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Tim Schafer

Broken Age release plan

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If there's a silver lining to all this news, it's that it distracted people from all the filthy stuff Lee Petty said in that episode.

Didn't seem that different than anything else Lee said in all the other episodes. Even 2PP gave up at some point on that language not suitable for children or work banner, most likely for the same reason.

Congrats to Lee Petty for the successful profanity desensitivity campaign.

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I'm fine with the game taking as long as it needs to take. I understand that any creative work is a huge undertaking and there are a lot of unforeseen twists and turns. (I'm a filmmaker myself, and while not at the same scale, I've seen many of these issues before.)

I'm not a huge fan of the game being split, even if it's just a temporary solution that serves as a means to an end. I wholly agree with Greg's sentiments in the video update that it could feel like it cheapens the product. Certainly, if positioned well enough, a multi-act story or series can do very well. I'm just not sure that's what is happening here.

My biggest concern, and this comes from wanting to see Double Fine succeed, is what if Steam pre-sales aren't enough? 90,000 people are already in on this through pledging, meaning (for the most part), no more money is coming from that group. How many more people do you reasonably need to raise the necessary funds? I have no doubt this game will do well on Steam and other platforms once it's released, just seeing what I have so far. But are enough of those people even aware of Steam's Early Access to make this a solid plan?

Maybe there isn't a better solution. I'm willing to admit that. I'm just afraid that if the only hope is Early Access providing enough revenue to fund any remaining production, that doesn't really seem like a better plan. It's just a slightly different plan.

I've fully received my money's worth from the documentary so far, which to be honest, is the biggest reason why I jumped in on the Kickstarter anyway. I'm sure a lot of people with more experience making games than me have thought through a lot of these questions. I just feel like this is a late-stage backup plan to a backup plan (taking money from other profits), with no real assurance that it can deliver what you need. But maybe that's just the business.

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What i am more concern about about is the fact they knew about this problems and chose to wait for Massive Chalice to end first. From what i understand, the 2PP video takes more than a week to produce.

I am also worrying about the physical rewards, old school boxes where promised for $100 backers(which i am one) and I just fear to cut costs they will be replaced by plastic DVD cases. If that happens I would be seriously disappointed.

Physical rewards are being taken care of Fangamer, whom was already paid by Double Fine last year. The rewards should be fine.

Massive Chalice is lead by someone different. Hopefully the scope is worked on a small level and expanded as necessary.

Thats good to know about the rewards!!thanks!

I know Massive Chalice is lead by someone else different, that's not my concern. My concern it they waited after kickstarter to finish so it wouldn't stop people from pledging, I find that dishonest. I got a thing about honestly and these guys who I admire, just really disappointed me in my eyes.

Honestly I am fine with the delay, it's just the way they went about this that bothered me the most.

Maybe I am naive and this is how the industry is and will always be with or without publishers.

Why would they purposely screw over the massive chalice campaign when its gonna be made by a totally different team and is a totally different project. Sorry but normally a game like broken age wouldn't even have been announced and no one would have known they extended the production time.

I am not talking about the production of the games, I am talking about honestly here. Are you telling me that if they released his update a week ago, Massive Chalice would have got the money it has now? All i am saying is that they kept hold on this information until the Massive Chalice finished and this something did not like.

Concerning Broken Age, as long a get my Act I & II in an old school box, they can take all the time in the world.

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well....just to be clear. I HAVE NO DOUBT I GET MY MONEY WORTH ALREADY.

But lets be honest TIM promise so much more when we all started this. No Publishers, Adventures Games Not Dead ! All the buzz on the internet about croudfunding and indie games, all good. Maybe they did not ask for it on the beginning, but they accepted it very quickly and carry it (remember the GDC awards). So this game IS important for DF and in some way the croudfunding and indie scene.

So having all this in mind, to overshut the development in more than 18 months ! and who knows how much money......i dont want to sound like a publisher but its not ok. Somehow you are saying that 3.6M is not enough to make a game.

