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iprigg

Question To the Legend (Tim Schaffer himself)

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That's an unfair comparison, because Full Throttle has extremely more creative puzzles than Broken Age and a ton more variety in approaches that constantly surprises the player; it's certainly true that they were easier compared to LucasArts standard, but at least they are not braindead and so heavily hinted like in Act I.

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His point stands. I played through Full Throttle in a single sitting and my objection as a 16 year old was that it was too easy. It was only upon replaying a decade later that I figured I was being 16 year old and just giving in to my mindset.

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We have a control update coming soon based on feedback from backers as well as our internal team.

As for DRM, we're figuring out our release plan regarding that stuff, and we'll let everyone know as soon as it's nailed down.

Re: difficulty, we'll keep it in mind for Act 2; but the reality is that no creative endeavor can possibly please everyone.

On length, well, it's not the whole game of course! This is another highly subjective matter that differs from person to person.

Chris, thanks for the answer. I am glad that you will handle difficulty further in act 2. It is a very important factor, I think, because we are talking of a game and not of an interactive movie, like latest Telltale "adventures"! Lack of challenge, is identified as a major weakness by almost all reviews (take a look just to those registered on metacritic), lowering the game's rating, which is pity. Length, is not really subjective, but I think the feeling players got was strongly influenced by the lack of puzzle, that enabled them to move really fast through the first act.

Thanks again, and I wish you the best for the official release and for the final act. We the backers, are the first that want to see this game succeed. Because, first of all we like adventures, and its success will enable lost of new high class adventures to be implemented. Hope Tim and the DF team, will be part of this resurgence in the future, with new adventures games.

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Factors like difficulty really have no particular relationship to the budget. I'm not trying to be flippant; we'd love it if everyone were equally happy with all creative choices in the game, but spending more money on the puzzles wouldn't have made them harder.

Well, Tim mentioned cutting the tram puzzle (and otherwise hacking into the design) due to budget reasons... so maybe money wouldn't make the puzzles we are left with harder, but there could be more of them, some potentially more challenging and satisfying. Have to say, personally I'm regretting the "presentation budget" wasn't hacked to fit the schedule, instead of the design, but indeed, different strokes and all that (I was just really expecting getting st®oked here!).

Glad to hear You will be taking the feedback concerning difficulty and challenge into consideration for Act II, but at the same time can't help reading Your use of "can't please everyone" as "don't get Your hopes up"...

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I think it's fairly obvious that Act II's amount of puzzles (potentially areas) factors into how successful Broken Age's Act One is. If you want a longer, complex, and ultimately more satisfying Broken Age experience, I suggest getting as many people you know to purchase Broken Age as early as possible. Act II may be way more satisfying if the budget is there, and it will be more cheap to do so since the engine and pipelines have been built and (closely) perfected. Since the sales numbers haven't been finalized into the budget yet, Chris and Tim cannot really comment on how large Act II will be.

In all honesty, I wish Broken Age is successful enough that Tim can bring back the older puzzles such as the Tram puzzle and Jessie being used as the transport to Pyramid, but that will require design elements, art assets, sounds, and ultimately programming time.

I don't see the issue with updating Act I, since the game will be updated, and in the updated notes Double Fine can include "More areas to explore in Act I" and "More puzzles in Act I" [based on your feedback!] but it is Tim's game ultimately, and I'm speaking from a pure fan perspective.

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I think it's fairly obvious that Act II's amount of puzzles (potentially areas) factors into how successful Broken Age's Act One is. If you want a longer, complex, and ultimately more satisfying Broken Age experience, I suggest getting as many people you know to purchase Broken Age as early as possible. Act II may be way more satisfying if the budget is there, and it will be more cheap to do so since the engine and pipelines have been built and (closely) perfected. Since the sales numbers haven't been finalized into the budget yet, Chris and Tim cannot really comment on how large Act II will be.

In all honesty, I wish Broken Age is successful enough that Tim can bring back the older puzzles such as the Tram puzzle and Jessie being used as the transport to Pyramid, but that will require design elements, art assets, sounds, and ultimately programming time.

I don't see the issue with updating Act I, since the game will be updated, and in the updated notes Double Fine can include "More areas to explore in Act I" and "More puzzles in Act I" [based on your feedback!] but it is Tim's game ultimately, and I'm speaking from a pure fan perspective.

