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Broken Age Budget Tight: Steam Early Access Planned

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 Shaefer 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.

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