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Act 2 Release-Date

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Hey guys, really sorry for the lack of updates. As folks have said, we've been without a dedicated Community Manager since Chris left and everyone's attention has been focused on moving the game's development along as fast as we can. We just put up a new doc episode and project update, so hopefully that will give folks a better idea of where we are. We're shooting to get this done by the end of the year if we can! Will definitely try to be better about this going forward!

You've had nobody to fill Chris's shoes? You really do need someone taking care of the community and getting clear messages out.

Hear here. It really sucks the episodes and the communication died a long time ago.

As a matter of fact, I don't even expect this game any more. Part 1 was a bit disappointing in terms of length and difficulty (ingenuity, maybe?), so I expect Part 2 to be similar. Old style adventure games are dead, the market wants other things from its games, not what we liked at the time (and no one can say it is wrong to please the market. What sells wins).

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Hear here. It really sucks the episodes and the communication died a long time ago.

As a matter of fact, I don't even expect this game any more. Part 1 was a bit disappointing in terms of length and difficulty (ingenuity, maybe?), so I expect Part 2 to be similar. Old style adventure games are dead, the market wants other things from its games, not what we liked at the time (and no one can say it is wrong to please the market. What sells wins).

If only an old school adventuring developer of yesteryear could do a Kick Starter campaign and promise an old school adventure just as we remembered. By doing so they could bypass the worry of being successful and not have to dumb it down for a new generation...

...oh yeah we had that didn't we... :-)

In all seriousness I think Broken Age Act 1 had a lot of virtues... I honestly feel it fell foul of too much play testers. The trouble is they dumbed the game down for the casual market in the hope of more revenue.. but I think the truth is the casual market aren't into these types of games (unless its those choose your own adventure book recent Tell Tale games and even those I suspect is a fad that will pass).

I personally am still hopeful for Act 2 and possibly Double Fine even considering a Directors Cut/Special Edition of the complete game... There is so much that is right and beautiful with Act 1.. It just was too easy...and that is something that can be fixed by removing those auto hints that are far too frequent and replace it with the game player choosing the hint via a hint button. Stick in some more inventory and interactive objects and Act One would have been a classic.

As it stands Act One if a beautiful game but not one I think will stand the test of time as Tims other adventure games (and only because of the above mentioned flaws).

I must confess I do wish Double Fine considers doing a low budget adventure... with all the effort placed towards writing, puzzles, characters and lots of interactive objects... Would love to see that game and it is probably that, which most of us backers perhaps hoped the game that would have been made.

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Actually, the documentary was part of the initial offering, it literally is what you paid for. As for game - you will not have to pay for Act 2. You got Act 1 to play before the entire game was finished, but you will get a whole game, probably late this year, maybe early next year. You will not have to pay for parts of a series.

And DF had been a multi-project studio for years. Did you expect them to change to suddenly throw the entire studio on DFA when they already had games in development for publishers and angel investors, ports of old games in development, and had the Amnesia Fortnight system of internal game jams already in place? They didn't redirect funds to those other things, they already had them going, and in fact used them to supplement funds for act 2 to make it good and not have to cut as much as earlier projections demanded for a single act game. The size of the team and length of development, that was dependent on the fundings received.

Now, you might argue that Broken Age took and still is taking too long. You might have a point. But don't argue points that are simply not based on the Kickstarter offering and promise.

You are correct, the documentary was always part of the initial project (and the best part so far, at least for me) and we all backers paid for it.

But the problems started, as i see it, when the money of the KS wasnt enough because the scope got to big. Instead of doing the game they could paid for DF decided to put their own money into the project.....but then the game wasnt any more for us backer it also needed to be for others in order to DF get its money back. Thats when (i believe) DF decided to dumb the game down, to reach those markets....and broke the promise of give us an old school Adventure Game.

Not to mention that even the money DF put wasnt enough, and they had to split into two acts the game to get sales early.

At this point i get the feeling that DF and Tim are disapointed with this project (so am i) and based on the really few and remote updates we get, nothing makes me feel different (when was the last time Tim posted something about DFA??)

Not happy to write this because i really like DF and wish well for them, but i felt like being honest on my thoughts.

Regards/Saludos.

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As folks have said, we've been without a dedicated Community Manager since Chris left and everyone's attention has been focused on moving the game's development along as fast as we can.

If I lived in SF and was actually still going to school I would of applied to the Community Manager internship you had open in a heart beat. Seems like the only way to get started in the job field is to be a intern or be a journalist.

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Actually, the documentary was part of the initial offering, it literally is what you paid for.

That doesn't mean that backers backed for the documentary. I'm sure that many, or even most, didn't care about the documentary at all, they just wanted an old school adventure game from Tim Schafer. They're justifiably disappointed at this point.

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Actually, the documentary was part of the initial offering, it literally is what you paid for.

