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Greg Rice

Project Update 10: 7/2/13

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Hello again team Reds! Greg here with another update on what's happening over here! We just finished a sprint last Friday, during which a lot of great progress was made on Vella's village. Tim finished up all the the writing on that area as well and had a bunch of great early casting meetings.

We started a new three-week sprint Monday with the goal of taking Vella's village and the Maidens Feast entirely to Alpha. Tim and Khris are continuing to have casting meetings and we're shooting to have everything casted and ready for a recording session on 7/15. A small team of folks (Lee, Bagel, Tim and Anna) are also moving forward to the area we'll be working on after the village and getting that ready for everyone to jump on.

Our rescoping and rescheduling work is now complete! With Tim's new and final design we were able to map this all out on a timeline and are using that to plan all future sprints (including the current one). As I'm sure you've already learned, schedules are a living thing and will continue to be massaged and adjusted for the rest of the project, but we definitely have a clearer view of the future now then we have ever had. It's very exciting! Tim will be putting up a post that details the current release plans and approximate timeline, so keep a look out for that. (Edit: It's up! Read it!) And there will be more info in the next documentary episode as well, which should be going up...TODAY! (Edit: It's up! Watch it!)

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Thank you Greg for a great update. Good luck to the REDS team in the future with Broken Age

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The more important question is:

Was this information known before the Massive Chalice kickstarter?

If so, then this is incredibly disappointing.

To raise $1m for a new project when it’s clear Double Fine couldn’t deliver a game for $3.7m (plus a $1m from Brutal on PC, plus a $1m from Humble Bundle - I’ve lost count) is playing dirty.

I’m calling shenanigans.

Honestly - I don’t know if I would have backed Massive Chalice if I’d known this information three weeks ago.

I’m not upset by the delay of the game. And I’m certainly not unhappy with the documentary. Heck - I’m thrilled. It’s probably more valuable than the end product.

This is a black eye for Double Fine who repeatedly have shown they can’t deliver a project within a certain budget and timeframe.

Extremely sad. Please continuing doing the best work you can do, because you owe 90,000 backers a lot.

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The more important question is:

Was this information known before the Massive Chalice kickstarter?

If so, then this is incredibly disappointing.

To raise $1m for a new project when it’s clear Double Fine couldn’t deliver a game for $3.7m (plus a $1m from Brutal on PC, plus a $1m from Humble Bundle - I’ve lost count) is playing dirty.

I’m calling shenanigans.

Honestly - I don’t know if I would have backed Massive Chalice if I’d known this information three weeks ago.

I’m not upset by the delay of the game. And I’m certainly not unhappy with the documentary. Heck - I’m thrilled. It’s probably more valuable than the end product.

This is a black eye for Double Fine who repeatedly have shown they can’t deliver a project within a certain budget and timeframe.

Extremely sad. Please continuing doing the best work you can do, because you owe 90,000 backers a lot.

Double Fine has said that they always intended on adding their own funding to the amount raised on Kickstarter for Massive Chalice. The scope of Massive Chalice is also different from that of Broken Age and as a mechanics-driven game it should be easier to rescope if necessary. Finally, I'm getting kind of tired of people copying and pasting their complaints into multiple threads. It's great that you can use these forums to direct concerns directly at the developers, but could everyone please refrain from filling the forums with copied-and-pasted rants?

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Would it have hurt the Massive Chalice Kickstarter if this news got out while it was running? Maybe.

Was Double Fine actively holding the news back? I don't think so. They always announce such news with a new episode, that's how they have always handled it. Plus, it hasn't been a secret for some time now that Broken Age is over-budget and behind schedule. That's old news, known since episode 7, I think?

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The more important question is:

Was this information known before the Massive Chalice kickstarter?

If so, then this is incredibly disappointing.

To raise $1m for a new project when it’s clear Double Fine couldn’t deliver a game for $3.7m (plus a $1m from Brutal on PC, plus a $1m from Humble Bundle - I’ve lost count) is playing dirty.

I’m calling shenanigans.

Honestly - I don’t know if I would have backed Massive Chalice if I’d known this information three weeks ago.

I’m not upset by the delay of the game. And I’m certainly not unhappy with the documentary. Heck - I’m thrilled. It’s probably more valuable than the end product.

This is a black eye for Double Fine who repeatedly have shown they can’t deliver a project within a certain budget and timeframe.

Extremely sad. Please continuing doing the best work you can do, because you owe 90,000 backers a lot.

