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Tim Schafer

Important question to backers about the DFA doc

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We think that the DFA story and documentary is really special, and sharing it with the world could do some good, but what do you think? Taking care of our backers is super important to us, so we'd love to hear your thoughts!

Go for it! Everyone deserves to know how the sausages are made!

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I'm all for releasing it so that others can see it, though to be honest I'm not really sure how much it will do to change minds- some people are determined to be negative. I can also see how releasing a previously exclusive backer reward could cause some blowback itself... tricky situation I guess. But I would love to be able to show the documentary to friends! Whatever you choose to do is fine with me. :)

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I don't think releasing the video will change anything. The positive reinforcement people get from complaining will not be changed by your actions. That said, I don't particularly care if you open up the old episodes.

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Well the documentary indeed was an important thing awarded only to backers. However , I do not think that its importance is attributed to the fact that we were the only ones to have access to it. Its real value for me and I think for every backer was that we got to see the development of the game while it was actually developed. This particular temporality of the documentary is what provided a real value for backers. The fact that they were able to see a game and how it was produced prior its actual release. In this perspective the real value of this particular award for us the backers has, I think, a limited lifespan, which will end when the game is actually released.

So in this perspective I cannot object to documentary's public release. We backers got what was promised from it, we appreciated its value but I think that we cannot request to have it for ourselves only. Not only this will not be possible infinitely but also we do not have the right to do it.

So in my opinion, the documentary should absolutely become publicly available, but ONLY when the game is finally released, and under two very specific conditions:

1) This should be done free of charge, because If not this will be considered for many as another trick to get money for the game, which will act on the opposite direction from the reason we want to publish it

2) It should become available in all its glory, and not in some low quality version of it, so that everyone can appreciate what we got and they didn't.

Enough said, I think I could not become more clear.

This sums up my thoughts, release them! :D

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I'm all for releasing it for free publicly as well. Certainly haters will continue to hate, but the doc will do good for those interested in game dev.

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Personally, I'm fine with it. I'm fairly confident that it won't actually help that much to dispel the negativity, but it could be worth doing on its own merits.

However, I think you should ask about this in a Kickstarter update instead of just the forums. Maybe point backers in a KS update toward a quick online survey form to gauge their response.

Forums by their nature will attract some of your most dedicated supporters, but a Kickstarter update also goes out to some of your more casual backers who might feel differently than we do about whether they're OK with the documentary being made free to the public. As it is, you're currently going to get a significant selection bias if you only take responses from the forums.

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I say go for it. I got in an argument just the other day in a chat I frequent where someone was convinced it was a scam because of the Massive Chalice Kickstarter and didn't understand how companies can have separate dev teams for different games or budgets worked. I've been told more than once I've been backing a scam despite the influx of news on the project. Some more transparency outside the Backer updates would be great if only to stop all the misinformation.

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I'm all for it, but I don't think it should be lowered in quality.

Also, maybe just make the Side Quests/non-episodes backer-only?

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I definitely think that this is a good idea, since as you said pointing out that the documentary shows that development is still steady helps keep uninformed people from posting misinformation. Actually showing them the documentary will definitely help more. I'm all for making the documentary public.

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Timed exclusivity is enough for me. And yes, a beautiful 2Player documentary really does show people in a good light, but then again, did the Penny Arcade doc series do much for their public image? Something to think about.

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The idea is basically sound, but I would definitely not release the DFA episodes as-is. Do a cut-down version of them (down to 1hr I'm thinking) concentrating less on the technical aspects but keeping the finance/project mgmt stuff, with some commentary from Tim/Greg/Justin to avoid losing context. And keep the 'cuda as an analogy in it :)

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Backed at the $100 tier for the documentary on blu-ray; I have no problem with this.

If it educates a few people who've bought into the troll's nonsense, all the better.

Just to be safe, as others have said: Maybe run a survey through Kickstarter?

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How about this one:

Keep all single episodes private for us backers only, but edit a 90-120 min movie out of it!

This would let us backers still feel a bit prioritized to have the "whole pack", and the outside world can enjoy the compressed version of what happened – Aaaaand: You could charge for the movie (e.g. on gog.com) and even apply for some indie film festivals. I personally think that it has all in it what a good movie/documentary needs. Maybe you could have 2PP come back and do some interviews once the game is finished, so you can cut those in between.

I personally would want to watch that! But I don't want to watch all the documentaries in full length again ;)

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I'm perfectly fine for it. We backers have had it for ourselves for years now, so why not share it to others after that?

I'm not sure that it will change that many persons, since I don't think most people criticizing it, actually want's to understand. But let's try at least.

