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Tim Schafer

Broken Age release plan

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So what happens if the second act gets delayed for a long time? What if the first act doesn't make as much money as you need? How much longer can DF keep up this act of pulling cash out of no where? They've already released all their games on PC, the humble bundle, last years Amnesia Fortnight, the shop items, etc.

Another question I have is why is everyone who doesn't like this idea or who don't agree with this getting bashed so heavily? Are we not allowed to have opinions different from yours? Can we not have a conversation about this without the fanboys and yes men swarming in to defend DF or something?

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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.

Your wish is my command. What?

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The big problem I see for Double Fine is trying to make money off of Broken Age. You've already sold 90,000 copies of an adventure game. That is pretty much the ceiling these days.. You've already sold the copies to the market that is there, I don't see where the huge sales are coming from, especially for an incomplete game. If Double Fine wanted to make a profit on this they needed to come under budget. There is always this problem when creativity meets business, and it normally doesn't end well. But if I give you $100 to live off for the month, then you better learn to live within your means. There is a lot to be said for great project management, a business analyst before the project even began may have stopped the problems we are having now. You have to know your resources, time, money, to know what you are capable of. You have to know your limitations. I wouldn't kickstart a double fine game after this, because the track record says they just couldn't deliver. That doesn't mean I don't love Double Fine and the amazing work Tim has done in the past but they just haven't delivered on what they promised.

Which was why I pitched my idea in Suggestions.

Many here seem to be naive to the realities of the situation though...

The only way DF can save themselves publicly is delivering one hell of a game. Winning heals all wounds.

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Luke Plunkett is a backer of this project and had direct access to this information, at least as far as Kotaku is concerned. Other game journalists are also backers, so the information ‘leaking out’ was pretty much a given, I think Tim is mostly dismayed by the negative spin.

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Yikes, I just went and took a look around at some news sites. Very unfortunate. Kinda rude to take that information from a private backer update, and ruder to put it out there with pretty much no context. Ruder still to post negative, misleading headlines for something that's not necessarily a negative thing *coughcoughkotakucough*. All these readers of those sites who didn't back don't have all this background and the documentary, and there's lots of bad feelings going around out there.

I'm okay with this splitting up the game, though I would really rather wait for it all to come out at once. But the first part is supposed to come out in January, which is when my birthday is! So that's cool.

The one thing that I can agree does seem a little iffy is the delay of this episode's release until after Massive Chalice. I definitely understand why, though. I would still have backed it, I get that it's a different team and all that, but I don't know about the effect that might have on the general gaming public. A smart decision, but one that comes off a little badly looking in from the outside in retrospect.

I'm still happy, and I'm willing to deal with delays! And I'm much happier to have a bigger, prettier game. I just hope all this leaked story stuff doesn't have too negative an impact on Double Fine's image in general. Hrm.

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The big problem I see for Double Fine is trying to make money off of Broken Age. You've already sold 90,000 copies of an adventure game. That is pretty much the ceiling these days.. You've already sold the copies to the market that is there, I don't see where the huge sales are coming from, especially for an incomplete game. If Double Fine wanted to make a profit on this they needed to come under budget. There is always this problem when creativity meets business, and it normally doesn't end well. But if I give you $100 to live off for the month, then you better learn to live within your means. There is a lot to be said for great project management, a business analyst before the project even began may have stopped the problems we are having now. You have to know your resources, time, money, to know what you are capable of. You have to know your limitations. I wouldn't kickstart a double fine game after this, because the track record says they just couldn't deliver. That doesn't mean I don't love Double Fine and the amazing work Tim has done in the past but they just haven't delivered on what they promised.

I think you need to go back and look at what was "promised".

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The big problem I see for Double Fine is trying to make money off of Broken Age. You've already sold 90,000 copies of an adventure game. That is pretty much the ceiling these days.. You've already sold the copies to the market that is there, I don't see where the huge sales are coming from, especially for an incomplete game. If Double Fine wanted to make a profit on this they needed to come under budget. There is always this problem when creativity meets business, and it normally doesn't end well. But if I give you $100 to live off for the month, then you better learn to live within your means. There is a lot to be said for great project management, a business analyst before the project even began may have stopped the problems we are having now. You have to know your resources, time, money, to know what you are capable of. You have to know your limitations. I wouldn't kickstart a double fine game after this, because the track record says they just couldn't deliver. That doesn't mean I don't love Double Fine and the amazing work Tim has done in the past but they just haven't delivered on what they promised.
We don't actually know how big an audience there will be for this game. Yes, adventure games haven't sold as well as some of the bigger games coming out, but they also don't receive as much attention from the press and general public as this game has. Frankly, I think every genre has a sizable audience. It's just that the big publishers don't even bother making them to sell to those audiences. Look at XCOM. Who would have thought that a big budget turn based strategy game would be that successful? Especially on consoles.

