Schafer: If games aren’t “funny, you’re missing something.”

Friday, 23rd March 2012 14:51 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Double Fine’s Tim Schafer is of the opinion comedy is a necessity in games and isn’t utilized enough by developers.

Speaking at an NYU Game Center engagement on the evening of March 22, and attended by Kotaku and Joystiq, Schafer said that comedy, is a “really scary” prospect for developers but if it’s “not funny, you’re missing something.”

To him, comedy can be used as problem solving tool, and such was the case with The Secret of Monkey Island. When developing the game, Schafer was tasked by LucasArts with writing the scene where Guybrush Threepwood and Governor Elaine Marley meet and fall in love. The problem he faced, was being able to do it in just five lines. In order to do this, he added a comedic feel to the scene plumped to “absurd proportions.”

“You can’t write a serious scene that has a pirate and a governor fall in love in five lines,” he said. “Humor is a tool to cover up the fact that this is not a solvable problem. If you don’t have anything funny to say about a situation, the player will realize something’s fake.”

During his presentation, Schafer also showed a prototype for a cancelled Double Fine project which used emotions as a puzzle-solving mechanic which drew inspiration from “wacky Japanese games” such as Katamari Damacy because the titles don’t take themselves as serious and are full of emotions when compared to their western counterparts.

The prototype shown was a Kinect title heavy on narrative where players would use gestures control the characters’ feelings. This would force the character to feel emotions such as anger, fear, and love.

Unfortunately, the publisher behind the title backed out once the final prototype was completed, therefore, according to Schafer, “we’ll probably never” see the game released.

You can read the full rundown of Schafer’s talk through the links, and watch a couple videos through Joystiq.



  1. LOLshock94

    portal 1 and 2 unfunny
    schafer games unfunny
    conker funny

    #1 3 years ago
  2. DrDamn

    LOLshock94′s sense of humour unfunny

    #2 3 years ago
  3. DuckOfDestiny

    @2 Don’t worry, he’s just a troll. He wants replies like yours, it makes his erection bigger.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. LOLshock94

    @3 awwwrr yeah i forgot that if i disagree with something you like im a troll, my bad.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. DrDamn

    I thought a Troll was someone who made inflammatory comments for reaction. LOLshock94 admitting they have rubbish taste in comedy isn’t all that inflammatory is it?

    #5 3 years ago
  6. Gheritt White


    #6 3 years ago
  7. fightclubdoll

    Tim Schafer is a Supreme Being… and his games are the divinely awesome.

    Looking forward to DFA =-)

    Will suggest to Tim that it should have an evil troll.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. DSB

    I used to think Tim Schafer was a supreme being…

    … Then I played Brütal Legend.

    I fully agree though, trolls are some of the greatest things you can ever put in a videogame. Or anything. Vampires and zombies are grotesquely overrated.

    #8 3 years ago

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