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My opinion/feedback: tl;dr = too short, puzzles too easy, everything else wonderful

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I'd have to imagine most backers would have played through this by now but just in case - there are puzzle spoilers below so I wouldn't read it if you aren't done yet.

Just finished Act 1 last night so I figured I'd offer my feedback on what I didn't like. I'm sure others have already voiced this opinion but the more of us who do it the more weight it has I suppose.

I finished this in less than 2 hours. While I understand it's only Act 1, if I can expect similar playtime out of Act 2 then we're talking about a 6 hours game at most. I might have expected that if the game was made on the original 400k shoestring budget but this has obviously turned into a much larger and more polished project than the original vision.

This is largely due to how easy the puzzles are. The entire time playing through the game the longest I spent thinking about any puzzle was about 30 seconds. This was at the end of Vella's story when needing to open Mog Chothra's mouth, and I only spent that long because I thought that he was opening his mouth periodically and just waited for it to happen for a bit before realizing I needed to open it somehow. Once I realized it was a puzzle - OK obviously the ladder. I played Shay first and when you're going through the mock missions for his Mom it was charming when you realized "Ohh the puzzles are really obvious and easy on purpose, it's like a tutorial that fits into the story because the computer is babying Shay. That's clever". Only the puzzles never get harder...

Many puzzles I started solving before I even knew what the goal of the puzzle was. For example - the tree sap puzzle. I think every single dialog line with the tree ended with him saying "I think I'm going to puke" -> well obviously I need to make him puke since you've beaten me over the head with that, and I already know the lumberjack will make me a stool because he's explicitly stated in the dialogue that I can trade wood for a stool from him (I didn't even have to use my brain to infer that maybe a character that is obsessed with woodworking would make me something out of wood!). Walk one more screen and I find wood -> I've made the tree puke before Vella has any motivation to make him puke.

Another example: In Shay's section the first room I went to was the trophy room and as soon as I picked up his old radiation suit it was already obvious what the solution to the puzzle would be thanks to the teleporter dialog beating you over the head with the "rules". This despite having not gotten close to knowing why I needed the helmet, or even having seen all of the screens you go through to solve this puzzle.

Now, I understand that puzzle difficulty is a tricky thing - the documentary made it clear that some things got dumbed down due to playtester feedback and I can understand wanting the game to be playable by a wide audience. But as this game was marketed on kickstarter as a return to Schafer's roots and a classic retro-style adventure game I can't help but feel somewhat disappointed with the gameplay. Obviously you don't want people to get completely stuck and frustrated, and I didn't expect it to have some of the crazy game-logic puzzles from monkey island (monkey wrench? come on!) but at the same time half the fun of adventure games (for me) was having to slow down and think about the puzzles and come at them from a different angle etc. That rewarding feeling of "yea I'm a genius!" when you solve it didn't happen for me once while playing this game. If the puzzles are harder then people who get stuck always have the option of consulting gamefaqs, talking with their more experienced gamer friends, looking up UHS-hints etc . But with these easy puzzles I have no way of making the game last longer or feel more rewarding :(

That said - I loved everything else about the game. The art is beautiful, the music fits perfectly, the voice acting was great and I laughed out loud at a bunch of the dialog. The story seems good so far but obviously will have to see how it pans out in Act 2. I just wish a bit more of that budget had been shifted from polishing audio/visual type stuff into adding 2 puzzle difficulties or something along those lines. I know that having multiple puzzle trees could get complex but if the hard difficulty at least added a few puzzles for the items that you are just given for free (oh you have shoes, can i have shoes? thanks....) it would have helped some.

Edit: I see there's an entire other subforum for Discussion/Feedback which is probably more appropriate. Just saw Feedback in this forum title and clicked it. If a mod wants to move/delete this feel free.

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oh, and there I was patting myself on my back for being such an experienced Adventure game player....

I agree that I felt most puzzles were easy. My only issue - where I needed a hint - was the missing peach.

I think the problem is that BA is trying to make adventures a thing again, after decades of falling into oblivion. Telltale's approach is to make it an interactive story with gestures or buttons to push at the right time. DFA's approach is to make it simple and beautiful.

I fear that the time might not be ripe yet for a more complex Adventuring system with different kinds of verbs.

regards

Oliver

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I'd have to imagine most backers would have played through this by now but just in case - there are puzzle spoilers below so I wouldn't read it if you aren't done yet.

Just finished Act 1 last night so I figured I'd offer my feedback on what I didn't like. I'm sure others have already voiced this opinion but the more of us who do it the more weight it has I suppose.

I finished this in less than 2 hours. While I understand it's only Act 1, if I can expect similar playtime out of Act 2 then we're talking about a 6 hours game at most. I might have expected that if the game was made on the original 400k shoestring budget but this has obviously turned into a much larger and more polished project than the original vision.

This is largely due to how easy the puzzles are. The entire time playing through the game the longest I spent thinking about any puzzle was about 30 seconds. This was at the end of Vella's story when needing to open Mog Chothra's mouth, and I only spent that long because I thought that he was opening his mouth periodically and just waited for it to happen for a bit before realizing I needed to open it somehow. Once I realized it was a puzzle - OK obviously the ladder. I played Shay first and when you're going through the mock missions for his Mom it was charming when you realized "Ohh the puzzles are really obvious and easy on purpose, it's like a tutorial that fits into the story because the computer is babying Shay. That's clever". Only the puzzles never get harder...

