Broken Age's Second Half Moving into Early 2015

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Posted by patrickklepek (6833 posts) -
No Caption Provided

If you were hoping to finish Broken Age before the end of the year, it's not going to happen. Double Fine Productions has announced the adventure game needs a bit more polishing. It's coming early 2015.

Double Fine's Greg Rice posted a project update, which revealed the news.

"The team has been steadily growing in size over the past month and progress is being made really rapidly now. The key milestone being that just last week we hit Alpha on both Shay and Vella’s halves of Act 2, leaving just the big finale section until we can say the entirety of Act 2 is at Alpha!

This has unlocked the ability to playtest Act 2 from the start all the way up to the finale, allowing people to switch characters throughout. We kicked that off in full last week and it has been super informative. So far we’re seeing exactly what we were hoping! Playtimes of just Act 2 have ranged from 8-12 hours, the puzzles seem to be providing a good level of challenge, nothing is really standing out as needing to be heavily re-worked, and most importantly people are laughing a lot and seem really pleased with where the story goes. YAY!

In parallel to all this Alpha development, the animators at both Double Fine and SuperGenius, as well as the audio team, have been charging forward on Beta work for the scenes that have professional VO already recorded. This has put Shay’s half of Act 2 well on it’s way towards Beta! Next week Tim is headed down to LA for the final major recording session with Vella, and at that point we’ll have pro VO for all of the remaining cutscenes ready so that animators can start taking them to final!

The goal now is to get all the finale work done so we can hit Alpha on all of Act 2 by the end of the year. That means, as you may have guessed based on recent updates and documentary episodes, the Act 2 ship that will deliver the complete adventure is now looking like it will be early next year. The game is looking really good and the team is working super fast, but we just gotta give the game the time it needs to really deliver on everything we’re hoping it will be."

Avatar image for corevi
#1 Posted by Corevi (6796 posts) -

Maybe they should have focused entirely on Broken Age instead of putting out a bunch of mediocre games?

Avatar image for hassun
#2 Posted by hassun (9872 posts) -

Ah deadlines...

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#3 Posted by emthebrave (62 posts) -

Well. At least they're communicating and letting people know what's going on

Can't wait for episode 2

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#4 Posted by GunslingerPanda (5263 posts) -

Amazing that a company that's proven themselves time and again to be untrustworthy can still reliably rake in money and support.

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#5 Posted by ChrisTaran (2054 posts) -

I'm glad. I'd rather them not rush it and get it right.

Avatar image for mnzy
#6 Edited by mnzy (3033 posts) -

It will be three years from me backing the Kickstarter till I see the end of the game. It's ridiculous. Their KS said "Estimated delivery: Oct 2012".

Just insane and one of the reasons I don't want to back anything anymore.

Avatar image for brendan
#7 Posted by Brendan (9210 posts) -

@corevi: From the perspective of getting the work done faster possibly, but remember that the numbers of different types of positions at Double Fine may be set up towards working on several games and it may not be sensible to throw "X" more developers at a game. Even if it was it may be a smarter strategy to spread out across several games to provide more revenue rather than bank on a single game that may only sell a limited amount. It's complicated!

Avatar image for dudleyville
#8 Posted by Dudleyville (53 posts) -

I mean, can anyone say it wasn't expected? With more and more bigger projects coming closer to completion from Kickstarter, the more I get skeptical of it all.

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#9 Posted by Shortbreadtom (1009 posts) -

So with one of the most successful gaming Kickstarter campaigns ever, Double Fine has to split the game in half and use the profits from the first half to fund the second and then they can't even get that out in time. Oh, and they also had another Kickstartedgame while the first was being made. Oh, and Spacebase DF-9 in Early Access bombed so hard they've decided to give up all future development on it, fucking over everyone who bought into it.

When Broken Age is finally finished, it will be over 2 years later than they promised. If Tim Schafer wasn't such a lovable guy, Double Fine would have NO supporters by now. Any other company and people wouldn't stand for this.

Avatar image for pudge
#10 Posted by Pudge (1256 posts) -

I really wish Double Fine would slow down a bit and focus on one or two projects at a time. It seems like Tim just says yes to everything that comes across his desk and then rushes to the finish on every project. Hell, they're PUBLISHING games now. It's lunacy.

