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RPGWatch Forums » Games » General Non-RPG » Broken Age Budget Tight, Steam Early Access Planned

Default Broken Age Budget Tight, Steam Early Access Planned

July 3rd, 2013, 03:49
I came across this news story on bluenews. Some of you might be interested.
A new Kickstarter update for Double Fine Adventure, aka Broken Age, outlines the current financial state of the game, but the update is for backers only, and not viewable by the general public (thanks nin).

The post lays out some bad news about the game, as Tim Shaeffer reveals that that in spite of raising over $3.3 million for development, money is still tight, for as he puts it: "that didnít stop me from getting excited and designing a game so big that it would need even more money." He explains further: "I think I just have an idea in my head about how big an adventure game should be, so itís hard for me to design one thatís much smaller than Grim Fandango or Full Throttle. Thereís 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." He describes their wake up call when they projected they would not be done with the first half/episode of the game until a year from now, which would mean they'd need to cut the game's design by 75%. Realizing they couldn't go back to Kickstarter or a publisher, nor could they afford to absorb the overages, Tim explains they decided to release the game via Steam Early Access in January 2014 after some "modest cuts."
Here's a bit on the plan:
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 donít have to cut the game down drastically. Backers still get the whole game this wayónobody 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 Ageís schedule changes have nothing to do with the team working slowly. They have been kicking ass and the game looks, plays, and sounds amazing. Itís just taking a while because I designed too much game, as I pretty much always do. But weíre pulling it in, and the good news is that the gameís design is now 100% done, so most of the unknowns are now gone and itís not going to get any bigger.
The game earned $3.4 million on kickstater, and it makes me wonder about the other projects as well. Will they run out of funds and be rushed out to?

"Beware the potato for he is easily angered."- Couchpotato
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July 3rd, 2013, 05:20
Wow, they were only asking for 400,000 originally. Now they can't make the game with 3.3 mil.

I didn't back this but wouldn't be very happy if I did.

I worry about this with other kickstarters as well, especially with all the stretch goals that get added. If the game is already good enough to get funded do you really need stretch goals adding costs and development time.

Why not put the extra funds towards a sequel or an expansion and implement new features with that. That way you can get the game you originally envisioned out on time and within budget.
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July 3rd, 2013, 13:13
and this from a very experienced game designer that's done several games already. You can imagine how bad it can be for the 1-man projects that keep popping in kickstarter.
Last edited by wolfing; July 3rd, 2013 at 13:25.
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July 3rd, 2013, 14:21
Stretch goals were obviously not precisely planned.
There is a simply solution - simply cout out one or two stretches.

I was not a backer for that game, but if this happened in some game I've backed, I wouldn't mind if some stretch was kicked out. For example some dungeon could go a few levels lesser, who cares. But in this particular case, lemme quote the KS gamefaq:
Q: What happens if you go over the goal?
A: The extra money will be put back into the game and documentary. This has already resulted in increased VO and music budgets, and additional release platforms for the game (Mac, Linux, iOS, Android). The higher it goes the better the project gets!
The solution is obvious - remove from the project those bloody smartphone ports.
Oh and… Having that initially is the reason why I haven't backed the game in the first place.

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July 4th, 2013, 14:11
Originally Posted by joxer View Post
Stretch goals were obviously not precisely planned.
There is a simply solution - simply cout out one or two stretches.

I was not a backer for that game, but if this happened in some game I've backed, I wouldn't mind if some stretch was kicked out. For example some dungeon could go a few levels lesser, who cares. But in this particular case, lemme quote the KS gamefaq:

The solution is obvious - remove from the project those bloody smartphone ports.
Oh andÖ Having that initially is the reason why I haven't backed the game in the first place.
I agree completely. Unlike other kickstarter games that use Unity engine, in this one they're making the engine from scratch if I'm not mistaken, so they will find problems in the Windows version, different problems in the Android version and different problems in the iOS version.
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July 10th, 2013, 10:11
So, it turns out, that Kickstarter is not exactly the savior of gaming, that it was touted to be. I guess FTL and Expeditions: Conquistador are quite good games in their own right. Leisure Suit Larry remake is okay too, but it's a remake of 25 year old game and has a bit too much fan service built in. Ouya and now Broken age seem to be on track, to become the first massive failures from that platform. Let's hope, that the remaining relevant kickstarter projects are better budgeted.
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