Many puzzles I started solving before I even knew what the goal of the puzzle was. For example - the tree sap puzzle. I think every single dialog line with the tree ended with him saying "I think I'm going to puke" -> well obviously I need to make him puke since you've beaten me over the head with that, and I already know the lumberjack will make me a stool because he's explicitly stated in the dialogue that I can trade wood for a stool from him (I didn't even have to use my brain to infer that maybe a character that is obsessed with woodworking would make me something out of wood!). Walk one more screen and I find wood -> I've made the tree puke before Vella has any motivation to make him puke.

Another example: In Shay's section the first room I went to was the trophy room and as soon as I picked up his old radiation suit it was already obvious what the solution to the puzzle would be thanks to the teleporter dialog beating you over the head with the "rules". This despite having not gotten close to knowing why I needed the helmet, or even having seen all of the screens you go through to solve this puzzle.

Now, I understand that puzzle difficulty is a tricky thing - the documentary made it clear that some things got dumbed down due to playtester feedback and I can understand wanting the game to be playable by a wide audience. But as this game was marketed on kickstarter as a return to Schafer's roots and a classic retro-style adventure game I can't help but feel somewhat disappointed with the gameplay. Obviously you don't want people to get completely stuck and frustrated, and I didn't expect it to have some of the crazy game-logic puzzles from monkey island (monkey wrench? come on!) but at the same time half the fun of adventure games (for me) was having to slow down and think about the puzzles and come at them from a different angle etc. That rewarding feeling of "yea I'm a genius!" when you solve it didn't happen for me once while playing this game. If the puzzles are harder then people who get stuck always have the option of consulting gamefaqs, talking with their more experienced gamer friends, looking up UHS-hints etc . But with these easy puzzles I have no way of making the game last longer or feel more rewarding :(

That said - I loved everything else about the game. The art is beautiful, the music fits perfectly, the voice acting was great and I laughed out loud at a bunch of the dialog. The story seems good so far but obviously will have to see how it pans out in Act 2. I just wish a bit more of that budget had been shifted from polishing audio/visual type stuff into adding 2 puzzle difficulties or something along those lines. I know that having multiple puzzle trees could get complex but if the hard difficulty at least added a few puzzles for the items that you are just given for free (oh you have shoes, can i have shoes? thanks....) it would have helped some.

Edit: I see there's an entire other subforum for Discussion/Feedback which is probably more appropriate. Just saw Feedback in this forum title and clicked it. If a mod wants to move/delete this feel free.

+1 to this entire post.

Though, I never had a problem with the monkey wrench. :P

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I fear that the time might not be ripe yet for a more complex Adventuring system with different kinds of verbs.

I get that, and I don't think making the game more mechanically complex is even necessary. Just the puzzles themselves. You don't need to make the logic more obscure, just add a few steps so the "trade" sequences are more complex. Instead of "i need wood for the lumberjack oh here is wood a few screens over" I'd prefer "i need wood for the lumberjack, ok there is wood here but it's unreachable, maybe if I had a raft I could paddle over there and get it, oh this guy has a raft but he won't give it to me, if i interact with this object he gets distracted for a second but if i steal the raft he calls me out on it, oh wait i can replace the raft with this similar looking object while he's distracted and now I can go through the sequence to get my stool".

At the least they could have been less heavyhanded about the hints in the dialogue. For example that tree scene, it is way over the top how much the tree repeats the fact that he is going to be sick. I feel like someone in the playtesting couldn't figure out how to get the sap and so they just went overboard in adding hints to ensure there's no possible way anyone would get stuck.

And I'm really confused on the items they just give to you. Think about the scene where you get the (smaller) cloud shoes. There's an entire screen there that they went to the trouble of designing, drawing etc, and an entire character that was designed drawn, animated, written, voiced over. And the only point of that scene is that you ask for her shoes and she just gives them to you. Wha? It feels like there was a puzzle there or at least one planned and it got the axe. I think the game suffers a lot in those places.

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I don't believe it was a good move to get playtesters who weren't classic adventure fans. Least of all playtesters who are gaming journalists. Who cares what journalists say? This game was for us. That one guy in the documentary was annoyed at the first puzzle of Shay's story because it was a loop and he just wanted it to continue on......seriously? You were stuck there?

I guess being under that much pressure to make a good adventure game can take a toll in some way...I really hope Act II is more like the classics, though.

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I don't believe it was a good move to get playtesters who weren't classic adventure fans. Least of all playtesters who are gaming journalists. Who cares what journalists say? This game was for us. That one guy in the documentary was annoyed at the first puzzle of Shay's story because it was a loop and he just wanted it to continue on......seriously? You were stuck there?

I guess being under that much pressure to make a good adventure game can take a toll in some way...I really hope Act II is more like the classics, though.

+1

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I'd have to imagine most backers would have played through this by now but just in case - there are puzzle spoilers below so I wouldn't read it if you aren't done yet.

Just finished Act 1 last night so I figured I'd offer my feedback on what I didn't like. I'm sure others have already voiced this opinion but the more of us who do it the more weight it has I suppose.

I finished this in less than 2 hours. While I understand it's only Act 1, if I can expect similar playtime out of Act 2 then we're talking about a 6 hours game at most. I might have expected that if the game was made on the original 400k shoestring budget but this has obviously turned into a much larger and more polished project than the original vision.

