Broken Age Pt 1 Launching Next Week For Backers

By Nathan Grayson on January 11th, 2014 at 3:00 pm.

There’s been some confusion and bad blood over the course of Broken Age‘s emphatically Kickstarted development cycle, but now the end (for the beta version of part one, because this is the year 2014) is nearly in sight. I guess all I can really say at this point is, break an age, Double Fine. You know, because it sounds like… like break a leg? Kinda? And the game is called Broken Age? Sigh, I know that look you’re giving me, entire RPS readership. You’re wordlessly suggesting that I should break my own legs in penance for that abysmal excuse for a joke, and also that you wish fire ants would begin erupting from my eyes, thematically unrelated though that might be. Fine. Fiiiiiiiiiine. But only for you.

The funnyman, the mirthmyth, the gigglegend Tim Schafer himself made the announcement on Twitter:

“Haven’t shipped a game of my own in 4.5 years, an adventure game in 16, a point-n-click in almost 20. Next Tuesday is going to be exciting.”

“Next Tuesday is going to be exciting because that’s when backers can play Broken Age, Act 1! Public release date will be announced then too.”

And then he publicly endorsed Iron-Maiden-branded beer, like you do prior to any momentous life occasion.

Did you back Broken Age? By which I suppose I mean, are you a human being from planet Earth who did not briefly and inexplicably blip out of existence between the months of February and March 2013? Are you still pleased that you chose to, um, keep existing?

, .

96 Comments »

  1. Bull0 says:

    Good stuff. Looking forward to it. I don’t really get the antipathy/bad blood. Yeah, I guess it’s taken a while… as all good things do…

    • S Jay says:

      I believe the bad blood came from non-backers.

      Backers seem to be thrilled.

      • Premium User Badge

        bills6693 says:

        Maybe. I for one didn’t back it. I have backed… just checking… 88 projects, 56 of which were successful, but not this one.

        To be honest I’m kind of glad – in the same way I regret quite a few of the things I did back – as it has turned out to be another (just like every) massively delayed, cut down version of what was originally envisioned by backers.

        Of the things I did back, a lot are like this too. Dead state was meant to release at the end of 2013, now we’re getting an ‘extended demo’ sometime in the next month or three. ZPG was meant for march 2013, still no sign. Star Command PC, expected Aug 12, will be lucky to get it my summer 14. Planetary Annihilation, should finish Jul 2013. The list goes on.

        Its a trend with KS projects I think, the expected delivery date is often off, and the more inexperienced/new the developers are, the more its off by. Project Eternity, Star Citizen, Elite, all seem to be kind of on track at least.

        • Jason Moyer says:

          It’s not a cut down version of the game that was on kickstarter. Because of the massive support they received, they decided to make a bigger game and divide it into two parts, both of which will be given to the people who backed the project.

        • Premium User Badge

          Yachmenev says:

          Delays are just a natural part of projects, software project in particular. The only difference between kickstarter projects and regular games projects is that we now get to hear about them from the beginning.

          I’m a software developer myself, and things not being delayed is the execption in my profession, not the rule.

          • Premium User Badge

            bills6693 says:

            Oh, I’m not saying it is not to be expected, just that it is an unfortunate reality of the majority of kickstarter projects.

          • jalf says:

            But if you are a *good* software developer, then you try to minimize the delays.

            If you say “oh, we can afford to make something far bigger than we’re actually on the hook for. We’ll do that, annnnnnd…. uh, delay the project by two years”, then you will catch some perfectly justified flak for that decision.

            People backed “a small game delivered in 6 months”.
            DF chose to then produce “a larger game delivered in 2 years”.

            Depending on whether the scope of the project or the timeline was important to you, that either means you got more than you were promised, or *significantly* less.

            I’m not too fussed either way. I backed the project, but haven’t really kept up with development. I figured I’d lead a happier life if I just pretended it didn’t exist until it’s launched and I’m able to play it. But I can absolutely relate to people being upset at the decision to completely disregard a big chunk of what was originally promised when people backed the project.

            Sometimes, to some people, more isn’t always better. Especially not when “more” takes 400% longer.

          • LionsPhil says:

            But if you are a *good* software developer, then you try to minimize the delays.

            Yes, this. And working to time constraints also forces you to take a knife to your beloved project and cut away all the blubber, making it a leaner, meaner creation.

