Broken Age needs more money, says Double Fine

Kickstarter success story will now be split into two parts, with the first part being sold via the Steam Early Access program to fund further development.

Tim Schafer has said that Double Fine Productions will be splitting the release of upcoming crowd-funded adventure game Broken Age into two parts and that money raised from the first chapter will be used to fund development of the second.

With an initial target of $400,000, Broken Age managed to rack up $3.3M on Kickstarter in early 2012, but Schafer sent a note to backers saying the increased scope of the game meant that the studio now required more money to finish the project. "Even though we received much more money from our Kickstarter than we, or anybody, anticipated," said Schafer, "that didn't stop me from getting excited and designing a game so big that it would need even more money."

"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."

The team at Double Fine looked into initially releasing just the first half of the game, but the team's predictions showed that this wouldn't be ready until June 2014, with the final build of the game not being finished until sometime in 2015. "My jaw hit the floor," said Schafer.

"This was a huge wake-up call for all of us. If this were true, we weren't going to have to cut the game in half, we were going to have to cut it down by 75%!"

Broken Age's original release date was aiming for October 2012, but after increasing the scope of the game, the release was then pushed back to January 2014.

Schafer continued, saying that the studio would need to find more money to finish developing Broken Age in its current form and without any major cuts. "You guys have 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."

The team then decided to release the first half of the game--with some "modest cuts," adds Schafer--in January 2014 using Steam's Early Access program, which allows developers to charge for software that is currently in development.

"Backers still get the whole game this way - nobody has to pay again for the second half," asserts Schafer, adding that the game's design is now "100 per cent done… and it's not going to get any bigger."

"With this shipping solution I think we're balancing the size of the game and the realities of funding it pretty well. We are still working out the details and exact dates, but we'd love to hear your thoughts," concluded Schafer.

Double Fine Productions' second Kickstarter project, Massive Chalice, recently ended after raising $1.2m. The turn-based strategy game is being developed simultaneously alongside Broken Age, and the project is being headed up by Iron Brigade lead developer Brad Muir.

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337 comments
noquo
noquo

I love how they go to Kickstarter so they don't have to deal with the harshness of publishers pushing and forcing them to make something at a certain speed and make something that the publishers like. Instead they go straight to us, the gamers, fans, and overall loyalist to Double Fine... and what do we do when we hear news publishers hear all the time? We get frustrated and act JUST like the publishers! As an indie dev, I personally understand the risk it takes to get peoples approval and keeping that approval rating up. I can relate to not having the right amount of funds and miscalculating the amount of funds something will take. You all sit here and bash a game developer who you know will deliver and act like its the end of the world, when there are other people out there TRULY worth bashing because you know THEY'LL NEVER deliver. As a backer as well, I personally want them to take their time on this. I really hate the cynical attitudes that make up the majority of what people listen to. People really need to wake up and realize the amount of work that can go into making a game, and realize that people make mistakes. (And yes, while making a mistake with YOUR money can be a back hassle for you, Double Fine is like the Lannister in the sense that they always pay their debts.)


And like someone else said on here, "if you actually watch the documentary they're putting out, you'd see they aren't wasting their time." Double Fine, keep doing what you do and don't listen to the harshness of other peoples voices on the internet. I'll probably buy an extra copy of the game to give to a friend just to help you guys out because I know in the end, everything will be just fine!

BradBoye
BradBoye

If you've been watching the documentary of Broken Age's development you'll know that Double Fine is not ripping off the backers. From everything I've seen they've been throwing all they've got into making the game as good as it possibly can be. It hasn't been mismanaged and even though the game is going over the budget from what they had originally planned they are still making a game for a much, much smaller budget than many other games released today. Also, don't forget that a portion of the kickstarter money goes towards filming the documentary (which has been worth my backing the game all on it's own) and Kickstarter tier awards.

In the end, I believe that Double Fine has put a lot of thought into this decision and even though it's not ideal, it's the best decision they could come up with to deliver the best game they could. Sorry but nobody on these forums will be changing my mind on this one.

