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Leszek Swirski

How beta is the Beta?

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I've been looking forward to Broken Age since the kickstarter, but now that the Beta is coming out, I'm a bit torn. On the one hand, I want to play this game as soon as possible, but on the other I want to have the best experience on that first run through, not tainted by the normal issues that come with betas.

With that in mind, how beta are we expecting this Beta to be? Is it really just a test version of Act I, as the word "beta" implies? Or is it the finished product in all but name? Should I wait until the public release, or shall I just get on with whatever it is that gets released today?

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It won't be beta at all -- that is, if they sell it on Steam, as the mail implies. As soon as they do that, you can grab your copy and play, because I really can't see DF selling something (not early access) that is a glorified test version.

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Likewise I'm in the same position!

Previously I would have been hyped about getting beta access, but in recent times due to kickstarter and steam early access I've had the chance to play several games early (Such as Castle story, Kerbal space Program and DF's own Spacebase DF-9) and generally I've found it a little frustrating. I'm perfectly understanding about it not being the finished product but equally I've personally decided that I dont really go back to them until they are pretty much finished, its just a shame to be craving features that have yet to be implemented or stuck due to bugs that will definitely be sorted out later, and I'm worried I will tire of them before the full release and it will taint my appreciation.

Sorry for the waffle, possibly been overthinking this a bit :P

Bottom line is Broken Age isn't going to have massive replayability, so I want my first proper experience to be the best it can. I'm pretty patient and have waited long enough just wanna know whether to wait for the official release in 2 weeks (with possible bug-fixes) or relish my backer privilege and get stuck in now!

I'm sure there are people who are well into it by now so if they can give a (spoiler-free!) insight into its playability it be be hugely appreciated!

Thank you!

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Two weeks. That's when it'll be up for sale, with no beta-tag on it. So that's when you should be able to reasonably assume it's fully playable.

Edit: Clarification @my post above, I mean.

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I've run through all of Shay's story, and I can say with relative confidence that there aren't a lot of bugs on his side of things. I haven't experienced any crashes or issues progressing through his stuff.

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All I've seen is some minor graphical glitches, but the game is very polished.

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It's pretty beta. Besides the more obvious visual glitches and small elements missing throughout, [[it also seems to be missing entire cinematics and gameplay sequences, with the game fading to black every couple of scenes and jumping ahead in the story]]<<(appears to be a bug), and the whole thing feels like it needs a pass or 2 (or 3) of polish that games usually get before release. I wouldn't play it before the final release, and I honestly hope they have time after finishing Part 2 to give this the care it deserves, because it's funny and interesting and so clearly ambitious, [[but so many of the game's key moments are dulled or even ruined by how unfinished this build currently is.]]<<(while the game is definitely in a rough state that diminishes some of its impact at important times, this impression is also influenced by the aforementioned bug)

It's not ideal that Broken Age would be released like this, and I'd say it could use another year of work or so, especially assuming that Part 2 is even more rough than this. I hope I'm way off about that.

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Tanglebrook... something is wrong with your computer dude. I've played 2 hours straight and not experienced a single issue. Redownload, bro.

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It's pretty beta. Besides the more obvious visual glitches and small elements missing throughout, it also seems to be missing entire cinematics and gameplay sequences, with the game fading to black every couple of scenes and jumping ahead in the story, and the whole thing feels like it needs a pass or 2 (or 3) of polish that games usually get before release. I wouldn't play it before the final release, and I honestly hope they have time after finishing Part 2 to give this the care it deserves, because it's funny and interesting and so clearly ambitious, but so many of the game's key moments are dulled or even ruined by how unfinished this build currently is.

It's not ideal that Broken Age would be released like this - this isn't just Part 1, it's an incomplete beta, and I'd say it needs another year or so of work, especially assuming that Part 2 is even more rough than this. I hope I'm way off about that.

Please send us an email at support@doublefine.com, I am curious to know what is going on and what you are not seeing. The game is all there with no content missing. Something is definitely going on.

Also on steam, verify the integrity of the game cache to make sure you have all the correct files.

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I had the same kind of issue as Tanglebrook.

I got about half an hour or so into Shay's story and during a cutscene (while a character was talking) it faded to black and he woke up in bed.

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Please send us an email at support@doublefine.com, I am curious to know what is going on and what you are not seeing. The game is all there with no content missing. Something is definitely going on.

Also on steam, verify the integrity of the game cache to make sure you have all the correct files.

What's the spoiler code? Until then, SPOILERS! SPOILERS! Early game spoilers.

What's supposed to happen between the point where you find and present the knife to your mom, and you're in the cake dress with the other maidens? For me it faded out, when clearly there should've been some sort of story beat there. The other major time I noticed was after you fell into the "spike pit" as the boy, it awkwardly fades out and you're now being tucked into bed. Anyone else get anything different? The game cache is fine.

EDIT: I'm being told that these fadeouts are indeed a bug.

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I had the same kind of issue as Tanglebrook.

I got about half an hour or so into Shay's story and during a cutscene (while a character was talking) it faded to black and he woke up in bed.

It didn't really register at the time, but I recall the same happening here. I think it was during the second time doing the ice cream thing at the beginning, if I remember correctly...

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Regarding your question: I assume it's quite close to the final product. I've finished it, encountered one bug that forced me to restart the game*, noticed some visual glitches, and that's that. Seemed, at the very least, polished enough to not distract from the enjoyment.

