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Greg Rice

Episode 15: Evergreen Games

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Great, great episode! I really appreciate the honesty and raw reactions you guys are showing in this documentary series. Even when I disagree, I see the human side behind these decisions and have a better comprehension of the whole process. I've definitely gained more empathy not just for game makers but creators of all media. Thanks for the excellent work and I look forward to more!

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2.) Tim doesn't understand publicity and he underestimates people's attention span. Having reviews go up 2 weeks before something is out is not going to hurt sales.

Ever heard of a little something called front page news?

In two weeks, the reviews would be buried under a host of other articles and people are a lot less likely to see it.

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Hi DF pr,

nice episode again :) keep up the doc stuff!

i would say, for EP2 give beta keys to us backers and launch the games and reviews to the public at the same time.

i rather have the game at the same time as non backers, and you guys earn some money on this then that it hurts you're sales.

i was also one to have some minor critique on the difficulty of the first act, almost feel guilty now ...

but just keep up the good work, one of the difficulties of being a backer is, that you play the game full of assumptions and expectations, that will never be realistic, so don't mind us and just make the best game possible, we will all be happy in the end.

greetz,

MB

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Great episode. I am impressed by the honesty in regards with the sales figures. I thought for sure they wouldn't go far into that. Seeing Tim at Red's made me kind of sad, taking that shot like he needed it. I hope it was more editing than anything else. I'll still buy anything he makes.

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Great episode. I am impressed by the honesty in regards with the sales figures. I thought for sure they wouldn't go far into that. Seeing Tim at Red's made me kind of sad, taking that shot like he needed it. I hope it was more editing than anything else. I'll still buy anything he makes.

It was just his "Here's act one going down...onto act two" shot. ;-) :-)

Smiles

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Anyone else having trouble accessing the video at the moment. It doesn't seem to be working for me on either player :(

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so you thought you better mention it to spoil everybody who could have missed it?

They spend several minutes discussing it in detail. How could you miss it? Were you drunk when you watched the documentary? Did you doze off halfway through?

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so you thought you better mention it to spoil everybody who could have missed it?

They spend several minutes discussing it in detail. How could you miss it? Were you drunk when you watched the documentary? Did you doze off halfway through?

Maybe...

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"I can't do that"

"I don't know what that means"

"What?"

"No"

"You want me to do what?"

"That won't work"

"Why"

"How"

"How does that work"

For what it's worth, the important thing is that you have the agency and options to try that stuff. In Broken Age, they seem to have adopted the philosophy that minimizing the amount of stuff the player can do but giving each and every action a custom-written response is a brilliant design philosophy.

Just so you know, Tim Schafer, I didn't bother trying everything on everything else just to hear your brilliant custom-written line. Indeed, I'm pretty sure I missed most of them because your game had so little to interact with and so many obvious puzzles, I'd literally have to go out of my way to make a mistake in the first place.

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Just so you Double Fine guys know, this update is not linked to from the first page of the table of contents.

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Thank you for this ep!!!!!

I almost cried twice! Once at the user video at the end.

Great work on this doc guys! I really appreciate it and it's inspiring to see you guys sticking with it, keeping the quality up, and doing all this extra stuff like amnesia and the midnight city promo (and the mighty no 9 stuff!!)

Fan,

Luke

(Oh, and Double Fine's pretty cool too!)

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I was desappointed by the puzzles in "broken age", too. I found them obvious, and not very elaborated.

Have you play at the Deponia games (a trilogy) ? I found the puzzles great in those games. No too hard, no too easy, with the right amount of clues, of interractions, well-balanced, and rewarding when you find the solution... For me, that's the true successor of Old School adventure games. Modern and classic, in the same time.

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DF are still trying to deny the fact and retcon it out of existance that backers backed an OLD SCHOOL POINT AND CLICK ADVENTURE GAME. Not a modern one. Not one "as if they have continued to make adventure games since GF".

You can't speak for everyone on the topic of why they decided to be backers. You can only speak for yourself. I backed to give Tim and Double Fine creative freedom, to make the game he and they want to make, free from the restrictions of publisher demands.

What would have been the point of all that if he was going to succumb to the individual self-serving demands of 90,000 backers? That would have been worse than working with a publisher!

I mean seriously, we've been hanging out here for two years and there's still people who have learned practically nothing from all this.

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I don't get how its not an old school adventure game. Because it doesn't have useless verbs? Even then, lots of games didnt have complicated verb trees.

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DF are still trying to deny the fact and retcon it out of existance that backers backed an OLD SCHOOL POINT AND CLICK ADVENTURE GAME. Not a modern one. Not one "as if they have continued to make adventure games since GF".

You can't speak for everyone on the topic of why they decided to be backers. You can only speak for yourself. I backed to give Tim and Double Fine creative freedom, to make the game he and they want to make, free from the restrictions of publisher demands.

