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Greg Rice

Episode 18: Constipation and Defcon 4

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Hi! We’re back from the holidays with tons of new video fun! First off, we have a brand new documentary episode detailing the pre-holiday Broken Age development! This time we follow the team as they work on Vella’s half of Act 2, as well as the finale of the game. As Tim pushes the team towards a December release, scheduling complications threaten to derail those plans...

[vimeo]116173754[/vimeo]

Nordic Games Retail Release

As seen in the latest documentary episode, we’ve signed a deal with Nordic Games for retail distribution of Broken Age on PC, Mac, and Linux! We’ve already started work to prep the boxes so that they can hit alongside the digital release this Spring. The box will see distribution across Europe and North America at a suite of retailers.

Part of the deal was that we’re also going to be recording new German VO for all characters! Localization for Act 2 dialog is now complete and we’re heading to the studio this week to start recording in German! Hope to share some of these tracks with all you German speaking backers soon!

We should also note that this box will be a different one than the Kickstarter Collector’s Edition reward. That will have the physical release of the documentary as well, so it will still lag behind the game’s release a bit so we can include the final documentary episodes.

Broken Age coming to PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita

We had another fun announcement for the project last month at PlayStation Experience in Vegas. Broken Age is coming to PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita alongside its PC release! The game is already up and running on Vita with PS4 next on the list to tackle. With Cross-Buy, Cross-Save, trophies, and another pass on polishing up controller support, Broken Age on PlayStation will be a great option whether on the couch or on the go, or both! (Like, say if your couch had wheels on it, and a motor.)

Project Updates

Since the last Kickstarter update, there have been a few project updates in the backer forums over here and more recently here. Suffice to say, progress on Act 2 is coming quick now, and that’s only going to continue until we ship. Expect to hear lots of us in the coming months! Until then, here’s a bit of a recap on what was said there.

The big news is that the entirety of Act 2 hit Alpha last December, and much of it is well on it’s way to beta! The game is playable from start to finish, including the big finale scene we’ve been working on for the past few months. All the professional VO has also been recorded and implemented in the game. With the size and complexity of Act 2, these are HUGE HUUUUUGE milestones!!

We’ve been playtesting the game a lot starting from the beginning and allowing players to switch characters throughout. So far we’re seeing exactly what we were hoping! Playtimes of just Act 2 complete with the finale have ranged from 9-13 hours, the puzzles seem to be providing a good level of challenge, nothing is really standing out as needing to be heavily re-worked, and most importantly people are laughing a lot and seem really pleased with where the story goes. YAY!

Come 2015 will be hitting the ground running with a goal of getting the game to Beta in late February. Then it’s just polish polish polish til we get the game absolutely perfect and worth the 3 year wait. Hope is to launch on PC, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, iOS, Ouya, and Android next Spring as close to simultaneously as humanly possible.

An audio update from Camden

The audio team is cranking in full gear, having just implemented all the professional VO, adding sound effects to all final cutscenes, and recording an implementing a host of new Act 2 music. In the audio post below, Camden shares some of the audio ambiance from Act 2. Head on over to the forum thread and try to guess what they may be from!

Devs Play

Did you hear? Just before the holidays we launched another new series called Devs Play from our friends at 2 Player Productions! It pairs the running commentary of a Let’s Play with the insight and experienced game developers here at Double Fine as well as friends from outside the studio. The series is hosted on the

.

As the final release of Broken Age looms on the horizon, 2 Player wanted to experiment with new types of shows that could keep Double Fine’s engagement with the community active while representing the studio’s commitment to demystifying the world of game development.

Featuring personalities from within Double Fine and special guests from outside the studio, six episodes comprise the eclectic first season. These episodes of Devs Play are scheduled to release for free on Youtube, with the first three available to watch now and the remaining to follow weekly.

- Featuring Greg Rice with guest Louis Castle

- Featuring Ben Burbank

- Featuring Anthony Vaughn and Geoff Soulis with guest Mike Mika

1/13/15-The Legend of Zelda - Featuring Brandon Dillon and Matt Hansen

1/20/15-Doom - Featuring JP LeBreton with guest John Romero

1/27/15-Psychonauts - Featuring the original development team with guest Stephen Kiazyk

Good New Games

The holidays may have come and gone, but to those looking to hold on a bit longer we’ve got a pair of short form holiday games from rad developers to recommend!

