 11th hour, I only recently had time to watch the videos and start to check out the prototypes. Amazing fortnight.

I wish there was still a way to buy the bundle, I would definitely gift it to a couple of friends now I know just how cool it all is.

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Is my math right that that averages to $72.92 per hour per employee? Wow.

Yep, these are all approximate numbers, but proper game development definitely isn't cheap! It's worth pointing out that costs aren't just salaries paid, but benefits, office space, utilities like internets and electricity, etc.

In San Fransisco, no less.

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That number still seems absurdly high.

Average salaries + overhead = ~$151k/year/per person?

I'm assuming the staff salaries can't all really be averaging north of $120k/year... Are there some astronomically large distribution or licensing expenses making up the difference? Are you getting all of your electronics from the rent-a-center?

Maybe it's time to close down the free ice-cream buffet?

For what it's worth, $100k is an entry-level (new grad) salary for a programmer at some (non-game) companies in San Francisco.

Also, the free ice-cream buffet is important to keep morale up. Didn't your hear what Anna said happens when morale gets low? (Hint: A ____ of [del]crows[/del] co-workers.)

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isnt there any way we can still get in on the Humble Bundle after it ended?

Seems people would still want to pay to watch and download and test these amazing prototypes? Like me!

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I wonder if it's possible to purchase a Steam key for the prototype bundle? The average price to get all the prototypes was $7.08 on the Humble Bundle site, so a price point of $10 to get everything purchased direct from Double Fine seems reasonable to me.

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