            Giving developers unbounded time and freedom (i.e. if they also lack the self-discipline to pressure themselves) leads to disasters like DNF.

          • Hahaha says:

            I can just imagine the backlash when a dev makes say 2.5mill when they were asking for say 50k and still only spend 50k making the game.

          • dE says:

            Like FTL? Got around 200.000$ only asked for 10.000$. Some angry people were really angry when they really only used the 10.000$ to finish their game and didn’t go for extended features and prolonged content. Or pick Anita Sarkeesian. She asked for 6.000$ to make her series about videogames, yet got around 158.000$. Some angry people constantly question her videos on the basis of “this took 150k to make?”.

          • Josh W says:

            DNF was plagued by frequent engine changes, little asset reuse, a constantly changing project scope in order to compete in every way with every new project, and staff churn.

            Taking longer to make a known game concept better in reasonable ways has a pretty good track history. I’ve lost track of the number of games that were delayed to be better, and came out sparkling.

        • Armante says:

          I for one am very glad I backed this. This Kickstarter was the first I backed, and I backed it on the strength of Tim Shafer himself and DoubleFine in general, plus i like point and click adventures. What I was supporting was giving a chance to an independent studio, and getting a series of documentaries. The game itself is a bonus, not a pre-purchase.

          The documentaries have been outstanding. They are entertaining and very well made. It has been fascinating to see how this has developed, and the million and one things that go on to make it happen.

          To say this is a cut-down version I think is incorrect. If anything, when the funds greatly exceeded the asked-for amount Tim over-designed the game making it much bigger than originally envisioned. They’ve also added full vocals with a well-known cast. They didn’t just design the game and code it, they built an entire game-engine with the capability of going cross-platform from PC to Mac, Linux, iOS and Android iirc.

          Looking forward to playing this. I will definitely try the beta, just because I want to see the amazing art brought to life in the game. I will also try to resist the temptation to play any more than the barest minimum so I can relish the entire game :)

          • zacharai says:

            The documentaries were well worth the price of backing. And I get an adventure game too? Phenomenal value.

          • field_studies says:

            I feel the same way. The documentaries alone have been worth the price of admission. For all that I’ve read and heard about game development, I’ve never got this sort of insight into the (gruelling) process. Makes me grateful, actually, that game development’s not my career (well, except for the day when all the artists got their crayons and paints out; that was a lovely episode), and that so many others do it.

        • Dominitus says:

          The backers expected a small $400k point-and-click adventure game with some video documenting its process. What we’re getting is a $3M+ adventure game and an extremely insightful documentary in to games production. It is absolutely the polar opposite of ‘cut-down’.

        • Premium User Badge

          Don Reba says:

          It is not just a matter of experience. The nature of Kickstarter is such that projects with realistic timelines are much less likely to get funded. If you do not overpromise, you look bad next to all the others that do.

      • newc0253 says:

        I’m a backer. While there’s no bad blood per se, I wouldn’t say I’m exactly thrilled either.

        I backed this because I was a huge fan of Psychonauts but, of all the games I’ve helped kickstart since then (Wasteland 2, Banner Saga, Torment, Project Eternity), I have to say Broken Age is the one that I’m least jazzed about, and probably because I still don’t have a clear picture in my head of what the game is about. Most of the time, the updates from Double Fine seem to be talking about their other projects and giving me little info about what it is I’m backing (although maybe it’s a vicious circle, in that I’ve lost interest so don’t pay as much attention).

        Put it this way, I genuinely had no idea that the beta was becoming available next week until I saw this item. And I’m a backer.

        • Premium User Badge

          Yachmenev says:

          You really haven’t been paying attention then? It sound weird that you have missed it.

          The “Early january” date has been known for months. The date was given on a kickstarter update, the backer forums and in the documentary.

          The same goes with what the project is about, and the premise of the story. That’s been known through those channels for a looong time.

        • Premium User Badge

          basilisk says:

          From the beginning, they’ve been saying that the documentary is an integral part of the whole Kickstarter package. And the documentary (by now some 15 hours of it, I think?) is absolutely bursting with information about the game. It’s quite possible there’s little of that info in the KS updates, but that’s simply because it’s assumed you’re following the videos. Which are excellent.

        • Armante says:

          You’ve watched the video documentaries, right? Because ALL of that info is in there, and if you’d followed them all along none of this would have been a surprise to you.