What would have been the point of all that if he was going to succumb to the individual self-serving demands of 90,000 backers? That would have been worse than working with a publisher!

I mean seriously, we've been hanging out here for two years and there's still people who have learned practically nothing from all this.

AMEN !!!

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DF are still trying to deny the fact and retcon it out of existance that backers backed an OLD SCHOOL POINT AND CLICK ADVENTURE GAME. Not a modern one. Not one "as if they have continued to make adventure games since GF".

You can't speak for everyone on the topic of why they decided to be backers. You can only speak for yourself. I backed to give Tim and Double Fine creative freedom, to make the game he and they want to make, free from the restrictions of publisher demands.

What would have been the point of all that if he was going to succumb to the individual self-serving demands of 90,000 backers? That would have been worse than working with a publisher!

I mean seriously, we've been hanging out here for two years and there's still people who have learned practically nothing from all this.

Sorry but his point is absolutely valid, since the original pitch was for an old-school adventure game. Frankly, I think you're being dismissive.

What we got from Double Fine was what a publisher would have done with adventure games - the talk in this episode of new audiences discovering adventure games, and "moving past those few hardcore gamers" for the puzzle design, is simply not what the pitch was. It's a pretty cynical thing to see Tim to downplay "hardcore gamers" since they're the ones who made this possible in the first place.

Nonetheless, I personally actually enjoyed the end result. But I have to be fair - it's wrong to dismiss people who've feel they've been bait-and-switched. The case can certainly be argued and it's wrong to shut that discussion down.

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Sorry but his point is absolutely valid, since the original pitch was for an old-school adventure game. Frankly, I think you're being dismissive.

What we got from Double Fine was what a publisher would have done with adventure games - the talk in this episode of new audiences discovering adventure games, and "moving past those few hardcore gamers" for the puzzle design, is simply not what the pitch was. It's a pretty cynical thing to see Tim to downplay "hardcore gamers" since they're the ones who made this possible in the first place.

Nonetheless, I personally actually enjoyed the end result. But I have to be fair - it's wrong to dismiss people who've feel they've been bait-and-switched. The case can certainly be argued and it's wrong to shut that discussion down.

It can indeed be argued, but this is the a good example of managing one's own expectations. Unlike many other game kickstarters, this game had no pre-alpha footage or anything to give you a sense of what it was like -- so everyone had their own expectations. Tim even mentioned something like this episode 1 or 2 or 3... I can't remember -- that once he announced the game being about a boy and girl, and not a gerbil and giraffe (I can't remember his quote exactly), it was going to become less nebulous and begin to not fulfill people's expectations. We backed Tim's decision making, and not just an idea -- they have to go hand in hand.

Taking all that into mind, then life becomes about how you manage your own expectations and happiness. And to that, I say fun pills and sleds for everyone, frankly. ;-)

Smiles

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It can indeed be argued, but this is the a good example of managing one's own expectations. Unlike many other game kickstarters, this game had no pre-alpha footage or anything to give you a sense of what it was like -- so everyone had their own expectations. Tim even mentioned something like this episode 1 or 2 or 3... I can't remember -- that once he announced the game being about a boy and girl, and not a gerbil and giraffe (I can't remember his quote exactly), it was going to become less nebulous and begin to not fulfill people's expectations. We backed Tim's decision making, and not just an idea -- they have to go hand in hand.

Taking all that into mind, then life becomes about how you manage your own expectations and happiness. And to that, I say fun pills and sleds for everyone, frankly. ;-)

Smiles

That's all well and good, and while I am quite satisfied with what I got from my backing of this project, I'm just disappointed with all the attitude towards the people who didn't like it, especially since the brief was pretty objectively missed. I have to say that this video shows a publisher-esque attitude from some people at Double Fine, with statements that downplay/dismiss disappointed people and their very legit feedback instead of addressing them with good faith. The project itself, while clearly inspired, still has had compromises - which is fine - but baring teeth against people who call you out on it is not cool.

There's too much defensiveness, revisionism and denial around here and my level of trust towards DF has dropped as a result of it. On the fan side of things, the whole "I liked it so screw you for not liking it" is ridiculous and people who do this should be ashamed.

Sorry, DF, but in some ways you guys are acting pretty close to those publishers that you don't really like, what with all this embargo stuff and all the defensiveness.

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That's all well and good, and while I am quite satisfied with what I got from my backing of this project, I'm just disappointed with all the attitude towards the people who didn't like it, especially since the brief was pretty objectively missed.

The problem is that "the brief" wasn't really that clear, so actually you could only say that it was subjectively missed. You read it as an "old school adventure", while my attention was drawn particularly to the phrase that they would make a "downloadable "Point-and-Click" graphic adventure game for the modern age" (which is a direct quote from the kickstarter page). I'm not saying that you're wrong, but the pitch does leave a lot of room for interpretation.