Lost Constellation

This one comes from the lovely team of folks behind Night in the Woods which was funded right here on Kickstarter a while back. It’s a supplemental game to that title and is every bit as visually striking and unique. Name your price and grab it right over here.

The Sensational December Machine

Another holiday title, this time from Simogo who has shown they can pretty much do no wrong through releases like Beat Sneak Bandit, Year Walk, and Device 6. Grab a warm drink and a blanket and download the game for free right here. Then go on and dig into their entire catalog because it’s all just nutso.

Thimbleweed Park

This one likely needs no introduction to the majority of you, but it’s so exciting it definitely deserves calling out! I mean, classic point and click adventure game from our good pal Ron Gilbert, what else needs to be said? The Kickstarter sailed past its goal and has since closed, but you can still get in on the fun on the game’s website.

That’s it for now! Be in touch soon, likely when the game hits Beta next month! AHHHHH IT’S COMING SO SOON!!

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Show Notes

00:20 - This scene takes place in 2 Player Productions’ office at Double Fine. Notice the autographed Minecraft block, the Reformat the Planet poster, and the Penny Arcade comic about Penny Arcade: The Series.

02:15 - Notice Bagel watching over Skype. 2 Player filmed a segment with him in New York for this episode but it didn’t make the final cut. Look out for the eventual deleted scene!

08:30 - A really cool fan sent these homemade yarn pals to Tim!

11:04 - Check out DFA episode 13 to see the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in action!

12:10 - Look forward to all the blurs being removed when the game is finally released, guys!

17:00 - Look back at DFA episode 17 too see Malena try to tell Tim “it’s not gonna happen for december.”

21:36 - I just want to point out the hilarious face Ben Peck makes in this shot…

23:15 - Nordic Games is an austrian computer game publisher. They’ve also published boxed copies of games like Alan Wake for PC.

25:49 - Check out Double Fine’s new horror-themed pillows, including the Friday the 13th one sitting next to Tim. Spot them all!

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Woooooooooooooooooooooh. I know what I am going to watch this weekend.

Smiles

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Great, so how about the Collectors Edition of Amnesia Fortnight 2014 that we still haven't received? The last update said it would ship before the holidays and that didn't happen. It's been nearly a full year now.

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Is there anyway to download episodes?

Yes. Through your Broken Age Humble Bundle page. (It rhymes! Ha!)

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Is there anyway to download episodes?

Yes. Through your Broken Age Humble Bundle page. (It rhymes! Ha!)

Hmm not for me :/

8s86cXh.png

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Ben is way more awesome than I ever gave him credit for...

Great work as usual, 2PP!

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Is there a way for slacker backers to download the episodes? because it is not showing up on my humble bundle page...

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So the comment that Tim makes that Justin (time 24:45) "only smiles when things are really bad, so..." - Then the scene cuts to Justin (time 24:48) and his expression changes to a very serious smile / smirk...

So how bad are things?!? Give us a clue. What can we do to help?

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Loved this episode! It definitely got me excited for the game again, especially now that it seems likely that the release date is only a couple of months away. I also like that I have far less of an idea of what Act II is going to be about compared to what I knew about Act I: I really don't have a clue about where the story is headed.

I hope that Lee isn't angry about the fact that in this episode Justin Bailey finally beat him in terms of awesome facial expressions ;-)

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So the comment that Tim makes that Justin (time 24:45) "only smiles when things are really bad, so..." - Then the scene cuts to Justin (time 24:48) and his expression changes to a very serious smile / smirk...

So how bad are things?!? Give us a clue. What can we do to help?

Remember, the episodes lag behind in time a little.

They've hit alpha and things are progressing nicely now by all accounts. The soundtrack has probably been recorded by now or is going to be recorded very, very soon since Grim Fandango Remastered is end of month. I'm sure they have a plan for this and aren't simply riding on fumes - despite what people say, every financial trouble this game has faced so far has been tackled well in advance of it becoming a major issue, from the use of sales and other funding to increase the budget early on, to the decision to release in two parts. This is just the final bit.

It's likely that part of the deal with Nordic included a recoupable advance against retail sales, part of which is being used to fund the German v/o and part of which will help towards the final bit of funding. The way the simplest version of these sorts of deals work is that the distributor pays an amount, sometimes known in some industries as a 'Minimum Guarantee', so let's say it's $200,000. And the distributor pays that to the producer as an advance, on the condition that the first $200,000 revenue (usually minus expenses) from retail sales goes to recoup that advance before Double Fine gets their cut of retail revenue. Sometimes in broadcasting and things it can get more complicated (such as the producer getting a cut during recoupment, but of a smaller amount) but that's the basic form of a distribution agreement where there's a advance and a revenue share involved.