          If you haven’t seen them I highly recommend you start catching up. They’re informative and entertaining, and seeing the process as it evolves is great. Besides, part of the kickstarter is not only the game, but the docos about making it. You’re only getting half (probably less) of what its all about.

        • Frank says:

          Yeah, I watched the first several videos only, too, and so didn’t realize it was coming out. As I wasn’t paying attention, I am actually thrilled to hear it’s coming out so soon.

          I guess the wait became too long for me to remain excited in the interim. And pure adventure games were never really among my favorites.

        • Moraven says:

          They stopped using Kickstarters message system awhile ago sadly. They cut to the videos and forums for most updates.

          I am in the same boat in that I do not have the time nor I want to invest into staying up to date by having to have another forum login and checking it every week. I like the KS messages I get from other projects which usually have links for further info if you want to know more.

          • Dominitus says:

            You mean like the Kickstarter updates Double Fine send out to let people know there’s a new video available?

          • Moraven says:

            Seems about every 2 months there is a KS update. Early on there was a couple large gaps and I honestly stopped paying attention to it, which is more my fault than theirs.

            They link to most of their documentary videos, but the bulk of their information is pointing to links on their forums. I guess the documentary is the most interesting part so at least that is being linked. But beyond that not a lot of information is in the backer updates. While other projects I have backed will do at least a weekly update or post some information through KS. Just my preferred communication medium for KS since I can choose to get updates emailed.

          • Widthwood says:

            Did you even CREATE a login on their forums? You were supposed to do this right at the end of Kickstarter, there were numerous KS updates about it. Because it is kind of essential, and is basically the only way to get what you paid for..

            If you did, then you should also get a monthly email update form DF, with most important stuff from documentary outlined in a very concise manner. For example, last letter began with the words
            “Happy Holidays, backers! The backer beta is mere weeks away! January 14! We can’t wait for all of you to get your hands on Part 1—hard to believe it’s about to happen. BUT IT IS. So get ready.”

          • bitesize says:

            They didn’t stop using the KS update system at all – last one went out on Xmas Eve, stating the 14th Jan date for the beta.

        • Hahaha says:

          The dev blogs are also a good read.

        • lhl says:

          Man, you should catch up. There’s a dedicated backer update page – start w/ the documentary updates. They’re fantastic and should get you properly jazzed.

          Honestly, the amount of transparency/awesome content (even beyond the documentary segments, which have all been fantastic), is almost overwhelming. There’s constant additional interview segments, Q&As, project updates, etc etc. I’m pretty busy so I catch up in spurts, but every time I drop in and take a look either on the forums, there’s an enormous backlog of cool stuff.

          I could see how you could have just skipped it all, but it seems unfair/weird to imply that Double Fine hasn’t gone out of their way to keep backers in the loop. To me it feels like they’ve done pretty much the best job of anyone out there, and pretty much everyone in the team actively participates w/ the backers in the forum. It’s pretty inspiring, as far as the future of indie game development goes.

      • InternetBatman says:

        Pretty much this. The loudest of loudmouths seem to frequent the forums rather than the kickstarter page.

      • Moraven says:

        I backed it and wanted a refund. I know I will just use my money elsewhere next time and get it on a Steam Sale for less than $10 after release. Whenever the full release will ever be.

        • Widthwood says:

          They were giving refunds without any problems (and most likely still are, though you probably should ask them before 14th).

          It was mentioned in the documentary that after whole splitting game in half negativity they gave about 2000$ worth of backers’ money back, which was surprisingly low and actually was more than compensated by new “slacker backers” joining in during the same time period.

    • Sied1950 says:

      my neighbor’s half-sister makes $71 an hour on the computer. She has been without work for 6 months but last month her check was $17442 just working on the computer for a few hours. pop over to this website,,,,,,
      http://www.Rush64.com

  2. kwyjibo says:

    Despite backing it, I’m going to wait for the whole thing to come out before getting into it. Not interested some half finished cliff hanger.

    • Fenix says:

      Same situation here. That, and I don’t have a PC to play it with right now anyway. I have also gotten way more than my moneys worth via the 2PP documentary so I’m not complaining.

