39. Tim Schafer

Founder of Double Fine Productions, How To Get To The Next Level

39. Tim Schafer
Illustration by Alison Cowles


Celebrated game maker (Full Throttle) who recently raised an unprecedented $3.3 million on Kickstarter for an adventure game

What’s the greatest hurdle you face in game development today?

“The Internet has allowed a lot of access–people feel entitled to change the ending of games, for example. So there are a lot more voices coming at you all the time, which I think has its effect on creative decision making and possibly makes people more afraid to take risks.”

What inspiration outside of gaming do you find most valuable?

“I love studying folklore and legends. The stories that people passed down for a thousand years without any sort of marketing support are obviously saying something appealing about the basic human condition.”

What can creators of other types of content learn from your work in gaming?

“Every day, we think of crazy ideas and then we laugh and say, “People might be offended by that’ or “People aren’t expecting that from me.’ But I have found that everything worth doing is hiding behind a big, scary monster.”

Click here to see head-to-head responses to these questions from Schafer, plus EA Sports’ Andrew Wilson, and SuperBetter Labs’ Chelsea Howe, Nos. 40 and 41 on our Most Creative People list.