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Tim Schafer

Broken Age release plan

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Oh my god, I never want to be in a position where I have to do message control for a passionate crowd.

You know what? That Daedalic guy shouldn't have said anything. That was a dick move. First of all, something's shady if you have such little expenses - just do the math (salary + insurance/health care + taxes + office space + equipment + score/voice acting + QA + localization + ...). Either the numbers lie, someone's not getting paid fairly, or Daedalic are enjoying some of those tax exemptions/relief that Germany is famous for in the movie industry.

Either way, it's another CONTINENT. That matters. Heavy Rain cost €16.7m. The Witcher 3 will cost $15m to develop, roughly. Those numbers are not possible in America. Of course the system isn't ideal, yadda yadda, but that's part of a much larger debate that isn't Double Fine's cross to bear and kind of the polar opposite to a strawman argument. The realities of what personnel and office space etc. cost in San Francisco can easily be looked into with some research (before anyone makes the very astute suggestion to move offices: you agreed to fund an adventure by Double Fine, San Francisco, CA). And even then, you'd have to pit the final product, Broken Age, against a Daedalic game, and adjust for a thousand other variables.

Dick move, Daedalic.

And I'm saying that as someone who's on the record of not being particularly fine with the way things are going.

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It starts off as episodic and then becomes one game at the end.

I'm not really sure this is the way things will end up, Bidiot Bales.

If it indeed is, it does give non-backers incentive to get it through Steam Early Access and DF can keep the current price tag on it.

But as Frogacuda, a couple of others and myself already pointed out, the latest EDT from Tim's message are worrysome given that there's no data to support how it's practically possible to complete the game by May 2014 or how the time span between Act I and Act II is reduced to 3-4 months.

If that EDT fails, there's a good chance that the funding problem will reccur in about 7-8 months and what's worse the public image of DF will be severely damaged.

DF needs to make a serious effort to convince the new EDT is reallistic and that all will pan out.

And speaking of DF's efforts - I hope DF has been using the time since the last update to put down a thought through and viable plan and are going to make an announcement soon, like right after the weekend; five days is more than enough Internet time to create serious damage and things outside this forum are not looking good inspite the efforts of backers and supporters.

The more harsh criticism comes from people that haven't backed Broken Age, but those are the very people that don't care for analysis and insights like the one from Stoic - it was aslo posted in other forums but made no difference, in fact it was conveniently overlooked.

Sure, they made mistakes, some more serious than others, and I'm sceptical about at least some of the handling; still, it's not all balck & white but the outsiders don't give a dime about that.

So DF, your move.

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Oh my god, I never want to be in a position where I have to do message control for a passionate crowd.

You know what? That Daedalic guy shouldn't have said anything. That was a dick move. First of all, something's shady if you have such little expenses - just do the math (salary + insurance/health care + taxes + office space + equipment + score/voice acting + QA + localization + ...). Either the numbers lie, someone's not getting paid fairly, or Daedalic are enjoying some of those tax exemptions/relief that Germany is famous for in the movie industry.

Either way, it's another CONTINENT. That matters. Heavy Rain cost €16.7m. The Witcher 3 will cost $15m to develop, roughly. Those numbers are not possible in America. Of course the system isn't ideal, yadda yadda, but that's part of a much larger debate that isn't Double Fine's cross to bear and kind of the polar opposite to a strawman argument. The realities of what personnel and office space etc. cost in San Francisco can easily be looked into with some research (before anyone makes the very astute suggestion to move offices: you agreed to fund an adventure by Double Fine, San Francisco, CA). And even then, you'd have to pit the final product, Broken Age, against a Daedalic game, and adjust for a thousand other variables.

Dick move, Daedalic.

And I'm saying that as someone who's on the record of not being particularly fine with the way things are going.

Also if Daedalic just could stop using interns for the translation and voice acting their games might even be playable in English.

I bought several of them and they always turn me off when the translations get extremely bad or voice acting super bland.

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 I suspect Broken Age isn't the only thing double Fine will release between now and May but that some of the other titles are yet to be announced and sales of those will also go towards finishing the game.