And how have they not delivered what they've promised? The game isn't even out yet.

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I was sooo disappointed with the news that i just had to go and use the DF slackers/backers page and tip another $30 to Broken Age doubling my previous Kickstarter investment.

Now i feel much better and think i will absolutely love the game once i have my greasy fingers on it.

HA! take that negativity trolls :)

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While this may be counter-intuitive for some, I want to thank Double Fine from the bottom of my heart for working so hard and passionately on this game with a relatively modest budget. I also want to thank you all for your transparency on this issue. This is a real class act thing to do and you have my respect for it.

I really wish there was more I could do to help. While I don't like the idea of approaching publishers, you all need to do something to get this project running. I can only hope for the best and am sure once this game hits the open market all of us, Double Fine and the Backers will be well vindicated.

Thanks for giving it your best and I can't wait to see it!

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DF knows what to do to finish the game and make it great. I trust them.

It's a bummer to wait a little longer, but we have the updates and documentary episodes to keep us informed.

Tim said in the pitch video that the game would either be successful, or it'd be a failure and at least the development would be documented. Well, I think what we're seeing is a comprehensive look at the ins and outs of game development. As a bonus we'll get a great adventure game at the end of the entire process. :)

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I was sooo disappointed with the news that i just had to go and use the DF slackers/backers page and tip another $30 to Broken Age doubling my previous Kickstarter investment.

Now i feel much better and think i will absolutely love the game once i have my greasy fingers on it.

HA! take that negativity trolls :)

If I could give you a +1, I would.

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I worry that the early-access compromise is going to seriously undermine the ability to market this game normally. A partial early-access release is not going to be accompanied by the usual reviews and media hype, but might serve to undermine that hype when the proper release comes a few months later. If we're really only talking about 3 months, it seems like there has to be a better way to bridge that gap.

As long as I get the full game in the end, I don't feel cheated, so I don't have a "problem" with it in that sense, it just doesn't seem like the best way to maximize sales.

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The big problem I see for Double Fine is trying to make money off of Broken Age. You've already sold 90,000 copies of an adventure game. That is pretty much the ceiling these days..

Everybody always says this, but I think it's utterly unfounded. The number of people who would back a project based solely on the genre and developer are surely a tiny fraction of the potential audience.

Every game that has released from KS has sold far more after release than the initial backers. Most recently, Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded (another 2D adventure game) released and sold 250,000 copies in a week. Broken Age will sell far more than that.

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If this approach helps the game, then I'm all for it. I agree with Tim that signing with a publisher or going back to Kickstarter would have felt like a let down. Cutting out 75% of the game would have been even worse. This way, we get the best game possible, and I don't mind waiting. I am curious to know if the documentaries will continue at the same pace over the extended time period. I sure hope so, as they have been my favorite part about this project.

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The big problem I see for Double Fine is trying to make money off of Broken Age. You've already sold 90,000 copies of an adventure game. That is pretty much the ceiling these days..

Everybody always says this, but I think it's utterly unfounded. The number of people who would back a project based solely on the genre and developer are surely a tiny fraction of the potential audience.

Every game that has released from KS has sold far more after release than the initial backers. Most recently, Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded (another 2D adventure game) released and sold 250,000 copies in a week. Broken Age will sell far more than that.

Exactly! Like I said earlier, most people would have assumed that a big budget turn based strategy game wouldn't sell either but then XCOM happened.

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I worry that the early-access compromise is going to seriously undermine the ability to market this game normally. A partial early-access release is not going to be accompanied by the usual reviews and media hype, but might serve to undermine that hype when the proper release comes a few months later. If we're really only talking about 3 months, it seems like there has to be a better way to bridge that gap.

As long as I get the full game in the end, I don't feel cheated, so I don't have a "problem" with it in that sense, it just doesn't seem like the best way to maximize sales.

I feel like this is a very old-school way of thinking. In the past, where you relied on game magazines and in store kiosks, yes, having a huge release was a big deal. But this is a different time. Assuming the game is good, word will spread like wild-fire. Be it twitter, facebook, or even the steam community, new people will find out about it. Sure, the "hype" might be spread out across the two separate releases, but I think that it will all make it out to new players just a strong as it would have with a single release.

Look at Minecraft. It was originally sold as a beta with limited functionality with the promise of more to come. And when the official release did finally come, people didn't magically stop buying it.

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The big problem I see for Double Fine is trying to make money off of Broken Age. You've already sold 90,000 copies of an adventure game. That is pretty much the ceiling these days..