      • neolith says:

        I cannot say this often enough: The documentary makes this the best project I’ve backed by far! What I’ve seen of the game looks very nice so far, but even if it were a total failure, I’d stil have gotten more than my money’s worth. DF and 2PP have done an amazing job.

        I’ll instantly back every game, no matter if I like the game itself, that comes with this kind of coverage.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Vandelay says:

    Backed and still looking forward to it. It has taken a while and I was a little disappointed that they started working on another Kickstarter before finishing this one, particular given the money issues they experienced with Broken Age, but I was not annoyed about the actually problems with this game. Besides, the documentary that has been produced alongside this game has been more than worth the money I spent.

    Broken Sword has already delivered a good adventure game via Kickstarter, so I have no doubt that Tim Schafer and his crew can do the same.

    • Tacroy says:

      Doublefine is a large enough company that they can work on more than one game at a time.

      • The Random One says:

        That is correct, but thus far they have not proven they can finish a game without requiring any aditional funding.

        • Tacroy says:

          Eeeeeh… I think that’s more Tim Schafer himself than Doublefine in general. Pretty much every Schafer game loses steam near the end when they start running out of cash.

      • Bull0 says:

        Yep, and they addressed that in the KS for Massive Chalice anyway. They literally said they have multiple teams, and the preproduction guys were ready to work on something else. To be “annoyed that they started another KS” is to be poorly informed.

  4. karthink says:

    “are you a human being from planet Earth who did not briefly and inexplicably blip out of existence between the months of February and March 2013?”

    Date-check. It was 2012! It’s been two years now, which gives me a little more confidence in the game.

  5. Buemba says:

    Can’t wait! I just hope the wait for the second half isn’t too long.

    • dragonfliet says:

      It’s coming (provided nothing goes horribly wrong) in April, which is nice.

      • Killergran says:

        Now, I’ve been thinking about this. April sounds good, but can they really do that? So far we haven’t seen a thing about act II. We know music hasn’t been written or recorded, voices aren’t done and that most or the whole of the team has been busy polishing act I the last months. It just seems a bit of a stretch that they can finish act II in that short a time.

        Then again, we’ve been left in the dark about any of act II on purpose, so to not spoil it for us. So maybe considerable progress has been made that we just haven’t heard about.

        I wouldn’t really mind that much if they pushed it up, but the fact that they seem to be sticking to what from my angle can only be seen as an impossible schedule worries me a little. But just a little.

        • Widthwood says:

          Yeah, probably any information on act 2 will simply spoil act 1. Most likely they already have main bulk of assets for act 2, and it is nearing alpha status.

          So those who choose not to play act 1 and wait for finished game should probably stop watching documentary as well, because from now on any art shown and any gameplay video will surely be filled with spoilers.

        • bitesize says:

          How do we know the music hasn’t been written or recorded, and that the VO hasn’t been recorded? All we know is what’s shown in the documentary, which is focusing on part 1 – who’s to say they haven’t been done all the music & VO for both parts at once?

          • Killergran says:

            First off, Peter said straight out that he hadn’t even started with music part for 2.

            Secondly, I remember hearing somewhere about them needing to have more VO sessions, but that could have just been me misinterpreting. Also, Tim said to mr Black that he might have more work for him. I thought that meant a new part for him in part two… Could be just me over thinking it though.

            But GODDAMN I’m excited over the release tomorrow!

      • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

        Best joke I’ve heard all week.

  6. Scrofa says:

    Am I the only one who backed it and not looking forward to it? I’m pretty disappointed by what I’ve seen so far. I don’t like the style nor the idea. Got disappointed by Stacking and The Cave too. There is a little bit of hope that Schafer made something this time, but really not a lot of it. I already see that it’s not Grim Fandango level.

    • Premium User Badge

      Ksempac says:

      I am on the opposite side. I backed for the documentary only, as I rarely enjoy point and click. Usually, the ones i like I get a walkthrough out as soon as i get stuck, then finish the game with that just to enjoy the dialogs/world (i did for Machinarium). But seeing the lovely world in the documentary, I’ve been very impressed/surprised, and getting a lot more interested in the game itself. I really really enjoy the way it looks and the different characters.

    • lhl says:

      How much have you seen of it? Have you watched all (or any of) the documentary vids? Obviously the jury is still out on the final product, but the production design/quality looks as good as any adventure game and I’m really excited about the way they’ve chosen to modernize it (the way they’ve lit and parallaxed things, and streamlining character control/mechanics).

