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Tim Schafer

Broken Age release plan

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I agree with another user - release it as chapters, like what Telltale does with its games.

I'm sorry, but this really makes me think that this was mis managed from the beginning.

Were people too afraid to tell Tim to scale back?

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It makes me sad that I can't play it right now, but also I want it to be the best that it can be. So do what you have to do.

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is this still about making a game or about making more money?

If you got any knowledge of business you'd know that they go hand in hand.

of course, but demanding and not delivering is not the way to go in this case.

what if tim decides in another 6 months that he still hasn't collected enough money?

i "invested" my money into the development of this game, so far i got nothing other than the great documentary (2P did a great job, srsly!), but thats not what i paid for. unfortunately i can't cancel my "investment", its not clear stated where all the money went and there's nobody who can set a deadline or milestones (like a publisher would in this case).

after DF announced another kickstarter project (massive chalice) things doesn't seem so good anymore like they would, if they would focus on finishing one game and starting another later. yeah, DF is a big studio with small teams, yadada, but for me, it seems like they're collecting money to fund all of their projects they're working on and not collecting millions of dollars for finishing one damn 2d adventure.

You also seem to have misunderstood what "investing" is. You have no insurance that your investment will turn out to be good.

I can't invest in stocks and then go complain when they don't rise as I'd like.

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I read very few of the comments, and I apologise for just jumping in.

As far as the game goes, I don't mind the decision, and I also think it's the best that could be made at this point in time.

That said, the situation is disappointing because one aspect that gaming fans had hoped Kickstarter would provide is allowing studios to become independent. It feels to me that this won't happen here, that Broken Age could result in a net loss for Double Fine. Not only will the Kickstarter money and pre-sales money be swallowed up by the game's development, but also money from selling other games (Brutal Legend, the Humble Bundle). I can't see sales beyond that really making up for all of this. Also, I'm afraid this will reduce the trust backers have, making it harder to get more money on Kickstarter for further projects (not impossible, but possibly the sums will be lower).

The short of it was, I'm not worried about Broken Age, I'm worried that this is the last adventure game Double Fine will make, and that makes me sad.

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I read very few of the comments, and I apologise for just jumping in.

As far as the game goes, I don't mind the decision, and I also think it's the best that could be made at this point in time.

That said, the situation is disappointing because one aspect that gaming fans had hoped Kickstarter would provide is allowing studios to become independent. It feels to me that this won't happen here, that Broken Age could result in a net loss for Double Fine. Not only will the Kickstarter money and pre-sales money be swallowed up by the game's development, but also money from selling other games (Brutal Legend, the Humble Bundle).

I don't think that you should worry about that. Double Fine are still making good money out of Psychonauts, a game released in 2005, so I think that they will be able to make from this and MASSIVE CHALICE for years.

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I really doubt Double Fine stands to make a profit on this. Not unless they sell a shit load after launch to non-backers (and that's AFTER they've funded the second half).

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(...) I'm worried that this is the last adventure game Double Fine will make, and that makes me sad.

This.

Also, while I don't mind the extra wait, I am getting a bit worried about the game itself. The idea to release the early access via Steam sounds like a plan, but... I can't shake the feeling Double Find might not make as much money as they'd like this way. If that's the case - then what? The team will start cutting corners?

*shrugs and tries not to think about it*

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I cannot believe how extreme some of these replies are. I thought it was pretty clear to everyone that with Kickstarter you are never guaranteed a definitive experience/product.

Kickstarter is a fund-raising site where people can ask for money to help fund projects they are working on. Tim said in his initial video that this game may be challenging to make and it may end up failing. The one thing that he did guarantee was that we could at least enjoy watching the process of the attempt to make this game.