But making puzzles should be infinitely faster and easier, than making backgrounds which takes so much time, and are just run through.

If there is one thing you wanna do when you make a point n click world, is to use every screen as much as possible, not just having simple puzzles where you either just visit the screen once, or just run straight through.

When you think about a game like Day of the tentacle, that entire amazing game, was set in that one house, which admittetly was alot bigger on the inside than the outside "which is awesome btw". then there was past, present and future but still, but not a lot of screens actually. but they were used so well. You absolutely 110% want backtracking in point n lick games, this isnt like FPS games or whatever,

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but spending more money on the puzzles wouldn’t have made them harder
Remove "money" add "time".

More time should have been spend on creating creative puzzles.

Not only single ones, puzzle chains which force you to think in different ways and put a and b togehter to solve c or get access to c to solve d, e and f. Those d-f again are part of a puzzle chain and so on.

There are plenty of great and different puzzles in the older games but not in BA (so far).

That is - still - very dissapointing..

Talking about the money thing once more, it still is the adventure game with the biggest budget for a long time.

Puzzle- and gameplay-wise on the same level as crowdfunded Lilly Looking Through (target was $18,000, made $33,516).

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Factors like difficulty really have no particular relationship to the budget. I'm not trying to be flippant; we'd love it if everyone were equally happy with all creative choices in the game, but spending more money on the puzzles wouldn't have made them harder. Tim's past adventure games have spanned a pretty broad spectrum of difficulty and length (my favorite Tim game is Full Throttle, for example).

Thanks for the reply. I'm starting to understand this more and more every day. I didn't realize that most of the crazy puzzles in past games weren't meant to be that way. Then again, a lot of great inventions were invented by mistake -- so keep that in mind. ;)

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I don't entirely buy that. It wasn't an accident that old adventures had many involved puzzles that included multiple steps and even multiple subsets and sidequests of puzzles. Broken Age simply doesn't employ these. On purpose. One could argue that they aren't improving in puzzle design, but at best compromising. At worst, being lazy.

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I don't entirely buy that. It wasn't an accident that old adventures had many involved puzzles that included multiple steps and even multiple subsets and sidequests of puzzles. Broken Age simply doesn't employ these. On purpose. One could argue that they aren't improving in puzzle design, but at best compromising. At worst, being lazy.

I would hardly say anything in this game is out of laziness. But I do like to believe that some of the difficult puzzles in the past weren't meant to be. And I can believe that there is this [unfortunate] compromise to make the game more accessible.

Then again, I heard Tim say in one of his recent interviews that TellTale basically just focused on story and hardly if any puzzles and he seemed either disappointed in that or didn't dig it too much. So. ah. I dunno.

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@chris: was there any discussion internally about putting in a "no hint" mode, hard mode, or anything like that once playtesting revealed (Im just guessing here?) that inexperienced players needed a lot of hand-holding? was there not time to do something like that or was it just never on the table? seems to me like just turning off the immediate hints would do something to please the veterans - and at almost no extra cost. (wouldnt it be as simple as checking a flag in the dialogue trees to add extra/alternative lines? think it was mentioned in the doc that that was how it was written and voicerecorded anyways)

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I say this every time someone brings it up, the overboard hints never bothered me because I never noticed them, having solved the puzzles too quickly. So that wouldn't have helped me.

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I say this every time someone brings it up, the overboard hints never bothered me because I never noticed them, having solved the puzzles too quickly. So that wouldn't have helped me.

ok so you want them left in basically?

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Sorry, when I say "never bothered me" I really mean "they never had a chance to bother me". I'm not saying it's not a good idea to remove them, I'm just saying it's not going to solve the problem for "the veterans". Personally, I don't think anything can be done to fix it at this point. There's much more going on at the heart of Broken Age that would require some redesigning to fix the issues I have.

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Factors like difficulty really have no particular relationship to the budget. I'm not trying to be flippant; we'd love it if everyone were equally happy with all creative choices in the game, but spending more money on the puzzles wouldn't have made them harder.

The documentary misrepresented this. I remember Tim giving an example "ok, so the most obvious solution would be to do this... so then reverse engineer that... what's a crazy or non-obvious solution to a puzzle..." and as he went through it, it sounded pretty exciting and creative!

...Except in the actual game the reality is, it's not so much that the puzzles were just too easy, it's that it didn't even feel like there were puzzles! Literally, some of them I "figured out" by accident, before even thinking about it.

