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Tim Schafer

Broken Age release plan

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Take as long as you need to make it right.

This.

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The management for this game has been pretty poor. Took too long in pre-production, and then went into production almost completely blind without taking into serious account the finances and time required.

In the end, people will get a better product, but it's going to hurt DF in the long run. And that's something it seems the company can't afford.

The thing that would REALLY hurt Double Fine is failing to deliver an excellent adventure game. And they're doing every in their power to prevent that.

The quality of the product doesn't matter to publishers. If DF is a poorly managed company that puts out products that aren't successful enough to make up for this fact, then DF's days are numbered.

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Which is why it's great that they don't have to rely on publishers anymore, but instead are able to secure funds from other sources, like Dracogen, Indie Fund and Kickstarter.

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I have to say, the way news sites are reporting this is really depressing. Double Fine should be celebrated for investing their own money to deliver a game that is bigger and better then backers were promised. And for taking risks in general, trying new stuff all the time and for being this strange interesting voice in the sequel of a choir. I feel bad for Double Fine, and hope they're feeling even more determined to show them what they can do. I still love Double Fine!

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Which is why it's great that they don't have to rely on publishers anymore, but instead are able to secure funds from other sources, like Dracogen, Indie Fund and Kickstarter.

Then DF will have to seriously downsize, as funding from those is not enough to sustain them in their current state.

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Which is why it's great that they don't have to rely on publishers anymore, but instead are able to secure funds from other sources, like Dracogen, Indie Fund and Kickstarter.

Then DF will have to seriously downsize, as funding from those is not enough to sustain them in their current state.

Well they got enough funding now till at least January. And when broken age releases they gonna be able to fund themselves allot better.

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Which is why it's great that they don't have to rely on publishers anymore, but instead are able to secure funds from other sources, like Dracogen, Indie Fund and Kickstarter.

Then DF will have to seriously downsize, as funding from those is not enough to sustain them in their current state.

Well they got enough funding now till at least January. And when broken age releases they gonna be able to fund themselves allot better.

I think it would be a pretty bad idea for a fairly niche company like DF, who needs to sustain a salary for 65 employees, to rely on public funding. Especially if backers are soured on the whole experience.

I also doubt in the game's ability to pull a notable profit post-release, as well as future DF kickstarters ability to fund games like Broken Age in the future.

I trust that we will get a quality product, but I think having a properly managed game with a sustainable scope would have been a lot better for DF's future.

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Honestly, I went in on this project without expecting anything in return. It may sound strange, but I knew it was almost imposible for a game with this scope to be made with so little amount of money. I just funded the project because it seemed right. It was a message sent to publishers: Adventure Game are not dead! And nothing more.

I'm still impressed that the project is going on, and that DF is trying to find a way to deliver a game that, to me, was just a lovely idea and good intentions. Kudos to Tim for what he's doing. That's what I call determination.

I've already forgot that I payed for this, and the small money invested has already been payed with all the journey we've had so far (in a way, I enjoy more the journey than the destination, the story being told than the end).

Whatever DF wants to do, it will have my support.

+1

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Which is why it's great that they don't have to rely on publishers anymore, but instead are able to secure funds from other sources, like Dracogen, Indie Fund and Kickstarter.

Then DF will have to seriously downsize, as funding from those is not enough to sustain them in their current state.

Well they got enough funding now till at least January. And when broken age releases they gonna be able to fund themselves allot better.

I think it would be a pretty bad idea for a fairly niche company like DF, who needs to sustain a salary for 65 employees, to rely on public funding. Especially if backers are soured on the whole experience.

I also doubt in the game's ability to pull a notable profit post-release, as well as future DF kickstarters ability to fund games like Broken Age in the future.

I trust that we will get a quality product, but I think having a properly managed game with a sustainable scope would have been a lot better for DF's future.

And they now made a sustainable scope of the game. That will mean for us a far higher quality product then we would have gotten if they didn't invest their own money in their future. Which this game is for them.

And why should the backers be soured they get a far bigger game which will be way more in quality and size comparable to grim fandango.

I'm a backer and I got way more confidence now in this project and really excited how the game is gonna be.

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Double Fine is NOT asking for more money. We are fine, financially. We are using our OWN money to deliver a bigger game than we Kickstarted.

Tim Schafer on twitter

I think Tim needs to come and say that here ,not on his twitter.

Ahem, he did. In the very first post of this very thread you've posted in. He clearly stated that 1) backers won't have to cough up ANY additional money and 2) Double Fine will have to find money within the company. Releasing the game in two parts and having part 1 as early access on Steam is a means to help alleviate the problems of additional development cost, but nonetheless Double Fine will have to pay the bulk out of their own pocket.

