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Tim Schafer wants to show how Double Fine makes games to avoid secrecy

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Tim Schafer on transparency and secrecy

Opening Double Fine Production's Ammesia Fortnight to the public and allowing its fans to vote on game ideas is a way for the studio to avoid secrecy and hoarding information, studio head Tim Schafer told Kotaku.

"You know, I come from a long background of secrecy working at LucasArts," Schafer told Kotaku. "At Lucasfilm, there's obviously an important level of security there because of all the crazy Star Wars fans. I just kind of inherited that. It's pretty prevalent in the game industry to hoard your information and keep the doors locked so that you can surprise everybody with it — 'Hey, we've been working on this crazy game for five years and now we're going to blitz everything for three months'.

"You hoard your information; you keep everything really secret. You embargo everything, and then we had this experience with Kickstarter. The Kickstarter itself was great, as far as the money and the month that we were on this big spectacular ride."

Schafer admits that it hasn't been easy being so transparent about the game development process and that he found it "very scary at first". But despite the odd piece of negative feedback, he says that the transparency has prompted Double Fine to have a "wide open portal between [them] and [their] community."