This is largely due to how easy the puzzles are. The entire time playing through the game the longest I spent thinking about any puzzle was about 30 seconds. This was at the end of Vella's story when needing to open Mog Chothra's mouth, and I only spent that long because I thought that he was opening his mouth periodically and just waited for it to happen for a bit before realizing I needed to open it somehow. Once I realized it was a puzzle - OK obviously the ladder. I played Shay first and when you're going through the mock missions for his Mom it was charming when you realized "Ohh the puzzles are really obvious and easy on purpose, it's like a tutorial that fits into the story because the computer is babying Shay. That's clever". Only the puzzles never get harder...

Many puzzles I started solving before I even knew what the goal of the puzzle was. For example - the tree sap puzzle. I think every single dialog line with the tree ended with him saying "I think I'm going to puke" -> well obviously I need to make him puke since you've beaten me over the head with that, and I already know the lumberjack will make me a stool because he's explicitly stated in the dialogue that I can trade wood for a stool from him (I didn't even have to use my brain to infer that maybe a character that is obsessed with woodworking would make me something out of wood!). Walk one more screen and I find wood -> I've made the tree puke before Vella has any motivation to make him puke.

Another example: In Shay's section the first room I went to was the trophy room and as soon as I picked up his old radiation suit it was already obvious what the solution to the puzzle would be thanks to the teleporter dialog beating you over the head with the "rules". This despite having not gotten close to knowing why I needed the helmet, or even having seen all of the screens you go through to solve this puzzle.

Now, I understand that puzzle difficulty is a tricky thing - the documentary made it clear that some things got dumbed down due to playtester feedback and I can understand wanting the game to be playable by a wide audience. But as this game was marketed on kickstarter as a return to Schafer's roots and a classic retro-style adventure game I can't help but feel somewhat disappointed with the gameplay. Obviously you don't want people to get completely stuck and frustrated, and I didn't expect it to have some of the crazy game-logic puzzles from monkey island (monkey wrench? come on!) but at the same time half the fun of adventure games (for me) was having to slow down and think about the puzzles and come at them from a different angle etc. That rewarding feeling of "yea I'm a genius!" when you solve it didn't happen for me once while playing this game. If the puzzles are harder then people who get stuck always have the option of consulting gamefaqs, talking with their more experienced gamer friends, looking up UHS-hints etc . But with these easy puzzles I have no way of making the game last longer or feel more rewarding :(

That said - I loved everything else about the game. The art is beautiful, the music fits perfectly, the voice acting was great and I laughed out loud at a bunch of the dialog. The story seems good so far but obviously will have to see how it pans out in Act 2. I just wish a bit more of that budget had been shifted from polishing audio/visual type stuff into adding 2 puzzle difficulties or something along those lines. I know that having multiple puzzle trees could get complex but if the hard difficulty at least added a few puzzles for the items that you are just given for free (oh you have shoes, can i have shoes? thanks....) it would have helped some.

Edit: I see there's an entire other subforum for Discussion/Feedback which is probably more appropriate. Just saw Feedback in this forum title and clicked it. If a mod wants to move/delete this feel free.

That's what I exactly think. I had just a "don't know whatta do" moment: the fruit and the "temple" guards. I have to say it was OB-VIOUS it was a fruit from the beginning, but I didn't go to that tree since I remembered. In terms of level design, I think it's a poor game... Maybe Act 2 is good in this? Just maybe, I can't tell... Script, visuals, gameplay and all of that are really great, but level design is certainly limited. Far away from Monkey Island, Monkey Island 2 or Grim Fandango.

I would like to say I think it was a great idea to criticize gaming industry in Shay's first steps. It was like "hey, every game in the world is guided and easy, but Broken Age is not!". At least I understood something like that. But... It wasn't. I mean, that's a good idea if your game is going to be hard, but it's freaking easy.

In that sense (and ONLY in that sense), I feel cheated. When I backed the project I backed a classic adventure. And yes, Broken Age is a classic adventure... except from puzzle design, which I think is bad. I don't say I want a very difficult game made only for us, the adventure gamers... But I really don't like that every single character involved in a puzzle is cintinuously giving me hints that ruins my experience. I think that there's is a point in which we old gamers can be satisfied and new gamers can say "hey, it's difficult but funny".

If this is corrected in Act 2, I have to say Broken Age is nearly one of the greatest games I've played. But, if this is ignored in Act 2, I'm sure I'll say "well, good visuals and poor level design...".

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I don't believe it was a good move to get playtesters who weren't classic adventure fans. Least of all playtesters who are gaming journalists. Who cares what journalists say? This game was for us. That one guy in the documentary was annoyed at the first puzzle of Shay's story because it was a loop and he just wanted it to continue on......seriously? You were stuck there?

I guess being under that much pressure to make a good adventure game can take a toll in some way...I really hope Act II is more like the classics, though.

+1

+1

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I don't believe it was a good move to get playtesters who weren't classic adventure fans. Least of all playtesters who are gaming journalists. Who cares what journalists say? This game was for us. That one guy in the documentary was annoyed at the first puzzle of Shay's story because it was a loop and he just wanted it to continue on......seriously? You were stuck there?

I guess being under that much pressure to make a good adventure game can take a toll in some way...I really hope Act II is more like the classics, though.

I completely agree.