      Personally, I can’t wait, and it already exceeds any expectation I had when originally funding it at its original budget.

  7. Premium User Badge

    Ksempac says:

    There really seems to be a difference between non-backers/game press vs backers.

    Non-backers/journalists talk about “bad blood” and “confusion”, and previously talked about “not having any info on the game, are they still releasing that thing ?” whereas backers seem to mostly say they are happy with the Kickstarter so far.

    I think some of the difference come from the fact that Tim Schafer was very clear when he started this whole game. He said he was gonna try to make a new point and click game, and document the whole process. It may go down in abysmal failure, but we would get to see everything, even if things went wrong. And so far, I think he has delivered exactly what he promised : he is trying to make the game and release, and he documents the whole process. So backers hope for the game, but enjoy the documentary, whereas outsiders just judge by “is the game out yet ?”

    I can’t talk about all backers, but as a backer, I really enjoy the high quality documentary. I think even the controversial move to a 2 part release was accepted better by backers than outsiders because any backer who was watching the documentary could see that this thing was getting out of proportion/schedule. The response on the backer forum which I read from time to time was way more positive than the general response (i think part of it was also due to poor communication and timing from double fine, as massive chalice was being kickstarted at the same time and they didn’t officially announced that 2 part thing, it just leaked).

    • jalf says:

      The response on the backer forum which I read from time to time was way more positive than the general response

      Gosh, really? In the place where the most hardcore fanboys hang out, the response to something DF did was more positive than in the rest of the world?

      Gee, imagine that. ;)

      • Premium User Badge

        Ksempac says:

        When a Kickstarter goes wrong, it’s usually the backers who are the most pissed off. Non-backers usually just shrug off and forget promptly about the incident.

        So, had the Double Fine Kickstarter gone wrong, the Backers’s forum (as well as the Kickstarter’s comments) would have probably been a very negative place.

        Since the feedback is positive on the backers’ forum, we can assume most backers judge that the Kickstarter is on the right track, and so it doesn’t make sense to talk about “confusion” and “bad blood”

  8. yobokkie says:

    “Fine. Fiiiiiiiiiine”

    Haha I get it… because ya know… doublefine and all that?

  9. Premium User Badge

    Yachmenev says:

    I backed the project, and I’m still glad that I did. I put in $100 and I haven’t regretted it one single second.

    The game has turned out to be not a nostalgia project, but something I could not have anticipated. The premise is great, and the art style has turned out to be better then I could ever have imagined. It’s something like Machinarium but turned up to eleven.

    The documentary has been bloody fantastic. A great feelgood series, combined with a good insight into game development.

    The game itself looks a very promising adventure game, not only to look at, but it seems great to play also, based on the gameplay that’s been shown.

    The only dissapointment have been peoples reaction to the release schedule. That people were so quick to jump to conclussions, and that despite this being Double Fine making the game we have wished from them. It has just shown that no matter what the premise of a project is, people in general aren’t prepared to give anyone any slack. And it’s more important to pass quick judgements rather then understanding situations.

    So the release has turned out to be later then expected? So f*cking what? That’s just every (software) project ever.

    • Armante says:

      This, very much this.

      I was quite sickened by the amount of vitriol on display (even here on RPS) when the announcement was made they were shipping it in two parts. The documentary explained why it had to happen, but the gaming press and non-backers didn’t get to see that. In the follow-up Tim himself said it could have been handled better.

      Backers still get the entire game. It merely allows non-backers to get on board sooner, and thus raise additional funds. No-one’s getting ripped off, no promises were broken.

      • jalf says:

        I was quite sickened by the amount of vitriol on display (even here on RPS) when the announcement was made they were shipping it in two parts. The documentary explained why it had to happen

        No, it explained why they chose to do it.

        The project as originally envisioned, the project that people actually backed, didn’t need to be shipped in two parts. For better or for worse, the game has grown *a lot* since then.

        I can’t blame some people for being upset that the small quick game they were promised would be available soon is now a two-episode marathon that has been delayed by *years*.

        People have different priorities. For some, it’s great and wonderful that the small game they were promised is turning into something the size of a AAA game. For others, that was not what they wanted, and it was not what they were promised when they put in money for the kickstarter.

