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Broken Age impact in gaming history ... and the fading (Tim of) Legend

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Roughly, 5 days have passed since broken age beta release, which was not open to the public, just backers. Usually, a game at this stage does not obtain much publicity, in terms of review. Though, look what Broken Age has managed to achieve. There are already 17 metacritic reviews. 10 day before its official release. Almost, all of them from well established review sites, the bulk of which claims that they got access to the game, because they backed it at first level; not through review copies that are usually sent to reviewers prior to a game's official release. Now if you do a google search for "Broken age review" you will find tens of others reviews from smaller sites, blogs, etc. This is not an achievement to be overlooked. Broken age cast its shadow to the game industry, carrying an unprecedented level of expectations and hopes from its potential players. I cannot think of another game, having this level of attention from game reviewers, before it official release date; being precise even before become possible for someone to play it. It seems as all game industry was a backer and waiting for Broken age to be revealed.

In the end, it seems that there are many people, out there, who put their money on Schaffer's horse two years ago. It seems that the adventure games community, was in fact a sleeping beast, put in sopor, during the late 90s, and waiting for somebody to wake it up. It seems as fate itself choosed one of gaming industry's most beloved guys, the might Tim Schaffer (known also as Tim of Legend, in certain circles) and assigned him with this task.

So here is the important question: Did Tim succeeded in his task?

It is difficult to answer right now. The first impression, is that he only partially succeeded. But again, this feeling may come from the fact that expectations were too high, to be met from the very begining. Perhaps, when the dust settles down, feelings will change. One is sure, though, that Tim's task is not complete. He has, something more to deliver, one final ACT. He does not have, though, so much time available as he had during his initial attempt, nor it has 3.3. millions sitting in front of him. His task is much more difficult now. Expectations have significantly lowered at this time; many people seem to have lost their faith to him;It seems as if the legend has faded away! But it is the Legendary Tim after all, who will speak the last word; And it is not unlikely, that after his last word is spoken, the legend will live once more.

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I think he didn't accomplished anything relevant really.

If you look at this from the point of a classic, old-school adventure game that we were promised, Broken Age just doesn't deliver. It isn't a revival of those Lucasarts games that made Tim famous, but a game streamlined and tailored for modern audiences, a game that doesn't offer you any challenge and doesn't have any creative puzzles. Games like Deponia or Primorida are much more successful if you're after that old-school experience.

And even of you look it as a "revival" of the adventure genre as a whole, of making it relevant again for today's market, it still didn't really do much. The Walking Dead came before, and without any kickstarter money they played well their cards and found out a huge audience for "modern" adventure games, that focus more on story-telling and cut-scenes, and less on puzzles.

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he did. at least sort of :)

to me, by now he has proven that he and double fine are absolutely capable of making overall polished adventures with a great story, just like i'd imagine lucasarts deliver one these days if they did (or even could).

but so far they haven't - because of the over and over discussed puzzles. but as i see it they didn't fail making adequately hard puzzles - they just didn't try it!

let's call that an communication error...and lean back, wait for act 2 and see what they're going to do now, that they know what we want!

btw: the second act won't cost as much as building the game to it's current state, by far. the game engine and tools exist, a lot if not all of the existing assets may be reused (+some new, of course) and even the story should be done, and further artwork surely also existed before finishing the first act..etc.

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I think he didn't accomplished anything relevant really.

If you look at this from the point of a classic, old-school adventure game that we were promised, Broken Age just doesn't deliver. It isn't a revival of those Lucasarts games that made Tim famous, but a game streamlined and tailored for modern audiences, a game that doesn't offer you any challenge and doesn't have any creative puzzles. Games like Deponia or Primorida are much more successful if you're after that old-school experience.

And even of you look it as a "revival" of the adventure genre as a whole, of making it relevant again for today's market, it still didn't really do much. The Walking Dead came before, and without any kickstarter money they played well their cards and found out a huge audience for "modern" adventure games, that focus more on story-telling and cut-scenes, and less on puzzles.

As I said in my initial post, this is the current feeling. However, Tim could turn things upside down, when his performance is over. His task is overwhelming, and if he cannot do it, probably no one can achieve it. In this perspective, it may be a real strike of good luck that he went to a two acts release plan. Because, if he had delivered the whole game from the begining, that's it, his legend would have faded for ever. But, now there is a possibility that the legend will live again.

Broken Age, is not a bad adventure game, anyway, it just fell short to the expectations that were build in a period of 16 years. A lot of time indeed. Just look on the bright side and wait for the final delivery. After all, do you know many games receiving so much criticism in such a short time, and still have a hefty 82 metascore. Just, bear in mind that this 82 rating has come solely from backers, which are more or less hard core adventurers, and consequently stricter reviewers. If upon final delivery the feelings have remained the same, then you will have much more time for criticism!

