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CrunchinJelly
formerly cjelly
(07-03-2013, 01:03 AM)
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Five days after their second KS got funded, there is a nice little update on Broken Age.

Long story short they're running out of money and are making some changes to the game and cutting it in half. First half now releases January 2014 with the second half in April-May 2014.

Via Kotaku: http://kotaku.com/somehow-tim-schafe...more-652014092

Full letter from the KS:

A Note from Tim
Hello, Backers of Adventure!

Those of you who have been following along in the documentary know about the design vs. money tension we’ve had on this project since the early days. Even though we received much more money from our Kickstarter than we, or anybody anticipated, that didn’t stop me from getting excited and designing a game so big that it would need even more money.

I think I just have an idea in my head about how big an adventure game should be, so it’s hard for me to design one that’s much smaller than Grim Fandango or Full Throttle. There’s just a certain amount of scope needed to create a complex puzzle space and to develop a real story. At least with my brain, there is.

So we have been looking for ways to improve our project’s efficiency while reducing scope where we could along the way. All while looking for additional funds from bundle revenue, ports, etc. But when we finished the final in-depth schedule recently it was clear that these opportunistic methods weren’t going to be enough.

We looked into what it would take to finish just first half of our game—Act 1. And the numbers showed it coming in July of next year. Not this July, but July 2014. For just the first half. The full game was looking like 2015! My jaw hit the floor.

This was a huge wake-up call for all of us. If this were true, we weren’t going to have to cut the game in half, we were going to have to cut it down by 75%! What would be left? How would we even cut it down that far? Just polish up the rooms we had and ship those? Reboot the art style with a dramatically simpler look? Remove the Boy or Girl from the story? Yikes! Sad faces all around.

Would we, instead, try to find more money? You guys have been been very generous in the tip jar (thanks!) but this is a larger sum of money we were talking about. Asking a publisher for the money was out of the question because it would violate the spirit of the Kickstarter, and also, publishers. Going back to Kickstarter for it seemed wrong. Clearly, any overages were going to have to be paid by Double Fine, with our own money from the sales of our other games. That actually makes a lot of sense and we feel good about it. We have been making more money since we began self-publishing our games, but unfortunately it still would not be enough.

Then we had a strange idea. What if we made some modest cuts in order to finish the first half of the game by January instead of July, and then released that finished, polished half of the game on Steam Early Access? Backers would still have the option of not looking at it, of course, but those who were sick of waiting wouldn’t have to wait any more. They could play the first half of the game in January!

We were always planning to release the beta on Steam, but in addition to that we now have Steam Early Access, which is a new opportunity that actually lets you charge money for pre-release content. That means we could actually sell this early access version of the game to the public at large, and use that money to fund the remaining game development. The second part of the game would come in a free update a few months down the road, closer to April-May.

So, everybody gets to play the game sooner, and we don’t have to cut the game down drastically. Backers still get the whole game this way—nobody has to pay again for the second half.

And whatever date we start selling the early release, backers still have exclusive beta access before that, as promised in the Kickstarter.

I want to point out that Broken Age’s schedule changes have nothing to do with the team working slowly. They have been kicking ass and the game looks, plays, and sounds amazing. It’s just taking a while because I designed too much game, as I pretty much always do. But we’re pulling it in, and the good news is that the game’s design is now 100% done, so most of the unknowns are now gone and it’s not going to get any bigger.

With this shipping solution I think we’re balancing the size of the game and the realities of funding it pretty well. We are still working out the details and exact dates, but we’d love to hear your thoughts. This project has always been something we go through together and the ultimate solution needs to be something we all feel good about.

In the meantime, I’m hoping you are enjoying the documentary and like the progress you’re seeing on Broken Age. I’m really exciting about how it’s coming together, I can’t wait for you to see more of it, and I feel good about finally having a solid plan on how to ship it!

