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Greg Rice

Episode 15: Evergreen Games

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Thank you for posting numbers. Nobody ever really transparently talks about revenue and such, and you did, several times in the episode, and, apparently, nobody died.

That being said: I am disappointed by the number, and can only hope it lives up to its potential when Act 2 is released, and becomes an "evergreen game".

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Great episode. I too found it very courageous of DF to just post their numbers.

Does anyone know where that background of Justin Bailey is taken from? Is that from a game?

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By the way, could the forum have a <> for spoiler content? Some fora have something where text is hidden as a spoiler until clicked on. Especially in this thread I feel very censored without it.

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By the way, could the forum have a <> for spoiler content? Some fora have something where text is hidden as a spoiler until clicked on. Especially in this thread I feel very censored without it.
We have that here, but you have to enter it manually. Just put the word spoiler in brackets and then brackets with a backslash in front of the word after you type what you want.

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Great episode, love the honesty as always. We've waited a long time for this one and it was worth it.

My feeling on the sales numbers shown at the end of the credits is that they are very good. Considering that 90,000 prospective customers were already out of the picture, picking up 70k unit sales on Act 1 is pretty great. Act 2 will generate a load more buzz and no doubt another spike in sales. If Broken Age by the end of Act 2 makes 100k units, that's gotta be considered a huge success, and trickle sales over the next few years will only add to that.

It may not have been the huge bounty required to fund a fully independent DF, but it certainly shows there is a market out there beyond the hardcore audience.

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Yesssss, I love it when you guys show the art jams. Pure visual creative vomit-gold that just makes me so happy. Even if I can't see any of what was drawn, I'm pumped just knowing its there

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I was waiting for an update so bad! Thanks for the fix.

The documentary is amazing and insightful to watch.

And the great is game! (Or the other way around). Can't wait to play Act2.

Best of luck to the whole team, it must be long hours for you guys, but it's worth it. You make us happy.

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Great video, as usual.

It sounds like the sales of Part 1 haven't been enough to bring the overall development of the game out of the red. Hopefully release on other platforms will boost those numbers up a lot, considering the design of the game was so tablet-oriented.

Was nobody else bothered by Tim's dismissal of "the hardcore guys"? Like, the puzzle difficulty "was good for everybody but the hardcore guys"... Sorry -- didn't we, you know, back your game? Aren't "hardcore" traditional adventure game fans the only reason you were able to make the game in the first place?

Bizarre that the video producer had to prod Tim multiple times with the idea that even in general, "people wanted harder puzzles." As usual, hats off to 2PP for keeping it real.

Lastly, Lee Petty apparently thinks people like 4 hotspots per screen, 2-object inventories, and 1-click Auto-Interaction. Maybe he's right. This group is shooting for some mysterious new casual adventure crowd, but you'd think they'd break 100k sales if they did it right.

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Great video, as usual.

It sounds like the sales of Part 1 haven't been enough to bring the overall development of the game out of the red. Hopefully release on other platforms will boost those numbers up a lot, considering the design of the game was so tablet-oriented.

Was nobody else bothered by Tim's dismissal of "the hardcore guys"? Like, the puzzle difficulty "was good for everybody but the hardcore guys"... Sorry -- didn't we, you know, back your game? Aren't "hardcore" traditional adventure game fans the only reason you were able to make the game in the first place?

Bizarre that the video producer had to prod Tim multiple times with the idea that even in general, "people wanted harder puzzles." As usual, hats off to 2PP for keeping it real.

Lastly, Lee Petty apparently thinks people like 4 hotspots per screen, 2-object inventories, and 1-click Auto-Interaction. Maybe he's right. This group is shooting for some mysterious new casual adventure crowd, but you'd think they'd break 100k sales if they did it right.

Did we watch the same video? Tim straight up said that he thought the puzzles were too easy and was going to work on it for Act 2.

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So, my numbers were actually over-estimating the figures. Also, it looks like Steam takes about 9-10%, at least. 70,947 units times $24.99 is ~$1,772,965.53, the episode lists the total gross as $1,674,082. That means Steam and/or other fees have eaten ~$98,883.53 from the gross. I would imagine that Broken Age, at the moment, was a net loss for the company, in terms of capital, but a net gain in terms of revenue. Although, they will need to do more traditional games to stay a float.

Wasn't the game on sale for a short time, too? I think it was also discounted on GOG.com when it first got on there, but I don't know/remember if that fits in the time frame. And on Steam, pricing for other regions can be wildly different (although at least the EU price seems to amount to almost the same in this case if you substract tax).

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Re: sales

Bear in mind that a lot of people are probably also waiting to buy it until both acts have been released. That sucks a little because that money would be a huge help with funding Act 2. But it's also good news for the game's sales generally. I'm sure when Act 2 hits there will be a sales spike of some description when all those people come around.

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It's been said a million times over, but with every episode it bears repeating; this documentary is worth the admission price alone. I wonder if we'll get this sort of inside scoop into a dev team ever again (I get the feeling Tim will be very glad when it's all over ;P).

