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Finished Broken Age? Discuss here! (Including Spoilers)

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I finished this morning - what an incredible game!

Everything about Act II has improved the game dramatically! - the puzzles were a lot more detailed, required me to pull out a notepad (yay!) and were FUN to solve! I didn't get stupidly stuck at any point (the team clearly avoided the temptation of introducing any of those "use a monkey as a wrench" type puzzles to choke on, as Oliver put it) and the game sensibly hinted and pushed me along the entire time. And ofcourse, the story and writing are terrific!

The documentary and now the finished product have been absolutely incredible. I was one of those complaining about the length and difficulty of Act I's puzzles, but with Act II this has now been delivered in spades.

I also didn't experience any bugs or glitches (played on both Windows and Linux no less), so great job to the DFA team on making it through that final crunch without leaving any (noticeable) residue!

Thank you Tim, Greg, Justin, Lee, Oliver, Anna, Ray, Bagel, Camden, Peter and the rest of the incredible team! What a great ride!

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Also, when can I order a Hexipal plushie?! Does it come pre-wired to dance?

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I suspect I'm probably going to be in a minority here, but I absolutely loved the wiring puzzles :D

Broken Age is one charming game from beginning to end. Here are some notes I made when I first finished the game a little while back.

Upon completing the game, I enjoyed that Gary was the one to save Shay and not Vella (or Shay's mother). A "saviour debt" type relationship between Shay and Vella feels like it would have undermined the characters' independence, likewise with Hope, letting Shay be free of maternal safety nets feels important for his journey.

I love that Vella was able to take care of herself when Marek appeared at the end.

Having the two Mogs/ships combine to create a bridge between the two worlds felt nice and poignant.

I love that Courtney and Dawn found a connection and were able to free themselves from their preconceptions - openness is the best part of all good friendships :)

I'm sad for Gary and wish he had more screentime/I had more time to interact with him. I imagine that this is intended.

I'm going to guess that the ending is probably going to leave some feeling that things aren't resolved or that the story doesn't have closure, but I don't feel that way. It could have been be nice to have some hints at what the outcome of the game's story would mean for the two separate worlds presented (this is done a little in the credits, but we still have no insight into what it's like in Laruna outside of what Marek and the Thrushmaster talk about). Shay and Vella "meeting" for the first time is definitely the right beat to end on, though.

Shay's parents turning out to be people felt a bit weird at first, but they're both endearing and I was able to get used to it pretty quickly.

I had a good chuckle about it, but I think some will QQ about the cliff being a dead end.

I think fewer people than should will get the stump joke reference. I found myself wanting to try more of the bad tree jokes after solving the fish puzzle.

Like with the fish spray in Act 1, I ended up disappointed by not being able to whack everything within arms reach with Brommel's cane.

Some thoughts on some puzzle elements:

I don't care what anybody says, I loved wiring (I think some will hate it). I hope that there are a couple more amusing patterns than I was able to find.

Gus' ability to repeat the cloud-bathroom line feels like it's meant to be a hint, but I can't see how that connects to any puzzle that's in the game (unless it's referencing the fish falling into the tree, but if it is, it doesn't quite feel useful).

Vella's tube puzzle feels like it's hampered by it not being clear that the weak part that she wants to cut is at the top. The "I can't reach it from here" text leads the player towards trying to climb on the hexagons rather than pulling one out that will make for a good landing point.

The recall pattern puzzle is going to give people problems, I reckon. It's a good one though.

The wiring solution/key hiding in the photo on Hope's desk is probably going to cause problems for some.

The difficulty increase feels good. I feel like I was able to move through it more quickly than I was expecting based on stuff that'd been talked about in the doc.

I don't know if that's a bad thing at all, but I still think there'll be people who complained about Act 1 being too easy who will end up hunting for walkthroughs, and I will laugh at them.

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One other thing that I think Broken Age is going to bring up is that towards the end of the game, there are points where the protagonists' awareness isn't enough for puzzles to be solved. Over the years, I've seen a few people go back and forth on whether it's cool to have the player know more than the player character.

Within Broken Age, it's possible to interpret the player's broader awareness as a substitute for the "intuition" that the plot touches on, which is interesting too.

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I just beat ACT 2 and I must say, it did end everything perfectly. Would it be bad to say I almost love the final credits the most?

I literally cheered when I saw small glimpses of the characters interacting with each other after the story.

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While I enjoyed my time with Act One immensely it did feel a little linear at times. Act 2 was perfect.

I have sometimes wondered if my love for the genre, at this point, is mostly driven by nostalgia but here we are with a game that gave me every bit as much immersion and enjoyment as the old classics.

