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Dreamfall Chapters is the long-awaited sequel to acclaimed PC adventure games The Longest Journey and Dreamfall: The Longest Journey
Dreamfall Chapters is the long-awaited sequel to acclaimed PC adventure games The Longest Journey and Dreamfall: The Longest Journey
Dreamfall Chapters is the long-awaited sequel to acclaimed PC adventure games The Longest Journey and Dreamfall: The Longest Journey
21,858 backers pledged $1,538,425 to help bring this project to life.

December development update

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Hi all,

The team is about to crack open the c̶h̶a̶m̶p̶a̶g̶n̶e̶ cheap beer and ginger cookies, and celebrate the last day of work before Christmas. Everyone's been working incredibly hard this autumn, and the upcoming holiday is certainly well-deserved.

But what about Book Two (we hear you asking)?

Work on Book Two is progressing according to schedule, and though our deadlines are very tight, so far the team has managed to meet them all.

We know you're all eager to learn WHEN Book Two will be released — unfortunately, we're not ready to reveal a release date quite yet. In fact, we don't plan on announcing anything until we're about 8-10 days away from launch.

Why is that? After all, we did announce Book One several months ahead of time.

The reason is that we're going to spend the time we need to make Book Two as great as it can possibly be, and announcing a release date too far in advance means that we might have to either release something we're not one hundred percent happy with, or announce a delay — and both of those options are less than ideal.

Instead, we're going to work towards our internal milestone, and if we see that we're going to make it, we will let you know when we're a week or two away from launch.

Before then, however, we will release more information about Book Two, including new screenshots and trailer(s). Today, we have several screens for you — some of these are from the first teaser we released a few weeks ago, and a couple are brand new.

Enjoy!

We'll be back with one more tiny update early next week (hint: it's Christmas related). Until then, we wish you all a good weekend and happy (start of the) holidays!

Team RTG

Tieg Zaharia, Xavier Guillaume, and 55 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Missing avatar

      Empirimancer on

      Weren't you supposed to be have released the entire game a month ago? And now you can't even give us a release date for the second fifth of it?

    2. Missing avatar

      Zoston on

      Yeah, for what it's worth I can confirm those numbers. I've got TLJ 18h, DF 11h, and DF:C1 5h. And I neither rush nor dally excessively.

      I don't think hours spend breaking your head over an obtuse and unintuitive puzzle is valid additional gametime. I can understand some might feel that way, but then those really need to realise these games are not for them.

      DF and TLJ are narrative games with puzzles, the narrative experience should always come first, and that is simply not helped by overly long and complex puzzles.

      People who want that kind of gameplay should be looking for pure puzzle games, or puzzle games with narrative. (Machinarium is imo a good example of the latter.)

      That the old adventure games had narrative and ridiculously unsolvable puzzles was a bug, an example of the lack of polish and direction of those days. Even if we might wax nostalgically about the bizarre combinations those days produced, they're not coming back for the same reason high wheeler's ain't going to be coming back.

    3. Red Thread Games Creator on

      @AstralWanderer: While we're no big fans of using playtime as an indication of neither value nor quality, the fact is that Dreamfall -- according to most players who've clocked it -- was a 10-15 hour game, and the average playtime of Chapters Book One -- according to Steam -- is over four hours, with some players spending 6-7 hours with it. I don't think you can argue that Book One is a tenth of the first Dreamfall in length.

    4. Tomimt on

      Oh, and here's some statistics on the previous games:
      TLJ 18 hours avarage, fastest is about 9 hours so I'd assume that means skipping almost all the dialogue and cut scenes: http://www.howlongtobeat.com/game.php…

      Dreamfall avaregas 13 hours, fastest is around 8 hours: http://www.howlongtobeat.com/game.php…

    5. Michael Hartmann
      Superbacker
      on

      @Maciej: Click on the screenshot.

    6. Tomimt on

      @AstralWanderer: No, but I didn't spent much more than 20-22 hours in it in my first playthrough. The only really challenging puzzle in the game is the rubber ducky one, but luckily I had recently read a review of the game in which they told it is bugged and gave the solution.

