Broken Age, the Double Fine adventure game that popularized Kickstarter in the videogames community, is going through some trouble. Despite having raised $3.3 million in Kickstarter contributions, Double Fine are finding themselves unable to complete the game using that amount of money.
Double Fine’s Tim Schafer, who is behind the project, let the game’s backers know via an open letter today, which has been published in full on Gamasutra.
“Even though we received much more money from our Kickstarter than we, or anybody anticipated, that didn’t stop me from getting excited and designing a game so big that it would need even more money,” Schafer writes. He adds that he has a specific idea of how large an adventure game should be, and that he finds it difficult to design something smaller in scope than, say, Grim Fandango.
Schafer and his team looked at how long it would take for them to execute on their vision, and realized it would take them until 2015 to develop in its entirety. So, here’s the solution they’re proposing:
What if we made some modest cuts in order to finish the first half of the game by January instead of July, and then released that finished, polished half of the game on Steam Early Access? Backers would still have the option of not looking at it, of course, but those who were sick of waiting wouldn’t have to wait any more. They could play the first half of the game in January!
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.
Schafer goes on to assure all that the delay isn’t due to the development team working slowly. “It’s just taking a while because I designed too much game, as I pretty much always do,” he writes. “But we’re pulling it in, and the good news is that the game’s design is now 100% done, so most of the unknowns are now gone and it’s not going to get any bigger.”