Thanks for reading,

Tim

Tripon
Member
(07-03-2013, 01:04 AM)
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This is hilarious.
Bog
Junior Ace
(07-03-2013, 01:04 AM)
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Running out of money? Quick, make another Kickstarter!
A Sentient Keyboard
Member
(07-03-2013, 01:05 AM)
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I'm okay with big ambitions, even if it's somewhat irresponsible.
Zefah
Member
(07-03-2013, 01:06 AM)
Definitely concerning, but I hope it all works out in the end.
mavs
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(07-03-2013, 01:06 AM)
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Brutal. I don't know that an adventure game is the best fit for early access, but it has been a good thing for many indie games.
benny_a
extra source of jiggaflops
(07-03-2013, 01:06 AM)
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Alternative thread title: Double Fine requires more money, going back to KS would be tacky
xptoxyz
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(07-03-2013, 01:06 AM)
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Cut in half seems like a bad description, it's getting a polished first part instead of a complete game beta in early access and the complete game later on.
Paches
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(07-03-2013, 01:06 AM)
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How predictable.
Zombie James
(07-03-2013, 01:07 AM)
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I understand publishers now.
eznark
john deere tramp stamp
(07-03-2013, 01:07 AM)
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Now we all know what it feels like to publish a Tim Schafer game.
GashPrex
NeoGaf-Gold™ Member
(07-03-2013, 01:07 AM)
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What else is new for double fine ...publishers nightmare
LiquidMetal14
hide your water-based mammals
(07-03-2013, 01:07 AM)
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At least all the KS folks will get the full package. They will likely just need to raise funds from the first release.
Nemo
Will Eat Your Children
(07-03-2013, 01:08 AM)
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Did the original Kickstarter mention that additionally needed funds would be gotten through sales of their games, or is this the first time?
CheesecakeRecipe
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(07-03-2013, 01:08 AM)
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To put things into perspective, Tim wanted to make a truly large adventure and was now unrestrained by the usual trappings of being screwed into what a Publisher demands. He let his ideas get carried away sure, but I think in the end we'll end up with a far better product. The idea of taking things to Steam Early Access allows them to secure additional funds without needing another kickstarter. Unless something goes horribly wrong, i'm pretty sure everyone's getting what they asked for.

I'm very disappointed by the wait but anyone who has watched the 2PP videos would have seen that there's been a lot of lessons learned on this journey some of which have been hard.
Joe Shlabotnik
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(07-03-2013, 01:08 AM)
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Originally Posted by eznark

Now we all know what it feels like to publish a Tim Schafer game.

Literally laughing out loud here, that never happens.
Sethos
Banned
(07-03-2013, 01:08 AM)
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Markoff_Chaney
Junior Member
(07-03-2013, 01:08 AM)
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Excellent write up in RPS regarding this news as well.

Deleted the rest of my post as I misread it. Backers get the whole game at release and access to early access as well, if they so choose.
Last edited by Markoff_Chaney; 07-03-2013 at 01:28 AM. Reason: My own stupidity
SparkTR
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(07-03-2013, 01:08 AM)
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So it's episodic like Kentucky Route Zero? As long as it's still coming out.
General_Frags
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(07-03-2013, 01:08 AM)
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Wow, just wow, they ran out of money for the second time!,

Jesus when will this game ever come out.
Detox
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(07-03-2013, 01:09 AM)
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Am I reading this right? The full game would normally be finished in 2015 but if they release half in Jan they can get the second half done by May 2014?
sankao
Member
(07-03-2013, 01:09 AM)
Act 2 is a free update, I'm OK with this.
Sex
Banned
(07-03-2013, 01:09 AM)
This is why they can't get a publisher.

Ask Activision.
Archie
Second-rate Anihawk
(07-03-2013, 01:09 AM)
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This guy had a point.
Zuhzuhzombie!!
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(07-03-2013, 01:10 AM)
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Originally Posted by Zombie James

I understand publishers now.

This.

Holy hell. Way to really undercut people's confidence.
CrunchinJelly
formerly cjelly
(07-03-2013, 01:10 AM)
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Originally Posted by Detox

Am I reading this right? The full game would normally be finished in 2015 but if they release half in Jan they can get the second half done by May 2014?

They are making some 'modest cuts' also. So calling it half of the game is probably over-selling it.
LumpOfCole
Cereal Killer
(07-03-2013, 01:10 AM)
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If part one is Broken Age, is part two Fixed Age?
Fox Mulder
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(07-03-2013, 01:10 AM)
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It's almost like this is exactly why publishers exist.
Feep
Second-hand Citizen
(07-03-2013, 01:11 AM)
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It's not a disaster, but disappointing, certainly. This is one of Kickstarter's big poster children, and it isn't doing great. Ouya ain't lookin' so hot, either.

Go Oculus Rift!

Originally Posted by eznark

Now we all know what it feels like to publish a Tim Schafer game.

A++
SalsaShark
Trust no one!
Keep your laser handy!
(07-03-2013, 01:11 AM)
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Im alright with it, games are expensive and they got ambitious. It certainly looks bad so that's a bummer, but at the end of the day im still getting a Tim Schafer adventure game so hey, give it to me in whatever way you can. It's not like their slacking off.
DiscoJer
Junior Member
(07-03-2013, 01:11 AM)
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Originally Posted by Bog

Running out of money? Quick, make another Kickstarter!

That happened with Star Command

http://www.starcommandgame.com/home.html
Joe Shlabotnik
Member
(07-03-2013, 01:11 AM)
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Originally Posted by Detox

Am I reading this right? The full game would normally be finished in 2015 but if they release half in Jan they can get the second half done by May 2014?

They're going to cut some of the first half to have it completely finished about six months ahead of their current schedule, and use the money from that to fund the second half and get it finished ahead of time as well.
Kusagari
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(07-03-2013, 01:11 AM)
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Why would anyone have faith in their other Kickstarter reading this?
skylenorman
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(07-03-2013, 01:11 AM)
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I'm amazed at how people are fine with this. The kickstarter crowd is only getting half a game for the money they pledged. To make matters worse, Double Fine gets to charge money for the unfinished game to people who didn't pledge, and hoping to get enough money to finish the game.