Also, it seems like calling this "Act 2" of Broken Age is a little disingenuous considering that Act 1 barely took me 5 hours to beat and now this second half seems like it has evolved into its own full game. At some point, I just would rather finish the game instead of seeing it pushed back over and over.

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#11 Posted by Fear_the_Booboo (1067 posts) -

Whatever the haters say, the first part is incredible. If the second part is as good or better, this game will be a masterpiece. The development was kind of shitty but the product at the end is great, so I don't understand most of the complaints.

But yeah, my favorite american movie ever made is probably Heaven's Gate sooooo...

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#12 Edited by csl316 (14946 posts) -

The documentary has left me feeling weird about game development. So many meetings of people putting on fake grins (mainly Greg Rice) in response to Tim's jokes, while their eyes are shooting hate daggers at whoever is holding things up. It almost feels like people are afraid to speak their mind at times.

And as much as I like Tim, he doesn't seem like a great guy to keep things organized and on task. Granted, he has a lot of other stuff to worry about as a studio head.

It'll be nice to see it released, but my excitement has dropped a bunch at this point.

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#13 Edited by Dberg (1025 posts) -

I can't really say I care any more. I donated, and I got a pretty good documentary out of it. The actual game was not my cup of tea, and the rate at which it's coming out has soured me on Kickstarter.

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#14 Edited by bacongames (4008 posts) -

Some important context for this is that as early as October of this year, the documentary showed that most everyone except Tim, including Greg and Justin, felt like the project wasn't going to be done before the end of December. Tim felt like they could and wanted to make it within the GOTY window and they made a push but they did so knowing it wasn't guaranteed. This confirms what ended up playing out.

It's a shame people are so quick to resort to snark and negativity. The comment that they should have thrown more people at the program ignores the fact that they grow and shrink the team as needed and the ROI on people per month doesn't work if they all work on just Broken Age. It is kind of crazy how many projects DF had this year but if you've been paying attention to DF for a while now, the problem has largely been not being financially comfortable and sometimes having to make creative or difficult decisions to stay alive.

Also people should have gotten by now that the scope of the Kickstarter fundamentally changed the project's scope and when it was projected to come out. Relative to the original KS yes, it's a long while but you're getting a lot more and higher quality game than what would have been there originally. Thing is, I can recall each and every concern being addressed within the documentary, including all the stuff over the split, the hard numbers on DF's finances etc.

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#15 Posted by GrantHeaslip (1869 posts) -

I can't help but question why Giant Bomb isn't being more critical of some of Double Fine's recent shenanigans. I understand that that the company is full of lovable people, but this game is now on track to be released over two years later than what was promised to Kickstarter backers (even after the budget was unexpectedly expanded). Meanwhile, Spacebase was abandoned in Early Access, and the big Broken Age delay/split was conveniently announced days after the Massive Chalice Kickstarter closed.

They're developing a track record of fairly anti-consumer behaviour, and while I can't claim to know for sure what's motivating anyone, it really feels like they're getting a free pass because they're friends of the site.

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#16 Posted by mnzy (3033 posts) -

@dberg said:

I can't really say I care any more. I donated, and I got a pretty good documentary out of it. The actual game was not my cup of tea, and the rate at which it's coming out has soured me on Kickstarter.

The documentary really is the best thing about the Kickstarter. 2PP are great.

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#17 Edited by koolaid (1432 posts) -

@corevi said:

Maybe they should have focused entirely on Broken Age instead of putting out a bunch of mediocre games?

That's not really how it works. Budgeting is a matter of people, money and time. If they brought more people on to work on the game, they would have to pay them. And that money would have to come from somewhere. Also, even though the game would theoretically be done faster, there is no guarantee that the costs would even out. It's not really a neat formula where you double the programers and the game gets done in half the time.

Also, they probably do not feel those games are mediocre but that's like your opinion man.

Also, also, who cares? So the game comes out a few months later? Part 1 was good and if part 2 is just as good, that's all I care about.

