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All Articles: Broken Age
Recently, 2 Player Productions wrapped production on Double Fine Adventure, a documentary series that followed the development of Broken Age. It was revolutionary in the gaming scene, being the only documentary to ever follow a studio developing a game from its conceptualization through its release and aftermath. Before it, the average game player had only ever seen brief snippets of development from single-person games or small indie teams. Double Fine was the first developer to pull back that curtain on game development, a feat arguably more important than its rocketing of Kickstarter into the mainstream, and unquestionably having a bigger impact on the industry and the community than Broken Age itself. If we’re being honest, Double Fine completely mismanaged their Kickstarter funds, and Broken Age isn’t great. But by “showing how the sausage gets made,” as studio founder Tim Schafer put it, Double Fine made their campaign more than worth it, and left a long-lasting contribution to the industry.
Until DFA came out, game development was a mystical secret that no one outside the industry could begin to comprehend. So much of it was mysterious that many who wanted to be in the industry viewed it with rose-tinted glasses: a dream job where they could play all day. All we knew about game development beforehand were the two extremes. There were the developers that talked in interviews about how great it was, coming to work and hanging out with cool people, getting to create great games that everybody loves. We also read the headlines about developers losing their jobs, and studios being shut down. That or it was about developers going mad in “crunch time” having to work 80 hour weeks. In fact, Double Fine gives us a good example with the Tim Schafter episode of G4’s Icons, when he took us briefly behind the scenes of production on Psychonauts.
We never knew what it was really like, not until Double Fine showed us. (more…)
In early 2012, Double Fine nearly broke the game industry when they introduced the words “Crowdfunding” and “Kickstarter” to many gamers for the first time. The crowdfunding model has become a fixture of the gaming landscape in the years since, and while Double Fine’s campaign may not have been the first, they certainly made it a viable option that developers such as Brian Fargo and Keiji Inafune would eventually use.
Along with the game that would eventually become Broken Age, Double Fine also produced a behind-the-scenes documentary series with 2 Player Productions known as Double Fine Adventure. In Schafer’s words, he wanted to “show us how the sausage was made.”
After more than three years of filming, and twenty main episodes (along with countless extra “Sidequest” episodes), the documentary reached it’s grand conclusion over the weekend. Originally, the series was an exclusive for Kickstarter backers, but as the game neared completion, Schafer decided to unleash the series to the public early.
Regardless of what you thought of the game, the documentary series has made the whole ordeal more than worth it. As someone who backed the Kickstarter campaign all those years ago, I can’t tell you how inspiring and informative these episodes are. Before this, the world of game development always happened behind closed doors, but no longer.
This series has been different. It’s showcased game development from the very start of the creative process to the release of the game, and it’s aftermath, and it did it with a relatively large studio as well. We like to think game development is all sunshine and lollipops and that everything is all fun all the time, but this series goes to show that isn’t the case. I heartily recommend it, even if you’re not interested in game development because it’s so much more than a behind the scenes, how-to documentary, it’s a captivating look into the creative process.
2 Player Productions recently began work on a Blu-ray release for Double Fine Adventure and you can pre-order it at adventure.DoubleFine.com.
Sony has delivered another update to the PlayStation Store and it came packed with a dozen new games. Here’s what you can download on your PS3, PS4, and PS Vita today…
- Double Fine has released Broken Age for the PS4 and PS Vita as a Cross-Buy title. PlayStation players won’t have to do any waiting as both halves of the adventure game are now available on the PlayStation Store.
- Project Root is this week’s other PS4/PS Vita Cross-Buy release. It’s a retro-styled shoot ’em up developed by the Argentina-based OPQAM.
- Omega Quintet is a PS4 RPG that stars a five-piece girl group who battle “the dark forces of the world” with their music.
- And speaking of dark forces, a quartet of Star Wars games from the PS2 era are now available to download just in time for “May the Fourth Be With You.” The PS3 section of the store is now home to Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Star Wars: Starfighter, Star Wars: Bounty Hunter, and Star Wars: Racer Revenge.
- Finally, El Presidente dictates that he’s available on the PS4 for the first time in Tropico 5.
More information on all of these games (and a few others) can be found after the break. And a complete rundown of this week’s new game add-ons and discounts can be found at the PlayStation Blog. (more…)
Welcome to another week of new video game releases. The game publishers have supplied us a gaggle of eclectic titles to close out the month of April. Let’s look closer…
- State of Decay: Year-One Survival Edition brings Undead Labs’ zombie game to the Xbox One with enhanced graphics and both downloadable expansions.