Congratulations Double Fine, you nailed it!!

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I want more. I... I want to see the rest of the story. It gives me the feeling I get at the end of a good book. When everything is resolved from the conflict presented in the book, but you want to be in that world longer. You want to see the repercussions of the actions taking. You want to see how the characters evolve. How relationships change. I want to know if Shay and Vella got married, damn it.

So, story-wise, it hit all the right notes for me. None of it was fairly surprising or twisty, in terms of overall plot-progression, but it had nice fake-outs and some deviations from the usual cliches. All in all, it was a very enjoyable game. My mind went to darker places than the story dared to go (though parts of it can be construed to be pretty dark: "What PIECE of him were you trying to reach?"), but that's really to be expected.

Puzzle-wise, I always new the general idea of what it is I needed to do, but the HOW to do it sometimes got me caught. And, like always, it was the simplest puzzle that game me the biggest problem. Just... waiting for that damn snake to get tired is... so... counter-intuitive but, maybe that's because I have a dislike and fear of snakes (and that constrictor made me uncomfortable but not extremely so, since I know it's a game). I kept thinking that that metal stool like thing in Curtis' house was what you needed to hold the snake or something. I also forgot to explore leftwards from the french horn after getting the snake down. The wiring puzzles only had me stumped for a little while because I was focusing on the wrong part of the picture and I didn't write down any of the combinations, my own fault really.

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I suspect I’m probably going to be in a minority here, but I absolutely loved the wiring puzzles :D

Me too.

I'm not very good at adventure games, so as soon as I realized how much more difficult Act 2 was for me, I just began taking physical notes, then it got really fun.

I ended up with a few pages of all kinds of crazy notes and diagrams as I inched myself closer and closer to each solution.

It was such a unique experience and I wish more games could be like this.

---

And to Tim and everyone at Double Fine, I really appreciate you, and what you have done so much.

You took a chance on crowd-funding, and you made something great.

You opened up the game development process in a way I have never seen outside of this G4 Icons episode.

Watching that as a kid it blew my mind. It made me so [del]jealous[/del] inspired.

I cannot even imagine how much more impact the 2PP documentary will have. I hope you realize how many lives you will actually change.

Some of the kids who watch it will inevitably be just as [del]jealous[/del] inspired as I was and go on to make games. And the games they will make will make even more kids [del]jealous[/del] inspired.. and so on.

You have made history, and done something truly special.

Thank you.

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it was much better than act 1. im in minority here cause i kinda disliked the initial wiring puzzle the later ones were i already had some idea how wirings worked were nice :). Kinda reminds of the hand puzzle from monkey island 2 which tim liked (i kinda disliked the hand puzzle also).

Act 2 however left some questions unanswered. Was the plague real? Did Vella and Shay doom everyone in loraine or save em all?. I get that the nazis were using the plague as a reason to do eugenics with ppl but that doesnt tell us anything about the plague. Also grandmother of vella what happened to her after her big reveal?

And i would have loved to see how ppl were living inside the plague dam

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Finished Act 2 about an hour ago, and I absolutely loved it. I really enjoyed the puzzles and the difficulty level of this half, even if I got stuck at a few parts for a while, it was just so satisfying when everything just clicked and I finally found the solution. Without spoiling everything (even though I probably can in here), I got a little teary eyed when the ending rolled in. I just didn't want the trip to be over, but it was definitely a satisfying game from beginning to end. To every single one of you, thank you so much for all your hard work, I'm so happy to have been a small part of the ride in this most excellent adventure. :)

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What a great game. I had a few "stuck" moments where it was nice to switch to the other character to find some clues.

The wiring puzzles were great. I didn't have any problem with them.

Two things that I spent more time on than I should have:

1. Vella's tube puzzle - I expected the long pipe to drag and drop from inventory or click to connect like the smaller pipe. Got a bit frustrated with this not working :D

2. Looking for 2 other pieces of wire to fix Vella's bot (the wire you find looks too small!).

Congrats to the team, great product and glad to have backed!

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Very enjoying and satisfying second half of the adventure. The credits were fantastic, lots of cute drawings, I laughed a lot harder than I should have at the spork baby.

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Amazing puzzle design! Really tricky and intricate, but never unfair or obtuse. I was stuck a lot, but never frustrated. The game really kind of gets into Loom or The Dig territory at a few points.

I'm still kind of processing the plot. The "B" story of moment-to-moment character interactions was really well done. It reminded me a lot of Grim Fandango, where every side character has his or her own little subplot and mini-arc. The main storyline felt a little rushed, though. There was a lot of plot in a relatively short amount of time. I think I still just mentally have to sort through it for a bit.