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#18 Posted by Tondo (194 posts) -

Hah playtime 8-12 hours on act 2.. Ill believe it when I see it. Would be awesome if that was the case but Im afraid, Double Fine is over promising once again :/

Avatar image for corevi
#19 Posted by Corevi (6796 posts) -
@koolaid said:

@corevi said:

Maybe they should have focused entirely on Broken Age instead of putting out a bunch of mediocre games?

That's not really how it works. Budgeting is a matter of people, money and time. If they brought more people on to work on the game, they would have to pay them. And that money would have to come from somewhere. Also, even though the game would theoretically be done faster, there is no guarantee that the costs would even out. It's not really a neat formula where you double the programers and the game gets done in half the time.

Also, also, who cares? So the game comes out a few months later? Part 1 was good and if part 2 is just as good, that's all I care about.

1. The Kickstarter easily made enough money to develop the game they wanted to make within the deadline they provided (October 2012)

2. It's already been almost a year since Part 1 and it's been 2 years since the originally planned release date.

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#20 Edited by Anytus2007 (33 posts) -

@pudge: DoubleFine is a multi-project studio now due to financial necessity. They can't fund an independent studio of 60 or so people working on 1/2 games without support from major publishers. After their well-documented struggles with publishers over Psychonauts and Brutal Legend, though, Tim and the business team at DoubleFine have basically sworn off any publisher who won't allow them to keep their own IP (as Midnight City/Majesco did with Costume Quest 2) and develop at their own pace. It would take tens of millions of dollars in investment to get 30-60 people working for 2 years on a game and they just can't get that kind of seed money from anyone they want to work with.

The result is that they've pivoted to smaller projects. 3-5 games being developed at a time for a much lower budget on each game. That opens up more consistent funding opportunities and more predictable revenue streams.

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#21 Posted by ripelivejam (13098 posts) -

Came for anger in the comments, was not(?) disappointed.

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#22 Posted by koolaid (1432 posts) -

@corevi: I'd rather have Broken Age then that original game. That's just me but I feel a lot of backers agree with me. Worth the wait.

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#23 Posted by thatpinguino (2844 posts) -

@corevi: The game is much larger in scope than what they originally outlined in the kickstarter and the amount of additional asset generation and coding work that they are doing is not trivial. I loved part 1, and if they need to spend some more time on part 2 that's fine by me. At least DF's delays seem to be a product of reasonable ambition and manageable timelines rather than "oh man this game is straight broke right now and we are supposed to release next week;" their delays seem to be in service of strong finished products and as long as that remains true I'm cool with some waiting.

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#24 Posted by Ronald (1546 posts) -

Poor Tim, he wanted to make something far grander than what he promised on his Kickstarter and as such the game keeps getting bigger and is taking far longer than it was originally supposed to. Honestly, I would probably rather have the game he is delivering than the game he promised. This is the big problem with Kickstarter, though. You find out about games way too soon and are given "release dates" before the game has even started production. So as the game takes longer to come out people get upset because they have been told to expect something at a date and time, which big publishers tend to keep hidden until a game is far enough along that they feel more secure in giving a release date. And even then, Evolve and Witcher 3 get pushed back by six months, and games like Hale, Drive Club, and Assassin's Creed get released as broken messes.

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#25 Posted by dannyglover (185 posts) -

I enjoyed Part 1 and have a huge backlog of games to play from Steam sales, so it's not a big deal to me that they're taking the time to make a good game, even if it's coming out late.

@ronald said:

And even then, Evolve and Witcher 3 get pushed back by six months, and games like Hale, Drive Club, and Assassin's Creed get released as broken messes.

I would definitely hate Broken Age Part 2 if it was rushed out this year and had tons of glitches.

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#26 Edited by mattgriffin (148 posts) -

I don't have the energy to care about this game anymore. TellTale is actually producing and shipping good games, so I'll just go there for my adventuring.

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#27 Posted by Honkalot (1038 posts) -

I can see people who participated in the KS being upset about this and the earlier delays. As a person who bought it on steam in February I liked part 1 and am looking forward to part 2.

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#28 Posted by oppai2 (113 posts) -

I backed and enjoyed the first one and did not expect the 2nd half to come out this year.

