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Tim Schafer

Important question to backers about the DFA doc

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Ooh actually it should be released in weekly installments on the DFTV YouTube channel. That's probably what you have in mind already but it took me a minute to get there. :)

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i think it would be fine to put the story out in a truncated form. Not sure if anyone wants to do that much editing, but a version of the doco that focuses primarily on the funding issues and is about 30-40 mins long. So the backers can still retain some exclusivity by seeing the whole sausage.

To synopsise, sausage portion for non-backers ;)

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I think it could be great if you both made it public and also negotiated a deal to put it on TV. I think it's a natural move and would also inject some more money into this and other projects.

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I have absolutely no problem with letting others have access to the documentary. However, I'm no sure it'll accomplish what you're after. As good as those episodes are; I don't know that the people being negative are likely to sit through 40? hours of documentary, no matter how good a job 2PP have done. My suggestion, if possible, would be to have 2PP edit through the episodes and try to summarize the entire documentary into a couple two hour episodes. Creating a shorter "mini-series" would make it more approachable to other people and those that enjoy it might be tempted to buy the entire series. I'm not sure if this has been brought up, but I think it would be a nice compromise for those backers that would be against giving the series away for non-backers and for you to explain the situations that arose during production.

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Release it. I don't get what I have to gain by having exclusive use of digital content. I want Double Fine to make more awesome content. As long as you are adequately compensated for making it, letting everyone who is interested enjoy it is actually a great thing. In a perfect world, you would not even have to go through the trouble of selling digital goods but people would simply give what they can afford voluntarily for stuff they enjoy. Alas, we are not there, yet, but getting closer every day. :)

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My suggestion, if possible, would be to have 2PP edit through the episodes and try to summarize the entire documentary into a couple two hour episodes. Creating a shorter "mini-series" would make it more approachable to other people and those that enjoy it might be tempted to buy the entire series.

You could break it up into a set of three episodes, one covering each year of development (or thereabouts. Whatever works narratively). Obviously a lot of important content would have to go, but you could probably get the intended message across a lot more easily that way.

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I don't have a problem with it but, as others have mentioned, I'm not sure it'll have the positive effect you're hoping for, for a few reasons.

- If someone is looking for something to criticise in the documentary, they'll almost certainly find it and quote it, and that's what'll get the headline that game blogs copy and paste from Reddit for some quick clickbait cash, not the release itself. (Stuff like the "april for part two" thing would probably get picked up on to a greater extent, and even I'm not remotely sure where that came from).

- One thing I've noticed more recently is an assumption that the documentary is actively hiding things - there are people who complained about the lack of comment of Spacebase in the last episode. Personally I don't see why it should have, but there will be people who don't see the documentary as being open about the development of the game, but instead as being a PR thing.

Not bothered from a backer perspective. It's a risk, but maybe it'll be worth it? Thinking about it, what makes more sense is not releasing the documentary to counter detractors - the internet is very slow to admit its mistakes, and will assume a conspiracy before anything else - but possibly releasing it in some form that makes it an effective marketing tool for the full game. Which might be an edited down version, as some people are suggesting.

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Apart from the games themselves, the 2PP documentaries have been my favorite outcome of this adventure. Watching you and your team hard at work (and play!) has been truly inspirational. Were I to reinvent myself and pick a new career, I'd choose game development. (Oliver, I'm looking squarely at your job.)

Should you share these with the world? Absolutely! There's so much to learn from watching them. And DFA aside, your company has an amazing heart that shines through in your work, ESPECIALLY in the docs. That alone is a wonderful thing to behold.

Should you feel like you're taking something from us backers? No! As console gamers well know, exclusive doesn't mean forever. We're here to support you, not to take your firstborn. But thank you for asking.

(Don't lower the VQ; they're gorgeous videos.)

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Definitely agree with most people here that it would be a good idea to release the documentary to the general public: it really does deserve a wider audience.