Slydog39
Slydog39

If I were a backer, I would be feeling pretty ripped off and insecure now. Sounds like bad management, bad planning, and ultimately, bad expectations. What would've happened if they'd only made the initial 400K? A finished menu screen???

LordFarquard
LordFarquard

This was information meant for backers only. Why? Because it would be taken out of context if released publicly. Hey look! It's been leaked to the press! Now it's out of context and people are ranting left right and center!

Seriously Gamespot, you know better than this. This is private info for a reason! Non-backers cannot watch the doc and see that everything is in fact fine and DF does not need more money from people. In fact, a recent tweet from Schafer: 

"Double Fine is NOT asking for more money. We are fine, financially. We are using our OWN money to deliver a bigger game than we Kickstarted."

Double Fine is NOT asking for more money, as backers with context would know, they are merely adding MORE to it using their OWN funds from game ports, humble bundle sales etc. Gamespot on the other hand makes it seem like DF is unprofessional. If I was not a backer and read the above article then I would believe that DF is in a terrible financial situation. They aren't. The game will be a beast. (A nice beast, not one of those mean beasts)

Sincerely,

-A Backer of Adventure.

P.S. What really pisses me off is that Gamespot takes literally EVERY QUOTE in this article out of context. From what I read here it makes it look like DF is coming crying to the public and asking for more money. *smacks head*. This simply isn't the case.

jlwood830
jlwood830

Sounds like a joke... a very bad joke.

ali_manslayer
ali_manslayer

all the people that wanted to play the game already backed it up, and it will be free for those who did, so tell me who is going to buy the first half of the game?

wlump83
wlump83

I don't see the big fuss. Am I disappointed that it takes longer than originally planned? Sure, but hey, patience is a virtue, people around here should try it. Do I consider this a scam? Hell no. I've already been getting way more than my money's worth on the documentary and the additional writing / programming / art updates.

I do get the point that asking for more money when you already received way more than originally asked seems weird. That makes sense. However, if this means that the game is also much bigger than originally intended, I'm all up for it. Big adventure games yay!

If this is they way for them to create the game I've been longing to play for years, they have my blessing.

Gegglington
Gegglington

i have to make do with my wages so bugger off

BARRICADE_28
BARRICADE_28

When in the f*** did successful companies start begging people for money?  Raise you own funds from the profits (ie: from your other games) or go to the bank and get a loan like every other business in the world ya money grabbers.  And what kind of numb-nuts are giving them this money???

tightwad34
tightwad34

I would give you a little $$ if I liked your games.

JangoF-76
JangoF-76

I need more money, says me. But I didn't already get given 3 million quid.

C810
C810

This is just ridiculous. I get that game development is a complicated beast where lots of work can be scrapped due to the gameplay not actually being good or the levels being boring. But blowing this kind of money, when it was EIGHT times the original goal, and only finishing half the game is disgusting. Plan out everything, and scale it accordingly. Don't just take a bunch of money, make a huge game, and then troll for more cash

assedo11
assedo11

certainly not bad but you have to wait 

williebazerka
williebazerka

They got  over 8 times the target goal of $400,000 and it's not enough.

paul-2112
paul-2112

I'd rather just have an HD re-release of Grim Fandango that actually works on any current computer

LE5LO
LE5LO

Broken Reputation.

HowlPendragon
HowlPendragon

Jesus, didn't they raise almost $1M through that Double Fine Bundle too?

Don't follow in Square's footsteps....where you'll sell $20M worth of your game and consider it a huge loss...

June-GS
June-GS

Umm, Mr. Schafer, I like you AND your games, but have you ever heard of a little something called "feature creep"? Well, regardless of your good ideas, this is it.

obywan
obywan

OK. And what if the money raised is not enough to complete the second half of the game?

Rohan233
Rohan233

This is absolutely disgusting to hear from a developer... after eliciting 3.3 million from fans/consumers which is well over over the prospected scope of 400k, you now want to squeeze out more money. Either they are notoriously money hungry, or their management/planning phases are run by total douchebags.

zyxahn
zyxahn

I wish some would do a kickstart to get more songs on The Beatles Rock Band game.

