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BlackDove

So, in the end, was it worth it?

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So the ride is over.

I've been on it from the get-go with the Kickstarter, mainly for the documentary. I never really cared about the game being finished or not, all I really wanted to see was the creation process 2PP would document. I definitely got more than my money's worth, without a doubt.

Now that all has been said and done, I was simply wondering, was the whole thing worth it? I realize this question will never really be answered, because no matter what the answer is, the headlines tomorrow would be "TIM SCHAFER SAYS BROKEN AGE WASN'T WORTH IT ON PRIVATE FORUM, ALSO, CLAIMS BACKERS ARE SCUM!" and crap like that, but I figured it was at least worth asking.

The closed development process with milestones, producers that don't know anything about games giving input on how the game should be made and what the content should be, and funding issues when one goes over budget is a model certainly fraught with problems.

But in the end, was the crowdfunded experience much better by comparison? Constant public shaming, doom and gloom articles, "Tim does it again going over budget, this game will never be released", etc. Giving the power of criticism and public outcry to people, essentially, not competent enough to hold a coherent thought, let alone critique a game or its development process. The pressure of having the public eye on every single development hiccup with hyperbolic glasses that immediately translate to "THIS GAME IS FINISHED, EVERYONE THREW THEIR MONEY AWAY, LET'S SUE THEM" garbage rhetoric. Not that there haven't been many understanding backers supporting the cause throughout, but still.

I don't know, as I've said, I've been around since the start, and now after witnessing the experience, I really can't say that crowdfunding appears to be the better way to go. Maybe setting limits on insight and public knowledge regarding production would have yielded better results? Maybe worse, I don't know.

Again, I realize that you guys, the dev team, can't really answer this question, or maybe even touch it with a ten-foot pole, but a postmortem on the pros and cons of the whole experience would be quite interesting, don't you think?

I mean, I wouldn't be surprised if the final conclusion was "Never again." And that might be an educational message for others who may be planning on doing their kickstart ventures.

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Maybe Episode 20 will have some insights! Hopefully we'll get to see soon.

I suspect that they would consider another kickstarter, more like Massive Chalice's than like Broken Age's.

Smiles

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I think certain lessons were learned about Kickstarter, and we know that from comparing BA to MC. It's funny how some people easily forget that the DFA led the widespread industry charge into kickstarter, rather than being just another kickstarter among many. And so, much like an older sibling, DF learned a lot of lessons that their younger kickstarter siblings---on account of watching how that all worked out---didn't have to.

I think the feeling that KS is the second coming of christ, which was felt by many at the time, is pretty much gone at this point. What remains is that KS is a viable, alternative way to fund and develop a game, which has its own pros and cons, just like other methods. It is still a way to do things, so they could probably still do it again, but there are also other ways to do things, and DF seems to like experimenting with funding/develop methods as much as they like experimenting with game ideas. Never do it the same way twice. (Unless it makes a billion dollars.)

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Maybe Episode 20 will have some insights! Hopefully we'll get to see soon.

I too want to see the last documentary episode before thinking too much. I have every reason to believe this question will be addressed in some way before the project's final goodbye. (By the way, if anyone has an inkling whether Episode 20 is likely to be July, August or September... this would help me stop checking all over the place on a daily basis for some kind of update.)

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I too want to see the last documentary episode before thinking too much. I have every reason to believe this question will be addressed in some way before the project's final goodbye. (By the way, if anyone has an inkling whether Episode 20 is likely to be July, August or September... this would help me stop checking all over the place on a daily basis for some kind of update.)

I asked 2 Player on Twitter, and they said it would be out before the end of the week.

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I too want to see the last documentary episode before thinking too much. I have every reason to believe this question will be addressed in some way before the project's final goodbye. (By the way, if anyone has an inkling whether Episode 20 is likely to be July, August or September... this would help me stop checking all over the place on a daily basis for some kind of update.)

I asked 2 Player on Twitter, and they said it would be out before the end of the week.

That would be cool. Also kinda sad, but cool!

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So yeah, the final episode really does touch on this issue, and there are quite bold comments on the process in it. I didn't think that you guys would be so open, but you actually went and said it.