I believe that using Steam Early Access is a good plan, one that can save the project. But then again we should not have to save it, this must have been better scheluded according to the 3.6M budget (if the scope of the game needed to be smaller, so be it 3.6M was the budget an the compromise was to make a game with that money) and if you go overbudget by 600k then that is OK, you get it from the bundles or else. But saying that +3.6M takes you only to half of the game (Act I) and then you need more money for the rest. is NOT OK with me. What happens if you dont get enough money to finish Act II ??i dont believe it would happen, but its not a good situation to be.

The wish of many of us was to see that the revenues of Broken Age give the chance to DF to finance their next game (maybe with some help from KS) and creating finance independence for the studio, but if you are using the sales to finish the game is not probably this will happen.

On the other hand 2 years of development + 4-6 million budget...... now the game must be more than good other wise its going to be see as a failure hurting DF.

I know it doesnt sound like it on this post, but i love Tim and DF work. And i am affraid that because of all of this there is going to be way less than 90.000 of us to back the next project.

Regards.

PS, sorry for the writing, english is not my language.

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Why is using more money and delivering a better game screwing the kickstarter people.

This has nothing to do with using more money and delivering a better game. I'm all for that.

The thing is: transparency, which should be a pillar of the whole DF kickstarter process, has been strategically delayed. This doesn't affect Broken Age, but it sure affects my idea of Double Fine. Sorry.

I don't think they withheld the information for the sake of Massive Chalice's campaign, at least not intentionally.

For one, it has been known for months now that Broken Age is in money trouble, so that's nothing new. It just hasn't been reported all over the internet, but has been mostly only known within the backer community. Secondly, it has been somewhat Double Fine's policy to only delve into the recent happenings regarding the project with the release of the latest documentary episode. I guess they don't want to spoil all the drama beforehand. Thirdly, the timing merely happened to be that the recent episode got finished a while after the MC kickstarter wrapped up. Fourthly, why would Double Fine try to cover up the truth about their development trouble while at the same time have a documentary crew around to film their every move? Double Fine is more transparent about the development process than pretty much every other studio out there of a similar size. Fifthly, Tim seemed honestly surprised and pissed that the recent news got plastered all over the internet, doesn't sound like he expected it, I guess he thought it would stay secret between the backers. At tad naive, perhaps, but I don't doubt the sincerity of his words.

I agree that the timing is unfortunate. It gives many people a bad impression of Double Fine, that the studio tried to cover up Broken Age's troubles for the sake of funding Massive Chalice. But it doesn't ring true to me for the reasons mentioned.

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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 don't get it why people get mad that doublefine used their own money to create a bigger game. I have no clue how people get in their head being angry about getting a bigger and probably better game then if they had to stay within the kickstarter money limitation.

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I am talking about honestly here. Are you telling me that if they released his update a week ago, Massive Chalice would have got the money it has now?

Agreed. All the talk about the episode needing more time now sounds a bit hypocritical.

And unfortunately I have to agree to the comments that show up on all the news sites that feature this story: the production management on this project doesn't seem very solid. Of course the finished product will be great but it would have been just as great if it had been properly designed to meet the budget. In addition to that DF could have used all the money from the game (with all the great publicity it got from the KS campaign) to secure the future of the studio. Now they are doing the opposite - putting more money into the project. That's what I'm concerned about.

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I'm used to delays in gaming, and other than the delay, this doesn't affect the backers much, provided the product gets released in a very polished state. I also have faith that Tim & company will think of creative ways to keep the ride interesting and rewarding for those of us in it for the long haul (I'm wondering if they couldn't take some cues from Capcom's Megaman Legends Dev Room on that score). I guess the real challenge for them will be in making sure that Episode I feels like it was worth the wait and worth the future wait in itself.

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I saw some people saying there is no positive spin on this decision, but what I heard Tim say was this:

Hey guys, making this adventure was so much fun we're going to make a second one right after. And we're going to give it for free to anyone who paid for the first one (through Kickstarter or otherwise).

How can anyone complain about that? Even at 50%, the scope of the game will be larger than we backers bargained for.