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I don't believe it was a good move to get playtesters who weren't classic adventure fans. Least of all playtesters who are gaming journalists. Who cares what journalists say? This game was for us. That one guy in the documentary was annoyed at the first puzzle of Shay's story because it was a loop and he just wanted it to continue on......seriously? You were stuck there?

I guess being under that much pressure to make a good adventure game can take a toll in some way...I really hope Act II is more like the classics, though.

+1

+1

+1

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I have to be honest. This is just the second adventure game I've ever played (first being Machinarium). I don't care about the "classic adventure game" in the sense that I backed Broken Age because of Tim's roots. I would love to play Grim or Throttle one day if I can ever get around to it. I backed the project because I loved Psychonauts and Brutal Legend more so than the adventure games. So, I didn't back because I wanted to relive a part of my childhood or anything like that, I simply love Double Fine.

I say that, because this is one of the easiest games I've ever played in my life. If you want a specific example, then the temple guard puzzle towards the end of Vella's half was practically choreographed from the beginning.

This is more like Telltales TWD (while one of my favorite games of all time, I don't consider it an adventure game) in that the puzzles are more about being a filler to serve the story more so than actually providing challenging gameplay, if that makes sense. I think it worked so well with TWD because the difficulty came in trying to survive and having to make tough dialogue choices that impacted the story. Here, the story is completely linear and you have no control over it at all, so it feels more like watching a movie that I occasionally have to stop and go through a checklist for, rather than a video game.

Don't get me wrong, I loved the game and I had a lot of fun with it. Double Fine has been totally transparent with us, so I thought I'd return the favor. But I just don't think it was as good as it could have been if it had more challenging puzzles.

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That one guy in the documentary was annoyed at the first puzzle of Shay's story because it was a loop and he just wanted it to continue on......seriously? You were stuck there?

To be fair, that puzzle changed a lot during development and many players new and experienced were getting stuck in Shay's routine.

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That one guy in the documentary was annoyed at the first puzzle of Shay's story because it was a loop and he just wanted it to continue on......seriously? You were stuck there?

To be fair, that puzzle changed a lot during development and many players new and experienced were getting stuck in Shay's routine.

I only really had to do this routine twice or so. The huge number of alternative cereals and such was wonderful, but that gag is largely wasted as players might not even get a chance to experience it. It's good you address playtester feedback, but I think most of us feel that unfortunately the sample size might've been too small. Or the corrections too extreme.

I think having his "take a dive" dialog be delayed until X number of circuits are complete would be a good idea. Or to require an extra item to escape, like a blowhorn or something to scare the mountain to pulling the bridge back, etc.

Still, great work on the title, excited for Act 2.

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That one guy in the documentary was annoyed at the first puzzle of Shay's story because it was a loop and he just wanted it to continue on......seriously? You were stuck there?

To be fair, that puzzle changed a lot during development and many players new and experienced were getting stuck in Shay's routine.

ironically, this is the only puzzle i can't see the logic off...and the one that took me the most time to solve...how are you supposed to find out that you can send this bridge thing to sleep without clicking aimlessly?

the rest is just telltale-ish almost insulting easy stuff - not even reaching telltales earlier works like samnmax or tomi ...:(

i really hope for some sort of exponential grow of difficulty in act 2...in al linear way, im afraid i'd stay laughable even if the act would be twice as long as the first one..

besides that i'm perfectly happy with how the game turned out to be :)

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That one guy in the documentary was annoyed at the first puzzle of Shay's story because it was a loop and he just wanted it to continue on......seriously? You were stuck there?

To be fair, that puzzle changed a lot during development and many players new and experienced were getting stuck in Shay's routine.

ironically, this is the only puzzle i can't see the logic off...and the one that took me the most time to solve...how are you supposed to find out that you can send this bridge thing to sleep without clicking aimlessly?

I think Shay says at some point that the bridge would open or close when he shouts at it. That's how I figured it out.

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We hear you. This is one of the most frequent criticisms of the game. There's not too much that can be done about it now for act 1 but everyone including Tim wants to make sure act 2 is more difficult.

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That one guy in the documentary was annoyed at the first puzzle of Shay's story because it was a loop and he just wanted it to continue on......seriously? You were stuck there?

To be fair, that puzzle changed a lot during development and many players new and experienced were getting stuck in Shay's routine.

I think the solution to that would be a hard mode or a difficulty bar (now that makes me wonder if we'll get an energy-bar like item in act 2 named "difficulty bar"...)

We hear you. This is one of the most frequent criticisms of the game. There's not too much that can be done about it now for act 1 but everyone including Tim wants to make sure act 2 is more difficult.

Of course you'll get then a lot of complaints how difficult it is. You have diverse crowd, and unfortunately need to deal with that. If you'll add a selectable difficulty level of some sort to Act 1 even later, I for one will certainly replay that part.

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I haven't seen all the documentary episodes yet (or read all the dev updates) so I might be missing some information regarding the playtesting or the way the difficulty level was determined ---

but my feeling is that the game was calibrated so that NO ONE WOULD GET STUCK at any point.

I think this is a wrong balance.

A good balance is (IMHO):

1. experienced players face SOME hard challenges, but mostly easy or medium-level ones.

2. average or "typical" players face MANY challenges, some easy ones, some extremely hard ones (which make them "stuck") and many "medium level" ones.

