Timothy John Schafer (born July 26, 1967) is an American computer game designer. He founded Double Fine Productions in July 2000, after having spent over a decade at LucasArts. Schafer is best known as the designer of critically acclaimed games Full Throttle, Grim Fandango, Psychonauts, Brütal Legend, and Broken Age and co-designer of The Secret of Monkey Island, Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge and Day of the Tentacle. He is well known in the video game industry for his storytelling and comedic writing style.
While studying computer science at UC Berkeley, Schafer became interested in writing, and took inspiration from Kurt Vonnegut, who while an engineer at General Electric wrote short stories in the evenings that he was able to sell for $300. Schafer opted for a similar course, interning to help develop databases for small companies while trying to position himself for an opening in a larger corporation such as Atari and Hewlett-Packard, but he was rejected by these. He saw an offering at Lucasfilm Games, looking for programmers who could also write game dialog, which piqued his interest. During his application process for the job, he had a somewhat disastrous phone interview with David Fox in which he mentioned being a fan of Ballblaster. Fox informed him that the Lucasfilm Games title was Ballblazer, and that only the pirated version was known as Ballblaster, but despite the misstep, Fox asked Schafer to submit his resume for further consideration. To make up for the phone interview, Schafer sent in a comic of himself applying for and getting the job at Lucasfilm Games, drawn as a text adventure.
Schafer was hired by LucasArts in 1989, and his first position was as a "scummlet", programmers that helped to implement features and ideas proposed by the lead game developers within the LucasArts SCUMM engine. He, alongside Dave Grossman, helped to playtest Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade action game and implement the NES version of Maniac Mansion. Schafer and Grossman, along with two others, were taught by Ron Gilbert as part of a "SCUMM University" on how to use the engine to set up rooms and puzzles. Later, Gilbert approached Schafer and Grossman, offering them the chance to work on his new project, which would ultimately become the pirate-themed adventure game The Secret of Monkey Island...
Quotes by Tim Schafer
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