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adamyedlin

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That's not really a good argument. A movie and an adventure game are not comparable at all in terms of price-to-time ratio.

You're right. It's a terrible argument because movies are such good value for entertainment compared to video games. Right?

If Tim was shooting for a traditional-style adventure, he should have shot for a longer adventure. If people are finishing the first half (sorry, "act") in 3-5 hours, your game is too easy and too short.

Tim's vision was clear, he wanted quality over quantity. Sure, he could have made a longer game, but it would either need to cost more to keep the current levels of polish, or the quality would need to be reduced in order to give more content.

It's a battle all entertainment creators have. They already explained in the docu's why they had to split the adventure up. Act 2 could be longer for all we know. How about giving them the benefit of the doubt, when other game kickstarters have vanished. DFA actually released something polished, beautiful and fun to play. Act 2 cant come soon enough (but I'll happily wait as long as needed to maintain these standards).

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I decided some time ago that I wouldn't bug test Act 1, and then sit and wait for 3-4 months for the next Act.

No sirree.. the patient perfectionist in me has decided to wait. :D

Good to hear everybody is enjoying it so far.

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For me the first part was 3,5 hours of gaming bliss. I for one really liked the flow of the game. I switched 4 times (two times because I was missing an item).

A few minor bugs aside the game felt really polished. Great quality. I can´t wait for the second part! :-D

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I took me 4 hours to beat. But I have to be honest with myself. I'm an expert at these types of games.

Quick suggestion for part 2. Make it harder.

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Seems like seasoned adventure gamers to adventure noobs ranges 2 to 5 hours (I was at 4 hours, I've only done a few adventure games here and there) - personally, I think that's FINE fine fine. I think it SEEMS a bit short because even though we cognitively know we're going to get another hit of that sweet sweet doublejuice, we still have this expectation that what we just sat down to play was the "whole" game, so our brains process this 2-5 hours as the "whole" thing. If you had sat down with the full game for the first time in a few months, I'm sure you wouldn't feel it was too short at all.

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I went conservative in my expectations, and called 6 hours (for both parts). Looks like I was right. Of course, that doesn't change the fact that I would LOVE games having 15, 20 hours of gameplay again -- they had that, once upon a time.

Of course, back then, they also cost around what now amounts to 100 USD around here.

I am on board with this, though:

Obviously there is some kind of a lower limit (we can all probably agree 20 minutes would not be enough), we just don't have a consensus on where that line is exactly. Doesn't help that a game can cost anywhere from $3 to $70. For narrative-driven games, let me suggest 2 hours for every $10 as the Official Industry Standard.

Around that, yeah. If I buy a German Adventure (the last was Daedalic's Memoria), the price is (retail, boxed, right after release) ~35 EUR, or ~50 USD, and it takes me 10+ hours. And that's fine. So if DF sells this for $30 and it comes in at 6 hours, that's fine too.

Of course, what I really would have wanted is still my $100 Adventure that gives me 20 awesome hours -- but nowadays, you just can't put that kind of price on a game. Especially not if you want to sell it for mobile devices. Personally, I think that's a pity, but I guess this is modern times.

Edit: I agree about the puzzles, though. From what I reading, they are too easy, and additionally, it's really sad that the hotspots all have only one interaction (as opposed to Look, Touch, Use ...). Perhaps this can be changed in the second part.

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I can't stand this mentality. Stretching content out to fill more time generally results in a terrible product. 4 hours was perfect. Especially for HALF of an adventure game. I do hope that the puzzles in Act 2 are more challenging, but time wise, this is on par with pretty much every other highly acclaimed graphic adventure.

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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.

I finished the game in 3-4 hours.

If I had to describe the experience of this game in one sentence it would be:

It felt like being on a train watching, from a a small window, an amazing world zipping by, and, doing all the superfluous dialogue trees was like squishing ur face on to that window to be able to see that beautiful panorama until the last possible second.

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

Well done to ALL!!!!!

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Spent just over 3 hours in the game before I beat it. And that was examining everything and listing to every line of dialogue. It was definitely short. But I half-expected that. Here's hoping Act 2 is longer and a bit more challenging. But the story was great and the journey was excellent. Just wish it was longer....Act 1 should have at least been twice as long as this. Or felt like it. I believe the true travesty lies in the ease of the puzzles. But again, I expected that.

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@Jay Tholen, I don't think anyone was talking about stretching content out or adding a lot of filler. At least I wasn't. I'm talking about a story that genuinely takes that time, because it has that much to tell.

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@Jay Tholen, I don't think anyone was talking about stretching content out or adding a lot of filler. At least I wasn't. I'm talking about a story that genuinely takes that time, because it has that much to tell.