- Omega Quintet is a PS4 RPG that puts the fate of the world in the hands of a girl group who has learned to weaponize their singing.
- A boxed edition of Broken Age completes the story of Double Fine’s point-and-click adventure game.
- El Presidente reigns supreme on the PS4 in Tropico 5.
- The Golf Club: Collector’s Edition packages a golf simulation that has been available as a downloadable game since last year for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
- Shadowrun Chronicles: Boston Lockdown is another turn-based strategy game set in the Shadowrun universe for the PC.
- The Weaponographist is a top-down roguelike for the PC that drops an adventurer into an arena full of monsters and the weapons to defeat them.
- Finally, Dungeons II is an evil overlord simulator for the PC where players must conquer the world as “The Dungeon Lord.”
That’s it for this week’s look at gaming’s new retail releases, but we’re sure to get several new downloadable titles on the PlayStation Store, the Xbox Games Store, the Nintendo eShop, and Steam later this week.
Double Fine Productions has announced that PC players will be able to download Broken Age: Act 2 on April 28. After their massive Kickstarter success, Double Fine realized that Broken Age was too big and ambitious to make its originally planned 2012 release date, so the game was split into two Acts. So with the release of Act 2, the complete Broken Age saga will finally be available for all to play:
Broken Age tells the story of Vella and Shay, a girl and boy from completely different worlds who seem to be leading strangely parallel lives…
Vella has been chosen by her village to have the honor of being sacrificed to the terrible monster Mog Chothra, but having no interest in being devoured by a horrible beast, must go against ages old tradition and make her escape. Meanwhile somewhere in space, Shay is living a solitary life under the care of a very motherly computer, and whilst his every need is taken care of in every way imaginable, he wishes for nothing more than to break free from the monotonous safety of his daily life, and have some real adventures.
But what if you don’t like to play games on your PC? Don’t worry, Double Fine has you covered. Both halves of Broken Age will also be released for the PS4 and Vita on April 28 as well. The PS4/Vita version of the game will offer Cross-Save functionality and it’s Cross-Buy compatible, so a single purchase will unlock the game on both platforms.
Now that Broken Age is complete, Double Fine has also decided to make the entire behind-the-scenes documentary series created by Two Player Productions available to everyone. You can view the documentary series, for free, at the Double Fine Productions YouTube Channel.
Double Fine Productions and Nordic Games have announced that they’re bringing both halves of Broken Age to retail stores this Spring. The retail version of the PC adventure will be released at the same time as the digital launch of Broken Age: Act 2. A PS4/Vita version of the game is also in the works, but its release date is still “To Be Announced.”
If you were wondering why Double Fine would release Broken Age as a retail game, would you believe its to protect their game from solar flares?
“I am very excited about the retail version of Broken Age,” said Double Fine President and CEO Tim Schafer, “And also relieved, as having a widely distributed, physical copy of the game will make it more safe from solar flares and EMP bombs and stuff like that. As long as people store their disks in fire proof safes. People do that, right?”
“Not really” replied COO Justin Bailey, “But people who purchase the physical copy can get to playing the exciting conclusion without having to wait for the game to download!”
The retail version will also add a German language option when its released this Spring.
Double Fine Productions had hoped to release the second half of Broken Age by the end of the year. But according to a post on the company’s official forums by Greg Rice, the game won’t be ready until early 2015:
The goal now is to get all the finale work done so we can hit Alpha on all of Act 2 by the end of the year. That means, as you may have guessed based on recent updates and documentary episodes, the Act 2 ship that will deliver the complete adventure is now looking like it will be early next year. The game is looking really good and the team is working super fast, but we just gotta give the game the time it needs to really deliver on everything we’re hoping it will be.
Broken Age’s first act was released in January and we liked it quite a bit.
Since the introduction of crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo, there have been a number of high-profile successes that have managed to capture the collective imagination of the public and skyrocket beyond their original goals. Double Fine Productions’ Broken Age is one such title, dwarfing its initial target of $400,000 by raising $3.3 million, one of the highest amounts ever raised for a game. The reason for the excitement was simple; industry veteran Tim Schafer, designer on classic point-and-click games such as LucasArts’ Full Throttle, Grim Fandango, and co-designer on the incredibly funny Monkey Island series, was returning to the genre. But how does his latest endeavour stand up against these unforgettable games? (more…)