Point-and-click adventure titles have been on the slump in recent years, as the video game industry began to move away from the genre since early 2000. With companies focusing on video game graphics and design both on consoles and on computers (thus altering future gameplay), the medium has had a slow turnout of similar classics like the Monkey Island series or Day of the Tentacle. However, the internet has become a powerful source for audiences and gamers alike to support their beloved developers through crowdsourcing and investing in games the public wants!
In comes one of the most popular Kickstarter campaigns for video games, also known as Broken Age, a point-and-click adventure created by Double Fine Productions and directed through Tim Schafer, creator of Grim Fandango and Psychonaughts. With the days slowly climbing to the second chapter of this successful series, here is what you need to know about Broken Age: Act 2:
How has Broken Age already been a success despite coming out with the second chapter?
If you’ve been following Mighty No. 9, there will be plenty of parallels with the development of this game title, with one key difference: Broken Age was the first prime example that game developers could start crowdsourcing for the gaming audience and expect high success.
Double Fine Productions posted the proposal for creating an ‘old school adventure’ video game at Kickstarter on February 8, 2012 for $400,000 within 33 days. Tim Schafer hoped that within this small amount of time, loyal fans and gamers would be willing to pledge any money for a return to retro-styled gaming. The result? The campaign reached its goal in just eight hours and reached the one million mark in just one day. The campaign finished at the projected date with over three million dollars to spend.
This alone showed the power and the success companies could utilize crowdsourcing campaigns, much like Kickstarter, to tune in on growing audiences and request for funds without any high risks. Without the campaign Double Fine Productions launched for the Broken Age series, many developers would not have taken crowdsourcing as a serious or low-risk investment.
What is this game about?
The Broken Age series is split up into two distinct narratives within the same universe, although it is not entirely know how these characters share a common goal or even if they will ever meet.
Vella Tartine, a young girl living in an (almost) utopian society, is chosen to be sacrificed to a horrific monster, known as Mog Chothra, in order to sedate the creature’s desire to destroy the town. However, instead of willingly allow herself to be eaten, she breaks tradition and wants to conquer this horrendous beast.
In space, Shay Volta, a young refugee boy, is living his life on a spaceship who feeds and tends to his needs. As the only survivor of his race eradicated from war, the AI intends to shield and shelter Shay from the world outside the vessel. However, Shay has grown tired of being ignorant of the universe, even if it dangerous, and decides to take action to find out what events has occurred beyond his home.
What features can I expect?
As promised, Tim Schafer has promised that the Broken Age gameplay will highly rely on the point-and-click adventure styles used in old computer games. On the other hand, the creator also wanted to ‘modernize’ the core mechanics, as the simple one word actions, such as push, talk, take, and so on, can be upgraded to further enhance the experience. According to Schafer, “…We realized there really was always one verb, which was ‘interact with’, and a lot of it was context-based. So in this game we’ve actually done that like modern adventure games like Machinarium have done. It’s context-based.”
For example, players will not be given a one-answer dialogue between the protagonist and supporting character. Instead, a variety of dialogue options will appear and the player must decide what questions to ask and what information can be used to solve future puzzles. With these updated mechanics, Broken Age promises to deliver a classic game title with improved mechanics and excitement.
Anything else I should know before buying?
Although not a key feature in the Broken Age series, it is incredibly important to recognize the achievements the Kickstarter campaign made for various independent games. Whether it is Might No. 9, Shante: Half-Genie Hero, Hyper Light Drifter, or many more, check out the current and most popular games that are being funded through crowdsource. You may even find a game title, whether new or returning, that you would like to endorse.
When will the game be released?
While the first act has already been released for a while, Broken Age: Act 2 will be released in America on April 28 and Europe on April 29. If you are new to the adventure, check out the launch trailer if you want to venture through a nostalgic modernized title with plenty of flair to offer!