Regarding the response in the documentary to the criticisms raised by some of us backers, I do agree with you to some extent, but we also shouldn't forget that all the footage shown was from right after the release of the game. I can fully understand that you don't want to dwell on the negatives too much after a long crunch, having put your heart and soul into a project. As I'm currently trying to finish a big 4 year project myself, I can really sympathize with the idea that you're not immediately open to harsh criticism (not everything here on these forums was constructive), amplified by one guy asking for a refund after having played the game.

As Tim had already said before the release that Act II would be more difficult, I was also wondering what specific audience he was referring to as being hardcore. I personally, for instance, would love Broken Age to be more difficult, but will probably be satisfied with the increased complexity of the second act. There will probably be backers, however, who don't want to hear anything about streamlining and want the exact same difficulty level as e.g. Monkey Island. That would probably be the hardcore audience that is hard to please and that read something different in the kickstarter pitch than what was really there.

Taking all that into mind, then life becomes about how you manage your own expectations and happiness. And to that, I say fun pills and sleds for everyone, frankly. ;-)

If there's anything that I learned from this project (and from Mr. Muir's interview for Massive Chalice), it's the fact that in general fun pills and sleds are the right way to go! ;-)

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DF are still trying to deny the fact and retcon it out of existance that backers backed an OLD SCHOOL POINT AND CLICK ADVENTURE GAME. Not a modern one. Not one "as if they have continued to make adventure games since GF".

You can't speak for everyone on the topic of why they decided to be backers. You can only speak for yourself. I backed to give Tim and Double Fine creative freedom, to make the game he and they want to make, free from the restrictions of publisher demands.

What would have been the point of all that if he was going to succumb to the individual self-serving demands of 90,000 backers? That would have been worse than working with a publisher!

I mean seriously, we've been hanging out here for two years and there's still people who have learned practically nothing from all this.

Sorry but his point is absolutely valid, since the original pitch was for an old-school adventure game. Frankly, I think you're being dismissive.

What we got from Double Fine was what a publisher would have done with adventure games - the talk in this episode of new audiences discovering adventure games, and "moving past those few hardcore gamers" for the puzzle design, is simply not what the pitch was. It's a pretty cynical thing to see Tim to downplay "hardcore gamers" since they're the ones who made this possible in the first place.

Nonetheless, I personally actually enjoyed the end result. But I have to be fair - it's wrong to dismiss people who've feel they've been bait-and-switched. The case can certainly be argued and it's wrong to shut that discussion down.

I agree with this, Tim Schafer clearly said an old school adventure in the original pitch.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/doublefine/double-fine-adventure

I too was happy enough with the end result, but even I can admit what we got, it definitely wasn't what was pitched, so I totally get why some people are upset. I think part of the problem is the high production values and large number of people working on the game, meant the game simply had to be aimed more to the wider "casual" gamer market, who (it seems) just wan't to be hand held through it all. The irony, is I think the price point chosen is far too much for that casual market to sustain.

In some ways I wish DF had instead did hand drawn Day of the Tentacle level of graphics and controls and threw the rest of the money on Tim and writers and make a deep, rich, imagined world, full of oodles of wonderful dialogue, locations and puzzles. It is this that I feel people actually mean when they say "old School Adventure"...

I feel, as stunningly beautiful as the animation and top voice acting was in the game, as to generate all that gorgeous animation and top quality voice acting meant the game had to be streamlined and puzzles limited, because these elements were so costly. (I also really miss being able to examine everything). I personally would love after Act two if Tim would consider such an "old school" game, where he uses in house staff to do the voices and less inhouse artists to do functional "Lucas Art level" hand drawn art..so the game can be all about the story, writing, interactivity and puzzles... After all that is the heartbeating core of what all great adventure games should be about.

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It was also said that it wouldn't be a nostalgia piece.

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Continuing in the vein of later Lucas-Arts adventures (like Grim Fandango) seems pretty old school to me? Grim Fandango was made 15 years ago ...

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Grim Fandango is not considered old school? Is this was we're saying? Well, I consider it old school as it's... a 1998 release. heh.

At this point, it's just semantics. Why are you upset over something that is not clearly defined and obviously means completely different things to different people?

Also: Tim did say in his pitch video that it could be a major upset - and you'll be around for it all. So. There was a warning.

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I'm super late to this party, but just wanted to say what an awesome episode this was! And bravo to those initial sales figures! Up to this time, I had no idea how well Broken Age has been selling. I knew it was at least decent, since Act 2 is on its way. Just didn't realize how good it was received! (I purposefully avoided reading any reviews about it when it was first released to us backers).