        For better or for worse, DF changed the scope of the project. Those who protest the change are technically, factually, in the right. They were promised A, and now they’re getting B. Even if you prefer B over A, it’s still not what was promised when people backed it.

        • Premium User Badge

          Yachmenev says:

          The original scope, the $400k project, was changed before the kickstarter ended. Pretty much nothing else has been promised about the game.

          But the vitriol wasn’t really about the game being divided into two parts. It was people claiming project missmanagement, mone missmanagement, incompetence and similiar stuff. And that was pretty sickening to read. That people rather judged then tried to understand their reasoning.

          • jalf says:

            When a 6 month project ends up taking 24 months, can you really blame people for suggesting “project mismanagement”?

            You might not agree with the accusation, but surely you can at least see where it’s coming from.

          • Premium User Badge

            Yachmenev says:

            It was a six month project for the first day of the kickstarter projects. Then it was changed, and no specific release date was set. The delivery date was unchanged on the kickstarter project because kickstarter didn’t allow it to be changed. But there weren’t any more talk about that date after the kickstarter passed $1 million after the first day.

            If anyone missed it, it’s a shame, but Double Fine was very clear about how that initial plan for a six month $400k project was scrapped.

            If people are unhappy because they still focus on that 6 month project plan, then no, I have zero understanding for that.

            The one thing I see it coming from is people using more time to complain about it, then it takes to look up the facts.

  10. Synesthesia says:

    oof, that looks nice. Why didn’t i back this!
    Eh, i’ll buy it when it’s out then.

  11. d_chandler says:

    God, what a rubbish trailer. What the hell is it supposed to communicate? Yawning: The Game.

    • The Universe says:

      Hmm.. I seem to have misplaced your soul.

    • Premium User Badge

      Yachmenev says:

      Edit.

    • Sleepymatt says:

      I believe they are recording a live-action trailer, just for you.

      • Bull0 says:

        Yup, we’ve got Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill lined up and ready to go

    • Squirrelfanatic says:

      I really liked it. For me it communicated the idea of two young people who’re sitting in their seperate worlds/environments, each of them not being particularly happy about it. Together with the screen of the two sleeping side by side this carries the hint that the story/fate of the two is in some way connected. Also, snoozing in the summer sun is someting I’m looking forward to at the moment, so that may bias my impression to the positive as well. :)

      Since I did not back the game, I’ll have to wait a bit longer to give it a try. The plus side is that I can read some reviews or a WIT before buying, although I think that I’ll give DF some money for this sooner or later.

  12. Cytrom says:

    Episodic AND early access beta.. something went terribly wrong with gaming lately.

  13. scottrstrauss says:

    my buddy’s step-aunt makes $82/hr on the computer. She has been out of work for 10 months but last month her paycheck was $18010 just working on the computer for a few hours. read this….
    http://www.dub30.com

  14. Velko says:

    Brokenage. It should be a word. “Madam, this teapot isn’t functional: there’s a brokenage on the side.”

  15. Zekiel says:

    Sometimes I’m really annoyed by myself. This looks lovely. I love Double Fine’s sense of humour. But I just can’t bring myself to like point-and-clicks adventures. I got bored with Stacking an hour in, and that was both clever and sweet. Darn it.

    That is to say – I hope that for all those who do like point-and-click adventures, this is splendid.

  16. Shadowcat says:

    So this is an announcement which is… only relevant for the people who already know about it…?

    Do I have that right?

    • Dominitus says:

      Mostly. :)

      The only bit of news for non-backers is that they can expect a release date on the 14th. And I’m sure RPS will report that date when it’s available, making this post a kind of “because I’m bored and I can” update, really…

  17. Corey Cole says:

    I backed Broken Age, probably my first Kickstarter. I am thrilled with it! I’ve backed 50 more since then.

    For my paltry $15 (I had no income at the time), I was promised, “The finished game in all of its awesome glory DRM free on PC, Mac, and Linux, or via Steam for PC and Mac, exclusive access to the Beta on Steam, access to the video series, and access the private discussion community.”

    There was also something about “Estimated delivery Oct 2012,” but I’ve been a game developer for 25 years, so I ignored that. After all, the project also “estimated” its goal at $400,000. If it had just made the goal, I would have expected something along the lines of an interactive fiction adventure with some illustrations, built on top of a hobbyist engine.