I wouldn't be surprised if something similar was happening here.

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Nice to be reacquainted; it feels so long since last time!

Funny to think that it's been (roughly) a year since Act I dropped, but happy to know that Act II is (finally) nearing completion :)

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Is there anyway to download episodes?

Yes. Through your Broken Age Humble Bundle page. (It rhymes! Ha!)

Hmm not for me :/

8s86cXh.png

The 30 dollar kickstarter tier was the one you could get the download videos for.

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Could you give some clarification on broken age coming to consoles? Did you do a deal with Sony or are you releasing through the indie program? Will it be playstation exclusive or are you in talks with Microsoft to also release it on Xbox? (More plataforms = More $$ if you don't have an exclusivity deal).

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So the comment that Tim makes that Justin (time 24:45) "only smiles when things are really bad, so..." - Then the scene cuts to Justin (time 24:48) and his expression changes to a very serious smile / smirk...

So how bad are things?!? Give us a clue. What can we do to help?

Remember, the episodes lag behind in time a little.

They've hit alpha and things are progressing nicely now by all accounts. The soundtrack has probably been recorded by now or is going to be recorded very, very soon since Grim Fandango Remastered is end of month. I'm sure they have a plan for this and aren't simply riding on fumes - despite what people say, every financial trouble this game has faced so far has been tackled well in advance of it becoming a major issue, from the use of sales and other funding to increase the budget early on, to the decision to release in two parts. This is just the final bit.

It's likely that part of the deal with Nordic included a recoupable advance against retail sales, part of which is being used to fund the German v/o and part of which will help towards the final bit of funding. The way the simplest version of these sorts of deals work is that the distributor pays an amount, sometimes known in some industries as a 'Minimum Guarantee', so let's say it's $200,000. And the distributor pays that to the producer as an advance, on the condition that the first $200,000 revenue (usually minus expenses) from retail sales goes to recoup that advance before Double Fine gets their cut of retail revenue. Sometimes in broadcasting and things it can get more complicated (such as the producer getting a cut during recoupment, but of a smaller amount) but that's the basic form of a distribution agreement where there's a advance and a revenue share involved.

I wouldn't be surprised if something similar was happening here.

KestrelPi - thanks for the reply. Appreciate the insight. I hope there are good revenue streams coming in from other products which are taking away some of the serious financial uncertainty Episode 18 is illustrating.

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Is there anyway to download episodes?

Yes. Through your Broken Age Humble Bundle page. (It rhymes! Ha!)

Hmm not for me :/

IMAGE

The 30 dollar kickstarter tier was the one you could get the download videos for.

I'm pretty sure I paid for this

G54giE5.png

Does that not include downloads?

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the spaceship flying looks sooo good! cant wait!

and finally some puzzle discussion! love it!

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Is there anyway to download episodes?

Yes. Through your Broken Age Humble Bundle page. (It rhymes! Ha!)

Hmm not for me :/

IMAGE

The 30 dollar kickstarter tier was the one you could get the download videos for.

I'm pretty sure I paid for this

G54giE5.png

Does that not include downloads?

The upload to humble is in progress. They've started sending but the file transfer isn't finished yet. It should be there when done.

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Yesterday I had a mental twinge as the thought popped into my head, "Oh shit, there HAS to be another 2PP episode by now." Alas, I was wrong. But you guys read my mind, it seems to happen every time.

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That post-credits scene is one of my favorites in the series so far.

It was interesting hearing more talk about puzzle ideas in this episode. There definitely seemed to be some Act II spoilers in there, but I like that we're seeing more commentary about the game itself and I don't mind spoilers much in general.

I wonder if the beta period will be a backer beta. The last release showed that regardless of what it's called, the backer release is essentially treated as the full release (complete with reviews), so a rigorous 6-week beta doesn't seem feasible as a backer exclusive, but beta access is a backer reward so I guess that's unavoidable. Maybe they'll have a second closed alpha as the real beta.