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I think you guys are being unfair, although Deponia and Primordia are both good games, I actually like the Wadjet game, Resonance better than both of those and I think it is a better example of an old school adventure game, but also with some innovations that evolve the genre.

I still think Broken Age has been very fun so far, the characters and story is much more immersive than any other adventure game I've played. It seems that you guys have put Tim and his games and also what you expect of Broken Age on such a high pedestal, that it would be impossible for any game to achieve what you wanted, if there is anything tangible that you even wanted.

I was really worried about this happening, you guys are being so emotional about it, you aren't even giving it a fair chance. I mean what did you expect? It's a Point and click adventure game with Tim's writing style and humor. I don't know what else you were expecting. I was an early backer and I haven't even played through act 1 yet completely, and I feel like I've gotten much more than my money's worth. The documentary has fair exceeded my expectations and the production quality of the game has as well.

Bottom line, anyone who is complaining, had impossible expectations and probably backed the game based on hype. Because us fans, got exactly what we paid for, proof that the Adventure game genre was not dead, an awesome documentary, and the first half of an adventure game that is beyond the production quality that was promised and exactly what you would expect from Tim, great writing, engaging plot, and lovable characters. Have you ever played any of his games? How is this one a let down compared to the others?

If your emotions or nostalgia are going to play into your answer, please do not respond. If you have something logical and rational to say, please respond, because I can't even imagine what I'm missing here.

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I think you guys are being unfair, although Deponia and Primordia are both good games, I actually like the Wadjet game, Resonance better than both of those and I think it is a better example of an old school adventure game, but also with some innovations that evolve the genre.

I still think Broken Age has been very fun so far, the characters and story is much more immersive than any other adventure game I've played. It seems that you guys have put Tim and his games and also what you expect of Broken Age on such a high pedestal, that it would be impossible for any game to achieve what you wanted, if there is anything tangible that you even wanted.

I was really worried about this happening, you guys are being so emotional about it, you aren't even giving it a fair chance. I mean what did you expect? It's a Point and click adventure game with Tim's writing style and humor. I don't know what else you were expecting. I was an early backer and I haven't even played through act 1 yet completely, and I feel like I've gotten much more than my money's worth. The documentary has fair exceeded my expectations and the production quality of the game has as well.

Bottom line, anyone who is complaining, had impossible expectations and probably backed the game based on hype. Because us fans, got exactly what we paid for, proof that the Adventure game genre was not dead, an awesome documentary, and the first half of an adventure game that is beyond the production quality that was promised and exactly what you would expect from Tim, great writing, engaging plot, and lovable characters. Have you ever played any of his games? How is this one a let down compared to the others?

If your emotions or nostalgia are going to play into your answer, please do not respond. If you have something logical and rational to say, please respond, because I can't even imagine what I'm missing here.

I agree to your thoughts in the initial paragraph. From Deponia, I liked mostly its first adventures Edna & Harvey, which I think was very close to old school, including the challenging factor. Resonance, also was superb, despite, its restricted graphics. Very good gameplay, some very good puzzles and a very good story + some kind of innovation on the game controls with the memory slots. Broken age, as I said has a strong old school feeling. Despite its simplisitc interface (I really miss the look at option), it could have been the best adventure in these 16 years since Grim Fandango, if only it could bear some challenging puzzles.

In fact, the best puzzles I remember from an adventure are not from Grim, they are years back in Day of the Tentacle, and even earlier in Monkey Island 2. There were puzzles, which didn't have to do with finding, combining and using items. There were puzzles, that exploited the attitude of characters, their posture on the screen, or their movement or the movement of items, or the time. For example you had to follow the guy as soon as he was leaving the screen in MI2 to see him knocking the door on the next screen. You had to wait for a character to turn his head or turn his back to you to click on him or use an item, or pick an item, as soos as he was not looking at you. You had to make a potion to enhanch your spit, but it was not sufficient you had to wait also for the wind to speed up (indicated by the waving of the flag) and then spit. You had to perform actions in short time or on specific time, otherwise you were lossing the time slot, and had to wait for a new oppurtunity. These were innovative, unsurpassed puzzles, that I never seen in a game since then (Resonance has a light dose of such puzzles as well). And this is why I still remember them so many years afterwards. These are the type of puzzles I want to see again, along with a lot others. This is what makes the difference between a good game and an excellent one!

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Presumptuous, to say who can complain and who can't.

That Act I lacks any meaningful puzzle seems to be a consent, so that is definitely a valid complaint; or it would be, except DF knows that already. More generally though I don't think it's fair to say the adventure game genre was dead, so there was nothing BA could revive -- except possibly bringing Adventures back to the mainstream's notice. There were quite a few adventures I played and enjoyed in recent years, they just didn't get the attention BA now does.

