TSM Episode 107: Definitely Not (Double) Fine

'The best things in life are free / but you can keep them for the birds and the bees.' --Something worth remembering, given the wide availability of cheap, better games.
Now give him money (that’s what he wants).

Download: Produced 2013.07.07

When Tim Schafer blows through a cool three and a half million dollars without even making half a game, the panelists are appalled. Lusipurr and SiliconNooB are joined by Noodle for a close examination of the nascent Double Fine disaster, Broken Age.


  1. Okay, the Massive Crap kickstarter joke had me laughing so hard I had to pause the show XD

    Hey Noodle, nice to see (or hear rather) you around here. If we can get you and Chris on here together it’ll be like an oldschool Cat Fancy reunion.

    On the topic of Schafer, the guy is an ass. Companies produce point and click adventure games with garage budgets and produce pretty good work. This prick got 3 mil and still can’t make due. Anyone who believes it’s all going towards this project alone is delusional. I honestly can’t believe Massive Chalice is still being funded following this, regardless of when his revisionary comment regarding Double Fine Adventure’s funding ‘issues’ were announced. What a prick. I’ve never supported a Kickstarter I’d just like to add. I don’t bloody trust people with money I rarely have to give.

  2. If Machinarium cost anything like 400,000 (let alone 3.5M!) dollars initially to produce, I would be surprised. And, I wager that it will play better, look better, and be more fun than anything Schafer manages to produce out of his giant clusterfuck of greed.

  3. What’s the bet that Machinarium still looks by far the more polished title even once Schafer releases Broken Game?

  4. 1) It easily will.
    2) That assumes Broken Game will be released.

  5. Just started listening, but. . . It seems like you should be able to find a desk-sized mic stand for a lot less than $100. I got a mic stand for WITH A MIC for $50 out here in Japan.

    Also, I have played games as long as Lusipurr has and it was called the Power Pad.

  6. Nice Jahan jokes. Your welcome.

    “What if no one buys the first half of the game?”
    “Then, I guess you’ll have a really small second half of the game.”

    I burst into out-loud laughter at that line.

  7. Jahan is also thousands of years old. Suppose that’s where the “legendary” comes from.

  8. You should hire Noodle if only to have her on TSM more often.


    tune in to find out

  10. “Art that is scanned in” Like the battle scenes in LFoPD!

  11. How perfect that the project that started the Kickstarter game-funding craze has failed so spectacularly.

  12. @Lusipurr – excellent point about entitlement. A developer should be continually trying to prove himself. Even if you earn “trust”, then use that trust to ACTUALLY MAKE THE GAME. Or when it flops, provide an actual apology and show actual remorse.

  13. Yes! LFoPD DOES exist! And we are making it for FAR less than 3.5 million. About 3.501 million less than 3.5 million even!

  14. Bah-haha, Lusipurr’s half-hearted self-deprecating jab at the podcast. You can’t tell if he’s upset because he believes the joke has some truth in it or because he’s saddened that he allowed himself to make such an easy cheap shot.

  15. I hope everybody notes just how quickly Lusipurr knew that “j” was the tenth letter of the alphabet.


  16. I dont know that I have heard any aspect of Lusipurr being described as half-hearted before….

  17. I dunno if you read the backlog comments so I’ll just add this here: Never have Bup back on the show. He thinks he’s hilarious but he’s actually just annoying. Maybe that’s his schtick but it really doesn’t come across in audio and I’ve stopped listening to several old episodes due to his involvement.

  18. If you enjoy Bup then you can have him. There’s no need to share. I’m perfectly content with a Bup-less podcast.

  19. Holy crap, 22 comments already! Looks like I have some work to do . . .

    @DiceAdmiral (9): I want to avoid any desk boom that connects to the desk with a simple C-clamp. I’m looking for something with a broader, multiple clamp base, if possible. The one I saw on Amazon was $80, but it may not be available any longer. I last checked months ago.

    @DiceAdmiral (10): We may hire her, but not just for podcasting work!

    @Ethos (15): HOLIDAY 2013!

    @Ethos (16): A bit of both… ;.;

    @Ethos (17): I know the position of every letter in the alphabet by heart. I’m glad someone noticed–and the noticing is, itself, a notable fact. Well done!

    @DiceAdmiral (20): He’s on very infrequently for that reason. The vast majority of our listeners love him, but his presence is something that can only be tolerated in small infrequent quantities. Like Arsenic.