I personally have been enjoying the chance to get a behind the scenes view at game development and as far as I am concerned I have already gotten my monies worth (though I still hope I will be getting that nice boxed copy at some point :P )

I am trying to find out how everybody has gotten their expectations so high on this. It is almost like people are as upset as they would be if they actually bought a game, it didn't come out and the developer refused a refund. That is not what happened here. You donated money with the hopes that a game would come out at some point and now people are upset that it is not coming out exactly the way they thought it would.

So strange.

On kickstarter we donate, we do not buy products. Please do not donate on Kickstarter anymore if you cannot have realistic expectations for these types of things. I do not want developers getting scared of using it as a funding tool because fans cannot keep their expectations in the realm of reality.

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Nope, the majority on Kickstarter pre-orders and if Kickstarters grows, the larger the percentage of backers who think this way will be. Last but not least devs also utalise Kickstarter this way, just think of the limited low entry tiers.

@ET3D

I doubt that there won't be further adventures. After all the work they've invested into the technology, the experiences they've learned from this one, i would be surprised if this would be the only one as normally they should be able to produce a second adventure game more efficiently.

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You could go back in time to the past and finish the game and it would be already available today.

You could also go into the future and flush the finished game back to us ...

I'm pretty sure this would be the result:

3d3ec69e2509102d94d7001438c0f03b

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Games used to be made for peanuts back in the day, what changed?

What day was that? Grim Fandango cost around $3m to make, adjusted for inflation that's over $4m. That's not peanuts, although it looks like Broken Age will pass that significantly.

That said, yes, it would be very interesting to see the cost broken down.

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Great to see a scheduling plan finally come together. I'll buy the game on January, but I'll wait until it's finished to play it. Props to all the guys at DF for keeping this project off of publisher's hands!

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I doubt that there won't be further adventures. After all the work they've invested into the technology, the experiences they've learned from this one, i would be surprised if this would be the only one as normally they should be able to produce a second adventure game more efficiently.

Problem is, I think that even with all the groundwork done a new Tim Schafer adventure game will cost millions to make. Even Full Throttle cost a mil and a half, and that was using SCUMM. Jump to today with much better graphics and all the new features that Tim will just have to insert into a new game after seeing this one, which will require further changes to the engine, and we're at $3-4 million probably.

If Broken Age sells very well, then it's possible that a publisher will decide it's worth investing money towards such a goal. If the game is great, it's also possible that DF will be able to raise part of the money for it on Kickstarter. There are a lot of 'ifs' which might happen and which will enable us to get another Tim Schafer adventure game. I just feel at this point that they are long shots. I'm sure the game will be good, and I'm sure it will sell, but at this point in time I feel that it will not sell well enough to cover its development and that a Kickstarter project for a further game will not make anywhere near its cost even if the cost is half what Broken Age will end up costing.

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I cannot believe how extreme some of these replies are. I thought it was pretty clear to everyone that with Kickstarter you are never guaranteed a definitive experience/product.

Kickstarter is a fund-raising site where people can ask for money to help fund projects they are working on. Tim said in his initial video that this game may be challenging to make and it may end up failing. The one thing that he did guarantee was that we could at least enjoy watching the process of the attempt to make this game.

I personally have been enjoying the chance to get a behind the scenes view at game development and as far as I am concerned I have already gotten my monies worth (though I still hope I will be getting that nice boxed copy at some point :P )

I am trying to find out how everybody has gotten their expectations so high on this. It is almost like people are as upset as they would be if they actually bought a game, it didn't come out and the developer refused a refund. That is not what happened here. You donated money with the hopes that a game would come out at some point and now people are upset that it is not coming out exactly the way they thought it would.

So strange.

On kickstarter we donate, we do not buy products. Please do not donate on Kickstarter anymore if you cannot have realistic expectations for these types of things. I do not want developers getting scared of using it as a funding tool because fans cannot keep their expectations in the realm of reality.

So many seem to have trouble understanding this.

