Double Fine Studios has some new information that flew under the radar with most of the United States traveling madly around during Thanksgiving. Shortly before Thursday, Double Fine made some big announcements for their flagship title, Broken Age, the widely lauded point-and-click adventure game that reached the monumental three-million dollar mark during their Kickstarter funding, which was nearly three years ago.
An official update in the backer forums of Broken Age says that development on Act 2 is moving along fantastically, finally having an in-house, playable alpha game. All that remains in the actual gameplay development cycle for Broken Age is the “big finale section,” their words, followed by the art, animation, and other minutia of getting a game to a polished, playable state. They’re shooting for a finished product sometime in early 2015.
So what has been taking so long? Many people have been frustrated by the slow process of this hugely anticipated game, the first act of which was released in January of 2014 after a long development cycle. While the game was critically and commercially acclaimed, some complained that the game was so dang easy that anybody could play it. This deviated from the style of retro adventure games of the late 90s, which were stupidly challenging. There were also gripes about how short act 1 was – estimated at three hours – especially for the cost of the game and the long development it took to reach this. Belay those concerns, Double Fine says:
So far we’re seeing exactly what we were hoping! Playtimes of just Act 2 have ranged from 8-12 hours, the puzzles seem to be providing a good level of challenge, nothing is really standing out as needing to be heavily re-worked, and most importantly people are laughing a lot and seem really pleased with where the story goes.
Double Fine has a lot to live up to with this finale to Broken Age. Spacebase DF-9, one of Double Fine’s games that was originally released via Steam’s early access, was rushed into a full release after only a few months in development, with concerns cited of lack of resources. Similarly, Double Fine recently canceled an untitled game that was in-development, laying off some of their team in the process. This goes without mentioning that Broken Age Act 1 was released prematurely, citing the need for further funding despite the huge Kickstarter windfall. Hopefully this all points to smoother sailing for Double Fine and backers and gamers alike get the version of Broken Age they were hoping for by early next year.