When reading a certain interview on Rock Paper Shotgun, I noticed a lot of ignorance behind some of the questions that were asked (or rather, statements that were made) by the interviewer. It was only then that I realised how much insight the Double Fine Adventure doc and all the Amnesia Fortnight and Massive Chalice stuff has given me into the development process. I hope a public release will lead to some positive, constructive discussion and that it won't be ignored by most media outlets: only very few bothered to announce that it's actually for sale now and I still haven't found a good review of all documentary episodes released so far.

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Make it public!

And the point is not to convince the angry pople, but to show "normal people", whose only source of information is the angry people, what's really going on.

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Originally I thought the DFA documentary would end up on sale on Steam and on Netflix simply due to how well it fits in both of these services and the amount of work put into making it, so hearing about a possible public release for free was a bit of a surprise, but I think it's a pretty good idea to release it. A lot of people are in the dark on game/software development because there really hasn't been an in-depth documentary of the production process of any game (or software), and younger gamers who aren't a part of the industry or have jobs that require team effort and deadlines may not understand the difficulties and resources required to accomplish such a task. At most, other documentaries on game development include short interviews and maybe some clips of games being worked on, but none approach the depth and extensiveness that the DFA documentary (20 episodes!) covers and having the documentary available for free online would certainly provide a wealth of resources not only to gamers who are interested in the development of Broken Age but also new developers who are unsure how studios handle game development. I actually felt like wanting to work at Double Fine as I watched the videos.

The documentary release would certainly be welcome and a boon to the community but as to whether it will change the perspective of those who saw Broken Age development in a negative light can be fairly unknown (after all interpretation depends on the person who sees it), but even if it doesn't change the views of naysayers they can't deny the amount of wealth the documentary offers. A crucial part would be to link back to the Kickstarter pitch to remind people what the Double Fine Adventure was about: the game and the documentary. It feels like people frequently forget that the Kickstarter campaign additionally had a documentary and watching it again would remind them of this aspect. Additionally it would also let those who never knew about the Kickstarter understand that as well. Maybe a video that linked all of the videos released during the Kickstarter (meeting the goal, surpassing it, Ron Gilbert and Tim Schafer discussion) can serve as a prologue.

I think the best approach would be to do a formal poll by sending out an email to backers via Kickstarter and asking a simple Yes or No question along with the method for releasing it (Youtube, Steam, etc. and what quality). Those who participate in the forums frequently are no doubt ardent supporters of Broken Age, but maybe not everyone else shares the same feelings as those in the thread. If it were to be released, I think a mini-campaign for it would be necessary so people would know the documentary exists for free publicly (such as simultaneous release with Part 2 or having it available a week after release, etc.).

All in all, I'm in favor for a public release.

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Yeah, release it. I've had a couple of times setting the record straight abiut DFA and Double Fine where it would've been great to be able link straight to the documentary.

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We backed to make the documentary POSSIBLE. Not to lock it down and go DRM on it.

Releasing it is fine by me.

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I think it should be made available to the public for the simple reason that many would love to watch it, and having already seen so many episodes exclusively I think I've already been "paid back" my money investment.

I have absolutely no problem with letting others have access to the documentary. However, I'm no sure it'll accomplish what you're after. As good as those episodes are; I don't know that the people being negative are likely to sit through 40? hours of documentary, no matter how good a job 2PP have done. My suggestion, if possible, would be to have 2PP edit through the episodes and try to summarize the entire documentary into a couple two hour episodes. Creating a shorter "mini-series" would make it more approachable to other people and those that enjoy it might be tempted to buy the entire series. I'm not sure if this has been brought up, but I think it would be a nice compromise for those backers that would be against giving the series away for non-backers and for you to explain the situations that arose during production.

I have to disagree with this.

- Firstly, making this kind of cut would be incredibly hard, and in the worst case scenario you'd be removing parts that could have resonated more with people without realizing it.

- Secondly, you set up the frustrating scenario of people asking themselves what you have decided to not show them and coming to the conclusion that it was all edited to make it look nicer. I know this is already the case since it's a documentary in the first place, but some would take this as further evidence.

