Broken Age’s making-of documentary may be Double Fine’s most enduring legacy
The first episode of the Double Fine Adventure documentary series, filmed and released back in 2012, details the studio’s excitement after the unprecedented success of its first Kickstarter. Double Fine’s funding goal of $400,000 was met within hours of the campaign’s launch, and the company eventually raised over $3.3 million for Broken Age and the accompanying documentary. That introductory episode makes clear how overwhelmed the team was by the amount of support it has received. Founder Tim Schafer sums up the general feeling near the episode’s end: “It’s just this really liberating, freeing thing, to think that I’m just going to have to worry about how good the game is and almost nothing else.”
Those who have followed Broken Age’s development know that this didn’t quite turn out to be true. After a series of internal and external obstacles, Double Fine determined that the funding received from Kickstarter wouldn’t be enough to finish the game as designed. The team decided to split the game into two parts; sales from Act 1, released in January of 2014, would fund development of Act 2, released in April of this year.
This was a controversial, headline-grabbing decision, of course. As usual with this kind of development, though, the coverage in the press could only skim the surface of what was really going on internally.