A Halloween update: launch, reception & patches
Dreamfall Chapters has now been out for over one week, and most of you have probably played the game. If you haven't, here's a reminder about how to claim your game key.
We hope you like it and that you're already looking forward to Book Two! It's great to see the ongoing discussions on our forum and elsewhere regarding the story, the characters and the universe. We love lurking and reading all your comments! There are so many things going on in Book One, we're sure the theory-crafting will continue until Book Two arrives.
We are completely overwhelmed by the response so far. Players seem to be very happy — the user scores on Steam and Metacritic are high, and both Twitter and our forum are full of positive feedback and happy vibes.
We are aware that some of you have had technical issues (more on that below) and we also know that not everyone is completely satisfied with Book One. That's not unexpected: it's not possible to make a game that appeals to absolutely everyone. But, hopefully, your experience will improve with forthcoming episodes!
The reviews from critics have so far ranged from 'cautiously optimistic' to very positive, with few outright negative reviews. The most common criticisms may be that Book One is a slow-ish start to a bigger and potentially intriguing story, and that some players may feel lost.
The pacing is intentional but obviously divisive: we wanted to establish Zoë's life in Europolis before kicking the plot into high gear, and to celebrate the mundane — something that's rare in games.
As for feeling lost: that's expected! And not just with new players. We introduce a lot of new characters and a brand new setting. Even long-term fans will feel hopefully lost at times. Don't worry: it will get clearer with time.
To help new players get up to scratch, we have released a Dreamfall: The Longest Journey recap video. This video is also included in the game with version 1.1.
In general, it seems like the critics who are most apprehensive about the game are still looking forward to seeing where the story goes in Book Two — and we think they are going to be very, very happy.
Regarding performance, we do know that some players have experienced technical issues — poor frame-rate, crashes — in version 1.0 and we apologise for that. We saw none of these issues on our own hardware, but the excellent feedback from players has helped us narrow things down.
Despite their obvious exhaustion from months of crunching, the team has hunkered down and worked really hard to deliver version 1.1. Last night we uploaded a patch to Steam that fixes a large number of performance related issues. You can read more about version 1.1 here.
The response to this patch has been positive. Most players are seeing moderate to huge increases in performance, and fewer memory related crashes on all platforms.
We are releasing another patch (v1.1.1) to fix some new (and some still-lingering) bugs. This latest version will hopefully go live on Steam today, and will also make its way to GOG and the Humble Store. Humble should have their version live before end-of-day in San Francisco (if we deliver it in time) while GOG might not have it up until Monday.
We apologise for the staggered releases. Steam is the only store where we have direct access to publish patches and new versions on our own. With GOG and Humble, we have to go through a longer process, which can result in delays. This is not their fault, of course: it simply takes more time, and we didn't want to push 1.1 out to GOG and Humble before we had some immediate feedback from our Steam guinea-pigs!
Thanks again for all your support and patience these past few weeks. It's been a stressful and exhausting time for the team, but seeing your comments and feedback is very motivating for us. And we really appreciate you guys taking the time to tell us how you feel. After all, you are the reason we made this game in the first place!
We will return next week with more thoughts about launch and the past few weeks of production, a fresh look at what the team is currently working on, and perhaps some exciting news about Book Two!