    7. Maciej Tarnawski on

      I see only one screenshot, not several.

    8. Missing avatar

      AstralWanderer on

      @Tomint: "Last time I played through the Longest Journey it took me about 18 hours..."

      Ah, but was that your *first* time? I would bet that TLJ's puzzles would extend first-time gameplay considerably for those persistent enough to avoid walkthroughs (I had to resort to one on two occasions on my first play and took about 2 weeks, probably 40-50 hours, to finish it).

    9. Missing avatar

      AstralWanderer on

      @Georgios Chrysikopoulos: "...Dreamfall is only a ~ 12 hours game, and that's including failing a few times in combat and stealth, otherwise it can be easily completed in just 10 hours. Dreamfall: Chapters Book 1 (*one 5th* of the full game) is already *one 3rd* of Dreamfall in size..."

      How long a game lasts depends on how you play it, and in the case of adventures, how easily you can solve the puzzles (Dreamfall didn't have many - but you could easily hit your head on a brick wall with a couple that relied on use of the right-click look control to proceed). Chapters Book 1 contained two what I would consider "complex" multi-stage quests - to avoid spoilers, one involved escort duty, the second visiting a particular person. That places it equal with Dreamfall Chapter 1's two (collecting a package for Reza and recovering his notes) and subjectively I would have given both games near-equal billing in terms of chapter one playtime.

      However Dreamfall has 14 chapters and while a couple (0 and 13) are pretty short, there is no way that I would consider Chapters Book One on its own to offer one third the gameplay duration of Dreamfall. One tenth would be closer which, *if* later episodes match Book One in gameplay size, would have Chapters at around half Dreamfall's length. Not a disaster, but I suspect many here would be hoping for more.

      As for comparing it to BG2, well I was comparing gameplay *time* rather than type. Yes, the game styles are different - but if anything adventures should be easier to develop since they don't have complex rules systems and don't require balancing to ensure they're achievable by every character type.

      Comparing budgets between Chapters and Dreamfall is also rather a swings-and-roundabouts exercise. Yes, Dreamfall had a higher budget - $5 million according to http://www.adventuregamers.com/articles/view/24090 - but it also had publisher overheads and the cost of developing a 3D game engine. Chapters has received funding of $800,000 (from the Norwegian Film Institute) to add to the $1.35 million from Kickstarter (once KS/Amazon's 10% cut is accounted for) plus other income sources (Steam Early Access, etc). So while it does have a lower budget, it isn't hugely out of line with Dreamfall's and quite comparable to the original Longest Journey budget ($2-3 million).

      Of course Dreamfall had an almost completely linear plot (with only two variations I can recall) while Chapters promises more in the way of variety. This should be a good thing, but we have to wait for later books to be able to judge it properly.

    10. Tomimt on

      Last time I played through the Longest Journey it took me about 18 hours, so if Chapters ends up as 20 hour game I'd say that's more than plenty in my book.