    By Oct 2012, Double Fine had already “delivered” far more than the value of my pledge. Six video episodes shared in their backer-only updates gave us hours of entertainment and information about the game development process. There was no doubt in my mind then, and certainly not now, that Double Fine was working hard on the game and that it will be extremely high quality.

    Double Fine could have “taken the money and run” by developing and documenting that small game, and putting the other $2M or so (what would be left after expenses and cost overruns) into other games or their pockets. Instead, they upped the scope to a full AAA adventure game, so *of course* it couldn’t ship in 8 months as originally planned. It isn’t the same game and I am very happy about that, as almost all backers should be.

    Sierra spent about $4.5 million developing Quest for Glory V, and it took three years. From what I understand, the last few LucasArts games may have cost even more. Broken Age is exactly where I would expect it to be in terms of size, quality, schedule, and cost. There is nothing broken about it except the title.

    This is all a tempest in a teapot. The “estimated delivery” dates on Kickstarter are completely meaningless for early-stage projects. I will always take a great project late over a mediocre one “on time”. If Tim had shipped Broken Age as a hobbyist-level game in 8 months, everyone would have screamed that it wasn’t a $3 million game. And nobody can develop a full-scale AAA game with new technology and new IP in 8 months. Broken Age isn’t late, and I’m very excited that I will soon be able to play it.

    • Moraven says:

      I would much rather have them do the documentary and make their $400k game. Get it out, make it good. Take the excess for the next game. Get a good release schedule going and build up the business that sustain itself so they could keep releasing future games.

      • Noviere says:

        Not me. Tim said that the $400k game would’ve been like the Flash games they have on their website. I wouldn’t really be overly excited by that, especially after seeing what we’ve seen of Broken Age.

      • Killergran says:

        No no no no no!

        Really no!

        We paid for a flash game, and got a rival of Grim Fandango! How can you want the flash game?
        (I’m not saying it will be as good as Grim, but it will at least be comparable.)

      • Premium User Badge

        equatorian says:

        And if they do that, the gaming public and the press would tear them a new one for ‘scamming their customers’, even though they’d be delivering exactly what they promised. Once you go past 1 million$, you can’t go back and do a tiny if nice and creative flash game anymore.

        I, too, paid for that flash game. All $100 of my pledge. I didn’t pay for Broken Age, I didn’t pay for a full-fledge adventure game. However, I paid for that flash game because Double Fine said that’s what they wanted to do with the limited funding and I want them to be able to have a go at doing what they want to do. That’s how Kickstarter is supposed to work and what it’s supposed to mean, anyway.

        Then they decided they want to make an honest-to-god adventure game that can rival any of the old kings and queens of the genre with the amount of money they got, because it’s so much more than they anticipated and they can actually do what they REALLY want to do, and who I am to argue?

        I lost nothing. The only ones that stands to lose here, in the long run, is Double Fine, and I’m pretty sure they know this really, really well.

        • Moraven says:

          I guess I missed “flash” quality comments, not in the project page, or I never would have backed this. Seeing their recent small games and other point click indie games, I expected something along those lines. Hell they have to split the game into 2 parts so they can get post backers to fund the rest of development. Spending money on known actors/actresses for voices is good budget management and adds little to the game. Sure we may get more game, but this does nothing to help Double Fine exist further into the future.

          And there seems to be a lot of hype around this before people have even played it in its entirety.

          • Premium User Badge

            basilisk says:

            Let me get this straight: you are annoyed that they are trying to make the best game they possibly can under the circumstances? Seriously?

            It’s all about helping Double Fine exist further into the future. They’ve said repeatedly in the documentary that they are turning it from this silly little experiment into the studio’s flagship project, one that should show that the Kickstarter model really works and can deliver something great. To put it this way, it’s their first fully voiced game since Brütal Legend, and it’s almost entirely self-funded. All spare cash the studio had went into Broken Age. Yes, it’s not what they originally promised. It’s better in almost every possible way.

            That, of course, does not guarantee it’s going to be good, but what we’ve seen of that looks very promising.

          • Premium User Badge

            Yachmenev says:

            Tim Schafer said that their other small projects were about $2 million in budget each.

        • jalf says:

          I lost nothing

          Oh, so you got to play the full game in October 2012, when it was originally scheduled to be released? ;)
          Otherwise, I think I can point out one thing you lost.