I love the credit sequence vignettes. Awesome visual storytelling. And they managed to provide some of the resolution that the game proper was missing.

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I just finished it and liked it a lot.

I suspect I'm probably going to be in a minority here, but I absolutely loved the wiring puzzles :D

I liked the wiring puzzles too. It was a nice throwback to classic adventure games where you had to write down puzzles (or screengrab them, which is useful in modern times ;)), and I like puzzles like that. That's a big reason why I liked the book puzzles in The Dream Machine or the gears puzzle in The Journey Down. You can do a nice, old fashioned, adventure puzzle in modern adventures, that makes you actually have to use references outside of the game (unless you have a photographic memory), and do them right. And I think all three games that I mentioned (Broken Age included) did these types of puzzles right.

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Just finished it and want to say thanks to everybody at double fine for a great act!

My feedback on the first half was that while the game looked great, had a fun story and great dialogue/music/sound but that it felt just a little too linear and unchallenging. This time around though everything was perfect, I got stuck a number of times but always knew what I was supposed to do.

Other than that I don't really have much to say. Just that I hope now that you have the tech there will be more double fine adventure games in the future!

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Finally went through the whole game in ... 10 hours (having already finished act 1 in 6). I spent way too much time just taking in all of the characters and the dialogue. Took a bunch of screenshots to use as wallpapers too :D!

I actually did not find any puzzles overwhelmingly difficult, and I enjoyed all of them quite a bit (even the wiring! Figuring it out made me feel all smart and stuff. I only had a tissue to write notes on :P). I thought the story came to a really good end, and the drawings of the characters doing things after the events of the game really sold it! Overall, I'm just friggin' happy!

To repeat some stuff I wrote on Twitter: DF spent 3 years going through hell and back to deliver pure brilliance. I cried happy tears at the end, and for sure I will again when I watch the documentary's final episode.

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Finished the complete game, playing through Act I again per Tim's advice, and really, really enjoyed it. (Though there were a couple sticking points. e.g.: I was going back and forth on boots for about an hour because I missed part of the instructions and overlooked one of the clues—after brute-forcing the answer I figured out what I'd misunderstood, and if I'd understood the instructions it would have taken me 1 try.)

It definitely looks, sounds, and feels like the $7-$10 million game that it is. Very satisfying.

I wonder how things would have gone for Double Fine if they'd raised $8+ million on Kickstarter and said from the get-go, "This is enough budget for 3 years of small-team development, which corresponds with the size of adventure game Tim is used to designing." Meh. I got my money's worth a year or more ago, from the documentary alone. Though I am hoping that one of the post-mortem updates we get in a couple of months goes over the entire budget/expenses/sales/etc data for the life of the project. From a "seeing how sausage is made" perspective, that sort of information is invaluable.

Thanks to the entire team at Double Fine for putting everything on the line to deliver this amazing experience. I can't wait to play through Act II again with my wife; there's so much good stuff in there.

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Finished the whole game just now. I replayed Act 1 again last weekend to get in the mood. I already loved that act and this time played it the other way around, by starting with Vella and then doing Shay's part. It's fun to see how that gives you a much better insight in what is going on during the Shay part.

Act 2 was wonderful as well. The puzzles were so much better this time around and I found most of them to be quite logical. One complaint I've seen in a review and that I stumbled upon as well is the puzzles that require playing the other character for a while. Since you could play Act 1 in one big stretch you would get the impression that you could also do this for Act 2. This was not the case and unfortunately this wasn't hinted at well enough (or not even at all during the Vella part, which I started with). Besides that little flaw I had a great time. Loved the puzzles, loved the characters, loved the art, loved the music. Basically I loved it all.

Great game!

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Hi Double Fine.

I just finished Act 2 and loved it. I definitely thought Act 1 was too easy so I am very happy the difficulty was increased for Act 2. I loved the wiring puzzles and the pH puzzle the best. I had a really hard time figuring out how to alter the star chart. I knew the answer was in Shay's world, but I incorrectly assumed the answer was on the piece of paper behind Alex. I spent A LOT of time trying to figure out how the notes on that paper could be manipulated into the star chart I needed. In retrospect, I think that piece of paper was intended to be a hint that musical notes, generally, are that ship's equivalent to the star chart.

Thank you Double Fine for the awesome game! Thank you 2 Player for the awesome documentary!