Ahh, yeah, I suppose I do agree in that regard. As long as the challenges are consistently strong in the second half, I'll forgive how mild the first was. The incredible story bits kept me interested enough to keep playing, so I didn't feel too disappointed at the lack of difficulty.

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It's the same argument we had 20 years ago with Full Throttle. If Tim, as a writer, decides that this story can't be longer than 6-8 hours, I trust his judgement. Making it artificially longer just to please those that rate a game by its length would've been a disservice to his own work.

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If you examine the game dramaturgical I think it has an adequate length. It presents the plot points and its outcomes with a suitable amount of obstacles in between. Traditionally there should be a key point in the middle of a story which nobody can deny really hit the mark in this case.

I get where most people are coming from though. But that has more or less nothing to do with the games actual duration according to me. By the time I finished the game it felt like I had played maybe an hour or two when in fact 5 hours had passed. That is simply because the game is so damn good. Time flies when you're having fun.

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I think the length was just fine. Wouldn't have minded a longer experience and maybe a few more tougher puzzles would be OK too, but this was about what I expected. Tim was right in that one episode of the documentary where he and Greg were discussing the length of the game. Some people clearly do want longer adventure games.

For sake of comparison, Machinarium took me about 5 hours to finish and Act I of DA took 3 (according to Steam played time). If Act II is the same length as Act I, the total for DA will be longer than Machinarium. Machinarium is an appropriate game to compare to DA since they are both relatively low-budget indie adventure games. It would not be fair to compare the length of DA to something like Grim Fandango which had a much larger budget.

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Let me check my Games Library, for other adventure games I have played to completion, first time through, single play through.

Brothers - A Tale of Two Sons: 3 hours played

To the Moon: 4 hours played

Botanicula: 3 hours played

Deponia: 5 hours played

Machinarium: 2 hours played

Monkey Island 2: Special edition: 6 hours played (Most of it switching between classic and new graphics, or pixel hunting)

The SEcret of Monkey Island: Special edition: 5 hours (same)

Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP: 4 hours (some Achievement hunting in there)

Seems to be in good company here.

Haven't gotten too far into Broken Age yet, though the puzzles really are kind of easy, in that there is usually only one thing or combination to apply to the problem and its often, figuring out what you are searching for before even being prompt, and more of just exploring places in the right order rather then applying problem solving skills.

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Budget doesn't enter into it if simply more challenging puzzles were designed rather than easy ones. At least not much. I'm not talking about quantity of puzzles but quality.

But then, I suppose it does enter into it. Would we rather have fewer more challenging puzzles or more easier ones?

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As has already been mentioned by others in the thread. When I drop $60 (or $110 in this case) on a game I have length expectations... But it was different for me with this project.

I was in it mostly for Video Documentary and the other behind the scenes stuff. The 'time investment' has been taken up with reading the developer blogs, watching the documentary and conversing (though ive done very little of that) on these forums. Oh! and the poster, shirt and other swag!

Even without the second half I feel as though ive gotten my monies worth.

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In the documentary ron and tim talked about how getting 'stuck' was part of old style adventure games that was missing now. I was expecting puzzles that required me to stop playing and think about things for a while, whereas I basically just walked straight though. It looks amazing, and I enjoyed it - but it isn't really old school, more like telltale.

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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.

I finished the game in 3-4 hours.

If I had to describe the experience of this game in one sentence it would be:

It felt like being on a train watching, from a a small window, an amazing world zipping by, and, doing all the superfluous dialogue trees was like squishing ur face on to that window to be able to see that beautiful panorama until the last possible second.

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

Well done to ALL!!!!!

Quote

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sometimes solved puzzles i didn't even know i had to solve just cause i thought it would be a fun thing to do.

I was a little disapointed at the very first puzzle for the boy world. Cause i was really exited to play all those play scenes and try everything before i broke out but the first thing i did in the whole thing was just what i thought was too fun not to do and suddenly i was out of the loop and simluations were dissabled from mom... i was so sad... i was really looking forward to try them all and get bored with them even...

Same here. I would have expected that breaking out of the routine would require at least some witty combination of inventory items, some preparation of the tracks or pulling some railway switch lever somewhere with something, but instead I broke out by accident instantly while clicking around. I was also disappointed because I hadn't experienced the other routines at that point. Felt way too easy.

I generally feel that it has been too straightforward to get necessary items. You can almost always pick something up that you need, without the need to solve a second or third puzzle on the way. Examples for this: Gold Egg from gold bird (bird just flies away) or Propelling device (you can just pick it up, not necessary to unscrew it or so).

I also didn't like it when characters sometimes threw away inventory items after using them. I thought "Hey, I could still use that later!"