Between this, Braff, and the Pebble watch issue I hope people start to realize that Kickstarter is a terrible service.
OverBlood 3
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(07-03-2013, 01:12 AM)
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Originally Posted by Archie

This guy had a point.

Not really, I don't see how this is shady? You're still getting the full game but just in 2 parts. Earlier than you would've done otherwise.

Originally Posted by skylenorman

I'm amazed at how people are fine with this. The kickstarter crowd is only getting half a game for the money they pledged. To make matters worse, Double Fine gets to charge money for the unfinished game to people who didn't pledge, and hoping to get enough money to finish the game.

Between this, Braff, and the Pebble watch issue I hope people start to realize that Kickstarter is a terrible service.


They're getting the full game in 2 parts.
SerRodrik
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(07-03-2013, 01:12 AM)
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Originally Posted by Detox

Am I reading this right? The full game would normally be finished in 2015 but if they release half in Jan they can get the second half done by May 2014?

I believe they said there would still be some scope reduction that would go along with this new plan. Essentially they seem to be cutting some parts of the game, but they would have to cut significantly more of the game if they didn't use Steam Early Access. That's what I took away from it, anyway.

As long as I get both parts, I'm still alright with it. Although, as I said in the other thread, it's definitely a "getting a peek at the sausage making process" moment.
plagiarize
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(07-03-2013, 01:12 AM)
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Originally Posted by CrunchinJelly

They are making some 'modest cuts' also. So calling it half of the game is probably over-selling it.

the reason they're cutting up the game is because Schafer made it too long for the budget they had in the first place. I wasn't expecting a Grim Fandango length game myself.

It's fair enough if you ask me. I'll gladly wait longer for a good game. I do it all the time.
djplaeskool
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(07-03-2013, 01:12 AM)
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Nemo
Will Eat Your Children
(07-03-2013, 01:12 AM)
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Originally Posted by Detox

Am I reading this right? The full game would normally be finished in 2015 but if they release half in Jan they can get the second half done by May 2014?

Modest cutting apparently shaves off at least 6 months
linko9
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(07-03-2013, 01:12 AM)
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This is hilarious. Seemed extremely sketchy from the beginning, what with having no work done on the game at all up front, unlike pretty much all other kickstarters.
Zuhzuhzombie!!
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(07-03-2013, 01:12 AM)
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Originally Posted by Joe Shlabotnik

Literally laughing out loud here, that never happens.

And from obvious reasons. The guy has absolutely no concept of budgeting.
Randdalf
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(07-03-2013, 01:12 AM)
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Originally Posted by Detox

Am I reading this right? The full game would normally be finished in 2015 but if they release half in Jan they can get the second half done by May 2014?

The full game as originally planned would be in 2015, they're scaling down the ambition of Broken Age to get it in earlier and cheaper.

People should note that they've already raised quite an amount of money from the sales of Brutal Legend PC and the Double Fine Bundle alone, sales from the early access release should make up the rest of the game's budget.
CrunchinJelly
formerly cjelly
(07-03-2013, 01:13 AM)
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Originally Posted by Kusagari

Why would anyone have faith in their other Kickstarter reading this?

Well unfortunately that's too late as that game suspiciously got funded five days before this news.
bonesmccoy
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(07-03-2013, 01:13 AM)
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Originally Posted by eznark

Now we all know what it feels like to publish a Tim Schafer game.

Thank you, eznark. Thank you very much.
Owensboro
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(07-03-2013, 01:13 AM)
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What's everyone having a problem with again? Every backer is still going to get the full game, they are just polishing up the first half so they can sell the full package on steam. From what I'm reading, everyone who buys the first half gets the second half for free in an update later. Basically, we get to play the game early and they get money from the sales of the game to make the second half.

So how is this shady again?
louiedog
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(07-03-2013, 01:13 AM)
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Originally Posted by bkfount

It's almost like this is exactly why publishers exist.

Duke Nukem Forever had a publisher.
JWong
Banned
(07-03-2013, 01:13 AM)
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Kickscammer.

Where the hell is the budgeting responsibility in this project?
Goon Boon
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(07-03-2013, 01:13 AM)
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What the fuck would have happened if they barely broke 400k?
probune
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(07-03-2013, 01:14 AM)
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Originally Posted by eznark

Now we all know what it feels like to publish a Tim Schafer game.

I usually get annoyed by bandwagony people who quote their favorite post in the thread and post nothing but LOL or a gif, but I guess I have to be one of those people today.

Great job.
Kusagari
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(07-03-2013, 01:14 AM)
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Originally Posted by CrunchinJelly

Well unfortunately that's too late as that game suspiciously got funded five days before this news.

The fact we've heard multiple problems about the development of BA is exactly why I didn't back the other one.

This only confirms I made the right call.

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