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felipepepe

To the DFA staff: Can I get a refund?

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Say what you will, the game would be better with a Look verb.

I'm tempted to make a new thread, entitled: "Is it possible to make an old school game when you need fat profits to make your old, highly-paid development studio successful?"

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Say what you will, the game would be better with a Look verb.

I'm tempted to make a new thread, entitled: "Is it possible to make an old school game when you need fat profits to make your old, highly-paid development studio successful?"

Do it.

I'd like to see the chaos unfold.

And your ignores go up.

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Say what you will, the game would be better with a Look verb.

I'm tempted to make a new thread, entitled: "Is it possible to make an old school game when you need fat profits to make your old, highly-paid development studio successful?"

Firstly, incidentally, I agree that the game would be slightly better with a look verb and have even outlined in another thread how I think it might be achievable within a reasonable budget.

Secondly that WOULD be trolling. First of all, now that funding for the game is secure, ANY sales of this game are profit. Sure, in the latest doc Justin might be talking about his dream sales figures for the game, but as the business manager for the company, that's his JOB. Next, what the hell do you know about how well paid Double Fine is as a studio. They're probably higher than average as being San Francisco based they have to take living costs into account (just like the pay I get is weighted towards higher London living costs), but generally speaking jobs in game studios tend to be lower paid than comparable counterparts in other industries. So for example, any one of those programmers could probably take a higher paid job in software development elsewhere, and people regularly take a pay cut in order to get a job like this.

So implying that the game cost so much just so that Double Fine employees could keep their fat paycheck is the DEFINITION of trolling.

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I'm not saying they are being deceptive either. They had a plan, and then they had a different plan. That happens, even if I don't like it. I'm saying they e.g. deliberately decided to make the puzzles as easy as they are, which necessarily implies "modernising" the game, seeing as easy puzzles are the hallmark of today's adventure games. Tim said he needed to make sure the puzzles are hard enough twice in as many episodes now. He knows exactly what he's done.

As for reviews -- most writers I've encountered there entirely forgot there even could be games that were 2D and involved pointing and clicking, and think adventure games just re-appeared. That it would appear strange and "old school" to them is not exactly surprising -- it'd probably be enough already if a game came along being 2D, nevermind the genre. But that isn't really the basis from which to judge this.

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I didn't realize that was the DEFINITION of trolling.

Come on. Think about it. DoubleFine is an old studio, and they said in the doc that tons of employees have been there 5-10+ years. You don't go 5-10+ years as a skilled professional at a fluffy company like that and not get sick raises. These people get paid out the nose, and they can't afford to break even. Especially because they need raises in the future too. They need to make fat cash so they can "stay independent," and they can't do that by living Kickstarter-to-Kickstarter.

Also, did you forget that they're dumping tons of non-Kickstarter funds into this? They're in the RED on this project now. They need to make 4+ mill to recoup that investment.

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I'm not saying they are being deceptive either. They had a plan, and then they had a different plan.
No, their plan didn't change, except to split the game in two. The design goals of the game have been the same since early pre-production. I'm not sure where you're getting the idea that they changed the design to make it more accessible.

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Maybe because they were trying to get a point & click adventure funded but instead delivered a story driven casual game. Man, without the amount of feedback there wouldn't even be a point & click interface. DF to a certain degree is listening to the feedback, that's good, but hey without doing so this game would be a mess.

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There was a couple of puzzles removed actually. One involving a tram.

I didn't say the design didn't change at all, I said the design -goals- didn't change i.e. what sort of game they were trying to make. And in that case, the design was clearly changed due to lack of funds requiring cuts, not due to self-funding.

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Maybe because they were trying to get a point & click adventure funded but instead delivered a story driven casual game. Man, without the amount of feedback there wouldn't even be a point & click interface. DF to a certain degree is listening to the feedback, that's good, but hey without doing so this game would be a mess.
Oh, give over. It's a point and click adventure and your refusal to accept that is now ACTUALLY INSANE. They made the game they said they'd make.

I'll happily entertain the notion that it has to have tricky tricky puzzles to be 'old school' as much as I disagree with it, but I'm going to give the notion that Broken Age isn't an adventure game the ABSOLUTE DERISION it rightly deserves.

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@KestrelPi: As a matter of fact, it would be highly irresponsible of them if they didn't try to make the game as accessible, or at least what is generally thought to be accessible, as possible, considering they need to recoup $3 million. But that aside, if we are talking about the puzzles, certainly there have been changes, a lot of them. And naturally those changes occur late, not in early pre-production. You can argue that they didn't change plans so much as simply making up their minds very late, but that's just semantics.

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I disagree, i expected a real adventure.

There is no adventure if i can't do things i'm used to or which i enjoy in adventures, a serious lack of challenge/exploration/complexity/details/puzzles/... takes away the experience which i otherwise get from these kind of games. That's not bitching about the game, that's just how it feels like when playing the game. Therefore ... You might want to call it an adventure for kids or not adventure experienced gamers but that's not my angle, so, my point of view obviously differs.

