Several Years Later...

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#1 Posted by SamFo (1676 posts) -

Just thought I'd bring up the fact that the backer reward for the boxed version of the game is yet to be shipped! Pretty crazy that this Kickstarter with an expected delivery date of 2012 is still going!

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#2 Posted by SpaceInsomniac (6353 posts) -

Yeah, that is pretty lame. Have they given anyone any indication when backers might see their boxed copies?

There's just been too much crap surrounding Double Fine. I don't know why people keep trusting them with money. This sort of thing, among other reasons, have really lowered my opinion of Tim Schafer over the years.

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#3 Posted by Jesus_Phish (3878 posts) -

I didn't realize people still haven't gotten physical copies of it. That's insane.

@spaceinsomniac - I'm with you. I wouldn't trust Tim Schafer to buy the next round of beer.

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#4 Posted by SamFo (1676 posts) -

@spaceinsomniac: I'm absolutely with you. Funnily enough, the last time I invested any money in a DF product were this and SpaceBase DF9, so needless to say, not an overly happy camper.

Having said that, I knew the risks involved with the project when I first backed it, but they HAVE given an indication saying the boxed copies will be finalised soon.

Surely they could not have actually turned a profit on broken age?

As for Tim Schafer, I just feel as though him being the gold standard of humourous writing in video games title, is probably a bit old fashioned. Not sure if I've laughed at any of his dialogue since maybe some of brutal legend?

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#5 Edited by Humanity (18784 posts) -

The hard truth is that Double Fine haven't put out an especially great game in over a decade. Psychonauts was the last thing that most people thought was "great" and even then it completely failed to sell. Brutal Legend was a weird one and the RTS aspect really hurt what could have been a pretty fun third person action game. Broken Agereceived middling reviews, confirming that most people in fact don't really want this type of game anymore - or at least not in the way Double Fine made it. Massive Chalice felt too simplistic and slightly undercooked.

They make games that are charming but don't play especially great. I feel like if they merged with another developer that had a great track record for making awesome gameplay and interesting systems we would really get a fun game, but until then apart from art direction the talent and creativity just doesn't seem to be there.

Oh and them not having shipped backers a physical copy of Broken Age when they've put out two or more games since that last project was officially complete is criminal to say the least.

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#6 Edited by mellotronrules (2609 posts) -

@humanity said:

They make games that are charming but don't play especially great. I feel like if they merged with another developer that had a great track record for making awesome gameplay and interesting systems we would really get a fun game, but until then apart from art direction the talent and creativity just doesn't seem to be there.

while the lack of kickstarter follow-through is unacceptable- and i'd concede that their games are love em or hate em- i don't think it's for lack of talent or creativity. i mean look at this run of games-

Brütal Legend

Costume Quest

Stacking

Iron Brigade

Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster

Double Fine Happy Action Theater

Broken Age

Hack 'n' Slash

Spacebase DF-9

Massive Chalice

they're not all successes- but you can't claim doublefine is stagnant. most of those games have wildly different mechanics- and i appreciate that they're going the opposite route of someone like the infinity ward of yesteryear (who did one style of game exceptionally well- but that's ALL they did).

i think more than anything they could use some focus to zero in on perfecting their next idea. but i'm also saying that as having enjoyed just about everyone of their 'smaller' games.

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#7 Posted by Humanity (18784 posts) -

@mellotronrules: They're definitely all wildly different but also lacking in depth. Iron Brigade is probably the most involved one of those and then to balance out the deep weapon customization it's just a wave based shooter - which is fine but it is kind of limiting in terms of what you do. I haven't played Massive Chalice but from what I heard it's also not that involved. Brutal Legend was comically enough too complex for it's own good.

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#8 Posted by devise22 (736 posts) -

@humanity said:

The hard truth is that Double Fine haven't put out an especially great game in over a decade. Psychonauts was the last thing that most people thought was "great" and even then it completely failed to sell. Brutal Legend was a weird one and the RTS aspect really hurt what could have been a pretty fun third person action game. Broken Agereceived middling reviews, confirming that most people in fact don't really want this type of game anymore - or at least not in the way Double Fine made it. Massive Chalice felt too simplistic and slightly undercooked.

