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Broken Age (Double Fine Adventure) Sliced In Two, First Half Releases January 2014

Jonathan Lester
Adventure Games, Broken Age, Delays, Double Fine, Double Fine Adventure, OUYA games, PC games

Broken Age (Double Fine Adventure) Sliced In Two, First Half Releases January 2014

Double Fine Needs Even More Money & Time

Many of us have been impatiently waiting for Broken Age (previously known as the Double Fine Adventure that ignited mainstream interest in Kickstarter as a viable game funding method), and it looks like you'll be waiting a while longer. Tim Schafer has explained that the title has now been cut into two halves, the first of which is out at the start of next year.

The reason? Effectively, the game has gotten so big that Double Fine needs more money to finish it. You know, despite raising $3,336,371, a budget that most adventure game developers could only dream of.

"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," Schafer told backers in the latest email update. "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."

The solution, Schafer explains, is to cut Broken Age down the middle and release the first part of the game as a standalone title, which can start bringing in revenue to finish off the second half.

"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!"

As promised, backers will receive both halves of the game and beta access. It's also headed to OUYA at some point, though not in time to make any sort of launch impact.

What do you make of this, dear readers? Has Broken Age succumbed to the dreaded "feature bloat?"

Add a comment4 comments
DivideByZero  Jul. 3, 2013 at 10:37

Bit pi**ed off with this to be honest.

Not only did Double-fine make their Kickstarter goal, they totally smashed it.

Then I get an e-mail from Tim (with all the other backers), basically crying that he doesn't have enough money or time.


You knew you were going to make a game... this is not new news. How have you not had the time?!

If this game comes out and is one of the all time classic adventure games along side Grim Fandango, Monkey Island etc. then it will be OK. If this turns out to be some average junk like the Cave... we will not be impressed.

Tim claims to be setting the bar very high... well, it better be good. If after all this time, money and words they release something half arsed, then that would be extremely lame.

Buy the ticket, take the ride.

Late  Jul. 3, 2013 at 10:58

Totally agree with /0.
"If enough of you give me $15 I'll make this happen.
Oh look. I've got millions more than I wanted, so I'll not make it happen - instead I'll give you something else in a few years' time."
F*ck you.

Zeboyd's "feature bloat" posting makes a lot of sense.
If your kickstarter campaign promised a certain game would be made in a certain timeframe then you should be making that game and releasing it in that timeframe - irrespective of whether you scraped your target or you got significantly more.
If you got lots more money use that to port it to other platforms after the event, or put it toward making DLC, a sequel, or a deluxe version later. Your first priority should be to give people what you promised them.

JonLester  Jul. 3, 2013 at 11:01

I'm actually writing/brainfarting a quick opinion piece about this now, but yes, Zeboyd's feature bloat article is really worth a read. Especially if you're an indie developer.

Anarchist  Jul. 3, 2013 at 12:52

Haven't heard about this, I'll be honest, but when I saw the title I thought they were releasing an aptly named sequel to Dragon Age II.

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