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@KestrelPi: As a matter of fact, it would be highly irresponsible of them if they didn't try to make the game as accessible, or at least what is generally thought to be accessible, as possible, considering they need to recoup $3 million. But that aside, if we are talking about the puzzles, certainly there have been changes, a lot of them. And naturally those changes occur late, not in early pre-production. You can argue that they didn't change plans so much as simply making up their minds very late, but that's just semantics.
Of course they changed puzzle designs, that happens all the time. I'm talking about the high level design goals of the project, which absolutely haven't changed. There was absolutely no moment in the development when they decided to change the puzzle design goals to make it more accessible.

And you're wrong, they don't need to recoup the $3 million, because it's not debt. The idea of recouping investment is only valid when it needs to be paid back to someone. e.g. if it's a loan or if it's publisher funding. But the $3 million they spent is from profits of other sales, it's not money they owe to anyone and so it'll go straight into profits. If they don't make $3 million back their profits will go down (which nobody wants), but they will still be profitable, rather than in debt. And even then the profits would only go down all other things being equal - remembering that Broken Age is just one of many projects contributing to their profits.

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Oh, come on. Stop arguing semantics. If I decide to make puzzles easier, of course this will affect the supposed accessibility, if one subscribes to the theory that people nowadays prefer "easy" games -- regardless of whether or not I say expressis verbis that I have changed design goals. If it were any other way, they wouldn't need playtesters and there'd be literally no reason for the tweaked puzzles.

And the same goes for the invested money. Whatever you call it, they want the money back through sales; anything else supposes they are fine throwing money down the drain.

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Oh, come on. Stop arguing semantics. If I decide to make puzzles easier, of course this will affect the supposed accessibility, if one subscribes to the theory that people nowadays prefer "easy" games -- regardless of whether or not I say expressis verbis that I have changed design goals. If it were any other way, they wouldn't need playtesters and there'd be literally no reason for the tweaked puzzles.

And the same goes for the invested money. Whatever you call it, they want the money back through sales; anything else supposes they are fine throwing money down the drain.

they didn't "decide to make the puzzles easier" . They tested and tweaked. You always need testers for balance. They did more this time than previous adventure games but the goal was the same.

Also, there are more reasons to put money into a project than to get it back directly from profits. This game is important PR for double fine. The value of it in terms of company reputation is just as important as direct sales because that stuff affects what happens next time they have a game to announce or a kickstarter project.

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Tim specifically said they toned down the difficulty and added more hints in response to their abundant everyday-joe player feedback.

Why they got everyday-joe player feedback for a game made for hardcore adventure fans is a matter for discussion. Probably because they wanted a major hit.

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Tim specifically said they toned down the difficulty and added more hints in response to their abundant everyday-joe player feedback.

Why they got everyday-joe player feedback for a game made for hardcore adventure fans is a matter for discussion. Probably because they wanted a major hit.

I think it was clear they adjusted difficulty both up and down depending on feedback. As for who that feedback came from, I got the impression it was from a wide variety of people, some of whom were adventure fans, others were newcomers, others developers who may or may not be adventure fans.

I'm not saying they didn't want the game to be accessible, of COURSE they did, but there was no moment of "ahh, we're self funding half of this game, let's make sure we make it easier!"

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OF COURSE they wanted to make it more accessible?

Why is that an OF COURSE?

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OF COURSE they wanted to make it more accessible?

Why is that an OF COURSE?

#

Reading comprehension. "I’m not saying they didn’t want the game to be accessible, of COURSE they did" I didn't say 'more accessible'. They wanted it to be accessible from the start, and they continued to want it to be accessible.

And that's on 'of course' because who the hell designs a game to be inaccessible? Even if my game is aimed at fans of some particular genre I don't decide that I'd better put in a bunch of stuff that only the fans will understand, just to make sure that anyone who the game is for is alienated. That'd be silly, obviously. So of course they wanted to design a game that someone unfamiliar with adventures could get into.

I think that's a design goal of any adventure game, so I bet whenever they made any overhaul to the interface like, say, the verb coin they did plenty of testing on that to make sure that a newcomer would get it, as well as anyone already used to the genre. It's neither surprising or new that they'd want to make it accessible.

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I think you flipped out more than anticipated over the word "more". My bad.

You took the accessibility thing to a rather weird extreme.

"Accessibility" tends to be code-word for "mass market". I don't there's any reason that they "of course" want the game to be "accessible". It was supposed to be an old-school adventure game, not an "accessible" adventure game.

I didn't fund for "accessibility".

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I think you flipped out more than anticipated over the word "more". My bad.

"Accessibility" tends to be code-word for "mass market". I don't there's any reason that they "of course" want the game to be "accessible". It was supposed to be an old-school adventure game, not an "accessible" adventure game.

