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DF Chris Remo

Episode 10: Part One of Something Great

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Let's be honest, this decision is not ideal. I would rather have the full game to play through. But, there are a few positives from this that I took away from it.

For one, Tim has shaped this game with the length in mind being equal or comparable to Grim Fandango which is a very long game. This is something I did not expect, I was expecting a much much shorter game for the money that they had raised initially. Of course, Tim was a bit naughty because he essentially designed a game beyond their means, but, I would rather have Tim have complete creative control of the story he wishes to tell than a chop-shop of a story he couldn't tell.

In addition breaking the game into parts be it 2 or more is fine with me. This worked well with me with the Walking Dead franchise with Tell-Tale games and look at the critical success that game achieved. In future I would like Tim to consider to keep making adventure games with perhaps this in mind so episodes can come out in much of the same fashion. I really don't want Broken Age to be the last adventure game that they do.

So, even though the news is not great I will support it as much as I am able to purely because I am a fan and I really want to play the game as intended and I am more than willing to wait the year or so for this to be achieved.

Now, I have seem some people mention about the cost of development and their concerns. Firstly for the money raised 'yes' an adventure game can be made, it just so happens that Tim had a much grander story he wanted to tell which went beyond their resources. His fault for sure, but, as backers you gotta trust the man otherwise you wouldn't of backed it. Being one of the first large invested game kickstarters also carries its own sort of pressures also, but in my opinion it's success also paved the way for many other studios to consider this route. So I am grateful if anything for the door people opened for games like Project Eternity and Torment games I think would never come to light without Broken Ages kickstarters success.

So for Tim, I appreciate your honesty in letting us know how things are going and the tough choices that have to be made. I also like the zeal behind not giving anything up. With that, you have my support and the support of many others to help realize your dream and in turn, ours.

Tsu

I agree with a lot of what your saying but I feel a bit less forgiving. Tim, and his team, are professionals. They should have worked within the budget they had, not the budget they wanted.

Still we are where we are; as the saying goes. And I do appreciate there honesty. Just hope it all comes together for them in the end.

I kind of wonder if because previously the studios enforced a kind of displine over the projects in their role as financier and forced their hand in cutting corners/content/ etc having been let off the leash, as it were, they didn't have the oversight & planning in place to really keep things under control. Just speculating but things have gone quite badly out of hand.

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Yeah thats another upside, is that if they make another point and click adventure, they now have some experience, but even more important, they have the technoligy and engine in place.

It must have taken quite a bit of money and time to get that stuff up and running. compared to being able to go into near full production from the get go.

I personally hope to see more adventure games, even just smaller ones.

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I agree with a lot of what your saying but I feel a bit less forgiving. Tim, and his team, are professionals. They should have worked within the budget they had, not the budget they wanted.

If Fritz Lang would have done as you say with Metropolis we certainly wouldn't have gotten quite the same monumental movie in the end, and wouldn't that have been a shame.

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It's easy to have doubts in the middle of a project like this one, been there myself quite a few times! Backers like myself love you guys and know that you have our best interest in mind every step of the way:) Thanks for keeping your promise with all the video updates, just getting all the insight is well worth supporting the project.

Now if you guys could just start a Psychonauts 2 Kickstarter I would be giddy..... I'm probably the 1,000,000 person to hint at such a thing.

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Great stuff, am totally down with the split rather than losing content - good luck guys and gals!

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Long time backer, first time poster. Hi.

Really liking the documentaries, but the comments about sausages and Chicago politicians seem to apply more than ever.

As for the whole staggered release thing....yeah. Well... Not ideal. Probably good for the game, and therefore the players, but just HORRIBLE in terms of 'brand management'. "Double Fine gets 3 million for a 2D point and click and can't deliver it on time and under budget" may not tell the full story, but it is not untrue. Remains to see if this damages the crowdfunding idea more generally too, but my guessis that it certainly won't help. As it is, "pay now for a product in a couple of years" is not an easy sell. All the harder after this episode, IMO.

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Not judging, and I want this to be the best game possible ever.

But food for thought:

A small budget game, “Machinarium” was developed over a period of three years by Amanita Design with a budget of 1,000 dollars.
In the end, the game (Superbrothers S&S EP) ended up costing "around $200,000" over the course of 18 months.

To me it's more worrying for any projects beyond Broken Age; if they all end up costing several millions.

I'd like to see the sources on that Machinarium figure, but I'm guessing they weren't paid during all those years and probably working 100 hours per week. Also, hard to compare the games since Broken Age isn't out so we don't know how much content there is, while Machinarium is a pretty short game as is Botanicula.

I doubt the Machinarium number is correct, myself. But in either case it was a cheap game.

And you're right that these games are a lot shorter than Broken Age will eventually be. As someone else stated before, they initially asked 15$ for a DRM-free copy of the game on Kickstarter, but it's now shaping up to be more of a 50$ game.