That doesn't mean that backers backed for the documentary. I'm sure that many, or even most, didn't care about the documentary at all, they just wanted an old school adventure game from Tim Schafer. They're justifiably disappointed at this point.

Except that most aren't. What we actually saw was that the majority of backers who played act 1 were very satisfied with what they got, even in many cases (points to self) where they feel the puzzles could have been harder/tighter/less hinty. The detractors were quite vocal on this forum, but the early reviewers were very positive, the early response on YouTube from people who must have been backers was also highly positive, and the early social networking response was also very positive (and by 'early' I mean during the 2 week backer testing period) There was also a lot of positive response on this forum.

That's not to belittle people who weren't satisfied, but let's not imply that this is a concensus, because it isn't.

And this is also covering waaay old ground, but it's pointless having a discussion about 'old school' because it means so many different things to different people. To me it means a story driven adventure game in the tradition of LucasArts where you talk to people and solve puzzles mainly using combinations of items, nothing more (I suspect, but can't know for sure, this is also what Tim meant in the initial pitch). To the next person it means something with pixelly graphics like the old games (remember, this was an actual complaint a few people were making early on.) To the next, they require a certain level of puzzle complexity before they're prepared to call it old school. To others, the very fact it was broken into 2 parts disqualifies it from being old school.

Maybe all or some or none of those meanings are valid. But it sure doesn't seem like the basis for a meaningful discussion.

Now, this topic is about the Act 2 release date, which we know is still hoped to be the end of this year some time. Tim recently said a doc episode is coming 'very soon' on twitter, so I'm hoping that we'll get a substantial update then. I wish that they'd been able to keep us up to date with small things, even if it was 'we're working hard but nothing really interesting to report right now - we're still on schedule' but at least Greg has replied now, and I think once we get the next Doc/Update we'll have some more things to talk about.

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That's not to belittle people who weren't satisfied, but let's not imply that this is a concensus, because it isn't.

You're right. Personally I'm mainly disappointed by how long it's taking. I don't want to play a partial game, so haven't played Act 1 yet. I imagine I'll enjoy it (I don't need hard puzzles), but having to wait for the full game is painful. I don't have anything against episodic games per-se. I waited until Broken Sword 5 was completely available, and enjoyed it then, but it took a year less to arrive. A lot of projects I backed after DFA have already arrived.

And personally I've enjoyed the documentary (up to the point where I can't watch it because it contains spoilers). Still, at this point I find that having an incomplete game with little communication from the dev team is disappointing.

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That's not to belittle people who weren't satisfied, but let's not imply that this is a concensus, because it isn't.

You're right. Personally I'm mainly disappointed by how long it's taking. I don't want to play a partial game, so haven't played Act 1 yet. I imagine I'll enjoy it (I don't need hard puzzles), but having to wait for the full game is painful. I don't have anything against episodic games per-se. I waited until Broken Sword 5 was completely available, and enjoyed it then, but it took a year less to arrive. A lot of projects I backed after DFA have already arrived.

And personally I've enjoyed the documentary (up to the point where I can't watch it because it contains spoilers). Still, at this point I find that having an incomplete game with little communication from the dev team is disappointing.

Yeah, I can understand that, particularly if you're waiting for the whole thing. I'd be interested to hear your take on it as a whole game, since my experience of playing it has very much been painted by knowing what happens the game up to this point, and I have a different sort of anticipation.

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I am personally fine waiting (if feel the time is being put to make act 2 amazing)... its the lack of updates and seemingly lack of interest by DF to act 2 that has me worried.

I don't mean just videos, just general DF posts here and on the web about the game...

It really does feel that DF are putting all there attentions elsewhere and Act 2 is going to be something that limps out just to meet an obligation.. Hopefully I am wrong in that regard and that DF is going the other direction, of going all out to make the game shine... but if that is the case then I think it has a been a major miss step by DF not to post regularly here and around the web to keep the momentum and excitement going for the game.

DF are really doing themselves no favours with all of this, and that makes me really sad :(

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I am personally fine waiting (if feel the time is being put to make act 2 amazing)... its the lack of updates and seemingly lack of interest by DF to act 2 that has me worried.

I don't mean just videos, just general DF posts here and on the web about the game...

It really does feel that DF are putting all there attentions elsewhere and Act 2 is going to be something that limps out just to meet an obligation.. Hopefully I am wrong in that regard and that DF is going the other direction, of going all out to make the game shine... but if that is the case then I think it has a been a major miss step by DF not to post regularly here and around the web to keep the momentum and excitement going for the game.

DF are really doing themselves no favours with all of this, and that makes me really sad :(

I'm not getting that impression at all. They have some releases coming up so in the last couple of weeks they've been talking about CQ2 and DF9 and all that stuff, but then there was also this:

playthrough.PNG

and I seem to recall that they were very excited with how that last playthrough reference went, too, from posts around the internet.