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Woo, thanks for the update, Greg. The episode was great too ^_^

Good call on hanging off and waiting for Masasa. It sucks when there are delays, and the pressure it'd put on must be significant, but at the end of the day, it'll be a better game for it :)

I wonder if the beta period will be a backer beta. The last release showed that regardless of what it's called, the backer release is essentially treated as the full release (complete with reviews), so a rigorous 6-week beta doesn't seem feasible as a backer exclusive, but beta access is a backer reward so I guess that's unavoidable. Maybe they'll have a second closed alpha as the real beta.

Remember that the Act 1 backer beta only lasted two weeks.

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"Because of its privacy settings, this video cannot be played here." Even on the Kickstarter page or in this thread... Strange, it usually works fine on KS. Am I the only one getting this problem?

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Double Fine I missed you!

Kudos to 2 Player Productions for documenting this poetry in such a beautiful way!

Team Tim: I believe in your victory.

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KestrelPi - thanks for the reply. Appreciate the insight. I hope there are good revenue streams coming in from other products which are taking away some of the serious financial uncertainty Episode 18 is illustrating.

The other announcement is of course the Vita/PS4 release. Already under some pressure, I doubt DF would have agreed to release to 2 more platforms unless there was something in it for them up front, so it seems likely that the deal comes with an exclusivity period where it won't be able to be sold on Xbox One or Wii U, for some sum of money.

A great deal of credit (rather than the criticism they've been getting) is due to the people managing the budget to this game. They have managed to find funding sources over and over again to make the game they wanted to make, rather than compromising on length or quality.

I imagine that the Sony and Nordic deals combined (as well as possibly some revenue from the extensive Double Fine sales on Steam in December) got Broken Age to where it needed to be to make it to a March wrap-up and April release date.

Greg mentioned that he wanted to give a much more detailed breakdown of the financing of the project towards the end. Due to confidentiality he probably won't be able to go into detail about some deals, but it would be interesting to know, generally, how much of the budget came from Kickstarter, how much from Act 1 sales, how much from special deals like Nordic/Sony/Ouya, and how much from sales of other DF games and products.

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Oof. That was an uncomfortable episode. "Just another day in games"..?

Very enjoyable as always. Act 2 is looking amazing!

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Oh i love the new ship environment with the damaged walls and the countryside outside passing! I love it! ^^

I am getting really exited for part II again :D all those teases are looking awesome!

But just one thing ... a girlfork and the spoon ... mhm, what about our beloved knife??? I mean, i guess for the younger ones it just - might - be better not having a talking knife anymore wanting to stab someone. Buuuut on the other hand the knife could bring just a little bit more terror! :3 I havent played pt. 2 yet, so i can't judge ... but a girlfork? really? hopefully she got better lines than i just imagine yet. but she won't be nice, right? She isn't all the way a sweet thing, right? maybe just at first and than want to stab someone?^^ xD haha okay, maybe i can imagine some good lines. Just don't make the girlfork a girlie-clischee, it would be just cruel, also for little girls playing this game! ... and sexist!

And there gonne be a german vo - whoop whoop! great news ;D I guess i gonne buy it somewhen as a present ^^

i hope the voices are gonne be good :)

i guess i stick with the original english voices anyway! And we finally met Velas voice! Hey there! :)

Yes Velas voice was really great and such a big part of the game - and it was really unique!

You couldn't have changed it! awesome having you back on board again, Masasa! :D You did great work on act I!

When i think back playing part one vela in cloudcity and your voice coming into my mind first! :)

And it was really heroic of you Tim bringing her back and going to La yourself for that! love that part of the episode!

Great story :)

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Reality is horrible when it comes crashing down and making everyone frown :|

I hope the deal with Nordic pays off.

Glad ya's held out for Vela's VA. Also, maybe in marketing material you should push the whole Elijah Wood involvement? I mean, if he's OK with that. He's a BIG Hollywood actor for crying out loud, that's GOTTA bring SOME positive attention, right?

"Because of its privacy settings, this video cannot be played here." Even on the Kickstarter page or in this thread... Strange, it usually works fine on KS. Am I the only one getting this problem?
I had this problem. Fiddled with my cookie/tracker/ad blocker settings and it ran fine. Make sure you're not blocking Vimeo stuff :)

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Glad to see the update. Hate to poke a stick in a sore point, but I'm surprised nothing was mentioned about the lay offs. Seeing some former DFers in the footage made it a very weird episode for me, especially since it seems like this episode was filmed around the time the lay offs happened. I do hope this will be addressed eventually, not that I think we deserve an explanation, but just to let DF have a more public say if they want. DF has been more candid than most developers in this documentary, I was sort of hoping to see something about it.

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