3. beginner or young players face excruciatingly difficult challenges

A good adventure game, in my eyes, should not be one that you can finish in one sitting (if you have no prior info about it or its puzzles).

This DOESN'T necessarily necessitate a large scope, it just necessitates multi-layered or complex puzzles that (as described above) require multiple steps to solve.

To clarify - the fact that in order to join the maiden feast in Shellmound you have to perform ~10~15 steps or whatever is not an example of what I'm talking about.

I'm talking about exactly the way in which the achievement of one specific SMALL goal (like attaining a single item or moving a single obstacle or whatever) requires a multitude of steps / items / interactions in a non-trivial order of operation...

A simpler way to enhance difficulty would be to decrease explicit hints (of which there was a huge abundance), and to add more red-herrings (seemingly "useless" items).

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We hear you. This is one of the most frequent criticisms of the game. There's not too much that can be done about it now for act 1 but everyone including Tim wants to make sure act 2 is more difficult.

How about a Director's Cut of Act I? :P

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I came here to say what the OP has said!

Beautiful game, most of the solutions to the puzzles felt like they came a little too easily. I am sure Day of the Tentacle took me months to complete (I was only young), but I hoped this would occupy my evenings for at least a week!

However as we have seen the whole game grow via the documentary, I don't feel short changed.

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I played Shay first and when you’re going through the mock missions for his Mom it was charming when you realized “Ohh the puzzles are really obvious and easy on purpose, it’s like a tutorial that fits into the story because the computer is babying Shay. That’s clever”. Only the puzzles never get harder…

Haha oh yes, i have seen plenty parallels between me and shay kinda bored but also kinda positive about the games on the ship, while playing the whole thing!

There is one big point i wanted to say i would guessed what really did went wrong. This game allready was more difficult. This game allready was quite nice and oldschool. And there is a huge portion of oldschool spirit in it! You can nearly smell all the harder puzzles.

But while this, sorry to say so, really lazy, kinda really unmotivated non adventure game playtesters "that liked the animation" was kinda to much under pressure or to slow said "this is to hard" - some people at DF got scared and the game was just cutted radically! But waaaaaaay to much. I could imagine it happened somewhat like that.

Like a german movie, that Hollywood cuts totally down, so that there even isn't that much loigic in it anymore.

Like with the thousend cereals. Or with the knife he was happy to be gone. I can't help but wonder if this was just unlogical because the game was simply way to much cutted down! Especially the first loops of Shay just felt like some not too much interested person all the time was on fast forward till the first dinosaurs was in the frame!

(With german movie i am talking about fritz langs metropolis, by the way …)

Because some guys was afraid the public would be to stupid! (what is a very common publisher - strategy - thing in the US to say … oh, the american public is to stupid, we have to make that whole thing easier to get for them! Oh why? maybe the public would be a little smarter about it, if it gets an challenge to proof those publishers wrong ...)

I am not even shure Tim really was the one pushing all this cuts! Maybe some others really get worried if a non-"at once solveable puzzle with a million hints" really would sell well …

But there is one thing: Fear is never a good adviser!

But i am glad Tim allready said part II gonne be harder (maybe even just normal hard … ) and part I is for those who didn't do adventures to get warm for part two. Like somehow part two is the real game and part one was kinda just a huge tutorial.

But a "directors cut" of part one sounds like liquid gold in my ears. Oh my, what a wonderful dream!

Yhea and i do really think that solution for this whole "Easy peasy for super lazy people brings us money" against "i wanted an adventure, of course i wanted to puzzle!-i am dissapointed" conflict would be a easy / hard mode switch!

Because i see it coming! If part II not gonne have a difficulty switch, some people are gonne say: "But those people who played part one and are totally lazy and doesn't want to use their brains longer than 40secs wanted to hear the end of the story aswell" and part II maybe will ASWELL be not as diffucult, and challenging and fun as it certainly could and as some say should be!

Maybe it is gonne be just harder than part one. Well. That is gonne be no magic. I guess if you tell someone to say 10 games, 9 of them are gonne be harder than part one ...

It doesn't really work for me this "Part one is gonne be the easy mode, part two is gonne be the hard mode" i don't see that one coming. And this way adventure fans gonne stay dissapointet about akt I. That allready happened with the beta! But if part 2 is gonne be as hard as plenty people do firmly hope now - well, maybe than the other side is gonne be dissapointed "their nice animation movie with some interaction" starting finally to be kinda challenging and you have to do something to really come forward.

So there is no winner at all on this path as i see it. And this problem could be easy solved with an easy and hard mode switch!

And, you know what, you could even make a directors cut-kickstarter! Like that "You want one character more"-kickstarter we heard about in the documentary or the forum (i am not that shure at the moment where i read/heard it) that the other game studio did.

Because i know for plenty of hopes people do have about "more stuff" in the game - there isn't enough time and money.

I guess for now you just can put those things back in again, that were just cutted out. And you just maybe can kill some unnecessary early hints or some all unnecessary hints in general of the script in a "Less hints please" - selection in the settings. (like telltale have it)

Or - i don't know if all people would like that idea - kinda do a easy / hard mode switch - kickstarter?

Well. Of course people ain't that easy about paying a second time for a directors cut. But as for the hobbit or avatar you simply know from the start there is gonne be a collecters extendet dvd edition. So you wait for that one and are willing to pay than. And you wait and don't buy the cinema-edition.

