You should watch Double Fine Adventure – Ole Begemann

I know I’m almost a decade late to this party, but I’m probably not the only one, so here goes.

Double Fine Adventure was a wildly successful 2012 Kickstarter project to crowdfund the development of a point-and-click adventure game and, crucially, to document its development on video. The resulting game Broken Age was eventually released in two parts in 2014 and 2015. Broken Age is a beautiful game and I recommend you try it. It’s available for lots of platforms and is pretty cheap (10–15 euros/dollars or less). I played it on the Nintendo Switch, which worked very well.

Screenshot from Broken Age. A tall girl in a pink dress is talking to a shorter girl in a bird costume. They are standing on a cloud.
Broken Age.

But the real gem to me was watching the 12.5-hour documentary on YouTube. A video production team followed the entire three-year development process from start to finish. It provides a refreshingly candid and transparent insight into “how the sausage is made”, including sensitive topics such as financial problems, layoffs, and long work hours. Throughout all the ups and downs there’s a wonderful sense of fun and camaraderie among the team at Double Fine, which made watching the documentary even more enjoyable to me than playing Broken Age. You can tell these people love working with each other. I highly recommend taking a look if you find this mildly interesting.

Four people sitting at a conference table in an office. The wall in the background is covered in pencil drawings.
The Double Fine Adventure documentary.

The first major game spoilers don’t come until episode 15, so you can safely watch most of the documentary before playing the game (and this is how the original Kickstarter backers experienced it). However, I think it’s even more interesting to play the game first, or to experience both side-by-side. My suggestion: watch two or three episodes of the documentary. If you like it, start playing Broken Age alongside it.

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