Creator: Tim Schafer (Double Fine)
Date Ended: March 13, 2012
Initial Goal: $400,000
Final Amount: $3,334,203
It's only fitting that we kick off this list with the project that kicked off all of this year's madness. Tim Schafer and the folks at Double Fine have done a fantastic job of building a community of fans that will (as they've proven here) jump when told to. That power though is well deserved thanks to years of catering to their customers and delivering games that explore new and unique things.
What made Double Fine Adventure such a unique project - apart from the ungodly amounts of money it made - was the fact that it offered backers a chance to contribute directly to the game. Unlike most game projects on Kickstarter, this wasn't a predetermined game just waiting to be released; it would adapt and react to the whims of its supporters. It showed respect paid back from the creator to its fans for all of their support.
Double Fine Adventure is still a ways off from being released, but the gaming community spoke loud and clear; great talent deserves to have its dreams fulfilled and they're willing to pay in order to see that happen. Of course, not every developer is as affable as Tim and that plays a large role in why they were successful, but this effort proved that you don't need a big name publisher to support your project if you've got a fun idea and a worthy team behind it.