What's not to understand?

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People do not still seem to understand the situation. Double fine did not fail to deliver a 3.5 million game. The managed to pull off a 6 million game with no publisher funding!

Now if I were a publisher who had put in 3.5 million and the company I hired came and said: we refuse to do your 3.5 million game, we'll chip in additional 3 millions in order to deliver twice the content, that'd be my go-to company every time! It saddens me to realise the way some of you people think about this.

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Which is why it's great that they don't have to rely on publishers anymore, but instead are able to secure funds from other sources, like Dracogen, Indie Fund and Kickstarter.

Then DF will have to seriously downsize, as funding from those is not enough to sustain them in their current state.

Well they got enough funding now till at least January. And when broken age releases they gonna be able to fund themselves allot better.

I think it would be a pretty bad idea for a fairly niche company like DF, who needs to sustain a salary for 65 employees, to rely on public funding. Especially if backers are soured on the whole experience.

I also doubt in the game's ability to pull a notable profit post-release, as well as future DF kickstarters ability to fund games like Broken Age in the future.

I trust that we will get a quality product, but I think having a properly managed game with a sustainable scope would have been a lot better for DF's future.

In Episode 8 of the Documentary (I'm pretty sure), the Biz Dev guy for DoubleFine basically tells Tim point blank that all of his projections on the future health of the company depend on Broken Age being completed, and being a success. From what they've shown of the business discussions, I don't think that anyone has any illusions as to the importance of this project to the studio's future.

But if Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded can ship a quarter-million copies in the first week, there is still plenty of money that can be made if Broken Age can even match those sorts of numbers.

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Also remember a part of the money is used to build a framework where they can build their future games on. So that means all future adventure games projects wont have to do that part and can be created allot cheaper.

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I think people keep forgeting they went into tot his without doing any game desgin or pre-planing so that we the backers could se all the processe,thats why they could not have made a budget for broken age until tim was done with the design.

I'm sure that massive calice will not be like that.

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The management for this game has been pretty poor. Took too long in pre-production, and then went into production almost completely blind without taking into serious account the finances and time required.

In the end, people will get a better product, but it's going to hurt DF in the long run. And that's something it seems the company can't afford.

The thing that would REALLY hurt Double Fine is failing to deliver an excellent adventure game. And they're doing every in their power to prevent that.

The quality of the product doesn't matter to publishers. If DF is a poorly managed company that puts out products that aren't successful enough to make up for this fact, then DF's days are numbered.

If were as fickle as you seem to think Denis Dyack, Peter Molyneaux and god knows how many others would have been kicked to the long grass years ago. Budget overruns are pretty much par for the course and a case of "how much", "when" and "what for" rather than "if".

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The management for this game has been pretty poor. Took too long in pre-production, and then went into production almost completely blind without taking into serious account the finances and time required.

In the end, people will get a better product, but it's going to hurt DF in the long run. And that's something it seems the company can't afford.

The thing that would REALLY hurt Double Fine is failing to deliver an excellent adventure game. And they're doing every in their power to prevent that.

The quality of the product doesn't matter to publishers. If DF is a poorly managed company that puts out products that aren't successful enough to make up for this fact, then DF's days are numbered.

If were as fickle as you seem to think Denis Dyack, Peter Molyneaux and god knows how many others would have been kicked to the long grass years ago. Budget overruns are pretty much par for the course and a case of "how much", "when" and "what for" rather than "if".

Well Denis Dyack kind of was "kicked to the grass". That was more for lying to publishers rather than going over budget though.

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I´m kinda dissapointed with the RPS article. I´ve been one of their biggest fans for years, and I appreciate they always try to be on the consumers side, but in many cases, like with kickstarters, they doesn't seem that eager to actually do some research and try to understand the issue. At least John Walker was on vacation when this news was dropped, otherwise they would have been even worse.

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People do not still seem to understand the situation. Double fine did not fail to deliver a 3.5 million game. The managed to pull off a 6 million game with no publisher funding!

I just don't see this as optimistic as you do.

On the one hand the 6 million have not yet been fully funded from what I understand. DF is relying on the Steam pre-sale to make the second part of the game happen (I don't want to call it "second half" because 4 months seems such a short time to finish a game/sequel which is the same size of what they will have been working on for 20 months by January 2014).

On the other hand the additional 3 million that are now being put into Broken Age but that were never planned for could have been used to secure the financial future of the studio - something that DF seems so have struggeled with over the last couple of years.