What worries me a little though is the logic that says that by releasing the first game before the second game, the time to complete the second game shrinks from about 12 months to about 3 months. Is the expectation that the first game will immediately make incredible amounts of money (a reasonable assumption, of course) so that the size of the team can be increased by 4x during these 3 months?

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I saw some people saying there is no positive spin on this decision, but what I heard Tim say was this:
Hey guys, making this adventure was so much fun we're going to make a second one right after. And we're going to give it for free to anyone who paid for the first one (through Kickstarter or otherwise).

How can anyone complain about that? Even at 50%, the scope of the game will be larger than we backers bargained for.

What worries me a little though is the logic that says that by releasing the first game before the second game, the time to complete the second game shrinks from about 12 months to about 3 months. Is the expectation that the first game will immediately make incredible amounts of money (a reasonable assumption, of course) so that the size of the team can be increased by 4x during these 3 months?

Probably because all art will be done already for those next acts. Sound and everything also. Just needs to be polished the second part so its ready for released. They will focus all polishing on Act 1 so they have about 3/4 months to do it for the second part of the game. That's how it sounded for me how they explained it.

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I'm ok with waiting for the game, since that's what I'm interested in, but I can't help but shake my head because of the repercussions this will have across other kickstarter projects, as well as with Tim's reputation getting another hit with the bad publicity it has generated.

Good luck guys.

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Why is using more money and delivering a better game screwing the kickstarter people.

This has nothing to do with using more money and delivering a better game. I'm all for that.

The thing is: transparency, which should be a pillar of the whole DF kickstarter process, has been strategically delayed. This doesn't affect Broken Age, but it sure affects my idea of Double Fine. Sorry.

I don't think they withheld the information for the sake of Massive Chalice's campaign, at least not intentionally.

For one, it has been known for months now that Broken Age is in money trouble, so that's nothing new. It just hasn't been reported all over the internet, but has been mostly only known within the backer community. Secondly, it has been somewhat Double Fine's policy to only delve into the recent happenings regarding the project with the release of the latest documentary episode. I guess they don't want to spoil all the drama beforehand. Thirdly, the timing merely happened to be that the recent episode got finished a while after the MC kickstarter wrapped up. Fourthly, why would Double Fine try to cover up the truth about their development trouble while at the same time have a documentary crew around to film their every move? Double Fine is more transparent about the development process than pretty much every other studio out there of a similar size.

I agree that the timing is unfortunate. It gives many people a bad impression of Double Fine, that the studio tried to cover up Broken Age's troubles for the sake of funding Massive Chalice. But it doesn't ring true to me for the reasons mentioned.

Yeah I would like to believe that but this announcement was a big announcement,it needs it's own update.Waiting for the episode to be done so they put it in the same update doesn't cut for me. If it is true, it was a poor decision.

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Probably because all art will be done already for those next acts. Sound and everything also. Just needs to be polished the second part so its ready for released. They will focus all polishing on Act 1 so they have about 3/4 months to do it for the second part of the game. That's how it sounded for me how they explained it.

But if everything is done for part 2 at the time part 1 is released, why would it take 12 months from that time to complete the game if part 1 was not released? The premise was that to release the game in one go would not be possible until 2015, but if they made an intermediate release both parts could be done by May 2014...

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I know many people won't read this opinion and I'm pretty sure it won't even make a dent to anybody at Double Fine but this is hugely disappointing news.

Self-publishing is a really awesome thing that's starting to crop up in the Indie scene that has a real possibility because of the cool places like GOG, GMG, Steam, and even releasing DRM-Free on your own website. To the point where Consoles are playing catch up as Nintendo and Sony are both allowing self-publishing on their newest consoles (Microsoft still requires a publisher)

The issue has always been getting funding for the games and crowd-funding sort of got a huge boost because a legitimate game company that was sick of dealing with publishers was able to successfully fund a game (not just 'a' game anymore, but two now since Massive Chalice has been funded) and it seemed like the AAA budget-bubble that was looming over the gaming industry wasn't going to burst into small studios.