They make games that are charming but don't play especially great. I feel like if they merged with another developer that had a great track record for making awesome gameplay and interesting systems we would really get a fun game, but until then apart from art direction the talent and creativity just doesn't seem to be there.

Oh and them not having shipped backers a physical copy of Broken Age when they've put out two or more games since that last project was officially complete is criminal to say the least.

If they were to merge or work on a game with someone like Super Giant, I'd be super down. Bastion was great, but Transistor left a lot to be desired on the narrative front for me. Even though I thought the dense mechanics did have some payoff in the end, they'd be the exact type of mechanic first studio that I think would benefit from the Double Fine charm.

Just to play devils advocate here though, should we really be that harsh on Double Fine for the physical copy stuff regarding Kickstarter? I'm not condoning it, or saying it's good. But it's not really a fault of Double Fine, more so the entire Kickstarter platform. DF and Broken Age in particular is one of the first games to be big on Kickstarter. It was bound to have road bumps, and it did. While it's easy to look at the studio releasing more projects and getting angry that they haven't finished up what they promised with Broken Age, at the same time it's important to remember DF isn't a Kickstarter studio. They aren't just one team. They have multiple things on the go, and for all we know the getting physical copies of Broken Ages shipped issue could be one out of their hands at this point. I guess I'm just arguing that they shouldn't receive any extra shit just because they released more products since. I mean it wouldn't really make sense to hate on EA soley for releasing a new game from a completely different developer just because they were stalling on giving some rewards or benefits on another product.

A lot of developers jumped on the Kickstarter bandwagon as it got popular, and in a lot of cases them and the users who backed them were participating in a trial of sorts. How is this going to work, how is it going to look etc. There have been cases where developers have done a way better job managing that stuff since, but that is with hindsight. They were able to see the mistakes others made, and now it's carving out an identity. It just doesn't feel to me like the talented folks at DF are sitting there laughing or saying screw it we have your money in regards to some missing backer rewards is all I'm saying.

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#9 Posted by CornBREDX (7365 posts) -

Before I say this understand that I don't even care if games I back never release for various reasons (as long as they are open about why and the reason makes sense) or if the game sucks when it is released. I expect it from Kickstarter and if you don't you are misunderstanding what the kind of money crowd funding is raising. It's not enough for necessarily great games. It's not that their bad, but they'll almost always be mediocre. The few exceptions are studios that think on the right scale.

Also before I go on someone in here said people don't want P&C adventure games anymore. You, person, are wrong. Studios like Wadjet Eye and King Art games are still putting out fantastic (as well as at least somewhat successful) P&C adventure games. Make a good game, and the players will play it (people should play the Book of Unwritten Tales games- they are fantastic). That being said Broken Age was a mediocre P&C game at best- as Tim initially said it probably would be (not that anyone remembers that he set the correct expectations for this or anything). It's not even up there with the best of Tim's career (and to be clear I think that's because of a lot of reasons, including Tim just not having made a P&C adventure in a long time).

Anyway, I was gonna say the reason the game hasn't shipped yet is probably several reasons. The length of the development I'm sure didn't help, then they had to wait for the documentary to be finished (editing and the blu ray and DVD being put together and what not), then there's making sure they have all the backer's info again (which a ton of people apparently aren't responding to so it's taking awhile), and then there's dealing with whoever is creating the boxing and shipping them, etc. etc. etc.

For all that I would forgive it, except... At my local Walmart there are BOXED COPIES OF THE GAME! They've been there for several months now! That's what really upsets me (and I know that the backers boxes are different). I became disappointed with Doublefine when I saw how they mismanaged the creation of the game. There were several reasons along the way that it was obvious the delays with the game were just a gross misunderstanding of the budget they were working with. A smaller indie team would have put out the game backers had expected (a more "classic" P&C adventure game) in far less time. With good writing it could have been ok too (and Tim can be a good writer).