Of course I have high hopes that Broken Age will create a lot of revenue for DF but I believe that staying within the original budget would have benefited them more.

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DF is relying on the Steam pre-sale to make the second part of the game happen (I don't want to call it "second half" because 4 months seems such a short time to finish a game/sequel which is the same size of what they will have been working on for 20 months by January 2014).

They are not. That's the point. The second part getting done does not depend on the Steam early access program. If this program generates additional funds -- fine, they'll take it. But it was clearly stated that the addtional money had to be found within the company.

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Double Fine is NOT asking for more money. We are fine, financially. We are using our OWN money to deliver a bigger game than we Kickstarted.

Tim Schafer on twitter

I think Tim needs to come and say that here ,not on his twitter.

Ahem, he did. In the very first post of this very thread you've posted in. He clearly stated that 1) backers won't have to cough up ANY additional money and 2) Double Fine will have to find money within the company. Releasing the game in two parts and having part 1 as early access on Steam is a means to help alleviate the problems of additional development cost, but nonetheless Double Fine will have to pay the bulk out of their own pocket.

What's not to understand?

I didn't explain myself properly, I mean he should come to this forum and answer questions that haven't been explained in the original post.

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On the other hand the additional 3 million that are now being put into Broken Age but that were never planned for could have been used to secure the financial future of the studio - something that DF seems so have struggeled with over the last couple of years.

I think Tim has a better view on the financial situation of his studio than us backers. So this concern is totally speculative.

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Hey, maybe some fellow backers need to refocus on the situation...we are going to have a bigger, better (and funnier :- ) adventure game from a master of the genre...and this is a thing that would not have been possible without our support.

Also, in times of trouble friends help each other, not complain each other...so Tim, Greg and rest of the team: go ahead and cut that lovely beast in two tender parts!

Time to watch Brad's first teamstream :-)

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So this concern is totally speculative.

Of course you're right in saying that as an outsider to the company I cannot state any facts about the financial situation of the studio. I was simply basing my assumption on a quote from the latest episode where Greg Rice during one of the financial planning meetings says "I feel like we've been in this cycle for years of jumping from contract to contract and game to game and now we have to take a bet on a game that has the best chance of anything that we've worked on of making us money and getting us out of that cycle."

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What people need to understand is that Tim has actually put his whole career (and the company in a certain sense) on the line with this kickstarter deal.. it could have gone the other way too! I have the utmost respect for Tim and his team for doing such brave things as this. Decisions like these show the true skill sets and devotion towards the project. People forget fast that it was Tim who initiated the kickstarter revolution for the gaming industry. It is people like Tim who have a true creative vision thus making them a pioneer and yes as a pioneer you risk to get alot of exposure (good or bad).

I think the solution they came up with is actually not a bad deal (and quite brilliant) considering they won't have to cut parts of the current design.

Just my 2 cents :)

Excuse for any spelling errors, this is not my native language :-)

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"A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad." -Shigeru Miyamoto

Those who are upset have their own reasons for being so - some are justified and some are not. However, I believe most of the hurt feelings are due to a matter of mismatched expectations. Several people probably want the original small-sized, small-budgeted game which was pitched and to have had it delivered in October of 2012. But the project's budget and scope changed with expectations for what all those pledges could be used to make, and Tim's mind burgeoned with the possibilities into a large-scale game. So I believe many people who are upset are not well acquainted with the history of Tim Schafer and Double Fine and that what we all have experienced and are still experiencing with Broken Age is the typical status quo for one of their game development cycles.

After all, Grim Fandango began its development in 1995, and to quote Wikipedia:

"Originally, the game was to be shipped in the first half of 1998 but was delayed; as a result, the game was released on October 30, 1998, the Friday before November 2, the actual date of the Day of the Dead celebration. Even with the delay, the team had to drop several of the puzzles and characters from the game, including a climactic five-step puzzle against Hector LeMans at the conclusion of the game; Schafer later noted that they would have needed one to two more years to implement their original designs."

So if a "full" G.F. would have taken six years (1995 - 2000), but instead a "reduced" G.F. took four years (1995 - 1998), then we are actually getting B.A. quickly for a Tim Schafer production at only three years (2012 - 2014).

I have faith in the team's project.

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How is this "delayed"? Did the game previously have a release date? I thought this was more of an announcement than a delay.