Even being a backer I have a life and kids and couldn´t care less about this delay.

That cliffhanger though...great reveal that makes it worth the wait.

Then again I do have an original copy of DOTT that I played back in the day so I guess I am old.

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#29 Posted by Mr_Skeleton (5195 posts) -

Double Fine really feels like a studio that is bleeding money.

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#30 Posted by Dunchad (752 posts) -

The game was just a bonus (an enjoyable one, at that [so far]). I kickstarted the project for the documentary - and I haven't been disappointed. Have loved every episode of it.

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#31 Posted by ArbitraryWater (15664 posts) -

It's funny how Double Fine used to be the peoples' champion but now they're everything wrong with kickstarter and early access. Not that I blame others for getting upset. I'm not, mostly because the only DF game I've ever really liked was Iron Brigade. Maybe I should try Psychonauts...

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#32 Edited by thatpinguino (2844 posts) -
@mr_skeleton said:

Double Fine really feels like a studio that is bleeding money.

I don't know about that. It just seems like they are trying just about every financing option to see what works best for them. Honestly they are the only indie studio that I know of that is 60 or more developers strong that doesn't rely on direct publisher support or contract work. They are forging new ground and it is going to hopefully bear fruit for developers that follow them.

@arbitrarywater: Stop posting here and go play Psychonauts instead! That game is dope as hell.

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#33 Posted by SASnake (612 posts) -

Hopefully Part 2 will be good! Cause Part 1 suuuuuuuuuucked

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#34 Edited by megalowho (1146 posts) -

@honkalot said:

I can see people who participated in the KS being upset about this and the earlier delays. As a person who bought it on steam in February I liked part 1 and am looking forward to part 2.

I actually think most of the snark is from folks that didn't back the game or have issues with Kickstarter in general. Double Fine has been almost painfully open with the process of developing this game to backers and it's been enlightening to watch unfold through good and bad. Even if I end up just liking Broken Age after all is said and done instead of loving it I'm glad to have contributed to the project.

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#35 Posted by KestrelPi (212 posts) -

The mood on the Backer forum is good, by the way. Backers who have been following the documentary have known for months there was a possibility this would get pushed to early next year, and they've been very open about that on the forums.

People are excited that Part 2 looks like it'll be about twice as long as part 1, and harder, and basically want them to take the time it needs to get it done.

Most of the people moaning about it seem to be getting angry on our behalf.

As for being angry about DF in general, I guess I just don't get it. Broken Age is coming along great, even if delayed (and Oct 2012 is irrelevant, that was their deadline for a 400k game and they said from the start it would be a much longer project). Spacebase was a big disappointment, and a big mistake in the way it was communicated too, sure. But lately we've also had Hack 'n' Slash out of Early Access, which I adored, and Massive Chalice which after playing for 40 hours hasn't disappointed me one bit. And Costume Quest 2!

Sure, let's not ignore the negatives, and there are some (well, one) but I think that they're continuing to release a bunch of quality stuff! I'm only sad about the recent news of layoffs, which mean that that's one less game.

Speaking of which, this is a studio that tends to make niche games, has never scored a big hit, but has managed to staff ~50 people in San Francisco for 14 years before they got into the situation so many studios have to go through at some point, i.e. layoffs. I find that curious, when everyone is in a hurry to accuse them of being bad with money.

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#37 Posted by Pudge (1256 posts) -

@anytus2007: Then maybe they don't have to have 60 people employed? Maybe they shouldn't be a mid-sized developer if their goal is to work independently. You'll find no bigger fan of Brutal Legend than me, and their other stuff has been solid at times, but they've burned way too many bridges in the eyes of the consumer.

They always seem to be just on the verge of bankruptcy with all the canceled projects and delays. Maybe that's because of their open philosophy, but that, combined with their repeated abuse of Steam's Early Access system certainly doesn't make me confident in anything they put out going forward.

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#38 Posted by Milkman (19261 posts) -

I didn't back Broken Age but I did buy and really enjoy it (it'll probably somewhere pretty high on my GOTY list). I personally don't really have a problem with the second part being delayed. I obviously would like it sooner because I like good games and would rather more good games now than more good games later but if this is what it takes for the second part to be as good or better than the first part, so be it. Maybe if I was a backer, I'd be singing a different tune and I don't know what backers were promised. But from an outside perspective, it seems to me like a lot of the people who are complaining about this game and Double Fine of late are people who (like a certain other KS project that invokes a lot of internet belly aching) never backed the game to begin with.