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 I suspect Broken Age isn't the only thing double Fine will release between now and May but that some of the other titles are yet to be announced and sales of those will also go towards finishing the game.

Sales of games published by other companies don't add up to a whole lot.

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 I suspect Broken Age isn't the only thing double Fine will release between now and May but that some of the other titles are yet to be announced and sales of those will also go towards finishing the game.

Sales of games published by other companies don't add up to a whole lot.

Dropchord is coming, theres also at least 3 unnanounced projects.

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No, what I mean is that developers don't usually make much money from games after they're out. The publisher pays for the game's development and keeps a roof over their head while they're making it, but the royalties after release are generally small. This is why Double Fine is trying to transition to self-publishing.

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For many people, letting a dev shoot for the moon is NOT the point. For a lot of people the point is I BOUGHT A GAME, WHERE IS IT? They want the biggest, best game ever made, on time, for their $10 contribution.

It has to be said: Kickstarter is the worst way to buy a game ever. You pay up front and you have no idea what you're getting or when you're getting it. You don't even really have a strong guarantee THAT you'll get it.

To me, KS has always been a sort of micro-investment that could pay off with a very special game that might not exist otherwise, or could just end up as a loss. I would never pay something for a Kickstarter that I wasn't prepared to lose, and people treating it like a store need to adjust their expectations.

I think what Double Fine did with this announcement was dumb, for reasons that have obviously become manifest, but I don't look it the same as if I got something off of Amazon and it didn't arrive on time, which is how some people seem to see it. Those people should not be giving on Kickstarter in the first place.

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For many people, letting a dev shoot for the moon is NOT the point. For a lot of people the point is I BOUGHT A GAME, WHERE IS IT? They want the biggest, best game ever made, on time, for their $10 contribution.

It has to be said: Kickstarter is the worst way to buy a game ever. You pay up front and you have no idea what you're getting or when you're getting it. You don't even really have a strong guarantee THAT you'll get it.

To me, KS has always been a sort of micro-investment that could pay off with a very special game that might not exist otherwise, or could just end up as a loss. I would never pay something for a Kickstarter that I wasn't prepared to lose, and people treating it like a store need to adjust their expectations.

Funny, I was just debating the exact same thing on another forum.

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 I suspect Broken Age isn't the only thing double Fine will release between now and May but that some of the other titles are yet to be announced and sales of those will also go towards finishing the game.

Sales of games published by other companies don't add up to a whole lot.

Dropchord is coming, theres also at least 3 unnanounced projects.

Two of those are indie fund funded, which is a much better deal than publisher deals. Also there's the new merchandise coming soon...

Point being, the early access probably isn't the ONLY card they have. They seem confident they will finish it and I believe them.

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For many people, letting a dev shoot for the moon is NOT the point. For a lot of people the point is I BOUGHT A GAME, WHERE IS IT? They want the biggest, best game ever made, on time, for their $10 contribution.

It has to be said: Kickstarter is the worst way to buy a game ever. You pay up front and you have no idea what you're getting or when you're getting it. You don't even really have a strong guarantee THAT you'll get it.

I think it's the best way ever. Sure there's the uncertainty but there’s also the excitement, the feeling of involvement, the communication. Buying games seems to have become such a mundane activity. In exchange for certainty, Kickstarter makes it an exciting event once more.

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I think people are getting whipped up in the frenzy that release date change has caused.

If we all had a choice between a compromised smaller cut version of Tims vision so that it can meet the original schedule OR the full game that Tim and his team had envisioned I think we all know which one we would choose.

Obviously we all want the real full game with no short cuts and compromises.

Look at Monkey Island 3, the 1st half was amazing, than that last half or 3rd of the game was awful, you can tell they ran out of time and they cut a whole bunch of stuff out, it just ended so quickly. Nobody wants that to happen to this game.

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I think it's the best way ever. Sure there's the uncertainty but there’s also the excitement, the feeling of involvement, the communication. Buying games seems to have become such a mundane activity. In exchange for certainty, Kickstarter makes it an exciting event once more.

