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Episode 13: Crash Landing a Plane

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There's something that I didn't understand. Perhaps it's just the phrasing that was used.

It was mentioned that you have only so much time before it's "put down the pencils and it's just fixing bugs" (or something along those lines). Why is that? I mean, I realize you want to ship the first part being as best as possible, but you'll be releasing it on Steam Early Access - things already in the game CAN improve at that point, can't they?

Or was that because after part 1 the art team will need to immediately jump into part 2 and there simply isn't enough time to make any more content?

You can't add new content towards release because stability is key. It's common practice towards the end to refrain from major changes because new content mean more potential bugs or breaking things you already know work.

It's true they are using steam early access, but in every regard this is going to be a release of the first part. Furthermore, one would want to be able to focus on part 2 while part 1 is out, not increase the support overhead.

Also note that the development model is very different from other games, such as Spacebase DF9, because of the nature of the game. This game can be broken down to acts or episodes, but you can't make significant changes to the part that was already released, it's not like many people will replay the game just because a few dialog options were added or some new animation sequence was introduced.

All in all, I think it makes perfect sense from development point of view.

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There's something that I didn't understand. Perhaps it's just the phrasing that was used.

It was mentioned that you have only so much time before it's "put down the pencils and it's just fixing bugs" (or something along those lines). Why is that? I mean, I realize you want to ship the first part being as best as possible, but you'll be releasing it on Steam Early Access - things already in the game CAN improve at that point, can't they?

Or was that because after part 1 the art team will need to immediately jump into part 2 and there simply isn't enough time to make any more content?

You can't add new content towards release because stability is key. It's common practice towards the end to refrain from major changes because new content mean more potential bugs or breaking things you already know work.

It's true they are using steam early access, but in every regard this is going to be a release of the first part. Furthermore, one would want to be able to focus on part 2 while part 1 is out, not increase the support overhead.

Also note that the development model is very different from other games, such as Spacebase DF9, because of the nature of the game. This game can be broken down to acts or episodes, but you can't make significant changes to the part that was already released, it's not like many people will replay the game just because a few dialog options were added or some new animation sequence was introduced.

All in all, I think it makes perfect sense from development point of view.

They already confirmed in earlier messaging that the early release of broken age will be more episodic gaming way just like broken sword and how telltale does it then meaning work in progress.

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There's something that I didn't understand. Perhaps it's just the phrasing that was used.

It was mentioned that you have only so much time before it's "put down the pencils and it's just fixing bugs" (or something along those lines). Why is that? I mean, I realize you want to ship the first part being as best as possible, but you'll be releasing it on Steam Early Access - things already in the game CAN improve at that point, can't they?

Or was that because after part 1 the art team will need to immediately jump into part 2 and there simply isn't enough time to make any more content?

You can't add new content towards release because stability is key. It's common practice towards the end to refrain from major changes because new content mean more potential bugs or breaking things you already know work.

It's true they are using steam early access, but in every regard this is going to be a release of the first part. Furthermore, one would want to be able to focus on part 2 while part 1 is out, not increase the support overhead.

Also note that the development model is very different from other games, such as Spacebase DF9, because of the nature of the game. This game can be broken down to acts or episodes, but you can't make significant changes to the part that was already released, it's not like many people will replay the game just because a few dialog options were added or some new animation sequence was introduced.

All in all, I think it makes perfect sense from development point of view.

They already confirmed in earlier messaging that the early release of broken age will be more episodic gaming way just like broken sword and how telltale does it then meaning work in progress.

Well I think that's overstating it slightly. I think the aim is still to fuse the two parts together so that they basically make up one game, but yeah, the first part will be done except for any urgent fixes that need doing, I expect.

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@nulian Yes, I know. I was referring to why they would prefer not to fix parts that were released (I think that was related to the question).

