If You Care About How Video Games Are Made, Watch The Double Fine Documentary

If You Care About How Video Games Are Made, Watch The Double Fine Documentary

There’s a scene in Double Fine Adventure!, a documentary about the making of Broken Age, where designer Tim Schafer visits a mechanic to get his old Barracuda fixed. As it turns out, the repairs will cost double what Schafer expected. Blame inertia — once the mechanic had pried open the car and started assessing the damage, he just kept going, fixing and cleaning as much as he possibly could. “It was hard to know where to stop,” the mechanic confesses.

Broken Age, which raised $US3.5 million on Kickstarter in early 2012, cost developers Double Fine more than twice that amount to make. Schafer and his team of point-n-click-adventure lovers first estimated that their dream game would be out in mid-2013, but as the months went on, it became clear that wasn’t going to happen. Eventually, they split Broken Age into two acts that would be sold separately. The first game came out in early 2014; the second didn’t make it to stores until April of 2015, more than three years after the Kickstarter concluded.

So why did it take so long? Did Double Fine just run away with everyone’s money? Is Tim Schafer just a big ol’ scam artist?

In this extensive documentary produced by 2 Player Productions, the folks behind Broken Age answer those questions and many, many more, giving viewers an unprecedented level of transparency into the game development process. I’ve binge-watched it twice now, and can say with no reservations that it’s a remarkable series. In 20 episodes — some of them as short as 20 minutes — it taught me more about game development than just about anything else I’ve seen or read.

The documentary is available for free on YouTube, so there’s no reason not to watch it. Also there’s a Very Special cameo from a certain Kotaku Splitscreen co-host.

If You Care About How Video Games Are Made, Watch The Double Fine Documentary

I’ve embedded the whole thing in convenient playlist form starting with episode one right here:


      • Well, part of the “Broken Age” game budget went into creating that documentary, so I guess you could describe watching it as equivalent to seeing money turn to ash.

        Still, it’s a damn good documentary! Shows you more of the process of game creation than any other game documentary out there. And since backers funded it, but you get to watch it for free, you may as well take advantage of it.

    • Don’t know why you got downvoted when you’re 100% correct. Mismanagement and poor leadership is what led to that money being wasted unfortunately.

  • Crowdsource games suck at budgetting cause they tack on bonus milestones at arbitrary points that dont account for extra time or money required. Seriously Mighty no. 9 is being delayed due to the console ports and the net code… which were features added after the inital crowd funding campaign was scrambling for funding milestones.

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