More of a question for the developers: How set in stone is Act One? Might content, even marginally, actually be changed, or is all of that set in stone? I had a bit of an issue with the occasional dialogue tree where characters seemed to have information that they hadn't been supplied with, yet (e.g. a character's name). Also, I assume so, but are the animations finalized as well (except for bug fixes, again)?

*Double Fine, if you're reading this [those not wanting spoilers, do not read this]: Good luck trying to reproduce it (sorry!), but while I was in Shay's bedroom, shortly after unlocking the grate, messing about with the inflatable, the sound (voice and music) was gone and replaced by a rather obnoxious noise on loop; restarting the game did the trick, though.

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Through my full playthrough of act 1, I ran into a few layering issues (objects behind or in front of things when they aren't supposed to be) and one sound bug. That was about it.

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To be honest this is the least Beta ever I have had one problem where it minimized my game once that's it everything else is completely flawless!

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I completed Act 1.

My experience was ridiculously smooth. I noticed a couple visual glitches that were minor as well as some slight lag in one area when using the inventory.

Otherwise it ran the entirety of the game without crashing or being reset, as well as being alt-tabbed out of.

It seems to me that the bugs are probably mostly caused by the variety of hardware configurations that are now playing the game which is exactly the point of a beta like this.

Great Job DF!

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I had some frame drops, but my build is pretty old. I also had a minor bug (that I've reported) where voice audio stopped playing, but it was fixed when I reloaded my save.

This "beta" is more stable than a lot of "release" games I've played.

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seriously, iv played a couple other "betas" for kickstarters, which were very rough and nowhere near release quality. This is smooth and refined.

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I've had no issues. In fact, my 3D card in my Macbook Pro has been crashing for a long time when it does anything even remotely strenuous, like say play a Youtube video. Well, it doesn't crash all the time when doing that, but I can't even finish Ducktales because it crashes every single time I try to play the Transylvania level. And yet... I had absolutely no problems with Broken Age. It ran flawlessly from start to end, aside from one small glitch with the sound that was resolved with a restart.

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Through my full playthrough of act 1, I ran into a few layering issues (objects behind or in front of things when they aren't supposed to be) and one sound bug. That was about it.

I 100% agree. I had a few sorting issues and a couple spots where subtitles were in odd spots but I had no playability issues. I looked and all the bugs I encountered were already reported.

(Mid-2011 MBP, OSX 10.9.1, 16G RAM, FWIW)

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I had the same kind of issue as Tanglebrook.

I got about half an hour or so into Shay's story and during a cutscene (while a character was talking) it faded to black and he woke up in bed.

It didn't really register at the time, but I recall the same happening here. I think it was during the second time doing the ice cream thing at the beginning, if I remember correctly...

That's not a bug. Spoilers(?): Shay calls it a day after completing his very strenuous missions.

Edit: actually, maybe you are seeing a bug, it still probably shouldn't cut during dialog. But doesn't it always fade to a new day after the first of Shay's missions?

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Vella story line had some simple graphics glitches that made it past QA - invisible bucket? Seriously?

And Shay story line crashed and burned picking breakfast, right at the start.

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I noticed 3 SMALL small graphical glitches that are just barely there, and I think the game crashed about 4 times - but it's autosave, so it took a whopping 20 seconds to be right back where I was

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Woops, wrong chat room....

I'll re post this in the right chat....

I just finished the game and it is very polished.

The story is full of potentials and the look is quite charming. I LOVED THE GAME and I can't wait to see what happens next!

Things I loved:

Very beautiful environments.

Super nice music.

Very expressive animation. (I am a professional animator ad it is very well done)

I love to be able to switch between the 2 storylines at any given point.

Intriguing characters and amazing storytelling.

All the cereals are awesome.

Things that left me a bit down:

The first episode felt a bit too short, it feels more like the first of 2, 3 or even 5 acts.

The puzzles are a bit to easy side and I finished the game in one sitting.

The music is amazing overall but at times overpowering. Almost not necessary in some sections.

Some characters feel a bit under explored. I just wish there were more characters to talk to and interact.

I wish I could spend more time with the people in the cloud colony and interact more, do more puzzles and get to know them better.

All the environments are not really explained. I wish I could know more about the little robots on the spaceship, discover more about the various cities and creatures living in there.

I would have loved to see the cult-guy in action and understand y is he there; is he stealing the golden eggs or he is just pooping them. Does the mayor wins the elections? what happened to the woodsman and his gf? y are the trees talking and is there a place where they play a major role? Are the trees a callback to the Longest Journey?

Overall I would have loved to dwell more in this fantastic environment that looks so beautiful and incredibly crafted.

The game is supercool and I am gonna go and play it again to see if I miss any dialogue!!!

Well done to ALL!!!!![/size]

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So sounds like opinions are mixed? I might wait until the public release then, it's not like I have nothing else to do right now and an extra couple of weeks won't kill me.

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While I share some of the sentiments of others regarding the game's challenge and length (or lack thereof), I would still recommend playing the game. It is a treat. But if you want to wait, I can't see anything wrong with that either.

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Play it. I encountered some minor stability issues, some minor visual blemishes but I would absolutely recommend not letting those stop you from playing it through, especially if you're worried about being spoiled on the story between now and part 2.

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