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I think it is good how the team now wants to focus on important changes. If you look at a project for too long, then you will notice all the small stuff that could be changed as well, but usually this are things that players will not notice at all (they will not watch the same scenes over and over again, but just one time). A video to illustrate what I mean is (you really have to concentrate on the task, then it may be similar to the flow you will get in videogames):

If the game makes me laugh, makes me think or makes me care and is not too short then I am happy. I don't care about the three-headed-monkeys in the background, I don't care if the game looks like Monkey Island 1 (actually I would love that :P) or day of the tentacle. I don't care if a plant moves or if there is less animation for a character. It is not what makes a game good (it can make a bad game less bad though :D). In a way I think many gamedesigners tend to get so obsessed with details that they forget to ask the people what they think makes a game good and put the majority of the ressources there. But yea it is hard to do that. I is a bit like when a stand-up comedian spends 70% of his time on his looks instead of on his jokes. But that is just my view and I know there may be more opinions out there and what I have seen of the game seems good :)

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Man! I'm so glad I backed this game!! The work you people are doing is beyond words... I'm sitting in front of my screen giggling like a small child from happiness! :D

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Will there be a version of the documentary without all the blurring when the game is finished?

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Is there an estimate on how many minutes of the soundtrack will be made up of the full orchestral music? (and while we're at it, how many minutes of music are in the game altogether, not counting loops?)

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What are the board games at 5:22? The only one I maybe recognise is The Resistance...possibly?

I'm really...inspired by the big stack of board games :D

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It was mentioned that you have only so much time before it's "put down the pencils and it's just fixing bugs" (or something along those lines). Why is that? I mean, I realize you want to ship the first part being as best as possible, but you'll be releasing it on Steam Early Access - things already in the game CAN improve at that point, can't they?
You can't add new content towards release because stability is key. It's common practice towards the end to refrain from major changes because new content mean more potential bugs or breaking things you already know work.
There's also the issue of money. The more time you spend working on something, the more you have to pay someone for that time spent working on it. At a certain point, you need to stop spending money on a product and get it out there to make money for you, so you can begin spending money on the next product.

Aside from that, many labors of love are never (and can never be) "finished"; you just have to be finished with it, or you'll be eternally tweaking, seeking perfection.

The trick is balancing the quality of the product and time (and money) taken to produce it, and there does tend to be an element of diminishing returns when it comes to polish. (Bugfixing is one thing, polish is another.) As Miyamoto says, "a delayed game is eventually good, a bad game is bad forever", but you still have to be able to recognize when it's done enough to be great.

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Is there an estimate on how many minutes of the soundtrack will be made up of the full orchestral music? (and while we're at it, how many minutes of music are in the game altogether, not counting loops?)

In a past episode it was mentioned that Peter is contracted for an hour of soundtrack. It might have changed since then.

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Aside from that, many labors of love are never (and can never be) "finished"; you just have to be finished with it, or you'll be eternally tweaking, seeking perfection.

As someone who draws very occasionally, I often leave pictures unfinished, but am content with how they are at the time I leave them be. Sometimes seeking perfection is what ruins it - changing some minor detail until it clashes with everything else because you couldn't stop focusing on that one thing.

As for the documentary, I have enjoyed it immensely, including this episode. The game looks amazing.

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The Orchestra blew my mind! It's one in the morning here and I'm watching with my headphones on and giggling so loud I woke up my wife!

Wife: What in the hell is so funny?

Me: Honey! Honey, you have to listen to this. (Rewinds video and unplugs headset) This is awesome! (plays section with the score)

Wife: (Tired and disgruntled) That's nice dear. Tomorrow's Christmas, and the kids are going to be up early so don't stay up too late.

Some people just don't get it.

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What are the board games at 5:22? The only one I maybe recognise is The Resistance...possibly?

I'm really...inspired by the big stack of board games :D

The red box on the bottom looked like HeroScape

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Well, that was a fantastic episode. The orchestra part was truly amazing. I love how everyone is doing their best, not only to finish ahead of schedule but also to deliver the best possible game. Thanks a lot for that :)

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What are the board games at 5:22? The only one I maybe recognise is The Resistance...possibly?

