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Massive Chalice - How Double Fine's Designer Won Kickstarter

by Couchpotato, 2013-07-01 03:24:59

Gamasutra has a new interview with Brad Muir. It goes into detail about Massive Chalice and explains why the kickstarter was done the way it was.

How has the Kickstarter been treating  you mentally and emotionally?

It was like a roller coaster. Leading up to it, I was super stressed out about it. I had a lot of reservations about it. When I pitched Tim [Schafer, Double Fine president] the idea of the game, it was going to be my Amnesia Fortnight game this year. We'd prototype it, hopefully, if people vote for it. We'd been pitching Brazen for a whole year, it looked like it wasn't going to happen.

So we started talking about what we were going to do next, so I pitched him an idea for Massive Chalice. Tim was like, "Yeah, sure, that sounds pretty cool." But then later said, "Actually, that sounds really cool. I've thought about it more!" Then he said we should just Kickstart it.

I'm like, "...What? You want what?! No! We can't do that." He asked me, "Why not? We have multiple teams, we'll be open about development, be very transparent, we'll tell people I'm not working on it because I'm working on Broken Age. It'll be totally fine," he said. "It's a new IP and everyone will be excited about that."

I was still thinking, "Are you sure this is going to work?"

So the Kickstarter has already hit the target. What are you doing right now?

We were really freaking out about focusing on the campaign. We had a pipedream, that we'd be able to work on the design while we're running the campaign. But there's so much feedback and chatter.

Mostly it's awesome, because it's people who are excited about the game. But now we're just full-time running the campaign with a few people at the studio right now, focusing on that for now.

Mentally, I was still in freak-out mode up until we were well beyond the $725,000 mark. I was still freaking out! Then around $850,000, $900,000, I just remember having this moment where I woke up, and it was just like, "I don't have to pitch video games anymore! I get to make video games again! I get to focus on making a fucking video game!" That is what I get to do now, once this thing closes. We hit the goal, we put the campaign together, it worked, we got our funding! And now we're actually going to start making this video game.

It was just a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders, getting my second project off the ground. It's been a while since Iron Brigade came out -- the initial game came out two years ago, basically. And we did DLC and the PC version, so we worked on it for another six to eight months or something. But there's been nothing since then that I've really been working on -- just a lot of prototypes, pitches and all this other stuff. But now it's just about making the game.

Does it seem like tactics games are making a comeback? That new people are discovering these games?

It really does. I was studying them for a while, but it wasn't until the new XCOM game last year -- love that game, I'm a huge fan of the original and played the shit out of that game. To have a reboot that makes somebody like me happy, someone who holds the original in very high regard, and also bring in people who never played the old XCOM enjoy it [is an achievement]. And Fire Emblem: Awakening that's bringing a lot of people into strategy games and turn-based tactics.

That was kind of the thing...I didn't really think I could pitch this to publishers and have it work. But it's awesome seeing people get excited about a turn-based tactics game in the year 2013.

Would you work with publishers again?

I have to be really careful about what I say about publishers, because we're going to work with publishers again, you know? We totally will if the deal terms are alright, things look good and it makes sense to have them as a partner and they can bring stuff to the relationship. That's awesome, nothing against that.

But there's still this underground, behind-closed-doors thing that goes on with those deals and relationships. I like that we don't have to go underground for a year, then try to announce it later.

Information about

Massive Chalice

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Tactical RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released