So you could make a kickstarter after just finishing broken age like kinda this way and than make a directors cut kickstarter? Just an idea … with more places, all the difficult puzzles that allready was there, but later was cutted out while playtesting … and maybe even an easy mode. So that you can show this game to people you know, they won't like to think to much about puzzles! ( i also do like the idea of an easy mode! but only if there is a hard mode aswell ;) )

But that's just a thought. I can't tell how part II is gonne be anyway. I have not the slightest idea how the story is gonne go on. And neither me nor any other backer could tell what exactly tim really meant with "Its gonne be harder".

Well. harder than part one doesn't mean it have to be like that hard …

But i do understand that maybe from the view of double fine akt I is now done and checked. The money for akt I is spend and all time and money is needed for part II to happen!

So saying as a backer that we want more places, and a boat to get to the wood ( i liked that whole part / idea from ukm very much ;) reminded me on what i did kinda expect of puzzles to come! ) … i do understand that at this point this may be just utopic.

Well, even to put all the harder stuff back in that was cutted out (and may i say: aahhhrg, why? ^^) would be work to be honest! After all the older harder versions of the puzzle would've been put back in there would gonne have to be a new bug search for this!

Indeed we are more like just on bug search, while most of adventure-gamers by heart are just really bugged by the missing difficulty. That for myself was the only real bug i found. The rest of the game allready was quite smooth.

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I wanted to share my opinions too, it's probably a good place to do so.

Great things:

- The art, it's beautiful and amazingly consistent in each world. It really blew my mind from the beginning. The animation is great too.

- The music is also particularly splendid.

- Some dialogs are really hilarious, I had a lot of fun going though every possibility (I think the spoon dialogue was one of the best of the game :P)

- Contrary to some people here, I find that the difficulty is increasing through the game (with vaster environments at the end, the solutions are less trivial that at the beginning).

- The plot: these two stories and how they intertwine are really nice.

- The pointing system, which allows to never miss small objects like in other games.

- And let's not forget Oliver ! My experience had no bug (or maybe one small display bug, when the bucket is put on the tree, it does not appear before a few seconds)

Things that I think might be improved:

- Even though increasing through the game, I agree the difficulty is too low overall.

- I had a hard time understanding the excitement of Shay when he meets Marek. I thought that I would really feel some danger for Shay, but what Marek offers is only saving these little creatures we don't know anything about through mini-games. It's hard to feel the same excitement as Shay: why would rescuing these little creatures be so exciting ? I regained some interest when getting to the dangerous planet though. Did anyone has this feeling too ? That the plot at that moment was a bit strange ?

Overall it's a really amazing experience, congratulations^2 Reds team !

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Agree with what was being said here, although I absolutely adored this game... But I think the problem was that as the budget of the game spiralled. When the game started to become a triple AAA title and so it had to appeal to the casual gamer as opposed to an old school adventurer..

This is a beautiful game but was all about not getting too stuck and too frustrated..because the casual market won't stand for that.

So all in all for what it was trying to do being an introduction to adventure games and for a person just there to enjoy this was a perfect game.

But for the people weaned on Monkey Island 2 / Day of the Tentacle difficulty (like myself) and expecting that again then this didn't give that... whilst it is a shame, I totally understand why... I mean old school adventure games are still very niche...even Tell Tale didnt hit the big time with their Sam and Max, Monkey Island reboots until they also went down the casual gamer route (Walking Dead, Wolf Among Us). So I think for the AAA type of game Double Fine were producing they were right with what they did..

One thing though I would love personally after this game is all done, that Tim considers during Amnesia Fortnight or something to do a very "low tech" adventure game with no recorded dialogue with emphasis on the puzzles and story. It would only need to be the Monkey Island level of graphics and sound... I know that that this type of game would not hit mainstream but it would make that core of adventure gamers very happy.

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We hear you. This is one of the most frequent criticisms of the game. There's not too much that can be done about it now for act 1 but everyone including Tim wants to make sure act 2 is more difficult.

Of course you'll get then a lot of complaints how difficult it is. You have diverse crowd, and unfortunately need to deal with that. If you'll add a selectable difficulty level of some sort to Act 1 even later, I for one will certainly replay that part.

The biggest issue is that experienced adventure gamers, ESPECIALLY those who played the Monkey Island games, actually think differently. Once you play a couple of those games, you understand that the puzzles might be ridiculously convoluted. The puzzles themselves might reflect a play on words rather than the logical use of items. (Using one's head to drive a nail into a board instead of a blunt object, like a hammer. I think this example hits the nail on the head.) It makes you pay attention to every word of dialogue, explore every nuance of what the characters say and compare the concept of each item with the different and often abstract meanings it can have.

This style of gaming also TEACHES people to think differently. If you are stuck and you blunt force the puzzle, once the solution is found, usually you immediately understand what the developer was thinking. The "Monkey wrench" puzzle in Monkey Island 2 is a perfect example. It is rewarding in its own way. You have the frustration of the logic of the puzzle, which you didn't get enough to solve the puzzle, but you also get a bit into to mind of the creators, which helps you to solve other puzzles later on. "Using a monkey on the valve? Why wasn't the solution a wrench? Monkey... wrench... *groan* Ahhh! Those tricksy devs! I'll have to think differently."

I think the real balance is having enough items to be time consuming to blunt force a puzzle while not making it unfeasible to blunt force puzzles. Then you can teach the player to play your game. The experience has a greater impact because it teaches you to look at things another way, all the time. I also think this is why adventure games are remembered so fondly.