  20. I wonder if people could get together and file some sort of class action suit given that the kickstarter promises the game in all of its awesome glory drm free, or would backers perhaps have to wait until the project fails in its alternate method of funding. It seems like there should be some sort of negative repercussions for pulling that kind of shit (I have only backed one thing on kickstarter, with a friend, which was just the production of miniatures for D&D/Pathfinder, which did produce a whole lot of minis as a tangible reward that we have since received).

    I honestly forgot that FF XIV hadn’t been brought back out (I am interested to see how it is received this time around).

    On the subject of the backlog/Bup, I found after going over the backlog that at the beginning he wasn’t so obnoxious. With time, he seemed to get disruptive for no reason other than he could (I like the tangents and whatnot, but sometimes he is a bit much…. though the one time he kept humming the same repetitive music made me laugh). Unrelated to Bup, I remember one of my favorite old podcast discussions was one of the one on one holiday discussions (I think) where Lusi and Oliver discussed FFXIII. It was a very interesting conversation.

  21. DiceAdmirmal must be a recent listener to the podcast. I join Julian in his dislike for DA.

  22. This is what happens when you give Photoshop to a bored college student. (Also, I might have screwed up the HTML.)

  23. I love Bup but he’s been a letdown in the last two or so podcasts he’s been in. Usually he balances the trolling with being open and fun, and usually has a different opinion than Lusipurr and SN, so there’s interesting banter to be had. However, he’s been full troll on his last appearences. Disappointing really.

    Chris is my favorite guest panelist now.

    PS: Ethos has been absent for a long time now.

  24. Epyon makes a good point about the ratio of Nate and Liles. Also, I’ll be back on the podcast. I thought moving to my new apartment would allow me to be free for it more often. This has so far not been the case.

  25. The volume of Bup increases as the attention of Bup decreases. That’s just basic math. You can’t build a, say, a fart piano without knowing something simple like that.

  26. “From the people who brought you the spork.”

    Another gem I missed the first time I listened.

  27. I haven’t listened to the podcast recently (shame on me!) so I can’t comment on the recent appearances of NATE LILES, but him and Lusipurr can result in pure comedic gold. “AM or PM” was absolutely hysterical!

  28. I’ll admit that some of the things that Bup says are amusing, but it’s usually just the first time he say something troll-like and not the hundredth. Maybe he was better back in the MAP days, but I started my backlog quest at TSM #1.

  29. Start from MAP #1 to hear the evolution of Bup. Take notes on how Lusipurr attempts to bring out the true Nate in the early episodes, only to severely regret doing so in later episodes.

  30. Yeah, I have fond memories from the MAP days, there was a weird time during the beginning of TSM in which they were all prim, proper and professional-like. I stopped listening for a while.

  31. Comparing the early days of TSM to today I think I mostly prefer the early stuff. Here’s why: There were discussion topics often completely disconnected from whatever happened to be the big news of the week. Listening week to week having most of the content be news is great, but an awesome backlog that does not make. From the prespective of someone listening to old stuff I find it much more interesting to have some more general discussion on the podcast. I understand that some of this is impractical, but having at least one general gaming topic would be a big improvement and it might cut down on some of the news discussions that sometimes drag on and help to create a leaner production.

    I do find it funny though that the early TSM stuff is censored though because it very obviously no longer is aside from the occasional “goblin” remark. I’m not sure where I stand on the censoring, because I don’t want the podcasters to feel like they have to hold back or be something they’re not but I also like being able to listen to podcasts without headphones or screwy looks from passersby.

  32. Dammit… *perspective* . I hit Post Comment and then noticed the red underline a second too late.

  33. Well, I think another issue with early TSM was that it was a podcast full of people in agreement… kinda made for dry listening. More recently there’s been good discussions, more varied opinions. But I’m not asking for some dope to simply play devil’s advocate just for the sake of it, that’s even worse.

  34. I think we probably moved to the ‘all ages’ format for greater accessibility – but at the same time IMO the site started to lose what made it different during that period.

    The world ill-needs a second Cat Fancy – and I believe that is a fact which was borne out by the numbers.

  35. I agree with Dice in that I prefer general gaming discussion to news. I’ve felt like news discussion is too much on ANY podcast, not just TSM. But in terms of tone, I far prefer the newer episodes.