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I am all for releasing it! It was worth the backing money, many many times over: I've definitely got my money's worth long before Episode 1 got released.

Why not make it a big event leading up to the release of Episode 2? Release an episode per day until the big release day.

"Early access" to the episodes was definitely reward enough for me, but I am still really excited to play Episode 2.

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Yeah, go for it! I agree with a lot of people before me that it would be nice if the backers will get new episodes first. Just so we can gloat. :)

I really hope the hate will stop, but not sure if this will help. Unfortunately the internet has become a place where trolls are loudest and therefore so visible. I also think that stopping the development of Spacebase DF9 fueled more trolls than delaying the release of Broken Age. There are people out there that have simply decided that DF needs to be hated. These people will probably find parts in the docu that will look bad when cut and placed out of context, and use it as 'proof'. Time will tell.

I wish more people would understand backing a project != pre-ordering a game. Same for Steam Early Access. *sigh*

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Personally, I'm fine with it. I'm fairly confident that it won't actually help that much to dispel the negativity, but it could be worth doing on its own merits.

However, I think you should ask about this in a Kickstarter update instead of just the forums. Maybe point backers in a KS update toward a quick online survey form to gauge their response.

Forums by their nature will attract some of your most dedicated supporters, but a Kickstarter update also goes out to some of your more casual backers who might feel differently than we do about whether they're OK with the documentary being made free to the public. As it is, you're currently going to get a significant selection bias if you only take responses from the forums.

I agree with this. You don't want to pass by backers who don't follow DF / Tim on twitter nor keep an eye on the forums. That might create a backlash.

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+1 For the "Share it!" column

The documentary is a very great insight into what goes into making a game. It certainly helped give me a baseline of expectations and prepared me for what would eventually be a career move; so hopefully the public can take it to heart and understand where DF is coming from and what the Kickstarter money is going to and that, No, you can't just pour 3 million dollars out of a bucket and expect a perfect game immediately.

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Backers got plenty of early access to the documentary, and there's nothing in the original pitch about the doc being a backer exclusive. I greatly appreciate the abundance of caution, but I don't feel put out at all by the doc getting a wider release.

More to the point: I got a tremendous amount value out of the documentary. For me, the doc was as important as the game itself. For the sake of others that might feel I as do, I would insist that the documentary get a wide release. The series isn't just backer updates, it's valuable insight into game development and studio management. This'll be required viewing in gamedev schools. There just isn't enough information like this available to the public, especially new devs. It's also a unique documentary voice that more people need to hear. It'd be a shame to lock it away in a closet, even if 87,000 people have access to it.

I agree with other commenters that I'm not sure the documentary would change the mind of anyone who had a severe negative reaction to the campaign or partial information that leaked out of the backer community. It *would* inform many others about the nature of game development, and indirectly, it could reduce unrealistic expectations and vitriolic backlash against gamedevs through general awareness. But I'd brace myself for the release of the doc to churn up one more round of garbage from the same sources. I don't think that can be helped in the short term.

Releasing the doc in tandem with Broken Age Act II would be a worthy PR boon, and would give the press more to talk about beyond "yup, the rest is out now." Genuinely not sure whether it should be a Steam bundle (like a dev commentary) or a free YouTube release. Either way, I'd like to see this happen. Let me know if you need more money. ;)

P.S. It's been enlightening to learn that there are backers who are interested in the game that aren't interested in the documentary. I doubt they'll object to the doc getting released either, but it's good to be reminded that there are multiple perspectives in this community.

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I'm all for letting it run in the wild. If anything it would be a fantastic tool for wannabe developers still in high school etc to see what (an admittedly exceptionally fantastic) game dev environment looks like. Not to mention all the press would boost sales and get ya'll beautiful more creative freedom!

Which of course you're aware of ;)

Edit: This coming a $100+ tier backer.

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Definitely a good idea. I wouldn't mind at all. The documentary is excellent and if it can improve public awareness of how games are made, even just a tiny bit, it's worth doing.

We have enjoyed our timed exclusivity; now it's time to share with the rest of the world.

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I'm fine with them going public, and would be happy for more people to get to see them. Exclusivity wasn't a motive for me backing, supporting DF and making sure that the game and doc would exist was. I just hope it doesn't cause any significant backlash due to the current climate of sensitivity around Kickstarter promises.

The one thing I would suggest is making it very clear that they are rather spoilery. Despite usually being very annoyed by spoilers, I decided to embrace it as part of the backer experience DF was aiming for and watch the docs before playing, but non-backers who decide to watch before playing may be annoyed if they're blindsided by how much stuff is revealed in the docs compared to usual PR materials.

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