I'm really...inspired by the big stack of board games :D

The red box on the bottom looked like HeroScape

The big green one is Betrayal at House on the Hill. The small red one in the foreground is Settlers of Catan, maybe? The big red one below looks like the wossname Kickstarted zombie game; can't remember the name right now.

Edit: I remember now -- it was Zombiecide.

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Great Xmas gift.

I got a huge thrill to see the ABC studios in Melbourne. Hey! I know that place!

Score sounds stunning!

I really feel for Dave G. If its any consolation your new-look moustache and haircut make you look dapper as hell.

Keep up the great work.

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THAT MUSIC!!!

It makes the game feel like the biggest thing. Maybe it is..? EXCELLENT, Peter McConnell.

And all the other great stuff and attention to detail

Really excited!!!! !?! #! overpoweringly excited

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That was so great. Really surprised and delighted that you managed to get an orchestral recording.

I really liked the more in depth look at Tim's thought processes here. I think that that early sequence where Tim is talking about the process of balancing puzzles really highlights something that I think some people have been doubtful about - which is that he does understand what it is to write a puzzle that is challenging in the right way, and that he knows the effect that various choices will make in making particular puzzles easier and harder. He also knows that just because one person says 'I was frustrated with x' doesn't necessarily mean there's something wrong with X.

In some previous episodes I think we've seen people giving feedback and some people have been worried that all the feedback is just vacuumed up and executed on, but it's clear to me that the game is much more authored than that. It was clear again when he asked that animation to be re-done, because I know it's hard to convince people to do work for you when they're not sure it's the right thing, especially when they've spent a long time doing it a different way.

It can be a flaw, too. Someone who is too unchangeable are either terrible to work with or end up surrounding themselves with people who won't speak up, and the whole thing suffers - but I don't get that impression here. It's just someone who understands what the game is and is able to bring people along to make that happen.

It's very... ahem... inspiring to watch.

Nice! I agree it really felt like something handcrafted by tons of people and everybody cares. I'm watching this on Christmas Day and it really feels like a nice present. Can't wait for January 14th!

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Fab episode.. Really, really excited for January the 14th or the 30th (whenever Act one comes out). I think Tim was right about the Merrick animation..As good as it looked, it just didnt fit with the voice acting. Merry Christmas to all at Double Fine and I really hope this game is a huge hit for you all (as it deserves to be).

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Great episode! Especially enjoyed the bits where the sound team was finally given their due, would love to see more about their process and goings-on.

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Wonderful episode. I felt sorry for Dave and his animation. I've been in that position, and it's hard not to take it personally -- like you're bad at your job. But Dave is great at his job -- he just interpreted the character differently. Marek is slow, sinister, creeping, calm. Hypnotic and intense. A mixture of a friendly Zen master and Dracula. Dave's take, while brilliantly animated, was better suited to Stan from Monkey Island. Must have been heartbreaking for Dave, though :(

Pete Mc's passion for his music was the highlight. Just amazing.

Also, interesting to see Dumbland on Tim's shelf. Is he a fan of David Lynch's offbeat cartoon, or was it a gift? I own it myself and sometimes I think it's brilliant and sometimes I think it's terrible.

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I work at an e-commerce company as their creative director, and seeing the scene with Tim and Dave talking about Marek's animations was all too familiar and tough to watch. Someone might do something that is really good and artistically intact but is just wrong for the project. So you try to first tell them that gently and feel out how you're going to tell them, and when they keep pushing and you see you just need to stop and move forward, you do have to make that slight attitude turn that Tim does. It's always awkward, but you have to hope they can see it from your point of view at the end of the day.

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I work at an e-commerce company as their creative director, and seeing the scene with Tim and Dave talking about Marek's animations was all too familiar and tough to watch. Someone might do something that is really good and artistically intact but is just wrong for the project. So you try to first tell them that gently and feel out how you're going to tell them, and when they keep pushing and you see you just need to stop and move forward, you do have to make that slight attitude turn that Tim does. It's always awkward, but you have to hope they can see it from your point of view at the end of the day.

a director has to direct. you should know.

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