  36. Wolfe: While I don’t generally agree with the Kickstarter idea, I don’t think that Tim is in the wrong on this one. The guy gave him $1(fine), demanded it back(okay) and then went off on rants about ill uses of money and time from some sort of supposed moral high ground. While I’m not well versed in the whole Double Debacle it looks like this random tweeter doesn’t actually know much about the game or its development. Now, I don’t mean to imply that Tim Schafer is some sort of amazing dude who did a good job managing his success because that quite clearly is not the case. I suppose what I really mean is: Successful troll is successful.

  37. Dice Admiral, you are a buffoon.

    Schafer is a grubby and opportunistic leech, sputtering with the umbrage of one who has had their pudgy fingers caught in the cookie jar!

    Ethan, there is a difference between THE NEWS and a group of gushing fanboys relaying the week’s press releases – so there is that. Besides which, in most cases news items are selected on the basis that they will lead to broader gaming discussion, and with the added benefit of adding specific context.

    Lusi and I actually had a discussion recently about the possibility of incorporating special segments into the podcast, yet we both concluded that the podcast tends to be overlong already, and thus there is no scope for anything else to be added.

    If listeners want the panel to discuss a certain topic on the podcast then they are more than welcome to follow Dean Stone Knight’s example and leave a question in the comments thread, otherwise it is business as usual.

  38. @Ferchu: I think it’s an excellent idea! I was deeply dismayed when M$ removed their interesting DRM scheme.

  39. Thanks for the personal attacks and total lack of any sort of refutation of my points S.N.! I’m constantly amazed by how effective these strategies are for furthering reasoned discussion and am quite excited to see them used in such a spectacularly effective method here.

    Either that, or I’ve stumbled into The Inverse Zone.

    Results Inconclusive

  40. That’s because you don’t actually make any valid points.

    Did you even read the correspondence? If you did, then you have a funny notion of what counts as personal attacks. In response to Schafer’s bluster about over-delivering on value, the individual in question responds that they are terminating the transaction on account of a string of fuck-ups on the part of Double Fine – which is fair, and true, and even restrained in the face of Schafer’s smarmy good guy act.

    Aleczandia confronts Schafer with a series of factual information and logic, and Schafer in turn first claims that s/he (?) is jumping on a bandwagon, before subsequently dismissing all criticism as him/her trolling.

    This really is some Randy Pitchford grade bullshit.

    I really hope that you just lightly skimmed the screen capture and are speaking from a position of ignorance, because otherwise I don’t even know what to say to you…

  41. SN riling up another reader, I see. Tide goes in, tide goes out, you can’t explain that!

  42. @SN: I believe Admiral von Dice was referring to the ad hominems fielded by you, not those contained (or not contained) in the aforementioned correspondence. ;)

    @Mel: It’s Lusipurr.com! Cricket and Personal Attacks, GUARANTEED!

  43. @Dice I don’t consider it trolling to hold a man responsible for his mismanagement of other people’s donated funding. I consider it even less responsible to make a joke about wasting even a single dollar of someone else’s money on an impulse item. The amount of money donated was well beside the point. A lot of people are upset that this designer has received more than seven times his asking for the development of an adventure game, then returned with no apologies to ask for more in a completely round about fashion. Not only is it in poor taste, it casts doubt on the Kickstarter concept as a whole. Men like Schafer are not indie developers, and moves like this will make it difficult for legitimate indie developers to pitch their ideas to an audience who’ve been burned by the ‘big guys’.

  44. I just mixed up one of Dice’s posts with the other – I should have addressed their ‘ranting from a moral high ground’.

  45. The reason that the person donated $1 was because Schafer had it listed as one of the backer-tiers, which makes them just as legitimate a backer as anyone else.

  46. Wolfe is completely correct. If anything, Schafer’s comments prove that all he cares about is money. All Alexander asked for was a refund, Schafer’s comments incited Alexander to respond about how much of a fuck-up Broken Age has become. The amount of the donation has nothing to do with how much of a supporter Alexander was. Perhaps Alexander lives under a bridge and made his donation after masturbating in the restroom of his public library. Perhaps he is as opposed to the idea of Kickstarter as Lusi and Julian are, but still wanted to show that he supported Double Fine Studios. Regardless of the reason, Alexander was still a backer, and Tim turned all pre-teen on him and laughed about the amount of donation and called him a troll because he could not respond intelligently to any of Alexander’s comments.

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