I understand that you can't expect the best when it comes to Game Development. That there will always be hiccups and delays and stuff that you end up getting experience in over the years. I'm still months away from any sort of playable prototype for my own idiotic ambitions, but this delay is not setting an example on how crowd funding can be a viable alternative to publishers. A lot of the positive press has been able to keep your ideas original and not having to cut out ideas and bend to the will of the publisher and while the plan is fine and for the most part probably supported by the majority of the backers. It doesn't sit well in terms of what is at stake here.

I backed DFA hours after the kickstarter went up because I love Tim and his works. I backed Massive Chalice hours after it's own kickstarter went up because I have faith in the company (and I've enjoyed everything about Mr Moo Ear so far and feel that he can continue his awesome work after Trenched) so I don't want to seem like I'm being a negative nancy or non-supportive of the company and decisions of those running the whole thing.

Basically the realm of publishers needs to change, the working conditions along with what gets green-lights is running into a bubble that is going to end up bursting. The AAA budget needs to change (and it's not the used game market as some loud-mouthed 'industry insiders' want you to believe) and people were excited about the potential idea that crowd funding would help push the publishers back into place. It seems that it's going to take an actual burst of that bubble for things to change and that's not what anybody wanted.

+1

I think what mostly needs to change in us, the gamer public, if we really intend to embrace the crowdfunded game market, is that we need to understand that we pay for a game that will be released months or years from the time we paid for it, and that it's a game design that will change over time. That is something that is totally different form a game developer that gets a budget upfront and releases something complete that people buy as is.

This won't hurt people's view of crowdfunded games as a whole. This will teach people how crowdfunded games actually work. The documentary is an amazing part of that as well.

Indeed, this issue with the budget and the game length has nothing to do with the crowd-funding platform. This happens across all media, cool things need time to get done, be it movies or games or even books. The problem is people are witnessing a game being created FROM SCRATCH. Usually, when you see a trailer from an upcoming game, you're watching it one or two years in the making. People need to be patient. We are all getting an awesome game eventually!

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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 don't get it why people get mad that doublefine used their own money to create a bigger game. I have no clue how people get in their head being angry about getting a bigger and probably better game then if they had to stay within the kickstarter money limitation.

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

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Probably because all art will be done already for those next acts. Sound and everything also. Just needs to be polished the second part so its ready for released. They will focus all polishing on Act 1 so they have about 3/4 months to do it for the second part of the game. That's how it sounded for me how they explained it.

But if everything is done for part 2 at the time part 1 is released, why would it take 12 months from that time to complete the game if part 1 was not released? The premise was that to release the game in one go would not be possible until 2015, but if they made an intermediate release both parts could be done by May 2014...

Probably some cuts in Act 1 and 2 and some development changes. So it gets more completed together and both acts abit shorter then the original plan so in total it could be done allot sooner.

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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 don't get it why people get mad that doublefine used their own money to create a bigger game. I have no clue how people get in their head being angry about getting a bigger and probably better game then if they had to stay within the kickstarter money limitation.

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

Post disappears anyway in this forums with the amount of posts that happen. And he said something about that in his big post also and what you see in the episode.

People see the money extra needed or they wont be able to finish the game but there also has been a decision by tim and other from the staff that they wont reduce the size of the game that much and they will use their own money to make a bigger and better game.

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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 don't get it why people get mad that doublefine used their own money to create a bigger game. I have no clue how people get in their head being angry about getting a bigger and probably better game then if they had to stay within the kickstarter money limitation.

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

I have a feeling he might be making an expanded post later today that will explain things better, but right now he's probably busy working on the game.

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Hi.

I just wanted to say, that:

Despite I don't mind about the delay, or the split (I'm sure you'll make the second part just as good as the first)

You guys at DoubleFine HAVE to realize: It's not just YOUR reputation on the line, it's the very image of Kickstarter as a legit platform for games.