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"A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad." -Shigeru Miyamoto

Those who are upset have their own reasons for being so - some are justified and some are not. However, I believe most of the hurt feelings are due to a matter of mismatched expectations. Several people probably want the original small-sized, small-budgeted game which was pitched and to have had it delivered in October of 2012. But the project's budget and scope changed with expectations for what all those pledges could be used to make, and Tim's mind burgeoned with the possibilities into a large-scale game. So I believe many people who are upset are not well acquainted with the history of Tim Schafer and Double Fine and that what we all have experienced and are still experiencing with Broken Age is the typical status quo for one of their game development cycles.

After all, Grim Fandango began its development in 1995, and to quote Wikipedia:

"Originally, the game was to be shipped in the first half of 1998 but was delayed; as a result, the game was released on October 30, 1998, the Friday before November 2, the actual date of the Day of the Dead celebration. Even with the delay, the team had to drop several of the puzzles and characters from the game, including a climactic five-step puzzle against Hector LeMans at the conclusion of the game; Schafer later noted that they would have needed one to two more years to implement their original designs."

So if a "full" G.F. would have taken six years (1995 - 2000), but instead a "reduced" G.F. took four years (1995 - 1998), then we are actually getting B.A. quickly for a Tim Schafer production at only three years (2012 - 2014).

I have faith in the team's project.

It's only 2 years production.

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i "invested" my money into the development of this game,

Oops, there's your problem. You didn't "invest" anything. You aren't seeing profit returns on this game. You misunderstand what you did. What you did was advance Tim Schafer and his crew some money to make a game sight unseen. You essentially are funding his art much like people would fund poets and painters in the past. So I guess that makes Tim Schafer like Zora Neale Hurston or Lord Byron, which is just a fantastic comparison to be honest.

There is a two-fold problem here. First, people don't get what they have a right to. Really, they have a right to nothing. Double Fine has pledged to give certain things to us (many of which they have delivered on so far) if we give them money, but whether or not the game is good/complete/etc. is really up to how much we trust the artist and how much the artist wants to keep us as financial supporters of his art.

What you should have done coming in is thought to yourself, "Hey, Double Fine makes great, whimsical games, but much like Terry Gilliam's films, Tim Schafer is going to take his time and do it the way that he sees it because he is an artist with a vision and not some hack that puts a dog into a game full of guns and faceless enemies and pretends that it's now worth playing. That means we could be funding the equivalent of Time Bandits, but we could also be funding the equivalent of Don Quixote." By the way, if you don't get that analogy, do yourselves a favor and watch Time Bandits and Lost in La Mancha.

Anyone who has followed the development of games like Psychonauts and Brutal Legend should know that delays are likely coming because these guys want to do it right, not quickly. No less a visionary than Shigeru Miyamoto likes to say that a late game will eventually get shipped, but a bad game is bad forever (paraphrasing).

On the other end, Double Fine should have known that most people a) like to complain and b) have no patience for art. They want it good and now, or failing that, they just want it now. This is why Madden sells a billion copies every year while getting worse each year. They also should have stated straight out at the beginning that this is a project for people that want a great end product and not for people that want something to hit milestones efficiently. Hey, if DF wanted to deal with that second one, they would have just found a big publisher, right?

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Oh my god, guys, WTF... Why is everybody freaking out about this? I don't even understand... really. The first half of the game is coming sooner, some people can pay to see it, and the second part will come later... that's all. I think many people on the internet were already prepared to cry foul at anything...

You don't even have to PAY anything... if you're a backer you get more game for the same amount of money... really it's a win-win...

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So when January 2014 rolls around and we get more delays are you guys going to continue making the same poor excuses for DF ? I agree with a delay, but two delays - the 2nd one over a year long? Then you only get half the game!? And hope they raise funding for the 2nd half?! This is a joke.

Oops, there’s your problem. You didn’t “invest” anything. You aren’t seeing profit returns on this game. You misunderstand what you did. What you did was advance Tim Schafer and his crew some money to make a game sight unseen. You essentially are funding his art much like people would fund poets and painters in the past. So I guess that makes Tim Schafer like Zora Neale Hurston or Lord Byron, which is just a fantastic comparison to be honest.

This isn't true. You'll notice to the right side of your screen there are delivery dates. People FULLY expect a game out of this, you'll notice the kickstarter itself says they will deliver a game. They say it might not be a good one, but they were supposed to DELIVER. All projects on kickstarter have to deliver something. If Tim just said 'fund my company, we're thinking about making an adventure game, but it might not come out for 2 years, it might be broken into pieces, but hey - i'm an artist! fund my company!' I'd never have backed, and I don't think other people would have either.

People mainly backed this project because they love ADVENTURE GAMES, and they expected to get an adventure game out of it, not because they have a hard-on for Tim Schafer and DoubleFine.

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