Liked the overall experience though. :-)

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In the documentary ron and tim talked about how getting 'stuck' was part of old style adventure games that was missing now. I was expecting puzzles that required me to stop playing and think about things for a while, whereas I basically just walked straight though. It looks amazing, and I enjoyed it - but it isn't really old school, more like telltale.

Yup, that pretty much describes it well...

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@darkwolf; Notice I said "once upon a time". That games are short now is what I said ;)

.

It would not be fair to compare the length of DA to something like Grim Fandango which had a much larger budget.

It's entirely fair if I want to make the point that games used to be longer. I didn't say Broken Age seems to short for its price (in fact I said the opposite), I said games used to cost more and be longer.

So yeah, GF. That's the 15-20 hours I mentioned (if you didn't get stuck, that is. I've heard of people needing twice the time). I'm not even going to start talking about the last Gabriel Knight, The Longest Journey or Tex Murphy/Overseer, which simply blow everything out of the water (up to 40 hours).

The point really isn't to argue that Broken Age should have been longer (well, that too, but I don't feel short-changed or anything), it's just as I said that adventure games -- or even games in general -- used to be longer (someone said the opposite).

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I think the logical response to people thinking Broken Age is too short is simply to fund Double Fine's next adventure game with twice the budget. Considering the budget expansions they've made over the development period, I figure we need to raise $12-$15million to get twice as much game.

It would be the biggest Kickstarter ever, but not by *too much*...

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I think the logical response to people thinking Broken Age is too short is simply to fund Double Fine's next adventure game with twice the budget. Considering the budget expansions they've made over the development period, I figure we need to raise $12-$15million to get twice as much game.

It would be the biggest Kickstarter ever, but not by *too much*...

Some level of difficulty could make it feel longer too.

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I tried to find as much dialog as possible and it took me about 4 hours - it was great to finally get to walk around the world. The art & art direction, music, atmosphere were all fantastic. I was really blown away by the amount of polish and could definitely see where the dev time went.

That being said, I do agree that the actual puzzles/interactions felt a bit spare. It's been years since I've played a serious adventure game and I'm not really asking for harder puzzles per se, but I think where there were a few more items to potentially combine or steps to do things would have been more fun. It just felt a bit like, make sure you pick everything up and plug A into B. I *did* appreciate the way they gave some hints (I went through Shay's train a couple times and while it was obvious in hindsight, I would have been one of those people riding the train for 30 minutes and never figuring it out w/o the extra dialogue). I think that having more complex puzzles, a smart gradual "hint" system would be a must (and would take a fair amount of work/dialogue), so maybe it's OK to have simpler puzzles as a compromise.

The other thing that felt a bit weird/off is that a couple times w/ Vela's story, there were moments where I felt a bit lost in a story sense. Like you want to enter Shell Mounds maiden festival before you have a way to attack/kill the Mog, or you want to go into the temple for no good reason, etc. I felt I was doing a lot of clicking/exploring before I had a good reason to. Shay's story had me questioning its logic less (Marek helps in that regard, also the stuff you do just seems to have clearer motivations).

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4 hours for Act 1 seems perfectly fine, if I compare it to the playtime I have on some other adventure games I have finished on Steam.

Broken Sword 1 Directors Cut - 7.6h

Loom - 4.0h

Monkey Island 1 SE - 4.1h

Monkey Island 2 SE - 5h

The Cave - 5.3h to beat it once.

I assume it would land somewhere between 8-10h for both Act 1 and 2 when it's completed, and I don't think we can ask for more of them.

If I look at other genres, then it seems even more reasonable:

Bioshock Infinite - 9.6h

Iron Brigade - 7.3h to beat singleplayer once.

Max Payne 2 - 6.7h

Portal 1 - 3.5h (an estimation, I beat it before Steam started logging time)

Portal 2 - 10h to beat singleplayer.

Rock of Ages 3.7h to beat singleplayer

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I have played only one hour and just reached the clouds with Vella.

I have no idea how many percent of the game that is and I don´t really want to know.

To me the difficulty seems comparable to Machinarium, which sold very well and its size was ok.

That said, if you watch all the Grim Fandango walkthroughs on YouTube, they alone take about six hours (!). I adored it, but never finished it. I was not very experienced then, I suppose.

I did play and finish all the Monkey Island adventures when they came out on iOS. Must have been some 20 hours each. I had become more experienced by playing Steel Sky and Broken Sword, both on iOS.

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I posted this in the non-backer forum earlier, but I thought I should post this here as well:

First - I just want to say that I absolutely love this game -- it exceeded my expectations. In the beginning I was a bit skeptical about the art-style that was chosen but it made the whole game very unique and I'm totally a fan of it now.