Sadly, there are backers of Broken Age who have consciously decided to not watch a single episode of the documentary, to never check out any of the progress threads, to never express their opinion or thoughts on the game and now complain on other boards that they have gotten nth for the money they pledged and blame DF for breaking every promise they made because all they ever wanted from the beginning was that #300K adventure game to be delivered by Oct. 2012.

Yep, and I didn't make that up.

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It's just my opinion, but I think people get too worked up over the prospect of parts of the game being cut out. Yes it sucks that something you really liked got cut out, but as long as the game still *works* story-wise, I don't think there's much of a problem. The stuff that gets cut out can always be reworked for a sequel, or more aspects of the characters and world can be explored in a sequel. I think it's worth it to cut stuff out if it means the game gets finished quicker and is still excellent. If you can't stand not leaving every single idea you come up with in the game, then I think you should be writing novels, not designing games, and even then you will still have issues unless your name is Neal Stephenson.

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For many people, letting a dev shoot for the moon is NOT the point. For a lot of people the point is I BOUGHT A GAME, WHERE IS IT? They want the biggest, best game ever made, on time, for their $10 contribution.

It has to be said: Kickstarter is the worst way to buy a game ever. You pay up front and you have no idea what you're getting or when you're getting it. You don't even really have a strong guarantee THAT you'll get it.

Kickstarter isn't a way to buy anything. It's a platform for risk financing, with the risk being that the project will not materialize.

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Point being, the early access probably isn't the ONLY card they have. They seem confident they will finish it and I believe them.

Then saying something to the contrary in their announcement about this is about the dumbest thing they could ever possibly do.

If they simply said "The release date is being pushed back to May, but we're giving everyone a peek at the first half in January," nobody would be upset. Nobody. It's only they "We're out of money and need to sell an incomplete game to finish it" thing that has people upset.

I think it's the best way ever. Sure there's the uncertainty but there’s also the excitement, the feeling of involvement, the communication. Buying games seems to have become such a mundane activity. In exchange for certainty, Kickstarter makes it an exciting event once more.

It might be a great way to MAKE a game, but for the majority of people who just want to buy and play the finished product, it doesn't make a lot of sense.

That's not a knock on KS, by the way, I just think some people have the wrong attitude about it. Most of my most-anticipated games are Kickstarter funded right now, so I'm very glad for the impact that it's having, and I've backed quite a few projects myself. But I look at each one as more of a bet/investment than a purchase. I think Double Fine wisely tried to frame it as such when they said it could be a "spectacular disaster caught on film," but some have missed that point or shrugged it off as a joke.

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I personally don't care about release dates. Take all the time you need, Tim.

What I DO wanna know is this:

What's the projected total cost of the game?

How much money have you amassed so far (and how much is still needed) ?

How much money is still left of what you have amassed so far?

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After finally getting around to watching the latest documentary episode, I'm convinced they're doing the right thing to deliver on their vision. They're also doing something that I think is brave on the verge of terrifying.

My impression is that the backer money will actually just about cover the development of the first part of the game - which is actually closer to two thirds of the game content wise (taken from a Lee Petty quote in said episode). So angry backers, you are actually getting a game, slightly reduced in size, for the money that was amassed during the Kickstarter. It's just going to take until January 2014 to get there instead of summer / fall 2013. Personally I'm quite okay with that, once I've gotten to silence my inner "But I want icecream NOOOOW!" voice.

Honestly, this is a really elegant solution. The somewhat terrifying thing is that it seems they are depending on sales of the game as released in January to further fund the last few months of development (projected to be released in April, I'd say likely to slide towards summer 2014). I'm not convinced of the game getting good sales when released on early access rather than released as a full game with the promise of more game to come. The vast, vast majority of consumers are not really aware of early access and are likely to shy away from it, seeing it as paying for an unfinished product. At least that's what seems logical, although the marketplace might prove me wrong.

I think they should ditch the early access part. Use that to give backers early beta access as promised in the Kickstarter. Instead, release part one as a full game on Steam proper - and through other distribution channels like GoG - in January. Then release part two when it's done. People who buy part one before part two comes out gets both parts for the price of one. People who buy the game post part two release will have to buy at an increased price - basically using a common pre-order incentive, with the exception that you get some game now and the pre-ordered part comes later. I think this would create a very strong incentive to buy part one when it is released.