Skhuff
Skhuff

When you needed $400,000 from Kickstarter, you didn't know how big the game will be? Stop fooling around Tim!

Miroku_of_Nite1
Miroku_of_Nite1

Couldn't they have just hammered this game out in Flash in about 6-9 months? Its a point and click adventure game, not GTAV.

Munstable
Munstable

coincidentally I need more money too, otherwise, how can I continue to put my money into this? Any willing backers for me?


This "we need more money to make the game bigger and better" excuse is getting stale." You're on your own after making that decision.

psx_warrior
psx_warrior

We the fans should hold him accountable and make our voices heard to him.  You aint getting another penny of our money until the game is done and out!!!  If you don't, no one will ever trust you again.

psx_warrior
psx_warrior

You started out with a goal of 400,000 and got 3.3 million.  Jeez, what kind of game do you want developed, Star Citizen?  Use the money you have and make a great game.  Stop jerking us around!!!

Nyrphame
Nyrphame

@Slydog39 But you aren't a backer.  You have no stake. And nothing you think you would feel is relevant to what people who have backed feel. I don't know what you mean by insecure.  Backers don't get a return on investment.  There's no "security" in Kickstarter support.  It isn't venture capital. It's bare-naked full risk support for an idea.  That is all it is.  If you can't afford to lose the X amount of dollars you shouldn't be backing-as you didn't.  So all you can really say is, well, at this point I feel ok that I didn't back.  You can't categorise the backers, any of us, because we took our own risk, according to our own values. From the forums, it seems that doublefine still has 85,000 plus pretty close friends. And that's not Facebook friends. :)

DaZorak
DaZorak

@Slydog39 If you were a backer you'd know this whole post is BS.

edinko
edinko

@LordFarquard You must be delusional mate. That's exactly what they want to do. Sell a half of the game on steam sooner cause they burned the cash already. If that is not asking for money than I don't know what is. They got 8 times the amount asked on KS mate. 8 times.

DaZorak
DaZorak

@LordFarquard I would like to second this argument, you hit the nail right on the head here.

The_Frogacuda
The_Frogacuda

@ali_manslayer The number of people that backed are probably no more than a 10th of the people that will end up buying the game. Most consumers don't want to pay for a game a year in advance without getting to see it first. That's a small, very dedicated segment of the audience.

Look at the new Leisure Suit Larry remake. It sold 20 times its Kickstarter backing in the first week of release.

kukumav
kukumav

@wlump83 My friend, I am sorry to tell you that Santa isn't real.

Nyrphame
Nyrphame

@JangoF-76 I am really not sure why you had such a negative experience.  Did you stress the quality of your ideas and your track record with your fan base? Your former critical successes?  Love of a neglected genre?  No idea why you aren't fronting a multimillion dollar project, sorry.

Nyrphame
Nyrphame

@Rohan233 Consider the false dichotomy.  How beautifully it shines in the morning. Dollar signs for eyes on the one hand, totatlitarian female private part cleanser on the other.  Almost magnificent in its boast of minimal thought and lack of criticality.  Nearly sorrowful, almost haunted by its lack of a fully engaged cerebral cortex. Sigh.  Yep, that must be it- douchebags or pirates. No other possible explanation. Sigh.

OurSin-360
OurSin-360

@Rohan233 They are just splitting the game and selling the first part early to pay for the second, it's not like they are doing a kickstarter for extra funds.  And if you buy the first half, you get the second free.

NotCeo
NotCeo

@Miroku_of_Nite1 They're releasing it on multiple platforms, and the art style they've chosen isn't exactly the easy to get right.