Broken Age has wonderful visuals and entertaining dialogue, I don't think it is a game people will abandon in frustration because they want their hand held in gameplay.

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I wanted to share my opinions too, it's probably a good place to do so.

Great things:

- The art, it's beautiful and amazingly consistent in each world. It really blew my mind from the beginning. The animation is great too.

- The music is also particularly splendid.

- Some dialogs are really hilarious, I had a lot of fun going though every possibility (I think the spoon dialogue was one of the best of the game :P)

- Contrary to some people here, I find that the difficulty is increasing through the game (with vaster environments at the end, the solutions are less trivial that at the beginning).

- The plot: these two stories and how they intertwine are really nice.

- The pointing system, which allows to never miss small objects like in other games.

- And let's not forget Oliver ! My experience had no bug (or maybe one small display bug, when the bucket is put on the tree, it does not appear before a few seconds)

Things that I think might be improved:

- Even though increasing through the game, I agree the difficulty is too low overall.

- I had a hard time understanding the excitement of Shay when he meets Marek. I thought that I would really feel some danger for Shay, but what Marek offers is only saving these little creatures we don't know anything about through mini-games. It's hard to feel the same excitement as Shay: why would rescuing these little creatures be so exciting ? I regained some interest when getting to the dangerous planet though. Did anyone has this feeling too ? That the plot at that moment was a bit strange ?

Overall it's a really amazing experience, congratulations^2 Reds team !

yes there is an increase of difficulty in this game! I felt this aswell. Even an nice one. Even as at the highest level of difficulty in part one i still didn't felt like i was there yet.

Well. So maybe now part II starts in a low but okay low difficulty level (and not this kinda horrible easy cupcake thing again, in that only one room, where you only had to finde one stupid knife ... ^^) and could easily get to that point 2 or 3 times it would be really nice hard for adventure gamers. Or may i say: I do not so much like it hard but especially i would really like it to be more complicated than it was! (with way fewer hints …)

And yes. I thought with Marek Shay kinda would gonne be there than. BUT Shay still kinda was playing child games … somehow. Well. Maybe i didn't get his excitement. Or, maybe even more, i just thought: Okay, i do not identify with him … now at this point, i feel like he still is the little naive boy that doesn't know much about the world … but in the end it is very logic. How could it be different? But i didn't felt that close, that is true.

But it was fun seeing his joy and how happy he was in the knitting room with the Nav Scarf. That was a nice animation part. How happy he was to really changing something. I totally felt that. Maybe even thats the reasons he didn't question Marek. Like when he fell of the train. The joy of danger.

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I'd have to imagine most backers would have played through this by now but just in case - there are puzzle spoilers below so I wouldn't read it if you aren't done yet.

Just finished Act 1 last night so I figured I'd offer my feedback on what I didn't like. I'm sure others have already voiced this opinion but the more of us who do it the more weight it has I suppose.

I finished this in less than 2 hours. While I understand it's only Act 1, if I can expect similar playtime out of Act 2 then we're talking about a 6 hours game at most. I might have expected that if the game was made on the original 400k shoestring budget but this has obviously turned into a much larger and more polished project than the original vision.

This is largely due to how easy the puzzles are. The entire time playing through the game the longest I spent thinking about any puzzle was about 30 seconds. This was at the end of Vella's story when needing to open Mog Chothra's mouth, and I only spent that long because I thought that he was opening his mouth periodically and just waited for it to happen for a bit before realizing I needed to open it somehow. Once I realized it was a puzzle - OK obviously the ladder. I played Shay first and when you're going through the mock missions for his Mom it was charming when you realized "Ohh the puzzles are really obvious and easy on purpose, it's like a tutorial that fits into the story because the computer is babying Shay. That's clever". Only the puzzles never get harder...

Many puzzles I started solving before I even knew what the goal of the puzzle was. For example - the tree sap puzzle. I think every single dialog line with the tree ended with him saying "I think I'm going to puke" -> well obviously I need to make him puke since you've beaten me over the head with that, and I already know the lumberjack will make me a stool because he's explicitly stated in the dialogue that I can trade wood for a stool from him (I didn't even have to use my brain to infer that maybe a character that is obsessed with woodworking would make me something out of wood!). Walk one more screen and I find wood -> I've made the tree puke before Vella has any motivation to make him puke.

Another example: In Shay's section the first room I went to was the trophy room and as soon as I picked up his old radiation suit it was already obvious what the solution to the puzzle would be thanks to the teleporter dialog beating you over the head with the "rules". This despite having not gotten close to knowing why I needed the helmet, or even having seen all of the screens you go through to solve this puzzle.