- Thirdly, it doesn't really matter that everybody see everything, what's important is that the material is THERE TO SEE. If you are making an argument you can just point to the episode and the minute where they say something, and anybody can go and look for themselves.

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I don't think it's a good idea. I would have no problem with that (100$ backer here), but I foresee some issues.

First, some users have paid to get the documentary, now you'll be distributing it for free? It's too early for that. I know buyers and backers would get access to HD versions and extras, but still...

Second, people who hate you will keep hating you no matter what, because they won't lose their precious time to listen to "Schafer's excuses in the documentary". As someone else already said, they could even reedit the documentary out-of-context BEFORE Act 2 is released. DANGER-DANGER-DANGER.

Third, foreign gamers have trouble in getting everything is said in the episodes (glad to see closed captioning coming!): nothing will really change for them.

Fourth, the best way to end the madness is publishing Act 2 and Massive Chalice 1.0. We're getting there, so my advice is simply: hold on, try and ignore the mayhem.

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Give it away! Free or paid, whatever suits your needs! It's an awesome documentary, and it would be sad for it to "rot"...

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Originally I thought the DFA documentary would end up on sale on Steam and on Netflix simply due to how well it fits in both of these services and the amount of work put into making it, so hearing about a possible public release for free was a bit of a surprise,

My thoughts exactly. The doc was never promised to be exclusive (only the "monthly releases" of it), so my understanding was that 2PP would sell it just like DF would sell the game. If any of those two products were to get a price tag of 0, that would indeed be surprising (given the quality and amount of work invested) but certainly not a problem. If you are up for it, then by all means make it happen!

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I don't want to sound rough, but it takes a so long time now to finish the game, who should now why without the documentary? Make it public, maybe the people get it then. *Yeah, bad english. Sorry. Greetings from Germany.*

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As others have said, I've more than got my moneys worth and am happy for the documentary episodes to be released publicly.

I've spent years getting annoyed at people who have 'sworn off' Kickstarter, or Double Fine in general, because of the "mess" that has been made of Broken Age when they aren't even a backer, or invested in the project at all. Having access to the documentary episodes would give the same level of vital context that we've all enjoyed.

Anyone whinging about people already 'paying' for the documentary episodes and it being problematic to release it for free needs to remember that the documentary was available at all reward tiers, starting at $15. Broken Age itself is $25 on Steam at the moment, so those people have paid negative money to enjoy a great adventure game and a frankly fascinating documentary series. We've had nearly three years of video releases, let's let everyone else in.

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I can only speak for myself obviously, but I would have zero issues with a decision to make the entire documentary series free for everyone. In the end, backing the project was about enabling it to happen, and that includes the documentary series. Having it exist is more than enough of a reward, and I couldn't care less if someone out didn't pay for it also gets the benefit of enjoying the series. If Double Fine feels that it would help create a positive vibe for the pending release of the other half of the game, I would say go for it.

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Definitely needs to be made public, however you choose to do so - paid or free. It'll only further serve DF and 2PP, both of whom have done a terrific job throughout.

I think a free, gradual release might get you more publicity. Maybe a pay-what-you-want for all of it at once? I'm sure Justin already has his spreadsheet with ideas and projections ready.

To appease us horrible people, just make sure we're all added into the end-of-doc-credits somewhere :) Or better yet, divide the list of backers amongst the REDS team and get them to say our names at the very end of the doc. HAHA.

(No that's mean. Forget I said that.)

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I’m ok with it, not because all this public backslash, the hell with them, but because it's a story that deserves to be made known at some point and not just kept by ourselves.

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Seems fine to me, It's a pretty great look into a games development, even if it only has minimal benefits for you guys I think it would be good for the industry and people who wanna know more. (like kids/new developers wanting to get into the business.)

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seems like a fine idea.

the minecraft documentary was 'free' but you could still pay for it. i can see this docu being released in a similar way.

to be honest though, i almost think i enjoyed the documentaries more than the game ... i definately like the game... but the documentaries gave the real moneys worth for me ...

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