I myself loved Broken Age Act 1. Yes, I thought the puzzles were simple, but I knew it was just Act 1, and that the second half is supposed to be tougher. It'd be sort of like judging how challenging a game is by the tutorial alone. Whereas Act 1 has no tutorial- it has to do all the set up story wise for introducing the characters, their backgrounds, game mechanics, and lead up to a climax. The second half won't need to do this; it can just jump right into the exciting stuff. Good books and movies follow a similar pattern.

In regards to what's considered an old school, point-and-click adventure game- I think that's really getting lost into semantics and subjective terminology. If the world only accepted the most original "adventure games" as being pure then there wouldn't BE any graphic adventure games. Only text adventures. And if no one decided to improve upon graphics or game story telling- then we'd all be stuck with King's Quest 1 with it's minimal text parser. If no one challenged that, there would never have been a verb-clicking interface a la Maniac Mansion. The same is true for the phenomenal Grim Fandango: no verb interface; in fact, they then tried out something totally new: a keyboard control interface rather than a mouse icon! Even in the world of adventure games, it's still constantly improving and experimenting with new changes. There is no way Broken Age would have see the same level of success as it currently has, if they only made a 90's era point-and-click with the money it garnered during the Kickstarter.

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Grim Fandango is not considered old school? Is this was we're saying? Well, I consider it old school as it's... a 1998 release. heh.

At this point, it's just semantics. Why are you upset over something that is not clearly defined and obviously means completely different things to different people?

Also: Tim did say in his pitch video that it could be a major upset - and you'll be around for it all. So. There was a warning.

For myself I am not saying that... My view though is that all Lucas Arts adventures was all about the challenge, the puzzles and brainteasers, mixed in with the story. Broken Age focus instead had been "dumbed" down, making the puzzles incidental, just so the player could play right the way through in one sitting... Whilst I am not saying that direction is not neccessarily a bad one, for the casual gamer, it is fair to say that it isn't a Lucas Arts style of adventure game, where puzzles, challenge and witty dialogue was king. Well one out of three aint bad I guess.

As to AceFox comments... If you think making something easy with no challenge is moving the adventure genre foward, then I worry for the future of Adventure game genre.

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At this point, it's just semantics. Why are you upset over something that is not clearly defined and obviously means completely different things to different people?

This is the most important point regarding this debate. There is no hard definition of 'old-school adventure game'. As it turns out, to many people the term implies a certain puzzle difficulty. To others, perhaps including Tim, it doesn't. That's it. Difficulty was not a selling point for the Kickstarter as far as I can recall, and while the disappointment is understandable (I personally also wish Act 1 had been harder), we alone are responsible for our expectations. When Double Fine said they wanted to make an old-school adventure game it conjured up those expectations in our minds - but those naturally differ per person. Double Fine's understanding of the term didn't align 100% with that of every single backer, and that sucks for those backers, but the anger and/or feeling of betrayal expressed by some is misplaced.

A similar thing happened with inXile when they announced Torment would have turn-based combat and not real-time with pause. Some backers assumed that a spiritual sequel to Planescape Torment would necessarily have the same combat system. It turned out the developers disagreed - what was important to them in capturing the spirit of that game was something else. And that's fine.

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At this point, it's just semantics. Why are you upset over something that is not clearly defined and obviously means completely different things to different people?

This is the most important point regarding this debate. There is no hard definition of 'old-school adventure game'. As it turns out, to many people the term implies a certain puzzle difficulty. To others, perhaps including Tim, it doesn't. That's it. Difficulty was not a selling point for the Kickstarter as far as I can recall, and while the disappointment is understandable (I personally also wish Act 1 had been harder), we alone are responsible for our expectations. When Double Fine said they wanted to make an old-school adventure game it conjured up those expectations in our minds - but those naturally differ per person. Double Fine's understanding of the term didn't align 100% with that of every single backer, and that sucks for those backers, but the anger and/or feeling of betrayal expressed by some is misplaced.

A similar thing happened with inXile when they announced Torment would have turn-based combat and not real-time with pause. Some backers assumed that a spiritual sequel to Planescape Torment would necessarily have the same combat system. It turned out the developers disagreed - what was important to them in capturing the spirit of that game was something else. And that's fine.

Well said.

And I think it also bears repeating that we do not have the full game. In the latest documentary episode, Tim sounded pretty confident that die hard puzzle fans will get what they want. (Being that confident about it after seeing such backlash that he obviously had an emotional response to should make everyone feel good about that!!)

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At the end of the doc, we'll learn this was all a ruse to add even more drama to everything! ;-)

But in reality, I look forward to the next ep and the rest of the game.

Smiles

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Holy crap that Digital Trends article pissed me off... and the comments from the people that work there pissed me off even more!

MASSIVE DOUCHE HOLES!

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