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#39 Edited by DevourerOfTime (705 posts) -

Do not understand the hate for Double Fine in the comments. I'm happy with how the Kickstarter has gone (and how the Massive Chalice kickstarter has gone!) and have enjoyed their last few releases.

Don't really understand how the stick managed to wiggle up so many people's butts.

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#40 Posted by YoThatLimp (2480 posts) -

Do not understand the hate for Double Fine in the comments. I'm happy with how the Kickstarter has gone (and how the Massive Chalice kickstarter has gone!) and have enjoyed their last few releases.

Don't really understand how the stick managed to wiggle up so many people's butts.

Yeah, these bitter comments are kind of nutty.

Avatar image for jakob187
#41 Posted by jakob187 (22947 posts) -

Double Fine has quickly (IMO) gone from being fucking awesome with a lot of their original releases and ideas to the shadiest fucking load of horseshit ever. I wouldn't drop a dime on a single product they offer at this point. They can never keep up with their promises.

So...basically, they've turned into all the multi-billion dollar corporations releasing games and consoles...but without the same budget.

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#42 Edited by turboman (9812 posts) -

Hey, at least we got a good documentary out of it...

and the game so far is pretty good too!

Avatar image for donutfever
#43 Edited by DonutFever (4051 posts) -

They've made some mistakes recently, but Broken Age Act 1 was REALLY polished for a Kickstarter title, it seems like the extra time has resulted in a big increase in quality. Broken Age is the best thing DF's made since Psychonauts.

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#44 Posted by DevourerOfTime (705 posts) -

@devoureroftime said:

Do not understand the hate for Double Fine in the comments. I'm happy with how the Kickstarter has gone (and how the Massive Chalice kickstarter has gone!) and have enjoyed their last few releases.

Don't really understand how the stick managed to wiggle up so many people's butts.

Yeah, these bitter comments are kind of nutty.

Yeah, you can really tell a lot of people on here don't understand how game development works. Double Fine in the past few years has shown a great deal of transparency in their development process, which has both educated a lot of people and also made some into armchair project leads who have no idea what they're talking about.

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#45 Edited by selbie (2559 posts) -

Too busy flying around space to notice.

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#46 Posted by DrFlapjack (373 posts) -

"The team has been steadily growing..." What? I thought they just laid of a bunch of people a few weeks ago. Unless they are shifting people from other projects.

Avatar image for maajin
#47 Posted by Maajin (1181 posts) -

@drflapjack: They work on multiple projects at once, so I'm sure he was talking about the team working on Broken Age, and not Double Fine as a whole.

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#48 Posted by verysexypotato (292 posts) -

@yothatlimp said:

@devoureroftime said:

Do not understand the hate for Double Fine in the comments. I'm happy with how the Kickstarter has gone (and how the Massive Chalice kickstarter has gone!) and have enjoyed their last few releases.

Don't really understand how the stick managed to wiggle up so many people's butts.

Yeah, these bitter comments are kind of nutty.

Yeah, you can really tell a lot of people on here don't understand how game development works. Double Fine in the past few years has shown a great deal of transparency in their development process, which has both educated a lot of people and also made some into armchair project leads who have no idea what they're talking about.

Yeah, all this hate is completely bizarre to me. I hope that Tim and the crew over there expected a number of consumers that would never understand the hurdles and insanity of development.

You'll notice that a lot of people compare DF to Telltale or any number of other devs who's development process are 100% behind the the curtain, and from seeing all this backlash, with good reason! DF may be late delivering a product, but for the price that I and many other KS backers paid, we are almost getting triple our return. This is INSANE. At any other company this project would have been greenlit, kept silent until a delivery date could be loosely confirmed, announced to the public (if a publisher felt it was worth not killing at this stage,) then either forced to release unfinished/buggy or delayed anyway.

