Dimming the Light Fandango

Tim Schafer talks about his noir classic at Fantastic Arcade

Dimming the Light <i>Fandango</i>
Photo by James Renovitch

It was four days of panels, hotly contested tournaments, mystic bananas, gentrifying doughnuts, and barf-themed competitions. In other words, Fantastic Arcade was a complete success. However, if the festival was a popularity contest, then surely Tim Schafer would be prom king. The theatre was a fire marshal's nightmare with fans awaiting the man behind such classics as Monkey Island and Day of the Tentacle, not to mention modern cult faves like the Jack Black-voiced Brütal Legend.

The always affable Schafer sat down with local game developer George Royer to talk about Schafer's 1998 Aztec/art deco adventure game Grim Fandango. The obvious inspirations for the game are Día de los Muertos and noir film classics with Schafer singling out Casablanca as one of his favorites. Many in the crowd of devotees were interested in the upcoming remaster of Grim. Schafer responded, "The digital archaeology going on is really intense." Apparently going back to former co-workers and asking them if they stole hard drives with content from the game is a little awkward. Schafer stuck around to provide commentary for the Gang Beasts tournament, and the crowd got a taste of the humor that made him a legend.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Tim Schafer
Fantastic Arcade
Fantastic Arcade
Four days of independent games, free of charge

James Renovitch, Sept. 19, 2014

On the Download
On the Download
New in downloadable games: DeathSpank and Limbo

James Renovitch, Aug. 6, 2010

More by James Renovitch
VR Arena Adds Cardio to Your Virtual Experience
VR Arena Adds Cardio to Your Virtual Experience
Virtuix’s new attraction at Pinballz has players running and gunning without moving

March 22, 2019

Austin Video Game Developer Certain Affinity Announces Original Title, <i>Last Expedition</i>
Austin Video Game Developer Certain Affinity Announces Original Title, Last Expedition
Independent game studio also plans expansion to offices in Toronto

Jan. 30, 2019


Fantastic Arcade 2014, Tim Schafer, Grim Fandango, Monkey Island, Day of the Tentacle, George Royer

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle