Double Fine’s lead programmer Oliver Franzke has compared the time after Brutal Legend 2 was cancelled by EA as the “dark ages” for the studio, due to the uncertainty surrounding what would happen to the company after having invested heavily in developing the sequel.
Speaking with GI International, Franzke said the company decided to take a risk and continue to operate by empowering its employees and “make their ideas happen.”
This led to the focus on smaller projects, maintaining the right culture with the right goals and stemming unnecessary growth.
“Double Fine hasn’t grown at all since Brutal Legend, we’re still very much the same team size,” he said. “In fact, we wouldn’t actually be able to put more people into our building because we’re maxed out.
“It really feels more like a family… A lot of people at Double Fine have been working there since the early days, for ten, 12 years, and it’s almost impossible in the games industry to find somebody who’s worked for a company for more than two years or something like that.”
Franzke gives all the credit to studio head Tim Schafer for creating a sense of community, despite the fact that striking such a balance isn’t always easy.
“It’s challenging for us sometimes to run with the creativity and take the risk, and to make this financially work, it’s not easy but it’s possible,” he said. “You have to choose your projects carefully at the end of the day.”
The next project from the company is Broken Age, which was posted to Kickstarter as A Double Fine Adventure and raised $3.3 million.
The game will be split into two parts with an early access version being made available to help fund ongoing development.