The lights are on
Double Fine's highly public and highly Kickstarted game, Broken Age, is getting split into two parts in order to get the game in people's hands, and keep the studio afloat while development on the game continues.
Double Fine's CEO and Broken Age's designer and writer Tim Schafer updated the game's Kickstarter page recently to let everyone know the new distribution model. The way development is going right now, according to Schafer, the game wouldn't be complete until 2015. Releasing the first part of the game early will get the game into player's hands in January 2014.
Backers will still get early beta access as promised, but the first half of the game will now release through Steam Early Access, giving players a chance to pre-pay for the game and play the first half. When the full game is complete, the Steam Early Accessers will receive a free update that will add the rest of the game a few months later.
Schafer was quick to proclaim that these changes and delays are not a product of the team's work, but rather his own. "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." Schafer said, "It’s just taking a while because I
designed too much game, as I pretty much always do."
For more on Broken Age, Double Fine, and Tim Schafer, head here to read a recent interview with him.
Our TakeBrilliance takes time. And money. I can't speak to the quality or brilliance of Broken Age (I haven't played it) but given free reign and time, Tim Schafer has delivered exceptional experiences in the past, even if they weren't the most profitable experiences. I am happy to wait as long as necessary to play Broken Age, but I understand that working on the game forever is impractical for the studio. I hope this plan works, but I do fear that the copies of the game that were going to be sold, have already been sold by the folks who Kickstarted the game. Will there be anyone to buy the game who hasn't already when it releases? I am interested to see how this grand Kickstarter experiment plays out, and I hope it's good news for players and Double Fine alike.
Email the author Kyle Hilliard, or follow on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Game Informer.
Regardless, I'm still quite excited for this- now these, I suppose.
This game seemed really intriguing in your magazine feature. Perhaps the most excited I've ever been for a Double Fine game. Hopefully they pull it off. Would prefer it all in one but if both parts are of similar quality, whatever works.
While I believe they will make a great game in the end, I can't help but feel disappointed in how Double Fine is managing the development of this game. Tim Schafer has a great mind for creation, but he appears to be terrible at managing a budget.
They should have done a better job of keeping the scale of the project in check because this doesn't look all that great for them. I hope they make enough money to finish the full game because I am looking forward to it. But as Kyle said, I'm not sure how many more copies they will sell given the fact that most of the people who are interested in this game probably already bought it through the kickstarter.
I haven't Kickstarted the game, and I'll probably buy it eventually.
I was upset at first, but now I'm okay with it given the situation. Yes, they got way to ambitious with the scope of the game and Tim admits to this personally. For those wondering would they have done with the 400k they originally asked for, well it would have been an entirely different game, as they didn't even have an idea when the Kickstarter was pitched.
By splitting it into two parts they create a new revenue stream they can use to finish the second half. Problem is, they're still kind of obligated to release this second half anyway to backers, and just how much do they require sales wise to get it done in a projected few months time after the first is released? Following the documentaries has been utterly fascinating and worth the price of my backing alone, so getting the final game eventually will be a nice bonus. I hope everything works out but worried about the awful PR they are getting right now with people that haven't really been following the project (backers have known about budgetary concerns for months).
I think they may have bitten off more then they could chew. I do hope the people who are making massive chalice are taking note.
I'm a bit sad as a backer of this game. But I completely understand where Double Fine is coming from. DF is one studio that I will gladly wait for them to release a game.
What a mess, I'm afraid this will have a negative impact on other game projects. Let's hope Part One will blow us away when it is released...