I don't think that DF should be devoid of criticism, I think they totally botched it with SpaceBase. But the types of complaints I see being thrown at them tells me how very little some still understand the process. "They're bleeding money," every studio is always bleeding money. "Maybe they should only work on one project at a time." You take the jobs you have to so you can take the jobs you want to. You'll notice Telltale released Law & Order Legacies while they were working on Puzzle Agent, Walking Dead, and Back to the Future. Unless you're a AAA dev-house, you don't work on ONE project. It's not financially viable. And their smaller projects to keep the company afloat are all original IPs, whether coming internally or publishing someone elses small project. Not shovelware tied to a massive property (though I would LOVE to see a DF-made Guardians of the Galaxy...)

My main point is that DF is an imperfect wonderland where original content gets made by people who give a shit about making it, and they get it all on camera for us (though I don't know that's always the best idea.) Sometimes it totally fails, and that's the cost of being able to take as many independent risks as they do. I'm so glad they exist and I'm going to continue to support their insanity indefinitely because I think the industry is made better with a company like this.

Avatar image for yothatlimp
#49 Edited by YoThatLimp (2480 posts) -

@devoureroftime said:
@yothatlimp said:

@devoureroftime said:

Do not understand the hate for Double Fine in the comments. I'm happy with how the Kickstarter has gone (and how the Massive Chalice kickstarter has gone!) and have enjoyed their last few releases.

Don't really understand how the stick managed to wiggle up so many people's butts.

Yeah, these bitter comments are kind of nutty.

Yeah, you can really tell a lot of people on here don't understand how game development works. Double Fine in the past few years has shown a great deal of transparency in their development process, which has both educated a lot of people and also made some into armchair project leads who have no idea what they're talking about.

Yeah, all this hate is completely bizarre to me. I hope that Tim and the crew over there expected a number of consumers that would never understand the hurdles and insanity of development.

You'll notice that a lot of people compare DF to Telltale or any number of other devs who's development process are 100% behind the the curtain, and from seeing all this backlash, with good reason! DF may be late delivering a product, but for the price that I and many other KS backers paid, we are almost getting triple our return. This is INSANE. At any other company this project would have been greenlit, kept silent until a delivery date could be loosely confirmed, announced to the public (if a publisher felt it was worth not killing at this stage,) then either forced to release unfinished/buggy or delayed anyway.

I don't think that DF should be devoid of criticism, I think they totally botched it with SpaceBase. But the types of complaints I see being thrown at them tells me how very little some still understand the process. "They're bleeding money," every studio is always bleeding money. "Maybe they should only work on one project at a time." You take the jobs you have to so you can take the jobs you want to. You'll notice Telltale released Law & Order Legacies while they were working on Puzzle Agent, Walking Dead, and Back to the Future. Unless you're a AAA dev-house, you don't work on ONE project. It's not financially viable. And their smaller projects to keep the company afloat are all original IPs, whether coming internally or publishing someone elses small project. Not shovelware tied to a massive property (though I would LOVE to see a DF-made Guardians of the Galaxy...)

My main point is that DF is an imperfect wonderland where original content gets made by people who give a shit about making it, and they get it all on camera for us (though I don't know that's always the best idea.) Sometimes it totally fails, and that's the cost of being able to take as many independent risks as they do. I'm so glad they exist and I'm going to continue to support their insanity indefinitely because I think the industry is made better with a company like this.

Totally agree with you. In a world of yearly AAA releases (assassin's creed, CoD) that release completely broken even with budgets of hundreds of millions of dollars I applaud a small independent team tackling projects that they love and trying to create a market for them. They are definitely not above criticism, but like everyone else in the crowdfunding space they are figuring it out as they go along. For a fraction of what this years Call of Duty cost I have Part 1 of Broken Age, many polished hours of an honest look at the struggles of being a mid sized independent studio as well as Part 2 to look forward to.

Spacebase was a bummer, so much wasted potential there.

Avatar image for cornbredx
#50 Posted by CornBREDX (7356 posts) -

I'm fine with them pushing this back (even though... sigh... I don't understand how this happens with them but whatever haha), but I checked my Kickstarter feed. Yep. No announcement to backers before the press. That irks me a little bit.

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