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Critcho

DFA Backers
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About Critcho

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  1. IMO the game looks better with the verb bar. Full screen is a little *too* big, the smaller format suits the sprites more, somehow.
  2. Save slots would be nice, especially since they went to the trouble of adding menu system for the game within a game. More concerning for me though is that resuming the game often seems to reset the progress back to the very first time you enter the mansion. Anyone else getting this? I'm on the OSX version.
  3. I do find the fonts a little odd. It's probably coloured by me having the mac version back in the day, which had the pixel smoothed effect but I always assumed they were intended to be be quirky and rounded rather than the rigid, slightly robotic look they have now. It seemed more in keeping with the tone of the game. Oh well.
  4. The point is we're not actually 'shown' that, we're told it through a load of expository dialogue. Considering one of the main themes of the game is in not just taking everything at face value and doing what you're told, it's a bit ironic that the story ends with you doing exactly that. Re: 'agency' (a classic 2015-era buzzword if ever there was one), the problem in regards to story/character driven games is that player control has to be restricted in order to preserve some kind of narrative consistency. A story that ends with a character going on an unprompted murder spree because the player felt like it is a meaningless story. It is possible to incorporate player influence on a story in meaningful ways, but it's always going to be a balancing act. My concern with Broken Age is less about control and more that a lot of the players actions (in the non-ship sections especially), don't really the advance story or character in a meaningful way. Much of that half of the game is taken up with entertaining, but mostly superfluous vignettes.
  5. Okay I finished this a couple of days ago. I guess I see DFA as a whole as a bittersweet, flawed success. It already has a place in gaming history for almost single handedly launching the idea of crowd funded games, which has already proven to be a great gift to fans of niche game genres. But like a lot of pioneering ventures there's a cautionary tale in there as well. I don't think the protracted split release has been good for the reception of the game, the perception of Double Fine, or ultimately for the game itself. I think it's a bit of a sad thing that the door may be closed on DF for future crowd funded ventures due to the PR fallout, though of course I hope that isn't the case. As for the game itself, I think it has a number of flaws but overall I enjoyed it a lot. Tim's imagination and dialogue are as sharp as ever. He really has a gift for having humour just fall naturally out of conversations and situations rather than the forced gags and punchlines you often get in self-consciously 'funny' games. Though the overall story is a bit... all over the place, I liked that there's a consistent thematic throughline to most of the sub-plots (i.e. the need to think for yourself and see past the world that has been created for you by others). Though part 1 went way overboard in aiming for 'accessible' puzzles, I thought part 2 mostly got the balance right, with some solid, creative puzzles in there. I do have to echo some of the criticisms I've seen, though. It falls into a trap a lot of mystery tv shows fall into where it coaxes you along with twists and intrigue, but when the time comes to actually explain everything there's a feeling of scrambling to come up with something to connect the dots, and not entirely elegantly. Act 2 lifts the veil early on, and while I don't think the story decisions were *wrong*, necessarily, I feel like the versions of these characters hinted at in part 1 - the parents as actual AIs, Marek as a more ambiguous figure than the straightforward villain he ended up being - had more potential than what we actually ended up with. I'd be interested to know how the writing of the game evolved, and exactly how far in advance things were planned. There is a bit of a 'first draft' feeling at times. For the talk of it being a modern, updated adventure game, I have to say this feels more traditional than a lot of its contemporaries, and not necessarily in a positive way. Being mostly restricted to two main locations makes it feel like quite a static game, and doesn't have the cinematic sweep of the best adventures. There were also a few writing issues in terms of characters appearing to know things they shouldn't really know, which was of course later was somewhat mystifyingly turned into a gameplay mechanic. Some direct communication between the two might have helped with believability there, or at least some elaboration on the implied 'connection'. I also felt the world building was a little inconsistent. In almost every respect Vella's part of the world seems like a preindustrial society, and yet she knows what b&w photography is, is fine with most aspects of the spaceship, and other characters randomly mention the existence of tv and videogames. Again, that added to the feel of things being made up as they went. That sounds like an awful lot of complaints for a game I enjoyed a lot and consider to be good overall. I'm glad it got made and finished, I don't regret backing it at all and would most likely back again. But to me it feels more like a pleasant detour into the past than the future of the genre.
  6. You can dismiss them as 'uninformed internet angrymen' if you want, but the bottom line is... well, just compare DF's recent fortunes with InXile's. They Kickstarted a game and managed to put it out in reasonable time, and are already well into their second Kickstarter game that was even more successful, and with the minimum of drama along the way. Are their rpgs really less ambitious in scope than a 2D adventure that, if we're being honest, is not drastically more sophisticated than the kind of games that can be done in the likes of AGS? Again, if Double Fine launched another adventure Kickstarter now would you expect it to match or exceed what the first one did? This is the danger of trading on audience goodwill - it's once bitten twice shy. Why the need for all this damage control regarding the project if everyone's perfectly happy? I'm glad Broken Age is being finished the way they want it, but ultimately unless it turns out to be a masterpiece I'm not convinced they wouldn't have been better served by scaling down on some inessentials for the sake of getting a finished product out.
  7. What is ultimately damning for me is that how DFA came about was a landmark moment in gaming history. It showed crowdfunded games as a viable prospect and now it's just part of the landscape. And yet while a great many games that were funded in its wake (in many cases quite ambitious) were long since developed and released without controversy, the saga of DFA drags on and on. All anyone asked for was a solid adventure game, something the makers of Machinarium and Gemini Rue managed to deliver on much smaller budgets. But it's been so long now, will the precious 'scope' that caused this mess really be worth this endlessly protracted release that's frittered away so much momentum and goodwill? If they'd released a smaller game a year ago maybe it wouldn't have been the all time classic people might have dreamed of (which I'm not convinced this version will be either), but most likely they could've just launched another kickstarter and people would still have been up for it, and we'd all be happily thinking about the follow up project by now. Could you imagine what the reaction would be if they tried to launch a DFA2 campaign now?
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