Massive Chalice is being lead by Brad Muir. Broken Age is lead by someone entirely different: Tim Schafer, whom controls the company Double Fine. Brad knows he has a small budget, and therefore will scope the game much smaller than someone like Tim who will surely scope the game bigger and just draw in money elesewhere.

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It's not exactly unusual in the games industry to be behind schedule and over budget. It's probably more of an exception when a project does meet all of it's original deadlines. Most games don't announce any kind of schedule until they are very far into development. Since Broken Age was announced with a projected timeline before design even began, and because of the excellent documentaries and updates that capture its progress, delays are just more visible. I'm just happy that Double Fine is focused on how to ensure that they will deliver a great game.

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I am very interested in the casting process. Can I make a special request for a segment of the video to cover this? :D

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The more important question is:

Was this information known before the Massive Chalice kickstarter?

If so, then this is incredibly disappointing.

To raise $1m for a new project when it’s clear Double Fine couldn’t deliver a game for $3.7m (plus a $1m from Brutal on PC, plus a $1m from Humble Bundle - I’ve lost count) is playing dirty.

I’m calling shenanigans.

Honestly - I don’t know if I would have backed Massive Chalice if I’d known this information three weeks ago.

Massive Chalice is being lead by Brad Muir. Broken Age is lead by someone entirely different: Tim Schafer, whom controls the company Double Fine. Brad knows he has a small budget, and therefore will scope the game much smaller than someone like Tim who will surely scope the game bigger and just draw in money elesewhere.

The money is still going into the Double Fine bank account. The same bank account that has to pay for 60+ staff every month, so from Tim's perspective, I think he's just doing the best he can to get money in the door to keep the company afloat.

Which is noble.

I've worked in film and videogames where things were not as charitable. Normally when the project was over or the money ran out, you were shown the door.

It's a tough business where you have to spend years making the product up front, and then only get paid at the end - so these guys are working hard to get lots of little (a million bucks is little right?) mini paydays to help them get to a big bag of money on completion.

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to help them get to a big bag of money on completion.
I'm really curious what the expectations (and\or hopes) are regarding this aspect.

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to help them get to a big bag of money on completion.
I'm really curious what the expectations (and\or hopes) are regarding this aspect.

Maybe Double Fine has their own projections and best guesses, but if they got $3m in what were effectively pre-sales of 90,000 units, you'd hope they could make some significant multiple of that.

To be fair, backers were paying $30, $50, $100 or more for their pre-sales copy, but even at $10 a copy it would nice to think Broken Age might sell as well as other indie titles like Braid, Fez or Super Meat Boy (1,000,000 units).

Who knows.

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I have a question: I backed the game via Kickstarter and did not receive a backer update for the newest episode nor the extremely important information about the delay. Talking to people in another forum brings to light this also happened to other people. What went wrong? Will I stay furtherly informed about Broken Age?

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I have a question: I backed the game via Kickstarter and did not receive a backer update for the newest episode nor the extremely important information about the delay. Talking to people in another forum brings to light this also happened to other people. What went wrong? Will I stay furtherly informed about Broken Age?

Have you changed your e-mail recently? Or perhaps the mail ended up in your spam folder...

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I have a question: I backed the game via Kickstarter and did not receive a backer update for the newest episode nor the extremely important information about the delay. Talking to people in another forum brings to light this also happened to other people. What went wrong? Will I stay furtherly informed about Broken Age?
You are already on this forum so subscribing to DFA Development Update Table of Excellent Contents thread will keep you better and faster on the updates then kickstarter.

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I have a question: I backed the game via Kickstarter and did not receive a backer update for the newest episode nor the extremely important information about the delay. Talking to people in another forum brings to light this also happened to other people. What went wrong? Will I stay furtherly informed about Broken Age?

We sent out a Kickstarter update so I'm not sure what went wrong there. Check your spam folder, and check that the email address associated with your Kickstarter account is one that you can currently receive email to.

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Actually I didn't get the most recent email either. I've received previous Broken Age emails (I think the most recent is from June 12) and I'm also getting the MASSIVE CHALICE ones too. I'm a slacker backer on DFA and a normal Kickstarter backer of MC.

ETA: also I did check my spam folder.

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Actually I didn't get the most recent email either. I've received previous Broken Age emails (I think the most recent is from June 12).

Me too.