Everybody always says this, but I think it's utterly unfounded. The number of people who would back a project based solely on the genre and developer are surely a tiny fraction of the potential audience.

Every game that has released from KS has sold far more after release than the initial backers. Most recently, Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded (another 2D adventure game) released and sold 250,000 copies in a week. Broken Age will sell far more than that.

Let's not forget that there are people out there who wont spend money until they are actually getting the product. Backing via kickstarter can be risky, since there's no guarantee of what you are getting or when. Some people might not be comfortable putting money down until they can actually see what it is. In that regard, I think their are many more potential buyers who want it, but want to wait until they can see it before they open their wallets

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I for one would much rather wait 2 years to get the amazing game Tim has in mind, fully polished and realized, than get a cut down, compromised version sooner, whether it be in one or two parts

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The big problem I see for Double Fine is trying to make money off of Broken Age. You've already sold 90,000 copies of an adventure game. That is pretty much the ceiling these days..

Everybody always says this, but I think it's utterly unfounded. The number of people who would back a project based solely on the genre and developer are surely a tiny fraction of the potential audience.

Every game that has released from KS has sold far more after release than the initial backers. Most recently, Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded (another 2D adventure game) released and sold 250,000 copies in a week. Broken Age will sell far more than that.

Exactly! Like I said earlier, most people would have assumed that a big budget turn based strategy game wouldn't sell either but then XCOM happened.

Yes, but LSLR released a full game, not half of it with a promise of releasing the second half at some point in the future, provided that they sell enough copies of the first half. It's a numbers games, and DF is betting a LOT on this. If this doesn't work out, DF will be in some serious trouble.

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I think the main concern is knowing all this stuff, but not announcing it until after Massive Chalice was funded. I'm a biiiig Tim Schafer/Double Fine fan and I'm as excited as anyone for this game, but that can't help but come across as shady.

Would Massive Chalice have gotten the funding if just before they announced the kickstarter, they announced a big delay and change with Broken Age? It would have had far less of a chance.

So no one can honestly be surprised that there's a backlash.

I'm like everyone else - happy to wait for the best possible game, especially if it's going to stay with me forever like Grim Fandango or Full Throttle.

Still seems to be taking a very long time though. Art seems to be the main factor for that. Which is strange - because the art was in the original pitch. They were expecting to make a point and click game with Bagel's art style for $400,000. Would that have been the length of the Curse of Monkey Island demo or something? A 10 minute game?

Trying to keep positive about it, but there's definitely an "asking for too much from the fanbase" feel going on. Massive Chalice has really dicked my feelings up. If it didn't steal 2PP away from Broken Age, I wouldn't feel too bad about it, but it's definitely affecting my Broken Age experience.

Don't want to be a negative nancy, but I can't help being honest.

I have to agree. Considering the timing of this announcement came just 1 week after the end of the massive chalice kickstarter, you cannot help but think that something shady is going on and that DF deliberately held this information back until the MC kickstarter if finished.

There was already criticism of DF starting another KS when broken age is not even released yet, and now saying the funding of 2 Million (minus costs and goods) from KS + Tip Jar + Humble Bundle + Steam discounts, and it is not enough for the game is just adding fuel to the fire. Yes, some of you who claim to be "in the game industry" will argue that DF is a big "indie" company (no they are not), and have multiple teams working on different games (which flies in the face of what "indie" is). But the fact of the matter is, the DFA kickstarter was essentially an experiment using a new method of payment and game funding, away from the "evil" publishers who want creative control. It is an experiment which should be proven right or wrong before further resources are poured into other similar experiments, especially when being done by the same company.

The fact that Brad had said that they were already close to a publishing deal, but because publishers are "evil", they'd rather pursue an unproven method of game funding that DF itself is having difficulties delivering in. You cannot expect supporters not to doubt your decision making at this point.

A lot of good will was generated when DFA originally began. Gamers have heard DF's history, with the turbulent production of Psychonauts and Brutal Legend; MS dropping Psychonauts and its long development cycle, the turmoil of Activision after acquiring Brutal Legend and the lawsuit with EA and DF. Us gamers got it, we feel for you, game publishers are "evil". They screwed up your development, they mishandled your product, they rejected your ideas. Game publishers are "evil".

But now that you went to KS to directly get in touch with fans and the evil publishers are gone, the same type of turmoil exist. The only difference is that what used to be issues inside closed doors has become a statement addressed to the world (like Tim said, warts and all). Can you really say the negative feedback as unwarranted? Can you really blame people for losing confidence in DF and question their support of Massive Chalice?