That being said, the fact that they need >2.5 years to finish a point and click adventure game is ridiculous (funded in May 2012, full game ETA now in 2015).

wowgrandpa
wowgrandpa

@psx_warrior ^^^ this.

and also note they miraculously have "multiple teams" now and they are trying to have multiple kickstarters simultaneously for each "team" to build more games along side this one.

makes you realize their budget has grown because the number of employees has grown. instead of taking the money they got and live within the budget they were given, they are expanding and double dipping. 

i'm not impressed. what they're doing is making a big leap from small indie dev team, to a full-on publisher with multiple dev teams underneath them, building multiple games at once. that's insulting to the people backing them on kickstarter.

kickstarter is for backing indie devs. NOT publishers!

Nyrphame
Nyrphame

@edinko Cash was not burned. Kickstarter funding is evident in the beauty and scope of the game as newly envisioned based on larger than anticipated support.  Most of us, overwhelmingly, are still with it.  They got 8 times the asking because there were just way more of us out there than they expected.  Are you BLAMING them for the lurking lurv? That seems odd, and mildly...um...foxy grapish...did your Kickstarter fail to capture the imagination...?

DaZorak
DaZorak

@edinko Also, his is complete nonsense. I’m sorry, but if you think that the $400k minimum they asked for was to make the game they are currently making, I can only assume you didn’t back the game and haven’t read a word about it’s development at all.

When they launched their Kickstarter, $300k(the other $100k was for the documentary) was the bare minimum they would need to make some sort of point and click adventure game. There was no specific game planned — they said that if they just made the minimum, it would likely be a small Flash-based game.

This myth that Double Fine couldn’t make a $300k game with $3million is just not true. Double Fine did go over budget… But it wasn’t on a $300-400k game…

Here's a breakdown of the situation:

Commenters: “Double Fine is clearly mismanaging these projects! I can’t believe they need all this money! Despite the scope of the game changing immensely, it should have all been finished by now!”

Game developers, who have actually been through the process before: “Yeah, this is how it goes. The public just hasn’t been privy to it before.”

Double Fine backers, who’ve been watching the documentary: “You mean I get a potentially bigger, better game, without having to pitch in more money? Cool.”

DaZorak
DaZorak

@edinko They are selling the first act and then a couple of months later the second gets released FREE as DLC. Both acts are free for backers, non-backers have to pay for only act 1.

ali_manslayer
ali_manslayer

@The_Frogacuda the game had about 87k backers, a really succesful indie game sells about half a million, now if you consider that people who didn't back the game do know that this isn't the full product, how much do you expect the half to sell

Nyrphame
Nyrphame

@kukumav @wlump83 Did you know that if you mix up the letters in "Santa isn't real" you get "A fictious man delivering unwarranted gifts is not a good analogy for a real company working on a unique creative project with no antecedents"? Wild, right?

Nyrphame
Nyrphame

@wowgrandpa @psx_warrior Kickstarter is for what, now? Have you looked at the scope and scale of the projects?  It's for backing me sewing a pair of pajamas, and for you to build the next space ship. It isn't required that one thinks outside the box, but tentatively peeping outside it once in a while is a nice idea.. 

Nyrphame
Nyrphame

@edinko @Nyrphame Yes. :)  For an appropriate response to the charge, though, see Winston Churchill to Lady Astor.  ;)

DaZorak
DaZorak

@edinko @DaZorak The real problem is that the media sends the wrong message; they got 8 times the amount and then rescoped the project accordingly, unfortunately they over-rescoped. In regard to the new kickstarter, there was also 30 people at DF that needed a project to work on, and from there Massive Chalice spawned. They may have mismanaged broken Age, but I this is the first time they are self-publishing and i think they've learned their lesson, albeit the hard way. Massive Chalice won't make the same mistake. If it does I'll eat my hat.

edinko
edinko

@DaZorak @edinko I read everything about its develooment in the media. They got 8 times the amount asked and are to able to finish it without more money. its not exactly rocket science. One must wonder how much money from the second KS will go to the first and if that one will have problems then too.

You seem to forget that they asked another backing for a second project without finishing the first and with bad news

edinko
edinko

@DaZorak @edinko THat a;; may be true but it doesn't matter. THe project is mismanaged. I like them I want it to have a good end but this doesn't inspire any confidence suddenly breaking up the game