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Tim Schafer Talks Broken Age and the State of Adventure Games
In a recent interview with GameInformer, Double Fine Studios’ own Tim Schafer discussed the Kickstarter adventure game Broken Age and how the development process is unfolding for the game’s creators.
For those unaware, Broken Age is the game that was funded nearly a year ago in one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns of all time. Double Fine took to the crowdfunding website in an effort to get the money they needed to fund the project, as few publishers are willing to take on the niche genre anymore.
Still, their campaign was a success, and we now have more information regarding the project and what it will be about.
The game’s synopsis is as follows:
“Broken Age is a point-and-click adventure telling the stories of a young boy and girl leading parallel lives. The girl has been chosen by her village to be sacrificed to a terrible monster—but she decides to fight back. Meanwhile, a boy on a spaceship is living a solitary life under the care of a motherly computer, but he wants to break free to lead adventures and do good in the world. Adventures ensue.”
Schafer first spoke to GameInformer’s Tim Turi about the basic idea for Broken Age and how it was conceived. According to Schafer, he’s “had these concepts” in mind for a while. “I wanted to do a story about a girl that fights her way out of her own sacrifice. And I wanted to do a story about someone alone on a spaceship. I’ve always been interested in that setting,” he says. “I didn’t know that was going to be the setting of the game when we started the Kickstarter, but when I was brainstorming I was purposefully thinking through older ideas to see what I was still interested in now.”
Turi asked Schafer about how the studio took to the critical reception of The Cave, the studio’s adventure game released on the downloadable space earlier this year. Many (including myself) were quick to say that the game felt tedious due to its great amount of backtracking. On this subject, Tim said “That scared me when people complained about that, because I’m like ‘have you played an adventure game lately?’ There’s a lot of backtracking in adventure games. That just feeds into my general anxiety of how people will react to an adventure game now.”
After discussing some more elements of adventure games and their current state in the industry, the interview was brought back to Broken Age, and Schafer was asked what his favorite part of development for the game was. He cites that the best part is seeing everything come together, saying that “Everyone can interject their own ideas into it. It’s fun watching that all come together.”
They also discussed how the lack of a publisher is affecting the development process of Broken Age. Interestingly, Schafer said that working without a publisher saved them some time, as everyone involved is dialed in and knows exactly what’s going on with the project. “When you’re working with a good partner it’s great, but even if you’re working with a great partner you still spend a lot of time bringing them up to speed,” he said. “That’s a tax on your time and the team’s time.”
As for overall statements, Schafer was fast to express his excitement for Broken Age: “It’s f—ing awesome,” he first says, later adding that “To me, it’s about a story topic we’ve never really gotten into. A theme that’s more emotional. I mean, you are fighting a giant monster and you are in a spaceship so there’s some genre excitement there, but it’s also about what these kids are going through as they’re coming of age.”
Visit GameInformer to read the entire interview, and keep it locked here for more information on the game as it rolls out.