          The ability to play the game for an additional 18 months, or 3 times the originally estimated development time.

          That doesn’t matter to me, and it obviously doesn’t matter to me, but is it so hard to understand/accept that it might matter to others?

          Imagine that they could’ve wrapped this game up over a year ago, and be working on another game by now. Heck, perhaps they could have shipped the second game too, and be working on a *third* game. But they’re not. They’re still working on the first game. So yes, we lost something. We might be okay with that, but we still lost something.

          • Widthwood says:

            You can’t actually loose something you never had. “Missed deadline” is what it is, probably everyone can grasp its concept without any need to over-dramatize things.

            Otherwise we get into the same waters with publishers that prefer to view “missed income” concept as “people who don’t our stuff are stealing from us”

          • jalf says:

            No, that’s different.

            You’re right, I can’t lose something I never had. If we compare my situation now to a situation in the past, then I haven’t lost X if I didn’t have X to begin with.

            But if we compare two hypothetical future scenarios, then this reasoning doesn’t make sense.
            If I’m faced with a choice, and one leads to me getting pizza, and the other doesn’t, then by choosing the second one I effectively lost the pizza. I *could* have had it, but I ended up not getting it.
            Compared against my situation *now*, I’ve lost nothing (because I don’t have a pizza now either), but compared against the alternate path that I could have gone, I’ve lost something. It depends on what you’re comparing against.

            DF *could* have shipped a smaller game on time (or nearly on time). They chose not to. Those who pledged, expecting to play the result within half a year have lost that opportunity.

            If your reasoning really is “well, since they hadn’t played it to begin with, and they still haven’t played it, then they’ve lost nothing”, then, people have also lost nothing if they *never* get to play the game.

            By that logic, DF could cancel the game here and now, pocket the rest of the cash, and people will have lost nothing.

          • Widthwood says:

            Pizza example is fine and all, but it also means that every backer would’ve “lost” the game even if Double Fine missed the deadline by one second.

            My reasoning actually was – everyone knows what “missed deadline” and “loosing something” means perfectly well, no need to point out that “hey, did you know that there is SOME overlap between the two notions?”. This tactic can be and is used to justify pretty much anything, because there are similarities between all sorts of ideas and concepts. One can probably perfectly logically prove that not delivering game in time equals to them killing your mother, but a more honest and constructive way would just be stating that you are annoyed because of the delay…

  18. Noviere says:

    I backed it, and I’m still very excited. It’s weird — the release sort of snuck up on me… It’s hard to believe I’m actually going to get to play part 1 next week :D

  19. bar10dr says:

    I’m an original backer and I can’t say there’s been any bad blood. There’s never been a question in my mind that double fine was going to adhere to their promise. Its just a little late, and I’d much rather wait for something good than get something mediocre.

  20. Jimbo says:

    RPS needs a “Full game finished and released! :o” tag… does it have anything like that already?

  21. Keyrock says:

    Yes, I am a backer. Yes, I am still happy I backed this. Yes, I am excited to get my grubby little digital hands on this finally.

    Also, there is Iron Maiden branded beer? Why had I not been notified of this earlier? Trooper seems to be the only variety so far. I hope they come out with a Clairvoyant variety. Also, I hope it comes over to ‘Murica eventually.

  22. Hahaha says:

    You’ll take my life but I’ll take yours too
    You’ll fire your musket but I’ll run you through
    So when you’re waiting for the next attack
    You’d better stand, there’s no turning back

    The bugle sounds the charge begins
    But on this battlefield no one wins
    The smell of acrid smoke and horses breath
    As I plunge on into certain death

    Ooooooooh
    Ooooooooh

    The horse he sweats with fear, we break to run
    The mighty roar of the Russian guns
    And as we race towards the human wall
    The scream of pain as my comrades fall

    We hurdle bodies that lay on the ground
    And the Russians fire another round
    We get so near yet so far away
    We won’t live to fight another day

    Ooooooooh
    Ooooooooh

    We get so close near enough to fight
    When a Russian gets me in his sights
    He pulls the trigger and I feel the blow
    A burst of rounds take my horse below

    And as I lay there gazing at the sky
    My body’s numb and my throat is dry
    And as I lay forgotten and alone
    Without a tear I draw my parting groan

    Ooooooooh
    Ooooooooh

    \m/ (>_<) \m/