I haven't lost respect for Tim Schafer or anything. I think that's a bit melodramatic. He still created some of my favorite Adventure games of all time. They still exist and I can still play them. I am disappointed, though. It's not because Broken Age is kinda "eh" either. It's just everything around it has not been handled well (even, myself, understanding that not all of it is Doublefine's fault).

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#10 Edited by OurSin_360 (6177 posts) -

tbh, kickstarter was relatively new and i'm sure they over promised on a lot of things. Trying to appease backers with awards while still developing/publishing other games seems like it was more than they anticipated. IMO i don't think it's a good idea to offer rewards and tiers for backers, it makes it feel like a pre-order rather than what it should be a financial investment. When you give "free" copies of the games, or extra dlc and artbooks then it just becomes a glorified pre-order when what it's supposed to be is more akin to getting funding from a publisher or investor. Then again backers should then be getting a cut of the profits, so it all just seems kinda bad. I also doubt broken age sold as well as they anticipated as well, so the cost to do all these awards is probably what really made things take so long.

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#11 Posted by StarvingGamer (11518 posts) -

@cornbredx: I dunno I mean, backer copies and boxes at retail are kinda apples and oranges right? One is significantly more complicated and being done basically just by DF whereas the other is DF handing over the code and a publisher doing all the work right? I dunno, it seems like such a silly thing to be upset about since you already have access to the game and the documentary.

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#12 Edited by StarvingGamer (11518 posts) -

@oursin_360: KS is in no way a financial investment. It is and should never be considered anything other than a donation.

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#13 Posted by Humanity (18784 posts) -

@cornbredx: I was the one that said people don't want point and click adventure games anymore, and I as a person that said this, am mostly correct (as evidenced by the lackluster sales of said P&C titles). It's great that the few that do come out here and there are pretty good, but that doesn't change the waning market interest.

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#14 Posted by StarvingGamer (11518 posts) -

@humanity: Is it waning interest or just a lack of growth in an expanding industry?

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#15 Edited by Cerberus3Dog (1026 posts) -

This was my first kickstarter I backed. I gave $100 for the physical boxed edition. Yeah still waiting. I learned pretty quick to be wary of kickstarter promises. I got caught up in the hype.

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#16 Edited by LeStephan (1215 posts) -

I dont understand the expectations people had for broken age. I remember Tim saying in the initial video the most money would go to the documentary and the game would just be a little flash game akin to a classic p&c adventure as the main goal of the project was, as I understood, to give a complete look at how a game gets made start to finish and not even necessarily to make a great game. It soon kinda blew up though with stretchgoal after stretchgoal I guess.

Doesn't take away from all the other stuff obviously. Physical copys taking so long seems pretty ridiculous as well.

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#17 Posted by mtfikhan (513 posts) -

I backed both Massive Chalice and Broken Age. Honestly, I think Massive Chalice may have been better handled because they offloaded the physical stuff to Fan Gamer.

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#18 Posted by Humanity (18784 posts) -

@humanity: Is it waning interest or just a lack of growth in an expanding industry?

It's both actually. The way most of these games actively emulate the style of P&C games from the mid 90's doesn't help move things along either. I do love some really nice pixel art, and proper sci-fi in that rendering mode looks awesome. That said, those games haven't really come a long way mechanically. They've added some convenient shortcuts that help with problems inherent to the genre, but thats about it.

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#19 Posted by CornBREDX (7365 posts) -

@starvinggamer: My problem with it is purely from a collector's standpoint so I am not typical of people's issue with it (I mainly get irked every time I see it at a store). It shouldn't have gone out to retail before backers if it wouldn't even have existed without them. I personally just want to stop waiting for it. It's exasperation on top of my previous disappointment.

@humanity: It's great that the few that do come out here and there are pretty good, but that doesn't change the waning market interest.