And I have to say I agree. As nice as the nice parts of the ride were, the trust placed in the audience with the transparency really was abused in key cases. There were always going to be people who would abuse it, either for nonchalant reasons of being ultra angry in the first five seconds of receiving news that the promises written on tablets of stone were not going to be followed to the letter, as *GASP*, the development cycle changed, or just because it would bring them the attention they craved by being unique and different in their response towards the game, going against the grain; like, "we as consumers deserve more, we should expect more", not realizing or touching on the fact that they don't actually deserve anything.

They always backed an experiment, not a game developed by golden standards of adhering to strict timelines and a production cycle that was a known quantity. The reaction to the hiccups was just like a child being told, after a week of being let known in advance, that they can't go to Disneyland. It doesn't matter what the reason is, it's just that mommy and daddy promised that they'd go to Disneyland, and now whatever the rational reason for it not transpiring is irrelevant, it's time to be forever angry with righteous indignation.

"I don't think my next game would be an adventure game. I wouldn't say I'd never make one again."

Just a perfectly formulated final assessment.

It's why I made this thread, because I felt the same way after observing the whole thing. After this experience, to be honest, the internet does not deserve another adventure game. Maybe when, and if ever, it grows up. The reactions in many cases were just embarrassing. For everyone.

Anyway, good on you Double Fine, thanks for these past few years and the experience you gave us. It was unique, with many lessons for all parties involved. And you ended up giving us a great, finished, long and polished game.

Take care, and good luck with your next projects. Thank you.

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yeah, I was sad about some of the internet's reaction. I hope it's like Tim says and it's just a particularly nasty moment to be around games on the internet, and that people can be more open to projects like these in the future.

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So yeah, the final episode really does touch on this issue, and there are quite bold comments on the process in it. I didn't think that you guys would be so open, but you actually went and said it.

And I have to say I agree. As nice as the nice parts of the ride were, the trust placed in the audience with the transparency really was abused in key cases. There were always going to be people who would abuse it, either for nonchalant reasons of being ultra angry in the first five seconds of receiving news that the promises written on tablets of stone were not going to be followed to the letter, as *GASP*, the development cycle changed, or just because it would bring them the attention they craved by being unique and different in their response towards the game, going against the grain; like, "we as consumers deserve more, we should expect more", not realizing or touching on the fact that they don't actually deserve anything.

They always backed an experiment, not a game developed by golden standards of adhering to strict timelines and a production cycle that was a known quantity. The reaction to the hiccups was just like a child being told, after a week of being let known in advance, that they can't go to Disneyland. It doesn't matter what the reason is, it's just that mommy and daddy promised that they'd go to Disneyland, and now whatever the rational reason for it not transpiring is irrelevant, it's time to be forever angry with righteous indignation.

"I don't think my next game would be an adventure game. I wouldn't say I'd never make one again."

Just a perfectly formulated final assessment.

It's why I made this thread; because I felt the same way after observing the whole thing. After this experience, to be honest, the internet does not deserve another adventure game. Maybe when, and if ever, it grows up. The reactions in many cases were just embarrassing. For everyone.

Anyway, good on you Double Fine, thanks for these past few years and the experience you gave us. It was unique, with many lessons for all parties involved. And you ended up giving us a great, finished, long and polished game.

Take care, and good luck with your next projects. Thank you.

Yup. Just yup.

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Yeah, I mean, there was the Spacebase thing which probably would have happened either way. But a lot of the negativity that happened was on account of DF/Tim being very progressive and vocally advocating on women's issues when the internet KKK rolled through town.

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I don't know about DF, but it was worth it for me. I had said initially that I wouldn't back again, judging from what Act 1 turned out to be. However, after playing Act 2 I was absolutely delighted with the end result. I may actually back again.....provided it's an adventure.