Also - I should probably state that I have yet to finish the game (only played for approx. ~2.5 hours so far), so my impressions are probably relevant to gameplay which is only half-way through.

Now, regarding the issue at hand --- my impression so far regarding the actual gameplay and difficulty level of the puzzles etc. --

I believe I can describe what's causing the "problems" (IMHO):

It's not so much that the puzzles themselves are too easy (perhaps they are) - but rather that there are not enough "red herrings" or things to distract you and lead you in pointless directions. Given a limited set of items, and a (rather) limited set of objects to interact with, it's obvious that the puzzles would be rendered "easy" simply by virtue of them being able to be solved by "brute force" (exhausting all possible combinations, of which there aren't many).

In other words, it's not so much that logic involved in solving the puzzles is too straightforward or obvious (which is not necessarily a bad thing, imho), but the fact that there isn't much around to hold you back from exhausting all your options very quickly.

I believe even the addition of a FEW "useless" items (or items which have uses but don't progress the game but only lead you to exploring the world) would have solved this aspect.

ANOTHER issue that I'm seeing (which probably also adds to the issue of time spent playing) - is that it's too easy to (unintentionally) skip-over pure-story elements (like "useless" dialogues), which serve an important part of creating the game experience.

For example:

############!!!!!!!!!!!!! WARNING: SLIGHT SPOILER AHEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!####################

[del]In Vella's first "room", all the interactions you can do with other characters are concentrated in that specific room, and by sheer CHANCE - you can happen to interact with the one object/character that is needed to progress to the next "room", thereby eliminating all the possible interesting/funny dialogues you could have had with the characters in that room... That's a bit of a shame - the way to prevent it is to somewhat HINDER progress by hiding plot-progressing actions behind a "wall" of other interactions (like, having to move to another room first , or having to perform some series of actions - mundane and meaningless as they might be...[/del]

###############################################################

So - to conclude,

It's a combination of the ease of missing out on dialogues/interactions - in combination with lack of distractions/red-herrings etc... which makes the gameplay experience perhaps a bit TOO streamlined...

Those are just my 2 cents

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I clicked everything, and listened to every line of dialogue and it took me a little over 3 hours to finish. I only got "stuck" a few times, but it wasn't like getting stuck in old school adventure games. Getting stuck in Broken Age is pausing to wonder what to do next... Getting stuck in a 80s-90s adventure game meant spending hours(if not days!) trying seemingly random things.

Does that mean BA was too easy? Not overly, for me. I like when a game flows at a reasonable pace. One of my biggest gripes with Daedalic's games is that there is no flow to the story because of artificial, illogical puzzles interrupting it every step of the way. On the other hand, you have TTG's most recent games(TWD and TWAU), which really don't have puzzles at all.

I think BA was the right mix of puzzle and story for me.

As a sidenote, I just checked Steam to see how long it took me to play Monkey Island: SE -- it was 5 hours. Of course, I've played through it numerous times since I first played it as a 12 year old in 1991... It probably took me 20+ at LEAST back then.

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I clicked everything, and listened to every line of dialogue and it took me a little over 3 hours to finish. I only got "stuck" a few times, but it wasn't like getting stuck in old school adventure games. Getting stuck in Broken Age is pausing to wonder what to do next... Getting stuck in a 80s-90s adventure game meant spending hours(if not days!) trying seemingly random things.

Does that mean BA was too easy? Not overly, for me. I like when a game flows at a reasonable pace. One of my biggest gripes with Daedalic's games is that there is no flow to the story because of artificial, illogical puzzles interrupting it every step of the way. On the other hand, you have TTG's most recent games(TWD and TWAU), which really don't have puzzles at all.

I think BA was the right mix of puzzle and story for me.

As a sidenote, I just checked Steam to see how long it took me to play Monkey Island: SE -- it was 5 hours. Of course, I've played through it numerous times since I first played it as a 12 year old in 1991... It probably took me 20+ at LEAST back then.

I agree about the flow, the flow is good and I'm not stuck like the Daedelic games trying to figure out the next illogical step. That being said, I'm not finding the game overly hard, even though I haven't yet finished it. I feel like I know what to do next and most of the puzzles so far are quite logical, perhaps a little too logical.

I found a similar situation in Broken Sword 5 Part 1 which I just played and finished last week. A great game with great art, but a little too easy, still it took me only 5 hours to finish that one.

Is this current beta of Broken Age the full Act 1? Or is it a part of Act 1?

Gotta say I'm enjoying it though and am looking forward to playing the rest of it, I think my wife will like this one too. Great job guys!

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