I really hope this works out for you guys, but what used to be an experiment full of potential have become a proposition and half measures full of ifs, ands, or buts. What used to be a company that was held down by "evil" publishers is now simply held down through no fault of anyone else. I'll be hiding under a rock now. I don't want to hear of anymore of this, and I would just like to be surprised when a boxed copy of Broken Age arrives in my mailbox (in whatever year that may be). That's all I want now.

All the best.

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It sounds like the decision has already been finalized, which is a shame, but I think this may have been literally the worst way you could have went in terms of solving your money problem. Doing this will taint Broken Age as an unfinished product, despite its obvious quality, and I predict that in the end, you will damage your sales of the game far more than what Steam will bring in. (Not to mention your good name) You want to be free of developing "contract-to-contract", right? Although seemingly illogical, it would have been better to scale down the game a lot, delay the release more, and continue raising funds through humble bundles, special sales, art books, collections and the like to get to the finish line. This decision may ruin the success of Broken Age.

Respectfully submitted,

Paul

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The big problem I see for Double Fine is trying to make money off of Broken Age. You've already sold 90,000 copies of an adventure game. That is pretty much the ceiling these days..

Everybody always says this, but I think it's utterly unfounded. The number of people who would back a project based solely on the genre and developer are surely a tiny fraction of the potential audience.

Every game that has released from KS has sold far more after release than the initial backers. Most recently, Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded (another 2D adventure game) released and sold 250,000 copies in a week. Broken Age will sell far more than that.

Exactly! Like I said earlier, most people would have assumed that a big budget turn based strategy game wouldn't sell either but then XCOM happened.

Yes, but LSLR released a full game, not half of it with a promise of releasing the second half at some point in the future, provided that they sell enough copies of the first half. It's a numbers games, and DF is betting a LOT on this. If this doesn't work out, DF will be in some serious trouble.

You mean like how Telltale releases episodes of games that could fail in the middle of the season of they don't sell well?

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Seriously. This game is now officially episodic. Anyone who downplays it as unfinished when Act 1 is out needs to crawl back under the troll bridge.

Edit: That is unless of course Act 1 actually feels unfinished when you play it and not like a a full episodic story in and of itself, in which case that would be problematic. I doubt that will happen, though.

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It sounds like the decision has already been finalized, which is a shame, but I think this may have been literally the worst way you could have went in terms of solving your money problem. Doing this will taint Broken Age as an unfinished product, despite its obvious quality, and I predict that in the end, you will damage your sales of the game far more than what Steam will bring in. (Not to mention your good name) You want to be free of developing "contract-to-contract", right? Although seemingly illogical, it would have been better to scale down the game a lot, delay the release more, and continue raising funds through humble bundles, special sales, art books, collections and the like to get to the finish line. This decision may ruin the success of Broken Age.

Respectfully submitted,

Paul

I don't understand how this will taint the game at all. If both Part I and II come out then how is it "unfinished." If anything, it's more finished than if they had cut it back.

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You mean like how Telltale releases episodes of games that could fail in the middle of the season of they don't sell well?

That's exactly what I mean, yes. Only there's a bit of a difference between Telltale and DF. The first doesn't have any obligation to release the next episode. DF is putting itself in a no exit situation and will have to develop and release the second half of the game no matter what happens.

Also, maybe I missed it, but I'm wondering how the boxed versions going to be handled. Are we getting half of the game at release, and the second part of the game as a DL content?

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As a Backer I have no Problem whatsoever with this model.

I have gotten far more out of this than my initially 15 $.

However I think you have to sell that better to the others or you are running into a PR Desaster.

As I see the news I think you already have.

I think you should release a statement immediately, that these news are not based on official statements.

I think you should sell that like the telltale Model with Episodes and so on. People seemed to like that and it's established.

Now it's sounds more like you're trying to sell a game that's half done.

Sounds completely different, does it?

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It sounds like the decision has already been finalized, which is a shame, but I think this may have been literally the worst way you could have went in terms of solving your money problem. Doing this will taint Broken Age as an unfinished product, despite its obvious quality, and I predict that in the end, you will damage your sales of the game far more than what Steam will bring in. (Not to mention your good name) You want to be free of developing "contract-to-contract", right? Although seemingly illogical, it would have been better to scale down the game a lot, delay the release more, and continue raising funds through humble bundles, special sales, art books, collections and the like to get to the finish line. This decision may ruin the success of Broken Age.

Respectfully submitted,

Paul

Releasing the full game in two parts isn't an unfinished product. Cutting out half the content and then releasing it would be an unfinished product.

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You mean like how Telltale releases episodes of games that could fail in the middle of the season of they don't sell well?

Telltale funds and schedules their entire seasons up-front, which is why they've been episodic gaming's only success story ever.

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