As an aside, Secret of Monkey Island was the first game I ever owned for PC (my parents bought it for me, to this day i still have no idea why). I still remember the puzzle that gave me the most difficulty. You need money and the circus performers are willing to pay you to test out their cannon, but you need a helmet. What could you possibly use as a helmet???

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On a sidenote, I just ran through Act I, skipping all the dialog and cutscenes I could and still went through it in 29 minutes. Playing through the whole game in under an hour to get the "Let's Get This Good Time Over With" achievement is going to be pretty tough. ;)

I don't care what anybody says, I loved wiring (I think some will hate it). I hope that there are a couple more amusing patterns than I was able to find.

Considering one of the achievement icons, it looks like there's a really fun one in there somewhere. :)

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All in all Broken Age was very entertaining, well crafted game. I would have loved if the Plague Dam had gotten a bit more play time, even some stuff that would have happened in the city itself, as the big reveals you get there feel a bit like they're just left hovering there. That been said though I think the difficulty curve is pretty good here, with act 1 starting out as easier and act 2 having a couple of stunner moments where you actually get stuck for a while.

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I've mentioned this already but the knot puzzle was EVIL. I spent at least 45 minutes alone trying to figure out if there was a pattern to its madness using the 4 dialog options we were given. When I eventually went and found the person with the know-how in knot untying and I get a picture diagram because artists are VISUAL, yet Br'ther was VERBAL...Man was that frustrating, especially when you go to see if there's a guru with the know how to convert one to the other, you get responses like "the first thing I think of would be...scissors", you just want to chuck something at them >_<

After spending all that time failing to untie it, the idea of trying to describe that crazy looking diagram using those 4 options was not first on my list, given I'd have to go back to get a new diagram if I failed. It was only after when I asked Carol to draw me a new one and it was suggested that I try using that diagram first that I actually went and tried it on Br'ther and realized there were new dialog options to choose from. Thinking about it, Walter's advice was actually spot on with the solution too, but you just treated it as being unhelpful given the setup >_>

It was definitely great that there were puzzles that required you to play both characters at least part way in order to solve the other's problems, but I think a little more feedback from the character after x number of failed attempts would have been helpful. A simple "Hey! This isn't working, I think you need to approach this *insert patented Schafer hint here* from a different angle", that would get more frequent with consecutive failed attempts, might have saved time for things... like the knot puzzle.... I know I tried guessing the return to sender NavChart puzzle for Vella multiple times and even started up a new game to note down the different NavCharts before conceding that I might need something from Shay's side to solve this. And then for whatever reason I used the shell instrument on Alex and he gave me the return to sender tune with no prior explanation that there even was such a thing (unless I missed it). I also had several moments where I wished I had the capacity to "flush" my items to the other character as there were times where the other character had the sonic screwdriver that would have solved all my problems if the other character had it. I bet that was intentional...

The final puzzle that stumped me was using the Hexipal to tickle the Space Weaver. It was only after the fact (upon finding a solution on the forums) that I realized back when I used the knife on the cloth it was hinting towards needing to make the Space Weaver "feel" something, if that was the intended hint. If say touching the cloth with your hands made the weaver ticklish, that would been enough to know I needed something to continuously tickle it as a distraction in much the same way Shay hit the drum on Alex's ship. I might have missed it, but I don't recall at any point was there was a hint to the Space Weaver being ticklish. I did speed run through Act I prior to playing it, but I skipped the majority of conversations that didn't directly progress the story.

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I loved it obviously. Not unreservedly, and probably not as much as my absolute favourite Schafer games, but easily, easily enough to justify this wonderful 3 year journey.

Here are some spoiler-free thoughts I wrote up on my blog after sleeping.

http://www.kestrelpi.co.uk/blog/2015/4/28/my-trite-sycophantic-spoiler-free-thoughts-on-how-broken-age-turned-out

And since this is the spoiler thread, I'll say that with regards to the last part I in my write-up ust wish it had done a slightly less hand-waving job of answering the questions of exactly why a boy operating a weird video game was the best way to select people to kidnap to Laruna, since that part of the plot, for me, never really seemed to come together in a quite satisfactory way. I guess I also don't understand, after the story has ended, why Shay's parents hid themselves away. It seems like they could have come out at any time and it would have been fine. Am I missing something there?

Anyway, GREAT work Double Fine.

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I loved it obviously. Not unreservedly, and probably not as much as my absolute favourite Schafer games, but easily, easily enough to justify this wonderful 3 year journey.

