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For one Kickstarter employee, Double Fine's project is literally a dream come true

For one Kickstarter employee, Double Fine's project is literally a dream come true Exclusive

February 10, 2012 | By Frank Cifaldi

Before it became a reality, Kickstarter community director Cindy Au used to fantasize about her company helping one of her favorite video game designers, Tim Schafer, create a new game.

"I remember really early in my days at Kickstarter thinking, 'Wouldn't it be so cool if Tim Schafer were to do a game project at Kickstarter?'" she reflects.

"I remember even sending an email to my new co-workers at the time," says Au, who has been described to us as the company's "resident game enthusiast."

"So to go from that kind of musing two years ago to what happened yesterday has been incredible, as an employee here and on a personal level."

What "happened yesterday" was so huge even Kickstarter itself couldn't have predicted it.

"In my mind I thought, at the end of 30, 35 days or so, they'll probably hit their goal and maybe go a little bit over," Au reflects.

But just 8 hours after launching a $400,000 campaign to raise funds for an "honest to goodness adventure game" led by the creator behind classics like Day of the Tentacle and Grim Fandango, the goal was easily met. The next morning, it had more than doubled. Within 24 hours, funding had surpassed $1 million, breaking Kickstarter's previous records for both the number of contributors to one project and the most money raised in 24 hours.

"They blew those records out of the water," Au tells us. "We were shocked. We were flabbergasted, we were amazed."

"I remember waking up yesterday morning and grabbing my phone and trying to check on the project, and when I saw it was already double the original goal, I just kind of went numb with excitement. And that feeling still hasn't quite worn off."

While most would agree that Double Fine's established base of fans -- particularly from 2005's sleeper hit Psychonauts -- was a huge contributor to its success on Kickstarter, Au is quick to point out that the company had a really good pitch. Developers without such fame should pay attention to it, she says.

"People responded immediately to the Double Fine video because it was funny. It was charming, it was very personal and human," she explains. "But that tends to be the case with a lot of the projects that do really well, especially the video game projects, where you have designers and developers willing to sit down and talk to their audience about what they're doing and what they're making and really open up that process.

"I think that's hugely important for people supporting something. They want to know that the people making this are really passionate about it or excited about it."

As of this writing, the project has raised $1,441,323, and is still growing -- another $20K was raised in the time it took to write this article.

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