RE: spending more $$ on puzzles to make them harder -> would it cost more money to implement 2 difficultly levels ala MI:2 & MI:3? Or a hint slider such as Telltale, to tone down the blatant, beat over the head hints that reveal puzzle solutions before you're even aware it's a puzzle?

Here's an example:

Splitting the cupcake. Easy difficulty = as it is now. Hard difficulty = little sister won't let you touch the red cupcakes. But granpda will ONLY eat a red cupcake. So you have to dye the cupcake red. Since it's the kitchen, there some solutions on the shelf. But not just red food dye! too easy. You've got to mix ketchup with water or something, and then combine in inventory. Then grandpa will eat the cupcake and you can split it. That's the "hard" version.

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Sorry, when I say "never bothered me" I really mean "they never had a chance to bother me". I'm not saying it's not a good idea to remove them, I'm just saying it's not going to solve the problem for "the veterans". Personally, I don't think anything can be done to fix it at this point. There's much more going on at the heart of Broken Age that would require some redesigning to fix the issues I have.

hehe yeah I got that. well thats why I thought Id bring it up. its at least easy to fix, even now - begging for a redesign of puzzles or to have more added seem pretty difficult at this stage. (its not like tim didnt have more puzzles designed, that were cut, as weve found out)

but theres some good ideas bounding around the forums how to make existing puzzles a little harder with minor tweaks. Ive posted some myself. (not as a "heres how its done" kind of thing, I just like to think about games)

but. well. thats probably not happening.

the hints are the one thing that I would say Id actually like to have changed. even with easier puzzles, the hints kind of ruin what that bit is supposed to be, even before you realize that theres something to do there. (reversing the parts to make the death ray being the famous example. theres absolutely no time to get stuck there for ANYONE, even if youve never touched a computer before.) personally I think itd be a lot better with less poking. or rather, I understand if some people need them, but Id rather they could be turned off.

anyways, thats just my opinion - what Im curious about is to what extent its been discussed among the team. weve all heard by now that its hard to please everybody...makes sense. but, a harder mode would solve that to some extent, one would think, and requires a minimum of extra assets, so I wonder what their thoughts were on it. and seeing as chris was posting on the subject maybe there was a chance to hear his or their take on it.

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Factors like difficulty really have no particular relationship to the budget. I'm not trying to be flippant; we'd love it if everyone were equally happy with all creative choices in the game, but spending more money on the puzzles wouldn't have made them harder.

The documentary misrepresented this. I remember Tim giving an example "ok, so the most obvious solution would be to do this... so then reverse engineer that... what's a crazy or non-obvious solution to a puzzle..." and as he went through it, it sounded pretty exciting and creative!

...Except in the actual game the reality is, it's not so much that the puzzles were just too easy, it's that it didn't even feel like there were puzzles! Literally, some of them I "figured out" by accident, before even thinking about it.

RE: spending more $$ on puzzles to make them harder -> would it cost more money to implement 2 difficultly levels ala MI:2 & MI:3? Or a hint slider such as Telltale, to tone down the blatant, beat over the head hints that reveal puzzle solutions before you're even aware it's a puzzle?

Here's an example:

Splitting the cupcake. Easy difficulty = as it is now. Hard difficulty = little sister won't let you touch the red cupcakes. But granpda will ONLY eat a red cupcake. So you have to dye the cupcake red. Since it's the kitchen, there some solutions on the shelf. But not just red food dye! too easy. You've got to mix ketchup with water or something, and then combine in inventory. Then grandpa will eat the cupcake and you can split it. That's the "hard" version.

That exactly how that puzzle should have been, and it fits with how i feel puzzles should be. Nice one.

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I like that. Though, most people would probably call that unnecessary, convoluted, and pointless to the story. In other words, a hindrance. Or a "puzzle for the sake of having puzzles".

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I think Broken Age could have beared a few more puzzles without the story feeling spread too thin.

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I like that. Though, most people would probably call that unnecessary, convoluted, and pointless to the story. In other words, a hindrance. Or a "puzzle for the sake of having puzzles".

AKA... "having a game for the sake of a game"? ;)

that's why I'm a big fan of the two-tier difficulty system!

TIM -> Then we can have more puzzles like the cupcake puzzle example I gave above! ^^^

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