I just wanted to get some conversation rolling, most of all. My worries are still in tact.

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mmmh, I'm actually against drawing it out.

While Broken Age will be great for Backers, it will definitely be a niche title. I hope that not too much money will be burned on it, because I guess that not so much money will be made of it, especially since a lot of the people interested in it already paid.

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mmmh, I'm actually against drawing it out.

While Broken Age will be great for Backers, it will definitely be a niche title. I hope that not too much money will be burned on it, because I guess that not so much money will be made of it, especially since a lot of the people interested in it already paid.

I think Broken Age can be much more than a niche title. So many people are curious to see how things finally turn out. Drama and development woes aside, if the final product is met with positive reception the game could sell very well. DF already has a very good reputation as well, which will help exposure.

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Kinda bitersweet, this episode was. But thanks for being so open and honest with us.

Truth be told, I am not happy about this. It is quite surprising to know that the first half of the game was on track to be completed by July 2014 and the whole game by around 2015. I can't recall what was the first promised date (if there was one), but those projected dates feel like quite the slippage. Like sejm said, it would be nice if the next documentary (or at least a thorough forum post) compared schedule/budget slippage on Broken Age to some other adventure games Tim was involved in like Day of the Tentacle, Full Throttle and Grim Fandango.

Anyway, this is not bad news per se, as Tim being able to fully realize his vision can only be a good thing. Then again, the ideas of either cutting the whole game by 75% so that it might meet schedule or cutting just a little of the first half so that it can be released in January instead of July is a bit mind-boggling. I would really appreciate a non-spoilery, detailed explanation regarding what would be cut (both in spirit and in hard numbers) in either of those two cases and how you'd expect it to affect the final game's experience. Also, serjay asks a great question: how would it be possible to both release Part 1 in January instead of July and then Part 2 by May instead of 2015, with only modest cuts?

I am finding myself agreeing with Greg's initial statements in the video in that this feels like cheapening the game. For some reason, episodic releases always struck me as cut-down, novelty doodads, like gifts in a cereal box. It's completely illogical and with no basis on reality, I know, but it's just the gut feeling it awakens on me.

Having said that, the game looked amazing in this episode, and there is the option to simply wait until May and play the whole game at once. Besides, seconding what many others said, the documentaries have been worth the money all by themselves. I have faith in Double Fine to make the right choices. Whatever you guys think will make for a more compelling final product, you have the full support of a few tens of thousands of friends. :)

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The split is only temporary. The "cheapening" effect will only last until Act II finishes. I initially agreed with Greg, too, but I'd rather have a 6M game later than a 5M game sooner.

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I haven't participated in these forums before, but I've been following the development and greatly enjoying the documentaries. Considering the outpouring of doubt and bitterness after this episode, I felt compelled to make note of my support.

As you said, you promised we would get to see what game development is like, and you delivered. It's been wonderful, and has turned me into a DoubleFine fan. This is the kind of thing no one thinks about when it comes to other games like Planetary Annihilation, because no one knows anything about their scope or budget. You guys are pioneers when it comes to being open to your fans - and sometimes that has negative consequences.

Good luck. The game is looking beautiful. And thanks for sharing.

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Releasing the game as a "2-parter" is a non-issue to me. Releasing a game in "episodes" is a totally normal thing to do nowadays, especially with adventure games, especially especially with indie adventure games. I think it might even be better that way, because it creates a built-in pause in the story that gives us time to think about the first half of the story, talk about in on the forums, and have some built-up anticipation for the second half.

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I see no problem with this solution.

Split it into ten minute arcs if it helps the financing situation for all I care ...

I can (probably) wait to play the game when it's completed, but even if I can't, I'm more interested in seeing the game being All That It Can Be, rather having the content cut. Also - as others have pointed out, I feel I have gotten more than my money's worth following the team's journey through the eyes of 2PP.

I'm with you all the way Doublefine! (and I'll probably gift the Steam early access thing to my sister while I'm at it).

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DF will presumably get more money from post-release sales. Has this been taken into account in the budget?

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DF will presumably get more money from post-release sales. Has this been taken into account in the budget?
I'm sure it will be but the promotion of pre-release of finished act 1 will already get a big amount of sales because people are abit used to it with like the telltale games.

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I agree with a lot of what your saying but I feel a bit less forgiving. Tim, and his team, are professionals. They should have worked within the budget they had, not the budget they wanted.

If Fritz Lang would have done as you say with Metropolis we certainly wouldn't have gotten quite the same monumental movie in the end, and wouldn't that have been a shame.

Considering it almost bankrupt UFA, Germany's biggest studio, Metropolis isn't the best example you could have used.

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I agree with a lot of what your saying but I feel a bit less forgiving. Tim, and his team, are professionals. They should have worked within the budget they had, not the budget they wanted.