So in that sense, BA might already have done the genre good; but for this particular service it's not really relevant whether the game is great or meh, all that matters is that people start noticing adventure games again.

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Lowered expectations? Broken Age is my favorite adventure game solely written by Tim already! Pffft.

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people have lost their faith in tim and expectations are low? thats news to me

Welcome to the backer forums, where everyone with any sort of gripe dominates the conversation, and the rest of us just sit and watch.

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The first Act exceded my expectations, and the dozens of reviews out there (not only the ones written by professional reviewers) show that I'm not the only one who will be very satisfied with Broken Age if Act 2 maintains the same quality.

If that's the case and Tim wants to kickstart another aventure game, I'll back it for sure.

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It's kind of like wanting a new album from a band you loved way back when and having issues with expectations, although I wouldn't compare Tim to Axl Rose or Broken Age to Chinese Democracy...

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I thought the game was fantastic. Tim's dialogue was some of his best yet, and the worlds were lush and imaginative. I think that's what we expect from Tim. Perhaps puzzles were lacking, but it sounds like Tim is aware how easy they were in the first act, and I imagine they will be more complex and rewarding in the second act because they have a whole first act to build off. I think the character switch will put an interesting spin on the original areas as well.

I am hoping that there will be more interaction between Shay and Vella in the second half, because I can see a lot of correlation between their struggles, and I also loved the Chrono-John mechanic in Day of the Tentacle. I want Shay to have items that Vella needs and vice versa.

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"the fading (Tim of) Legend"

Oh, brother.

Ditto.

Dear OP, generally when you're trying to ask an open discussion question, you don't title the post with the answer you're looking for. This ain't TMZ.

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The first Act exceded my expectations, and the dozens of reviews out there (not only the ones written by professional reviewers) show that I'm not the only one who will be very satisfied with Broken Age if Act 2 maintains the same quality.

If that's the case and Tim wants to kickstart another aventure game, I'll back it for sure.

I am right here with you. I think there's a group of people who are stuck in this echo chamber of disappointment, totally drowning out the really excellent aspects of the rest of the game. I will grant that there may be some legitimate criticism of the difficulty of some of the puzzles, but these criticisms need to be tempered in the context of: this being the first half of an adventure game (a genre which traditionally ramps up in difficulty, people's nostalgia for the old games, the possibility that maybe many of those puzzles weren't necessarily "difficult" as they were unfair and illogical, and we got an extremely well polished game with excellent voice acting, artistic direction, and music.

In the end, I'm really satisfied and genuinely excited for the next chapter and I hope Tim and Co. can penetrate this echo chamber of weeping nostalgia and see that many people are really happy about what we got.

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Perhaps, when the dust settles down, feelings will change. One is sure, though, that Tim's task is not complete. He has, something more to deliver, one final ACT. He does not have, though, so much time available as he had during his initial attempt, nor it has 3.3. millions sitting in front of him. His task is much more difficult now. Expectations have significantly lowered at this time; many people seem to have lost their faith to him;It seems as if the legend has faded away! But it is the Legendary Tim after all, who will speak the last word; And it is not unlikely, that after his last word is spoken, the legend will live once more.

I like the uptick of positivity at the end of that, but I think this is misrepresenting things quite a bit. The game was split in half, yes, but it was split in half pretty far into the production of the project. It is clear from how act 1 ends that much of the story occuring in Act2 will be in the same areas, and we know that some elements from act 2 were moved to act 1 to make more sense - and the other way around as well. They don't have as much time between now and act 2 to make it as they had for act 1 - but much of that time spent on act 1 was also partly spent on act 2. A lot of the money already went into act2 as well.

Anything could happen at this point of course, but it's a lot different from a game that was designed to be episodic from the get go.

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... really? If anything, there's an echo chamber of people assuring each other how great the game is, and allowing no criticism. Granted, that's pretty par for the course as far as forums go, but let's not pretend anyone can go even five minutes without having the greatness pointed out. It's kinda hard to drown out anything in the light of that.

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This feels like a drama queen thread, considering we haven't gotten the complete game yet. Heck, Act 1 hasn't even had it's public release.

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... really? If anything, there's an echo chamber of people assuring each other how great the game is, and allowing no criticism. Granted, that's pretty par for the course as far as forums go, but let's not pretend anyone can go even five minutes without having the greatness pointed out. It's kinda hard to drown out anything in the light of that.

So true. I tried in another post to mention some of the weakness in story and game design. And that happened, lots of people throw veiled insults at me. The manufacturing of a consensus by trying to silence all opposition...

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I think Primordia and Deponia are pretty bad adventures.