Now, I understand that puzzle difficulty is a tricky thing - the documentary made it clear that some things got dumbed down due to playtester feedback and I can understand wanting the game to be playable by a wide audience. But as this game was marketed on kickstarter as a return to Schafer's roots and a classic retro-style adventure game I can't help but feel somewhat disappointed with the gameplay. Obviously you don't want people to get completely stuck and frustrated, and I didn't expect it to have some of the crazy game-logic puzzles from monkey island (monkey wrench? come on!) but at the same time half the fun of adventure games (for me) was having to slow down and think about the puzzles and come at them from a different angle etc. That rewarding feeling of "yea I'm a genius!" when you solve it didn't happen for me once while playing this game. If the puzzles are harder then people who get stuck always have the option of consulting gamefaqs, talking with their more experienced gamer friends, looking up UHS-hints etc . But with these easy puzzles I have no way of making the game last longer or feel more rewarding :(

That said - I loved everything else about the game. The art is beautiful, the music fits perfectly, the voice acting was great and I laughed out loud at a bunch of the dialog. The story seems good so far but obviously will have to see how it pans out in Act 2. I just wish a bit more of that budget had been shifted from polishing audio/visual type stuff into adding 2 puzzle difficulties or something along those lines. I know that having multiple puzzle trees could get complex but if the hard difficulty at least added a few puzzles for the items that you are just given for free (oh you have shoes, can i have shoes? thanks....) it would have helped some.

Edit: I see there's an entire other subforum for Discussion/Feedback which is probably more appropriate. Just saw Feedback in this forum title and clicked it. If a mod wants to move/delete this feel free.

+1 to this entire post.

Though, I never had a problem with the monkey wrench. :P

I totally agree with ukm. Liked it overall but the puzzles I felt were far to easy... Also, there didn't seem to be a lot of other character development/subplots (for example Glottis or Salvador or even the worker bees in Grim Fandango). I am curious on what comes next in the game, and to see how the characters can help each other out. I'm also looking forward to the score and the visuals (which were both absolutely beautiful) and I hope the puzzles get much harder to think about and longer to solve.

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+1 to this thread. Great to see Double Fine on here commenting, and it must be hard for them to hear such criticism mixed with such love. I adore Tim and Double Fine's games - Grim Fandango and Psychonauts are probably two of the best games I've ever played, but I feel really underwhelmed by Broken Age. It feels like it is catering for a different audience than the old-school adventure gamers who backed it, which I don't really understand - I thought it was meant to be a resurrection of the classic genre, not a dumbed-down version that takes a few hours to complete and has basically no puzzles whatsoever? Maybe I'm being overly harsh, but I had high hopes.

For example [spoilers], the 'creature grabbing' thing that Shay had to do - what was that all about? Really made me feel this was a game for kids. And then Shay literally tells you how to get to the new star system. He tells you how to solve a puzzle!! What!??

I also felt the pacing was off, and there were only a few interesting characters but all characters had such small roles that you never really had time to get to know them. In addition, there was hardly anything to click on (you'd be lucky if there was more than one object in a scene to interact with), which only served to further highlight the intended purpose of each item you picked up.

Sorry Double Fine, feel really bad being so negative! Let's see what Act 2 has in store, but I'm worried that if the direction changes in light of all this feedback, it is only going to create a disjointed gaming experience - if this is the direction DF have chosen to go, wouldn't changing now just make the experience disjointed and further disrupt the flow? I imagine that having to split into Acts will probably something they will regret - it can't have been the original plan so something must have gone awry to end up in this position, especially considering the enormous amount of money they raised.

Think I might go pick up Brutal Legend as only ever played the demo and loved it. Don't think I'm ready to play Psychonauts for a third time!

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I am just thinking out loud here (because this has been on my mind the last few days and this thread seems a great place to do it)....

Although some found there to be no puzzles, I did get the occasional head scratcher (and so would take a brief break) and then could usually figure it out pretty quickly when I got back. Overall, I am also in the camp that loved the game but wanted a higher difficulty.

So here's my back of my head thing. I didn't play Monkey Island 1 as a kid when it was new (though I played plenty of other classic P&C) so saw it with modern eyes for the first time. The early puzzles were actually not all that different in difficulty than Broken Age. Getting past the bridge troll (trying to keep this spoiler free) was basically trivial, as were the other 'puzzles' that made up getting around the island. Up to the end of the three trials was barely harder than this, and most were about the same. MI than got a lot harder after that. What I come to though, is BA is basically two 'three trials'. One for each character. Being able to pick basically necessitates that style of design. I very recently replayed King's Quest VII, which uses a similar structure of two characters on separate adventures that connect later. It however had a very definite order the characters stories were supposed to be played in, so the difficulty could be ramped up.

I also felt the pacing was off, and there were only a few interesting characters but all characters had such small roles that you never really had time to get to know them. In addition, there was hardly anything to click on (you'd be lucky if there was more than on
I was thinking similar but couldn't quite put it into words. Most of the classics had similar barely in it side characters, but they also had more major supporting characters (like Glottis, my favourite ever). Although if the current side characters do more in the other act, then we can hopefully see some of them more fleshed out.

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And I'm really confused on the items they just give to you. Think about the scene where you get the (smaller) cloud shoes. There's an entire screen there that they went to the trouble of designing, drawing etc, and an entire character that was designed drawn, animated, written, voiced over. And the only point of that scene is that you ask for her shoes and she just gives them to you. Wha? It feels like there was a puzzle there or at least one planned and it got the axe. I think the game suffers a lot in those places.

This is what gets to me much more than the puzzle difficulty or the game length - the memorability of each location. So many places with awesome artwork but as a player you can only do one thing there and then move on. So you spend very little time in each place and have very limited emotional attachment to it. I can still remember memorable locations in the Monkey Island games - maybe you could only do 2 or 3 meaningful things in each place, but it felt like more than that. You'd have to keep coming back and making actions that changed the game world, not just walk in, pick up an item and never return.

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