I've said this in the final episode thread as well, but the documentary alone was worth every penny. While the game may have disappointed in some ways early on, the documentary was always a treat and was never disappointing in the least. Even if the adventure turned out to be crap and I hated it, I'd still consider it worth it for the documentary. 2PP really does phenomenal work. I love their style of editing, interviewing, and how they capture those "off-camera" moments. They can make it truly interesting, moving, and entertaining to watch. I loved the Mojang documentary as well. Anything these guys work on is a treat.

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My take away is: I wish game development could be a cheaper and faster process, and I thought crowdfunding would actually speed up the development process by cutting away overhead, since the audience would be a known quantity. I am aware that a huge part of the expense of developing a game is adding elements to broaden the audience for the game: Stories get cut so combat modes can be added, for instance. But if you are lucky enough to know your audience in advance, it's a rare opportunity to focus your energies solely on what your audience really cares about, and trim the rest of the fat.

Here's an illustration: Let's say there's a $20 Million Kickstarter for Joss Whedon. The kind of people who back that would be overjoyed to get a low-fi Firefly follow-up miniseries, or one season of some quirky new IP similar to Buffy. So imagine if the delivered result is the first 40 minutes of an Avengers movie with the second half to be financed from other sources... All these things really are super awesome, but clearly crowdfunding provides a golden opportunity to go niche-as-heck in a staggeringly powerful way. When it comes to the science of entertainment production, I believe that niche = more efficient, cheaper, faster. And I wanted to see Double Fine maximize this formula to the hilt because I love them so much. I think everything DF makes is a bit niche, but I wanted to see them go even further in that efficient direction, because they had guaranteed money from loving supporters. But the project went back into the zone of not-guaranteed money, by targeting a broader audience than the original backers (and their like-minded ilk).

Double Fine is not just a company. It's a home for people like the ones posting in this thread. It's essentially a big love-fest. This is unparalleled. But when we cut down to the nuts and bolts of game production, I don't like the phase the company is at right now. I don't believe they've hit their stride. The documentary will help make that crystal clear in hindsight, some years from now. I think we'll be doing all of this (crowdfunding, production, community management) a lot better in a decade or so, in great measure owing to DFA.

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It's difficult to watch the final episode and come away with the feeling that the team thought it was all worth it. But, the game got made, and DoubleFine stayed in business for another three years, which by all accounts might not have been the case had the KickStarter campaign not been so successful. The game's quality is the icing on the cake.

I back many KickStarters and I just wish that people would go in with their eyes open, creators included. I wish Broken Age had been a paragon of constrained expectations and project control. I wish, almost, that the DF KS hadn't been so successful...but not quite. I do however wish that Tim had found a story he could tell without having to pour the company's money into the well alongside the crowd-funded cash. I wish that KickStarter would have been shown as a perfectly viable business model for studios like DoubleFine, who have a million ideas but a hard time selling even one of them to publishers, let alone getting the game they envisioned out the other side, so that they could have simply turned their back on the publishers and found a future backed entirely by their audience.

But that didn't happen. Instead, I can't shake the feeling that Broken Age will, correctly or not, go down as a salutary lesson for other creators going forward, and this despite the fact that, delays and blown budgets and all, it gave us not only what was promised, but a lot more besides.

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With some distance and thought put into to it, I can't really see any way that this wouldn't have been worth it.

I understand there are certain aspects of the project and everything surrounding it, that some could have done without, like the internet drama. And I guess that we all would have wanted the game to generate extreme profits.

But the project spawned an adventure game loved by many, a great doc loved by pretty much everyone, and all this http://store.steampowered.com/tag/en/Kickstarter/#p=0&tab=TopSellers

How could it not have been worth it?

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With some distance and thought put into to it, I can't really see any way that this wouldn't have been worth it.

I understand there are certain aspects of the project and everything surrounding it, that some could have done without, like the internet drama. And I guess that we all would have wanted the game to generate extreme profits.

But the project spawned an adventure game loved by many, a great doc loved by pretty much everyone, and all this http://store.steampowered.com/tag/en/Kickstarter/#p=0&tab=TopSellers

How could it not have been worth it?

Don't get me wrong! From a personal point of view, this whole saga was *100%* worth it. The documentary is one of the best behind-the-scenes I've ever seen, in any genre, and I loved the game.

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