In 1989, Schafer graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, and went to work for LucasArts. Schafer was assigned to work on The Secret of Monkey Island, which released in 1990. In 1993, Schafer and fellow writer Dave Grossman (who helped Schafer with Monkey Island) began their first project, Day of the Tentacle (which had some voice actors who also voiced in Psychonauts). Schafer's first solo project was Full Throttle, a biker adventure game, released in 1995. In 1998, Schafer released Grim Fandango, an adventure game that drew inspiration from legends of the Aztec afterlife and films such as Casablanca and The Maltese Falcon.
In January of 2000, Schafer left LucasArts to found Double Fine Productions. Double Fine had their first release, Psychonauts (Xbox), on April 19, 2005.
Games Released Edit
- The Secret of Monkey Island (1990)
- Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge (1991)
- Day of the Tentacle (1993)
- Full Throttle (1995)
- Grim Fandango (1998)
Double Fine Productions Edit
- Psychonauts (2005)
- Brütal Legend (2009)
- Costume Quest (2011)
- Stacking (2012)
- Iron Brigade (2012)
- The Cave (2013)
- Schafer, being a prolific and sometimes even controversial figure in the gaming industry, has been referenced, mentioned and even lampooned in video games by other developers.
- The game Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire jokingly lists Tim Schafer in it's credits as "Never actively tried to sabotage the project." According to Tim, this was a light-hearted jab in reference to the hectic production cycle of Grim Fandango, another Lucas Arts game.
- A much less friendly parody came from developer Running With Scissors. In Paradise Lost, an expansion DLC for their game Postal 2, Tim Schafer and Double Fine are viciously parodied as a corrupt, money-grubbing company that releases buggy, unfinished games and profits off microtransactions. The player may even kill a Schafer lookalike, but has the option to leave him alone. Even Psychonauts is parodied as Psychonuts: The Seminal Adventure That'll Squeeze Out Trusting Fans For Years to Come. A reference to the fact that many of Tim's detractors believe Double Fine hasn't made any games that raised to the level of quality Psychonauts reached.
- In October 2006, Tim Schafer received a BAFTA video game Best Screenplay award for Psychonauts.