I think less forum interaction is a shame, but is most likely a combination of:

* lack of community management to make that happen

* the fact that there's less to be said than there was at the start of the project when people could talk about stuff like their art direction decisions, the engine, the animation system and so forth.

* Everyone is probably pretty focused on that year end target

* It's might be difficult to share stuff that is new without being spoilery

So it's likely a combination of some kind of understandable stuff, mixed in with a failure to understand that even a very small update to say there isn't anything big to update right now would be something that would be appreciated.

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Yes, Broken Age is late, but I'm not really worried about its progress. The first half was very good and the second still on its way, which, like it or not, is better than a lot of Kickstarter projects. Broken Age is hardly the worst offender.

It could have ended up like SpaceVenture, showing no coherence or real visible progress in ages, or Homestuck, waiting over a year to even go into development. Or even worse, it could have ended up like Yogventures, and just died on the vine.

Realistically, we're probably a few months away from a complete and wonderful adventure game. It could be a lot worse. Yes, I'm sad the documentary episodes have become irregular, and yes the wait has been grueling, but in the end, we're still going to get what we paid for.

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I haven't ever been much of a poster on this forum, but I want everyone on the great DoubleFine team to know that I'm a happy backer. I've gotten so much out of watching the documentary for this and for Amnesia Fortnight, and I really had a great time playing Part 1 of Broken Age. I'm not upset that Act 2 hasn't been put out yet, and I'm not upset that there hasn't been a documentary video recently, though I am eager to see the next one and play the end of the game.

I am grateful that Tim Schafer let us take a peek at his creative process and let us get to know a little bit about game development and the personalities that live and work in the DoubleFine family. I just wanted to send some lurrv your way, since there are so many grumpy comments on this forum. If you are working at DoubleFine, I hope you know how rare it is to have a work environment where people are so supportive of one another. Keep doing the good work you do, thank you all for being so fun and open in the videos. I appreciate that you pulled back the curtain despite the chance that it could invite criticism. Can't wait for Costume Quest 2 and all the other fun games in your future.

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Edit: The following may sound somewhat bitter, but I still don't count myself among the people who regret backing DFA. I enjoyed Act 1 moderately, and the documentary has been superb despite the highly erratic release schedule. It's just that my concern's grown to a level where it can no longer be ignored.

I can't help but feel somewhat disheartened by all of this. Everything from the fact that we havn't heard any word of development for over two months and especially with something like S-DF9 being prematurely rushed out the door for a "1.0" release has resulted in a major loss of trust for me. When I glance over at something like Armikrog, which has consistently informed the backers of development and have shown major progress in just a single year (despite being entirely made in clay and cardboard!), I can't help but wonder what's going on at DF.

This is probably an entirely uninformed opinion, but it seems to me that what made DF survive after Brutal Age - splitting up the team to make smaller games - is what's making it weak now. Too many projects spreading the company too thin, resulting in half-baked products that release too late. Perhaps too early in S-DF9s case. That's what it looks like to one of the outside masses, anyway.

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It could have ended up like SpaceVenture, showing no coherence or real visible progress in ages, or Homestuck, waiting over a year to even go into development. Or even worse, it could have ended up like Yogventures, and just died on the vine.

Out of all the adventure games I've backed, DFA is the one I have the most faith in. DoubleFine has released game after game for years. Other teams (not mentioning names), as much as I love them, seem to have got funding off reputation or hype, then tried to teach themselves how to program again after 20 years, or never knew in the first place :(

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In all this bluster, let's not forget that for months now they've been saying they're targetting the end of the year, and they have still been saying that as of a week ago, and we should be getting a new episode next week.

Yes, it's been quiet on the update front as as I've mentioned before, I think smaller updates would go a long way. But there isn't any reason to worry about the release of Broken Age Act 2. It'll either happen at the end of year as planned, or shortly after.

It's not like this is a state of development hell. July of last year they split the game in two, announced part 1 for this January (which happened) and estimated April/May for Part 2. But since January they've been saying it'll probably be later. Since about this July, they've been saying 'end of year' and they seem to be on track for that still.

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This is probably an entirely uninformed opinion, but it seems to me that what made DF survive after Brutal Age - splitting up the team to make smaller games - is what's making it weak now. Too many projects spreading the company too thin, resulting in half-baked products that release too late. Perhaps too early in S-DF9s case. That's what it looks like to one of the outside masses, anyway.

Whatever you think about DoubleFine becoming a multi-game studio, I think its absolutely central to their business plan. As a larger independent studio they have to keep that revenue coming in to keep the lights on. And let's not forget that 15 years ago they almost lost the whole studio with the cancellation of Psychonauts and Brutal publisher/developer relationship ended up totally rotten by the time that game shipped. I'm not sure they'd want to put everyone on one game again, but even if they did I think they'd be in a more uncertain financial situation. Publishers are real stingy about those contracts for tens of millions of dollars.

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