It's a neat idea, again. Backers who are craving them to cut down on the scope and just release the game that's been made with the money funded - that's EXACTLY what you're getting with part one. But wait, you're getting part two as well. That part is made with money from other sources. And isn't that the point of Kickstarter, to help literally kickstart a project that generates revenue for other projects that may have had a hard time getting funding through the more traditional sources?

My faith in The Tim remains unmolested. Keep up the excellent work.

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I had that concern as well, and they may very well decide to go that route later on. But as it is, if all they're planning is the early release thing, maybe they have reason to believe that sales from it will be sufficient to fund the remaining few months?

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But as it is, if all they're planning is the early release thing, maybe they have reason to believe that sales from it will be sufficient to fund the remaining few months?

I want to believe that too, but it certainly wouldn't hurt if someone from DF made a post about how much money they are expecting to make with the pre-release sales. Or better yet, clue us in on how the game currently stands budget-wise exactly. I know this isn't public information usually, but this being a Kickstarter project where we actually funded (much of) the game, I don't think it's an unfair request, and it would help a whole lot to clear things up. There seems to be much confusion about how much money has been spent already, and how much they still need, even when it comes to questions that have been already answered. A clear, concise rundown would be tremendously helpful.

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But as it is, if all they're planning is the early release thing, maybe they have reason to believe that sales from it will be sufficient to fund the remaining few months?

I want to believe that too, but it certainly wouldn't hurt if someone from DF made a post about how much money they are expecting to make with the pre-release sales. Or better yet, clue us in on how the game currently stands budget-wise exactly. I know this isn't public information usually, but this being a Kickstarter project where we actually funded (much of) the game, I don't think it's an unfair request, and it would help a whole lot to clear things up. There seems to be much confusion about how much money has been spent already, and how much they still need, even when it comes to questions that have been already answered. A clear, concise rundown would be tremendously helpful.

Why?

Too much of the documentary and forum posts are already focused on budgeting. Personally I am more interested in the game design and content. Tecnican solutions UI flow ideas, programming insights, inventory systems, quirky details. There has been very little to none time spent on that. Can we forget about the money already :) ?

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Why?

Too much of the documentary and forum posts are already focused on budgeting. Personally I am more interested in the game design and content. Tecnican solutions UI flow ideas, programming insights, inventory systems, quirky details. There has been very little to none time spent on that. Can we forget about the money already :) ?

Because people are concerned, that's why. Do believe me, I would also gladly enjoy witnessing some of those more positive aspects of game development you mentioned, and I enjoyed what I've read/watched about it so far during the past year. But the time has come when neither us nor the devs can ignore the budgetary problems anymore, as it threatens the completion of the game itself; this update made that very clear.

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By the way, are you guys gonna take the extra 0.5mil from the Massive Chalice kickstarter and funnel it into Broken Age?

Commmoooooon, play the money game.

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By the way, are you guys gonna take the extra 0.5mil from the Massive Chalice kickstarter and funnel it into Broken Age?

Commmoooooon, play the money game.

What? Bad idea.

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By the way, are you guys gonna take the extra 0.5mil from the Massive Chalice kickstarter and funnel it into Broken Age?

Commmoooooon, play the money game.

What? Bad idea.

Capitalism, bro. Straight up economics.

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By the way, are you guys gonna take the extra 0.5mil from the Massive Chalice kickstarter and funnel it into Broken Age?

Commmoooooon, play the money game.

What? Bad idea.

Capitalism, bro. Straight up economics.

I don't want my $50 I gave to Massive Chalice to go towards something else. I gave it to the Massive Chalice team, not the Broken Age team.

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I have it on good authority that the 50$ you donated to Massive Chalice is going towards a solid gold tooth for Brad's Dental Operation.

And by good authority, I mean that it is much more likely then the current speculation.

:D!

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I have it on good authority that the 50$ you donated to Massive Chalice is going towards a solid gold tooth for Brad's Dental Operation.

And by good authority, I mean that it is much more likely then the current speculation.

:D!

I would be cool with that. He's gotta look good for the cameras. After all, he's not a camera ready sex god like Tim Schafer.

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