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@marcus

I remember this one. :o)

The Calvin and Hobbes strip is funny but it doesn't make sense. If he time travells into the future, why should he be able meet himself? Did he clone himself before? If he did a clone of himself and told his clone what to do then the answer of his clone doesn't make sense. If he didn't instruct his clone and the clone came up with the same idea, we should see a lot more Calvin and Hobbes arguing although it still wouldn't make sense. And the second answer from 8.30 Calvin makes no sense in all of these options, unless it's an excerpt out from a sequence without that they memorize what they did before. Travelling by stepping into a multi universe now comes with the same problem how should his alternative version know about his idea. Now for going back in time ...

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@marcus

If he time travells into the future, why should he be able meet himself?

Obviously he traveled into the future and back. He went to the future to get his homework so he won't have to do it, but there was no homework and he went back empty handed, at which point he continued to not do his homework until his past him came to him to get the homework that he didn't do.

I hope that makes things clearer.

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Take all the time you need Tim. Keep to your vision, make a great game. I don't mind waiting for something awesome.

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@ET3D

The strip is happening at 8:30. In picture 3 8:30 Calvin is arguing like he is aware of the clone who left for 8:30 - problems see my previous post. In picture 4 we're still in 8:30 and 8:30 Calvin refers to a conversation from 6:30, a time when it doesn't make sense to ask him about the homework because it still needs to be done (between 6:30 and 8:30) or he still needs to travell to 8:30.

Now if you interpret the strip like 4:30 Calvin also travelled to 6:30 (and maybe the 2:30 Clavin to 4:30) you're still facing the same issus like before plus i don't know when Calvin's school starts but somewhere this has a beginning and an end.

As for further adventures:

The complexity and expectations rised since 1995 and you have some inflation but at the same time the dev tools, the workflow and the knowledge has evolved as well. Some things can be quite resource hungry whilst others are a breeze, so it comes down to what you're after in detail. There are tons of things you don't have to care about anymore or which you can do in a much more efficient elegant way. You can't compare it just on a 1:1 basis.

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Cut the scope.

No, seriously. Cut the scope.

Look at Shadowruns Return. It has delivered (mostly) in time, keeping in line with the available budget. You had an amount of money to work with, and now you're scrambling for pennies because you couldn't keep within it. As much as I want the game to be good (and I put a three number figure in backing, so you know I really want it to be good), going overbudget and risking the entire game - at this point, if Steam Early Release doesn't go well, we don't get the second half of the game - because Tim is unable to cut the scope is doing more harm than good to the project.

So, in short: Cut the scope.

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A bit disapointed that the scope of the project went so out of control but I can wait.

But you, you have a game to finish AND you've got some PR work to do because news and forums are not quite positive with this update.

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@ET3D

The strip is happening at 8:30. In picture 3 6:30 Calvin is arguing like he is aware of the clone who left for 8:30 - problems see my previous post. In picture 4 we're still in 8:30 and 6:30 Calvin refers to a conversation from 6:30, a time when it doesn't make sense to ask him about the homework because it still needs to be done (between 6:30 and 8:30) or he still needs to travell to 8:30.

No, 6:30 Calvin is the one with the goggles. In panel 3, 8:30 Calvin refers to a conversation he had at 6:30 (or 8:30 present time), not 6:30 Calvin.

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The way some people argue on this forum makes them look like mini producers, and having 90 000 angry and controlling producers sounds considerably worse than havning just one.

If Double Fine was looking to Kickstarter as a way to free themselves of pressure and scrutiny, they were wrong.

At least you can have a difficult conversation with your publisher in the privacy of a conference room. This is a bar-room brawl.

No-one likes to be told it's time to put down the toys - in Tim's case literally - but someone has to be the adult in the room.

I think they're making the right decision. Something sooner is better than everything later (or not at all).

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@fargetv

Yep, mixed 6:30 and 8:30 Calvins up in the text *fixed*, still the same problem.

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Really not liking this.