Was nobody else bothered by Tim's dismissal of "the hardcore guys"? Like, the puzzle difficulty "was good for everybody but the hardcore guys"... Sorry -- didn't we, you know, back your game? Aren't "hardcore" traditional adventure game fans the only reason you were able to make the game in the first place?

Bizarre that the video producer had to prod Tim multiple times with the idea that even in general, "people wanted harder puzzles." As usual, hats off to 2PP for keeping it real.

Did we watch the same video? Tim straight up said that he thought the puzzles were too easy and was going to work on it for Act 2.

At 18:22 he also straight up says"And a lot of people I think will actually appreciate the difficulty level in the game, once we get out of the most hardcore part of the audience."

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Does anybody else sometimes see the phrase "fan art" and read it as "fart?" My brain does that all the time. Embarrassing. Well, I guess it wasn't embarrassing until I said it out loud.

..I read it as "f'nart". And then I say: "Neat! Complimentary tribute drawings made by fans!".

What does it mean anyway? Is art by fans a completely different category of art? "Art you have to like, because it's impolite not to"? Then again, most art-pieces are like that..

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It's been said a million times over, but with every episode it bears repeating; this documentary is worth the admission price alone. I wonder if we'll get this sort of inside scoop into a dev team ever again (I have a feeling Tim will be very glad when it's all over ;P).

Was nobody else bothered by Tim's dismissal of "the hardcore guys"? Like, the puzzle difficulty "was good for everybody but the hardcore guys"... Sorry -- didn't we, you know, back your game? Aren't "hardcore" traditional adventure game fans the only reason you were able to make the game in the first place?

Bizarre that the video producer had to prod Tim multiple times with the idea that even in general, "people wanted harder puzzles." As usual, hats off to 2PP for keeping it real.

Did we watch the same video? Tim straight up said that he thought the puzzles were too easy and was going to work on it for Act 2.

At 18:22 he also straight up says"And a lot of people I think will actually appreciate the difficulty level in the game, once we get out of the most hardcore part of the audience."

Which was clearly a joke he made to blow off a bit of steam after having something he worked hard on was getting criticized like crazy by people on these forums.

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Was nobody else bothered by Tim's dismissal of "the hardcore guys"? Like, the puzzle difficulty "was good for everybody but the hardcore guys"... Sorry -- didn't we, you know, back your game? Aren't "hardcore" traditional adventure game fans the only reason you were able to make the game in the first place?

Bizarre that the video producer had to prod Tim multiple times with the idea that even in general, "people wanted harder puzzles." As usual, hats off to 2PP for keeping it real.

Did we watch the same video? Tim straight up said that he thought the puzzles were too easy and was going to work on it for Act 2.

At 18:22 he also straight up says"And a lot of people I think will actually appreciate the difficulty level in the game, once we get out of the most hardcore part of the audience."

Which was clearly a joke he made to blow off a bit of steam after having something he worked hard on was getting criticized like crazy by people on these forums.

I really don't think that's the case; You can tell when Tim's just being goofy, this came of serious - and he's right, I mean are You disagreeing with that statement? Many people even on this forums argued for the lower difficulty, because it lends to a smoother experience, adding to the "uninterrupted flow" of the game.

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Did we watch the same video? Tim straight up said that he thought the puzzles were too easy and was going to work on it for Act 2.

At 18:22 he also straight up says"And a lot of people I think will actually appreciate the difficulty level in the game, once we get out of the most hardcore part of the audience."

Which was clearly a joke he made to blow off a bit of steam after having something he worked hard on was getting criticized like crazy by people on these forums.

I really don't think that's the case; You can tell when Tim's just being goofy, this came off serious - and he's right, I mean are You disagreeing with that statement? Many people even on this forums argued for the lower difficulty, because it lends to a smoother experience, adding to the "uninterrupted flow" of the game.

I'm arguing that saying he's ignoring you when he specifically said he wanted to add more complex puzzles, which is exactly what you want, is ridiculous.

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Thanks for the episode!! That's been a great watch! (or the second biggest :P)

Anyway... Just don't take us (backers) and the general game media so serious... I mean, the game is a great experience, beautiful and lovely. Period. And yep, I loved the animation work on it... normally you don't see this commented but it impressed me.

So good work, and go for Act 2... :)

PS. Those fanarts were awesome!!

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TIM: "And a lot of people, I think, will actually appreciate the difficulty level in the game, once we get out of the most hardcore part of the audience. They'll like that it flows more as opposed to hitting a series of really really hard stops... for most people."

2PP: "It does seem like people are hoping that the second act gets harder."

TIM: "I mean, you can tell I already anticipated that. When we were playtesting the first part, I said, 'I think this is a little easy, but I think rather than just throwing a monkey wrench (Monkey Island joke) in there, uh... really focusing on Act 2 and making Act 2 a little more... um... instead of things being one step, having them be a little more complex.' So, way ahead of 'em... way ahead of 'em."

He starts out by saying that outside of the "most hardcore" people, everyone else will come to appreciate the simple puzzles because they'd rather watch his cartoon than play a game.