From the newer ones, Resonance, Gemini Rue and the Blackwell series are way better IMO.

I liked Broken Age (it is so pretty and so polished in terms of visuals and sound). But it was too easy, with too few hotspots and few really clever puzzles. I really thought this would be a new Monkey Island II, Day of the Tentacle, Grim Fandango or even Full Throttle (it's really my fault being disappointed after such high expectations). Insanely high expectations aside, maybe the key issue here is the game being broken in two. After 3 hours of play and I finished it and I thought "hmmm, was this worth the wait?"

So, yeah, Broken Age is nice and wouldn't happen without Kickstarter, so I am happy I backed it. But (until now) it failed to be the new landmark of adventure games. (Yeah, expectations again...) It is just a AAA adventure game, quite enjoyable, but not that game that would make you play again, after 10 years, just to get a kick out of it again.

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You are surrounded by whatever echo chamber you either identify with or are annoyed by :)

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I'm curious as to what people dislike about Deponia. I'm playing through the first one now and I'm having a great time with it. (though, I've noticed a lot of dialogue/voice related bugs!)

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I just think what it honestly comes down to, is that as great as Tim is, they were a big or well at least a unique team at lucas art, they all contributed some aspect to why those games was so amazing.

We are in 2014, i already played Day of the tentacle, Sam & max, and gonna play grim fandango soon. even the dig, i mean i play these games every year, it just never fails. I will enjoy and love these games to the day i die.

Im just sad that nobody can capture the spirit of those games. the humor, that absurd wackiness., the engaging fun deep gameplay. the story, the wacky characters and design of them, the utterly absurd and hilarious sound effects. a simple thing as how characters and buildings were not just straight and boring in Day of the tentacle really adds to the charm.

Even Telltale is guilty of streamlining and dumbing down point n click. its like everyone and their mother wants to take fun, hard and engaging puzzles out of point n click games. I just hate it. i really do. I want complex puzzles, and stupid odd crazy solutions to even more silly problems.

How do you get a hamster or gerbil to the future?. You obviously wash a shirt so it shrinks to fit it, then put it on and put the animals in the freezer and wait 200 years. then you thaw it up, and you can bet it will be freaking pissed off.

And all us old school gamers, know that to save the world, you have to do what? as Benard said ? Push a few ______________ down the stairs.

I dont care what everyone says about nostalgia, for me its not rose tainted glasses. i play and will play these games until the end of my time. I will never get bored of them. Never.

I would honestly pay for adventure games still using the pixel art style of those game, to be its pretty. It doesnt have to be fancy at all.

Wadjet eye game publishes some amazing old + new school, they have combined both to the best degree, though not surpassed lucas arts games. I wish more would learn from those people that are making those games. Geminue rue oh dear god, that game is so amazing, plot twists and intrigue. Not a funny game, but serious and dark ,that works well too.

Then they have that series, which name always escapes me of quite a few games, thats highly popular, where you play joey the ghost.

But again as ive said before, i dont hold any hard feelings at all against doublefine, im i sad and disappointed ? yeah i am, but again i fully knew the risk when i backed, Thats all part of the game, you win and you lose some. Im enjoying Spacebase DF9 man that game has potential.

But again, maybe the real problem is just money vs team size ratio, i can clearly understand that they obviously want to keep as many people at double fine as possible and not having to fire or let anyone go.

I just think that maybe a small team 2 years might have served an old school game better, from what i remember tim talking about in some of the videos, older games from lucas arts, was about iterations again and again, and even he himself being able to go in and change stuff.

I hope they will try at some point in the future, do a small point n click old school, like the spacebase project. keep it small, keep it old school, small team. i think indie games has huge potential when you get them right, to earn good money vs money spend on making them. Sure it might not sell 1 million or 500.000 copies, but thats okay, when you look at the money spent making it.

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I'm curious as to what people dislike about Deponia. I'm playing through the first one now and I'm having a great time with it. (though, I've noticed a lot of dialogue/voice related bugs!)

Deponia 1 is great! What do I dislike, well, I have a dislike for the music of the town in the first chapter. The game is also lacking somewhat in atmosphere. It can't compete with the production values of Broken Age, of course, but I don't hold it against it. I solved it without a walkthrough, though I skipped one of the skippable puzzles and solved another rather by trial & error than by understanding. My second favorite game by Daedalic, just after Edna & Harvey: The Breakout. Its gameplay was satisfying in a way Broken Age's wasn't, since its puzzles were much more of a challenge, but not only that, they were fun and in the end surmountable without assistance. Still, I prefer Broken Age. Deponia 2 is just painfully unfunny. It tries too hard to be wacky. I didn't laugh much. Then it throws you into the deep end almost immediately, and just as fast I lost interest.

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