If Fritz Lang would have done as you say with Metropolis we certainly wouldn't have gotten quite the same monumental movie in the end, and wouldn't that have been a shame.

Considering it almost bankrupt UFA, Germany's biggest studio, Metropolis isn't the best example you could have used.

Hehe, I know. I banked on people's ignorance about that fact. ;)

Let's say Half Life then, the first one. It was originally slated to be released in 1997, and Valve could have pushed for that, but they felt that staying within that development timeframe would limit the game's potential to turn out as great as it possibly could be. So they acted irresponsibly and chose to extend the development time by another year to really make the game shine. :P

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OK! I never post anything, but I just had to write that you guys are truly awesome! Watching the episodes is so much fun and seeing how Broken Age is coming together as this beautiful and stunning game is an amazing experience. I am really looking forward to playing it, but I just realized that it will be somewhat sad as well, because it will be almost like playing the beginning of the end of this great journey. No, scrap that, I will be playing it as the beginning of something even greater; More games from you guys! :D (MC backed!) *hug*

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I have not finished watching the video, I had to stop to say this

The game looks amazing and beautiful!

The level of polish in the sets, the lighting, the various things you guys are adding to make the scene less static are amazing, Animation looks fantastic too

I don't care if I get this in 2017, take your time to make this the next best adventure game

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Awesome episode.

I support what they are doing, it won't hurt anyone. If you don't want to play just wait thill they release it all!

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"Really? SPLARG? Is it my birthday or something?" :D

I really love these documentary episodes! Somehow they always manage to bring a big smile to my naturally frowny face. I backed for the game (How could I possibly resist?), had never heard of 2PP and didn't care, but man these sure were already worth it!

And the game looks absolutely stunning now! In the beginning I wasn't 100% convinced by the chosen style initially, but all that polishing really pays off. Great work!

Paraphrasing from The Design of Design: "The best way to create a cost-effective game is to design a great one, then cost-reduce it, rather than designing a cheap one and augmenting it until it is fun."

So you seem to be on the right track. :)

Splitting up the game is completely fine by me. I actually prefer shorter or more episodic games. Aren't episodic release models quite well established and accepted by now?

How the larger public will react to this I don't know. It seems like a question of framing. I paid for (or backed) a $400k game, but will get two $3M games instead!

Why not make it a trilogy? Think Lord of the Rings movies etc.

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Forget the two part release! Break out the merchandise! License out the IP to some cool swag producers for me and my kids to buy. Bridge that financing gap from consumer channels!!!

Double Fine can be more than just a game company; it SHOULD become a media company!

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Awesome episode! (just like all the other episodes)

Man I feel with the team, and especially with Greg. To be honest I signed on to get a glimpse at what game development looks like under the hood, like a lot of other people it seems. :-) The documentaries have already paid me back in full, as someone mentioned at this point the game is just a bonus for me.

The biggest "problem" I see with splitting the game into two (or more) parts is that it might end up just like Dreamfall: The Longest Journey. It was a great adventure (at least in my cloudy memories) that unfortunately ended up ending with a cliff hanger and no story resolution. The plan back when Dreamfall came out was that with the money and extra funding they could create Dreamfall Chapters. However due to the lack of revenue Chapters never got made leaving the story of Dreamfall hanging. Only recently due to a successful kickstarter campaign there might actually be a hope for an ending for Dreamfall. That is the biggest issue I see with splitting the game into two parts.

Come to think of it, I am actually starting to feel a bit like a cheapskate, as I feel i have gotten my moneys worth with the documentary. Is there a way to *donate* money for the game at this point? (Seeing as it has been over a year since I pledged and since I feel my pledge is way less than what I am getting, why not throw another bone your way)

All that being said, if splitting the game into two parts is what it takes to get the game done (and keep the documentary going?) then that is how it has to be.

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I love the stuff from the mechanic - great metaphor. Anyone who's done a major creative project can relate to these moments.

My wife and I started a secondhand clothing store, and in a fit of enthusiasm before opening we knocked out the entire entrance of our building to replace it with barnwood beams and old windows. Of course this led to weeks of sleepless nights as we struggled to meet self-imposed deadlines while spending money instead of making money. It all worked out in the end, but it's hard not to remember that feeling.

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Come to think of it, I am actually starting to feel a bit like a cheapskate, as I feel i have gotten my moneys worth with the documentary. Is there a way to *donate* money for the game at this point? (Seeing as it has been over a year since I pledged and since I feel my pledge is way less than what I am getting, why not throw another bone your way)

There is! :)

Scroll down on this page: http://doublefine.com/dfapay

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Better a good game in 2 parts than a bad game all at once.

I agree, but perhaps a bit of spin for the public to reassure them that buying the first part is a good idea.

Perhaps pitch it as a closed beta that you can pre-order the game and get access to.

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