It feels like you're just mimicking what people say about adventure games (people who generally haven't even played adventure games since the 90s) and not really sharing information based on any data so I am unclear why you think you're sharing the truth on the matter. You've basically only said "my interest in adventure games is waning so that means the markets interest is waning." No offense intended, but that is what I am reading you say.

From my perspective adventure games are doing just fine. Just because the one mediocre one Tim Shafer made wasn't successful doesn't mean nobody wants to play adventure games when adventure games were still being made long before Tim decided to go back to making them.

A common misconception is that adventure games "died" when I've never seen a point when I could no longer find a new adventure game being released in over 20 years of playing them (since Zork! haha no I didn't play that when it came out my first adventure game was The Secret of Monkey Island). Did you know that Until Dawn was highly successful? That's one example. Telltale has several (Their walking dead series is doing very well still, but it turns out Minecraft is really popular), and David Cage still makes games. Those are all modern P&C adventure games.

If there's any waning interest it's dissatisfaction in the stories being presented (which is often the case- there's a ton of bad Adventure games being released all the time now).

I just speak from personal experience, though. I'm getting pretty sick of the terrible writing. I don't want my adventure games to be any more complicated mechanically then they already are (click on stuff to interact). Mechanics are neither here nor there, though. Telltale has made their own strides on that front with mixed results, and David Cage does... what David Cage does.

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#20 Posted by viking_funeral (2881 posts) -

Huh. I had to check my box collection to see if this was true.

Eh, I'm kind of fine with it. I've put down about 30% of my Kickstarter backings as losses, which isn't that bad in my view. Also, the shirt I got from this Kickstarter is easily one of my favorite T-shirts. The thing is so damn comfortable and good looking. They really put money into that thing. I hope it lasts as long as my oldest T-shirt. (12 years and counting - no holes or wear!)

Plus I've come to accept that I don't like Double Fine games. I want to, I really do, but I don't. I couldn't even play Massive Chalice over an hour, despite having a 'house' in the game and being a big fan of tactical games. So it goes.

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#21 Edited by Humanity (18784 posts) -

@cornbredx: I actually never alluded to my own interest. If anything I praised the way a lot of modern adventure games looked the quality of life changes they brought to the genre. If your counter to my argument is "well I still like playing adventure games so that means everyone else does and you're wrong" then I guess neither of us really has a leg to stand on. I wouldn't call neither Until Dawn nor Tell Tale games "P&C adventure games" either. They are a weird hybrid that does away with a lot of gameplay nuance in favor of putting the story front and center. You don't really solve many "puzzles" in those games as the challenges presented to you are so basic in nature and usually contain the solution on the very same screen that it would be an insult to place them in the same "puzzle" category as games like Monkey Island or Legend of Kyrandia. I would place them closer to suped up visual novels rather than classic P&C games like Syberia, like Indiana Jones or Sam and Max.

All that said this thread is supposed to be about the Broken Age backer rewards so I feel like I've side tracked it far enough. I totally respect modern adventure games, a lot of them show some clever design even if the writing isn't always there. I do wish they got bigger budgets, better writing and higher production values but thats probably not going to happen anytime soon - or not in the classic format I've mentioned anyway.

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#22 Posted by OurSin_360 (6177 posts) -

@starvinggamer: yeah definitely, after typing that i realized that without any monetary reward its just a glorified preorder or donation as you put it. Crowd funding just seems like a bad idea for everybody except the company taking money.

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#23 Posted by Slag (8157 posts) -

Man that's just depressing

tbh I thought Broken Age was worth it alone for the documentary. It was eye opening but mainly not in a good way. Although I admit it might be one of those things where we saw just enough to a have very unfair picture of how they do they things.

Either way while I certainly laud their attempt at transparency, after seeing their process perhaps it would have better for their reputation if we hadn't.

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#24 Posted by probablytuna (5008 posts) -

Just got my confirmation order email today. I had totally forgotten all about it until I checked this thread a coming of weeks back.

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