Then 2PP pushes the issue, and Tim concedes that apparently he DOES actually feel like the difficulty level is too low -- even for Act 1. Why he spent his first attempt at the question trying to say the difficulty level was just right is beyond me.

More importantly, he's engaged in an effort to try to paint "the most hardcore" as some kind of radical fringe, rather than the people who backed the game in the first place.

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More importantly, he's engaged in an effort to try to paint "the most hardcore" as some kind of radical fringe, rather than the people who backed the game in the first place.

SOME of the people who backed the game in the first place. I've played most point-n-clicks under the sun and I never expected Monkey-like levels of difficulty, or more absurdly, a verb interface.

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SOME of the people who backed the game in the first place. I've played most point-n-clicks under the sun and I never expected Monkey-like levels of difficulty, or more absurdly, a verb interface.

The verb thing is a different issue -- you're crossing streams.

On difficulty, virtually every review says the game is too easy. The problem is why Tim needed to be reminded of that after saying the difficulty was just right.

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The verb thing is a different issue -- you're crossing streams.

Just reinforcing my irritation about some posters, like you, thinking that they speak for all of us backers.

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Loved the ep great work guys! - but i've just realised that i misread the info and didn't realise the doco soundtrack was in my humble page and consequently bought it separately on bandcamp, soooooo... if anyone still having trouble (legitimately) with their downloads I have a spare copy i could send someone :)

RE the episode, I couldn't help but feel that the concept art section flirted with spoiler territory. Not a massive deal and i'm thinking it will be really hard to have future episodes completely spoiler free now that we know half the story (much easier to connect dots now with any new tid bits). Also it was said outright that the ship you use to take down mog chothra at the end is an old version of mog chothra - i could be wrong but i don't remember this being revealed or confirmed until now (although people had guessed at it).

Anyway can't wait for Act 2!

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1:47 - If not who, why? It's one thing to see a whiteboard or piece of concept art blurred out, but an individual? Curiosity piqued!

I was wondering the same. Another special guest?

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those were the results for the the first couple of hours. a week later they were at 800k ;). decent but not enough to stop pitching games to publishers.df is a biiig studio

No. I mean on March 29th, as stated at the end of the episode, their sales were 70k-ish units sold and over 1.1million in profits. That's good, for sure, but you have to consider the capital they sunk into the game (probably at least as much as the backers put into it, so two to three million of their own capital), then Broken Age hasn't yet made up its costs. It doesn't have to, yet, because it is a game that will sell for awhile and will get a boost when part 2 is finished. Double Fine isn't hurting, but it has a ways to go to get a return on their investment. Also, doing the math, it seems like I made a mistake. I misremembered the number (thought it was 74-ishk as of March 29th) and the price (I was thinking 29.99 instead of 24.99).

So, my numbers were actually over-estimating the figures. Also, it looks like Steam takes about 9-10%, at least. 70,947 units times $24.99 is ~$1,772,965.53, the episode lists the total gross as $1,674,082. That means Steam and/or other fees have eaten ~$98,883.53 from the gross. I would imagine that Broken Age, at the moment, was a net loss for the company, in terms of capital, but a net gain in terms of revenue. Although, they will need to do more traditional games to stay a float.

Well, you do have to remember that use backers threw 3.3 million at them.

I remember in an older episode they talked about how worried they where that all the people who care about advaenture games already backed the project.

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Since I personally slacker-backed for a mere 15$ I feel I've gotten more than my money's worth so far, but the moderate sales numbers are disappointing. And I think having the most press coverage at a time when only pre-orders were available plays a significant part in that. Especially as anyone could just pirate the game when they heard about it instead of waiting two weeks for it to become available. I also think quite a few of the potential customers picked up the game for cheap with the kickstarter.

So, how much money was "lost" from backers "buying" the game for 15$ instead of the final selling price of 25$ ? And what could doublefine offer backers instead of the early (beta) release, considering the troubles it caused with press coverage etc. ?

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One thing that we could have done differently with the beta review embargo is treat the backer beta period like any other company handles their betas. Specifically, make everyone who wants the beta sign an NDA. Or click on a box that says you accept these NDA terms. That's what I had to do to be in the beta for Battle Block Theater. That's what you have to do for almost any beta.

I'm not sure that would really make people happy, though. It would just make clearer the responsibility that comes along with exclusive, early access.

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One thing that we could have done differently with the beta review embargo is treat the backer beta period like any other company handles their betas. Specifically, make everyone who wants the beta sign an NDA. Or click on a box that says you accept these NDA terms. That's what I had to do to be in the beta for Battle Block Theater. That's what you have to do for almost any beta.

I'm not sure that would really make people happy, though. It would just make clearer the responsibility that comes along with exclusive, early access.

Yeah, people seems to respect contractual obligations more than professional courtesy, which is really kinda sad.

Perhaps the lack of an NDA gave them the impression that it wasn't a beta necessarily, but a backer-only launch pre-release? Eh, who knows.

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1:47 - If not who, why? It's one thing to see a whiteboard or piece of concept art blurred out, but an individual? Curiosity piqued!

I was wondering the same. Another special guest?

+1

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