Here are some spoiler-free thoughts I wrote up on my blog after sleeping.

http://www.kestrelpi.co.uk/blog/2015/4/28/my-trite-sycophantic-spoiler-free-thoughts-on-how-broken-age-turned-out

And since this is the spoiler thread, I'll say that with regards to the last part I in my write-up ust wish it had done a slightly less hand-waving job of answering the questions of exactly why a boy operating a weird video game was the best way to select people to kidnap to Laruna, since that part of the plot, for me, never really seemed to come together in a quite satisfactory way. I guess I also don't understand, after the story has ended, why Shay's parents hid themselves away. It seems like they could have come out at any time and it would have been fine. Am I missing something there?

Anyway, GREAT work Double Fine.

For the girl-capturing bit, they say it is pretty much intuition and instinct. Those are never satisfying answers, but something about Lorunian society makes those traits difficult to possess when raised within the city walls. If you exhaust all dialog options with Marek (after getting locked in the control room) and the Thrushmaster, you get a better idea of what it was they were searching for. Something about Lorunian society (and the way they altered their genetics) made them lacking.

As far as the parents go... maybe you're missing perspective? I mean there is hand-waving there, but think of it from Shay's perspective. His parents are never really around because they're always busy doing other things, and they annoy him immensely and treat him like a child. He hasn't seen them for a while, and is mostly being taken care of by robots. He's being resentful and sort of deluding himself into thinking they're computers because it makes him less lonely and easier to vent his frustrations about how he is being treated. Basically, he uses the power of teenage angst to sort of dismiss his parents existence.

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For the girl-capturing bit, they say it is pretty much intuition and instinct. Those are never satisfying answers, but something about Lorunian society makes those traits difficult to possess when raised within the city walls. If you exhaust all dialog options with Marek (after getting locked in the control room) and the Thrushmaster, you get a better idea of what it was they were searching for. Something about Lorunian society (and the way they altered their genetics) made them lacking.

Yeah I saw all that dialogue, it's just that as you say none of it really satisfies as an answer. I can see the 'we need to capture people because of this weird deficiency in our otherwise perfect master race' but as for why who to pick comes from the sort of vague intuitions of a boy behind some spaceship controls, that... was less clear.

As far as the parents go... maybe you're missing perspective? I mean there is hand-waving there, but think of it from Shay's perspective. His parents are never really around because they're always busy doing other things, and they annoy him immensely and treat him like a child. He hasn't seen them for a while, and is mostly being taken care of by robots. He's being resentful and sort of deluding himself into thinking they're computers because it makes him less lonely and easier to vent his frustrations about how he is being treated. Basically, he uses the power of teenage angst to sort of dismiss his parents existence.

I mean, I can see it as a teenage angst thing, but it's not really framed as such so that feels like cheating. Also he seems genuinely surprised to learn that his parents are real, so that's some powerful delusion going on if so. Are we really saying that his parents were so busy that they didn't show their face for long enough that Shay managed to persuade himself that they didn't even exist? Because that seems... so far fetched that it feels like a plot hole, honestly.

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I guess I also don't understand, after the story has ended, why Shay's parents hid themselves away. It seems like they could have come out at any time and it would have been fine. Am I missing something there?

Think to the too-important photo on Mom's console; Shay was playing, in person, on the ship, with his parents—probably older than age 9, considering the pictured boots. So he certainly knew (not too long before we meet him) that his parents were real, live people. But with time the ship has been degrading more and more (and mom has been getting more and more paranoid of the dangerous planets they're approaching) so dad has been spending all his time "outside" the ship repairing the hull and mom has been holed up in her control room—and considering they both thought they were actually in space, I don't doubt that their behavior was just as manipulated by Marek as Shay's was.

Which is to say, the Thrush had determined (and remember, they've been sending these expeditions out for hundreds of years, trying to perfect the process generation after generation) that the way to get the results they wanted was through deceit and manipulation, including keeping the family out of town, making them believe they're flying a space ship among hostile worlds, isolating the boy from his parents before he becomes a teenager, and then manipulating that alienation from his parents to get him to "choose" the maidens—by tapping into a lifetime of "be a hero" brainwashing spoon-fed to him by his constant "missions".

His parents weren't aware they were hiding themselves from Shay—dad was constantly looking in the windows at his son as he was kept busy "repairing the hull", watching lovingly through his "space helmet", and mom was literally constantly watching—without letting herself take a moment away from the controls which she had been led to believe were at the center of protecting her family. Both represent the parent so absorbed with work that (even though they may be checking in digitally) they aren't present in their child's life, but who, in being so wrapped up in their work, are unaware they aren't present in the life of the child they think all their work is for. Everyone is deluded, and it's wonderfully crafted allegory about modern families.

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