I wish you could do represent it in a better way. Just- damn, you should have gotten some competent financial thinking before tackling this. Especially considering the extra money you got.

I'll be looking forward to the game, but just remember the huge responsibility that's on your shoulders here.

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This greatness shouldn't be rushed. With how high the expectations for this game are, and how many eyes are on it, time should be given to it to ensure its as amazing as can be. Double Fine seems to truly care about this project on a personal level, hence they are willing to pony up their own cash - keep up the great work guys!

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Hi.

I just wanted to say, that:

Despite I don't mind about the delay, or the split (I'm sure you'll make the second part just as good as the first)

You guys at DoubleFine HAVE to realize: It's not just YOUR reputation on the line, it's the very image of Kickstarter as a legit platform for games.

I wish you could do represent it in a better way. Just- damn, you should have gotten some competent financial thinking before tackling this. Especially considering the extra money you got.

I'll be looking forward to the game, but just remember the huge responsibility that's on your shoulders here.

Sorry but what is bad about double fine putting some of their own funding in the game. Now they got some extra cash from the self publishing from games.

We will get a bigger and most likely a better game because of this.

I don't get it why people think that kickstarter would have been the only financial income source for funding the project and that going over the kickstarter budget is bad(kickstarter only was 2 million after all expenses and that isn't allot for a game with voice acting).

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Tim is weathering the shit-storm on Twitter now. He seems pissed.

mr._racist_troll.png

I think he has every right to be, especially at the journalists that didn't bother to tell the full story and instead merely focused on the negative. Rock Paper Shotgun hit a new low with their reporting on this non-issue.

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Tim is weathering the shit-storm on Twitter now. He seems pissed. I think he has every right to be, especially at the journalists that didn't bother to tell the full story and instead merely focused on the negative. Rock Paper Shotgun hit a new low with their reporting on this non-issue.

Favorite tweet:

mr._racist_troll.png

Giant bomb did a much better job. They only reported on it after the story had become unstoppable, and then the article included Tim's entire post, so no context was lost (except unavoidably by people not seeing the documentary). They went with a much more sensible headline and explained it fully.

RPS's article wasn't TOO bad actually, even if it was more negative, but the headline was a bit misleading, which would be the second time Nathan Grayson has published a Double Fine article with a misleading headline lately. Hmm!

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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.

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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.

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I have a question for Greg or anyone from the team that can answer it.

you are releasing broken age in 2 parts now where act 1 is gonna be on steam early access. My question is what about the beta access that people pleged for is that gonna be act 1? or will there be a beta access for both act that we get access to ?

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Something is wrong with this. Originally "July 2014" and second half in "2015".

Now you're discussing January part I, and April/May part II?

This is only three months off additionally funding needing to be raised, then (as opposed to 6-12 months with the original time-frames). You really couldn't have figured out how to make it until May, to just release the full thing and keep good press?

What is unfortunate is the news and bad press is already out. I don't think anyone cares if that game is late. But they do care if they hear "game is still over budget, partial game being released". Greg was right. Yes you can phrase it right in a video or statement. But you need to realize it's not about how you phrase it, it's about how other people rephrase it.

Look, I'm all for no cuts, best game possible, as long as it takes. But I'm also all for the future of the studio. I hope this doesn't put a major blackmark on DF's reputation. By the way, running Massive Chalice immediately before this news, whatever the intention, looks bad.

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You guys at DoubleFine HAVE to realize: It's not just YOUR reputation on the line, it's the very image of Kickstarter as a legit platform for games.

This is exactly why they feel they need to deliver the best product possible.

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I'm totally cool with the new release plan. The episode does a good job at covering the situation. Hopefullly non-backers will get the idea that: 1) the original kickstarter was a $400,000 game and 2) Tim et.al. kciked out a totally awesome series of design decisions that wasn't tied to a budget or even a solid cost forecast 3) re-scoping is always a part of the beast and 4) all the DF managers/designers have toiled hard to create a funding and release plan that gets us MORE GAME than we paid for without sacrificing quality.

Thanks for all the hard work!

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