Double Fine's Broken Age finally whole, part 2 lands April 28

It is, perhaps, an end of an era, both literally and figuratively. Double Fine has finally revealed when it will be shipping the second and final act of its historic adventure game Broken Age. This puts a cap on three years of some quite public and dramatic game development, a game that changed the landscape of Kickstarter forever, and one who may decide the fate of a small studio like Double Fine. The game has been in the hands of backers 24 hours before the fated April 28 launch, and the reviews that will be soon out will probably be as sensational as the game's history.

"Adventure games are NOT dead", was the battle cry in Double Fine's Kickstarter campaign, a sentiment that is shared perhaps only by the most seasoned of gamers, particularly the PC gaming crowd. But more than an appeal to revive a genre believed to be dead except in Germany, the game's appearance on Kickstarter changed crowdfunding in ways Double Fine probably never envisioned. Thanks in part to its pedigree and part to nostalgia, the campaigned raked in $3.3 million when it was only asking for $400,000. This sparked a revolution of sorts, with game developers both indie and more established companies flocking to crowdfunding to make their otherwise dead-by-publisher-vote dreams come true.

What started out as a fairy tale, however, turned into an online soap opera in the three years that passed. Originally promised to ship in 2013, the game was overdue and under budget. Thing probably took for the worst when Double Fine started a campaign that sounded like it was asking for more money. The decision to split the game into two parts instead of the promised one also elicited rather vitriolic backlash from former believers. It probably didn't help that part of the game's development process was open to backers in episodic "behind the scenes" videos, which are now mostly available on YouTube for public consumption.

The game, in contrast, is less sensational than its development, though it wasn't left unscathed. A return to the point-and-click adventure game, Broken Age got mixed reviews when the first part was released. Some loved its nod to the classics and lead designer Tim Schafer's writing, while others panned the overly simplistic puzzles and coloring book style aesthetic. Part 2 promises more challenging mysteries to solve, but whether the team swung to the other extreme is left to be seen. Oh, did we mention that Frodo, a.k.a. Elijah Woods, voices the male protagonist?

Double Fine's Broken Age set a new trend in game development and crowdfunding, where designers and developers took recourse to the masses when it would have been impossible to get publisher backing. It has inspired other games from equally prominent names, some of which, like Pillars of Eternity from Obsidian Entertainment, evolved and shipped without much of the same controversy that enveloped Double Fine. Whether Broken Age flies or flops, there will be no denying that Double Fine and this game have left their legacy on gaming history.

SOURCE: Blues News, Double Fine Kickstarter