One the one hand, it's commendable that Tim has been so open about it. On the other, it's still a massive fuck-up; a kind of mismanagement that should not happened to a studio that's been in business for over a decade and lead by someone who has clocked more than thirty years in video game development.

It's also quite a dick move to wait for the Massive Chalice campaign to end before announcing something of that magnitude. I backed Massive Chalice, and now I (and no doubt many other backers as well) are really worried about how that project will turn out . It also puts a lot of unfair pressure on Brad Muir - his game has to move along without a hitch or Double Fine is wont to loose A LOT of public support.

Additionally, this casts a shadow on other Kickstarter projects. Broken Age has been something of a figurehead for Kickstarter, and seeing the game - as mentioned, produced by veterans of the field - fail its projected milestones makes me decidedly less enthusiastic about funding other ventures.

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I'm alright with this plan, as far as I'm concerned it changes nothing.

But its timing feels a bit dirty. It feels like you waited for MC KS to finish before posting the ep and this release plan, just so your current backers wouldn't get discouraged to back another DF game. Even if that another game is a different team, lead by a different guy. It still feels a little iffy.

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Also, I've been reminded of this:

"I've never met him in my life – I've never had anything to do with him. I never had any involvement in the Vivendi project that they were doing, Brütal Legend, other than I was in one meeting where the guys looked at it and said, 'He's late, he's missed every milestone, he's overspent the budget and it doesn't seem like a good game. We're going to cancel it.'

"And do you know what? That seemed like a sensible thing to do. And it turns out, he was late, he missed every milestone, the game was not a particularly good game..."

From Activision's very own Kotick :P I guess that's the Tim Schafer way. ;D

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Also, I've been reminded of this:
"I've never met him in my life – I've never had anything to do with him. I never had any involvement in the Vivendi project that they were doing, Brütal Legend, other than I was in one meeting where the guys looked at it and said, 'He's late, he's missed every milestone, he's overspent the budget and it doesn't seem like a good game. We're going to cancel it.'

"And do you know what? That seemed like a sensible thing to do. And it turns out, he was late, he missed every milestone, the game was not a particularly good game..."

From Activision's very own Kotick :P I guess that's the Tim Schafer way. ;D

I never thought in my own lifetime that Bobby Kotick would be vindicated! :S

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Also, I've been reminded of this:
"I've never met him in my life – I've never had anything to do with him. I never had any involvement in the Vivendi project that they were doing, Brütal Legend, other than I was in one meeting where the guys looked at it and said, 'He's late, he's missed every milestone, he's overspent the budget and it doesn't seem like a good game. We're going to cancel it.'

"And do you know what? That seemed like a sensible thing to do. And it turns out, he was late, he missed every milestone, the game was not a particularly good game..."

From Activision's very own Kotick :P I guess that's the Tim Schafer way. ;D

Yes, let's trust the word of Bobby Kotick. Clearly, he's wouldn't make crap up to make himself look better. If it was really so bad working with Tim, then why did they sue when Brutal Legend got picked up by EA? Wouldn't they have seen it was a better idea to just forget that game? Also most games go overbudget like this. You just usually have publishers come and make them rush the rest of the game (which always turns out awkward) or actually putting in the extra money to make something great. DF decided to do the latter. I am incredibly thankful they did.

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Also, I've been reminded of this:
"I've never met him in my life – I've never had anything to do with him. I never had any involvement in the Vivendi project that they were doing, Brütal Legend, other than I was in one meeting where the guys looked at it and said, 'He's late, he's missed every milestone, he's overspent the budget and it doesn't seem like a good game. We're going to cancel it.'

"And do you know what? That seemed like a sensible thing to do. And it turns out, he was late, he missed every milestone, the game was not a particularly good game..."

From Activision's very own Kotick :P I guess that's the Tim Schafer way. ;D

Yes, let's trust the word of Bobby Kotick. Clearly, he's wouldn't make crap up to make himself look better.

Are you on the river Nile?

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