Clipper Staff Writer
BOUNTIFUL — Love can bring someone back to life, at least when it comes to computer games.
Thanks to fan support and the crowdfunding website Kickstarter.com the computer game detective Tex Murphy is gearing up to have his first adventure in more than a decade. Development has already started on “Project Fedora,” which will continue Murphy’s story for longtime fans and re-introduce audiences to the dystopian future the character calls home.
“People have waited for years for this story to be resolved,” said Bountiful resident Chris Jones, one of the games’ creators and the actor who plays Murphy. “We’ve had a great story we wanted to tell, and it’s been difficult sitting on it for so long.”
With Access Software, Jones released five Tex Murphy games between 1989 and 1998 – “Mean Streets,” “Martian Memorandum,” “Under a Killing Moon,” “The Pandora Detective” and “Tex Murphy: Overseer.” All five games mix live-action narrative sequences (called cut scenes) and adventure-style gaming with interrogations, clues and puzzles.
“Overseer” ended on a cliffhanger, and Jones already knew what he wanted to do for the next game. When Access Software was sold to Microsoft, however, the company expressed little interest in continuing the series.
“Within a year they were looking to do Xbox products,” said Jones, who went on to form Big Finish Games with Aaron
Conners and others who worked on the Tex Murphy games. “We took it (Tex Murphy) to a couple of different publishers, but we couldn’t get traction. There didn’t seem to be much interest in adventure games.”
Then, in February 2012, the video game company Double Fine went onto Kickstarter.com with the goal of raising the money to create a point-and-click adventure game.
Kickstarter.com is a crowd-funding website that allows average people to pledge money to various independent projects.
Double Fine met its $400,000 project goal in a record-setting eight hours and went on to raise a total of $3.3 million for the game. The campaign gave Jones hope.
“I thought ‘Hey, maybe this market isn’t dead,’” he said. “We thought we’d give it a try, because at that point we’d tried every other option under the sun.”
The Tex Murphy project went on Kickstarter with a funding goal of $450,000, and thanks to the help of nearly 7,000 people, closed on June 16 with a funding total of nearly $600,000. The backers pledged amounts ranging from $5 to $10,000. The most common per-person donation size was $15.
“When we put this out and saw how excited people were, it was a huge shot in the arm from a morale standpoint,” said Jones.
For more information check out the July 5 edition of Davis Clipper.