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I kept up with the updates each month or so and quite enjoyed watching the video updates, right up until Tim said they effectively ran out of money... and I've barely kept an eye on the emails/updates since then because the tone of that video seemed to say "er, we screwed up and underestimated the work needed", except reading DF started a new kickstarter project before Broken Age is even near completion? WTF? And a quick read of the recent email said something about needing another couple of YEARS to work on Broken Age?

What a mess.

See you in 2015 then ?

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See you in 2015 then ?

No, the most recent updates were about how the team's worked out ways to release sooner because the projected release was too far away. Part 1 should be released in January 2014 and Part 2 in May 2014 (Part 2 being smaller than Part 1).

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I think this episodic thing seems kind of exciting! :D

Even if everything were to fail as Tim talked about during the Kickstarter, I still don't feel like it's wasted money. The documentary alone has been worth it. But ehm.. Maybe you should make some changes to your production management :P..

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People keep complaining about bad production management and Double Fine not being able to work to a schedule and budget. It's obvious from the documentaries that the main thing causing the production to spiral out of control and over budget is Tim Schafer's ambition for the the scope and quality of the game. Is getting the game sooner worth limiting that? The company gets $4,000,000 dollars instead of $400,000 or whatever it was - can you really blame them for pushing to make a new Grim Fandango instead of a new Maniac Mansion?

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@philwillis man if you have worked in the industry before then you should have a much better feel for what is going on than your comments suggest. They are building new engines using a new code base for multiple platforms. You should have a basic idea how much uncertainty that entails - my guess is take the original estimate and add +/- 40% uncertainty to it. Next they had to commit Mr Schafer to doing all of the writing to get the money that they did, even though Mr Schafer runs the company. Trying to force ideas out of a guy who isn't able to commit 100% to the project, easily adds more uncertainty. Also, during the episodes I have seen a lot of staff turnover, which adds heaps of delay to any and every software project.

The delays and overspends suck, but given the circumstances they are not unexpected, nor are they unreasonable. If we weren't seeing any product then there would be some big alarm bells, but honestly the game looks in remarkably good shape, and the latest reschedule has removed a lot of uncertainty. Maybe if you had ever managed a project, you would know that.

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People keep complaining about bad production management and Double Fine not being able to work to a schedule and budget. It's obvious from the documentaries that the main thing causing the production to spiral out of control and over budget is Tim Schafer's ambition for the the scope and quality of the game. Is getting the game sooner worth limiting that? The company gets $4,000,000 dollars instead of $400,000 or whatever it was - can you really blame them for pushing to make a new Grim Fandango instead of a new Maniac Mansion?
I think most of the people are under the (false) impression Double Fine received 3.4M to make a 400k game, and got into development woes. Obviously, as most of us should know, the game turned from a simple 400k iOS project into a multimillion full-fledged Adventure game. What's even more frustrating is backer-exclusive updates were turned over to the public via new stories, and then some mislead readers by skewering words.

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I am happy (more than happy) with how things are coming along so far. It's obvious that Tim wants to make a great game, and I for one know he will deliver it. If he hadn't had so much early support, he might have designed (and already delivered) a "fun little game" that would probably not be remotely as important as this game is now. It's not just Kickstarting a game, it is Kickstarting (re-kickstarting?) an entire genre we as a whole have been sorely missing.

People who complain that another Kickstarter happened before the first one is done obviously don't bother to read, or pay any attention to the words spoken in multiple videos. I guess they just "OOOH" at the colors swirling in front of them. The people working on DFA are not the only people in the studio, and were busy doing other things before now. They need to start something while DFA finishes up. I backed Massive Chalice well informed of the previous (and relatively current) goings on, and would have done more if I could.

As for Kickstarter notices, they seem to be having issues from their end, not Double Fine's. I've gone to the website and found notices waiting long before the emails get to me. I may have missed several emails from various projects, because I don't even look for them in the inbox anymore.

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I did not receive an email with this update either. Frowny face. The most recent DFA email was on 2013-05-30 with the MC Kickstarter Announcement. (No, it's not in the spam folder, no i did not change my email address. And i did receive MC updates up to 22 + the second team stream update today.)

Also, while I'm of course not enthused that the game will be delayed, i expect the finished product will be better for it. On the other hand i won't be playing Episode 1 until all of the game is finished and published. I hate, really *REALLY* hate unfinished stories.

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I'm sorry about the lack of update for some backers--we definitely intended it to be received by everyone. My guess is that it was related to our internal email situation; around that time we were upgrading from Outlook to Google Apps for email and while it's been an awesome improvement, it did result in a lot of weird email behavior during the changeover. I don't expect any more such issues though.

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