I didn't fund for "accessibility".

Oh, I see the confusion. You see, I was using accessibility as a code word for 'accessibility'

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What does it mean? You seem to think it means, "anybody can get into the game".

What does that actually mean in terms of features? More hints? Tabletization? One-click auto-interaction? (I click on a thing in the BA world and the game decides what I wanted to do.)

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This is rapidly degenerating into flippant jabs back and forth. The subject in question is whether or not Tim had intended from the beginning to make the game as "accessible" as it is now. That is, sacrificing certain aspects of the design that were present in many old-school adventure games (Broken Age is in no way the same as any of those games puzzle-wise. That's not rose-tinted glasses, nostalgia, difference of age or intelligence, it's a fact. At the very least we can all agree that the level of hints given in Broken Age are far excessive to that of older adventure games). Was that always his intention? I don't think any of us can know for sure. One thing, however, is for sure: Tim (whether he believed otherwise or not before the Kickstarter) now believes that many of those puzzle design aspects of the past were a mistake and what they have now made is what Tim considers the natural evolution of the genre for the better. This is an inherent conflict with his statement about making an old-school adventure game. About the only thing that you can take away from that statement, taking into account all our definitions of 'classic' and 'old-school' in this sense, is that it's a 2D point & click adventure game, an interactive story. Nobody is disputing that it's a 2D game, that it's a point & click game, or that it has a story. Those things do make up an adventure game. But an old-school one? Yes, they do. But not on their own. The only aspects of Broken Age that we can match with any of our definitions of "old school adventure game" are those three things (2d, point & click, interactive story). Unfortunately, modern/accessible/whatever-you-want-to-call-it adventure games (that is, not old-school) have these same qualities. So the terms "old-school" or "classic" in this case are not appropriate for Broken Age as it has nothing different from any other adventure game that has been released lately. The puzzles don't count because they are not the same as old adventure game puzzles so you can't match the puzzles aspect of Broken Age to any definition of old-school. The term old-school is pointless if you're merely identifying it as a 2D interactive P&C story game. There's nothing old-school about that. Those things are not antiquated, people are still doing it. 'Old-school' implies a practice that has since been abandoned.

But whether Tim meant to do a "modern" or "accessible" adventure game from the get-go, we can't know for sure. I tend to think he did, but using the term "old-school" was unfair as nothing about Broken Age is old-school at all, as I've explained above.

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I think you flipped out more than anticipated over the word "more". My bad.

You took the accessibility thing to a rather weird extreme.

"Accessibility" tends to be code-word for "mass market". I don't there's any reason that they "of course" want the game to be "accessible". It was supposed to be an old-school adventure game, not an "accessible" adventure game.

I didn't fund for "accessibility".

"Accessibility" means your affordances and anti-affordances are placed in such a way to not frustrate and annoy your users. Affordances stands for example some learned or innate drive that helps guides us along the path, anti-affordance does opposite it makes us stra away from given path. Also mental and physical cost for using software are well adjusted to your audience.

I do understand your frustration because you believe that they weren't aiming for you because the puzzles weren't difficult enough. But my revisiting of Monkey Isle made me look at it in a new light. Many of its learned behavior weren't really intuitive or could have been done better. Like for example the whole sequence with the cannon struck me as ludicrous - first you learn to put on your pot before entering the cannon only for the second act to flip that up so you don't have to use a helmet before entering the cannon. That's bad usability. Imagine if you have to press red X to quit a program only for me to later make so pressing red X uninstall your program. You'd be pissed.

Anyway I hope Act 2 gets more puzzles, that they are more hilarious, like bargaining with Stan about ships was a really great example and fighting the sword-master was interesting.

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Kinda reminds me of the old JRPG vs American RPGs debate and where to draw the line.

However, shouldn't this topic have it's own post instead of keeping GIVE ME A REFUND afloat? I mean, dude got his answer, and he hasn't posted in here for a while. Good topic, just seems like a missleading place to have it.

An' I'm out.

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yeh probably should have it's own thread - and i think its been said multiple times already but I really don't believe that there was a conscious dumbing down of the game (at least not to the conspiracy theory level people are claiming). It seems clear to me (and others) that the reasons for some of the games ease are 2 fold - 1) user testing and usability, and this is something that caused much increase and decrease of difficulty to find a sweet spot (which may have not turned out to be so sweet) and 2) shipping a complete Act 1 - stuff had to be cut and simplified in order to get it finished and that meant that some of the complexity was dropped - this sux (and im sure just as much for the poor people who designed and built the cut material) but its part of the process of meeting a deadline/budget.

Anyway maybe someone should close this thread and start a new one if people really want to keep the "they wanted a game for teh masses all along!!!" vs "no its not like that at all and heres why" argument going.

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Wow, you trolled your way into the documentary by pissing Tim off. Great job.

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Man, this thread has more jerk in it than a Jamaican buffet. Amirite?

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