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Double Fine to launch part one of Broken Age next January

Double Fine Happy Action Theater Screenshot - Broken Age

Double Fine Productions plans to release the first half of its adventure game Broken Age — funded as Double Fine Adventure on Kickstarter — in January 2014 rather than later, founder Tim Schafer announced today.

The developer will launch the partial release via Steam's Early Access. The early release "will help improve the project's efficiency without reducing its scope," reported Polygon.

Broken Age raised more than $3 million in crowdfunding last year (plus contributions via the tip jar), but Schafer said "that didn’t stop me from getting excited and designing a game so big that it would need even more money.

"I think I just have an idea in my head about how big an adventure game should be, so it’s hard for me to design one that’s much smaller than Grim Fandango or Full Throttle," he said.

But by releasing the first half in January instead of July 2014, Double Fine won't have to "cut the game down drastically" or ask for more money, according to Schafer.

"We were always planning to release the beta on Steam, but in addition to that we now have Steam Early Access, which is a new opportunity that actually lets you charge money for prerelease content," said Schafer. "That means we could actually sell this early access version of the game to the public at large, and use that money to fund the remaining game development."

Backers still get the whole game and early beta access, of course. They won't have to pay again for the second half. Part two should arrive around April or May. The full title is due in 2015.

You can read Schafer's full update on Kotaku, in case you're not a backer and can't access it via the official Kickstarter page.

Double Fine has also been busy raising $1.2 million for its second Kickstarter, Massive Chalice, a turn-based tactical-strategy game.

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Stephanie Carmichael Twitter: @wita
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