    11. Missing avatar

      Georgios Chrysikopoulos on

      *apologies for the long post - and for being a little argumentative when we should be celebrating the awesome screenshots and the great progress towards Book 2 instead*
      .
      .
      .
      .
      .
      @AstralWanderer: I'm sorry, but you're way wrong in your gameplay time estimations here. Dreamfall is only a ~ 12 hours game, and that's including failing a few times in combat and stealth, otherwise it can be easily completed in just 10 hours. Dreamfall: Chapters Book 1 (*one 5th* of the full game) is already *one 3rd* of Dreamfall in size, so there's no way that the full game will be shorter than Dreamfall, never mind be half of it. It's HUGE! (for an adventure game of course, seriously can you name many point-and-click adventure games that are longer than 15-20 hours if you *don't* get stuck somewhere?)
      .
      Comparison with RPGs is also not correct because:
      a) a huge amount of these games is spent in combat/crafting/leveling up, etc which are all (repetitive) mechanics unique to that genre. It's not "fair" to include that time in a comparison of gameplay time as it isn't fair to include getting stuck, say, 5 hours (or a week!) in a tough puzzle in an adventure game. RPGs and point-and-clicks are very different genres and should be judged among their peers. You could still compare their "common points" (like the story) of course, so you could for example compare actual, *voiced* (not text-only, because Chapters is fully voiced) dialogue time and number of "unique, non-repetitive scenes" (set pieces).
      b) Even in that comparison you can still argue (and be right) that triple-A RPGS (for example Bioware games) still have an edge in pure dialogue time over most adventure games, even the (truly gigantic) original The Longest Journey. (though that edge is smaller, something like twice the size instead of ten times the size). To which my reply is simple: these games we're comparing have 20+ times the budget of Dreamfall: Chapters, 20+ times the number of people working on them and even *cost* about 2,5 times more than Chapters to buy (release price, not discounted price when they're no longer new). Or in other words, it is financially impossible for RTG to lengthen Dreamfall: Chapters playing time much more than what we've seen in Book 1, unless they resort to "grindy" and "artifical" means, like increasing the amount of "backtracking" just for the sake of wasting your time (or having elements obviously repeat, like the dreaded caves of Dragon Age: 2) . Would you prefer that? I wouldn't. The only legitimate thing they could do is maybe increase the challenge of the puzzles, but even that only increases the "perception" of length (because you're stuck more), not the actual length, and even threatens to interrupt the flow of the story if it's not done "perfectly".

    12. Missing avatar

      Sebastien Arseneault on

      More game companies should refrain from announcing release dates before the game is ready. Good decision.

    13. Missing avatar

      AstralWanderer on

      @Giorgos: Thanks for the info. A shorter script for Chapter Two is not good news, even if it didn't pan out. 20 hours gameplay is peanuts compared to, say, Baldur's Gate II's 200 hours. And I make no apology for holding RTG up to such standards. ;)

      Clearly 3D area design requires far more work compared TLJ's 2D scenes and that to some extent excuses Dreamfall's shorter length in my view. But it does look like Chapters may be less than half as long as Dreamfall, and while having plot choices is a plus point, we can't judge their true value until we can see the full consequences.

    14. Egor Tilpunov on

      Longest Journey - 1999-2000
      Dreamfall - 2006
      Dreamfall Chapters - Chapter 1 - 2014.

      Taking this trend into the consideration i'd say that next Longest Journey is to be released in Somewhere in 2023-2024.

    15. Jeremie Lariviere
      Superbacker
      on

      Thanks for the update! I'm enjoying the preview build, and looking forward to the full game (once I get unstuck / figure out how to get past where I am in chapter one) :-)

    16. Giorgos Chrysikopoulos - Dream Traveller on

      @Randy Navarro: I'll repeat for "visibility" that you shouldn't try to contact RTG through Kickstarter, but directly email them at:
      support(at)redthreadgames.com (replace the (at) with @).

    17. Giorgos Chrysikopoulos - Dream Traveller on

      @AstralWanderer: Ragnar posted this on his twitter 4 days ago:
      "The script for #BookTwo was supposed to be shorter than #BookOne. I failed. It’s NOT shorter. At all. WHY SO MANY DAMN CHOICES"
      and they've previously said that Books 3 & 4 (at least) were planned to be bigger than Book 1 (so now add Book 2 to that "bigger than" list as well).
      However, I wouldn't expect any of them to be *much* bigger than Book 1 and -most importantly- is 4 hours (plus 2 hours for replaying with different choices) for 1/5th of a game short now? Even if the other books were EXACTLY as big as Book 1 (and they won't be) that would mean a whooping 20+ hours of game time, which is almost double the size of Dreamfall and comparable to the -absurdly big by most standards- The Longest Journey! And again, that's without calculating that Chapters has a significant extra replay value because of the choice mechanics, that its predecessors lack.

    18. Vicenç Cortés Olea on

      thanks for the info and rest a lot! :D merry christmas!

    19. Missing avatar

      AstralWanderer on

      @Randy Navarro: Kickstarter PMs can be awkward to manage for projects with large numbers of supporters. If you have need individual attention, email support(at)redthreadgames.com (replace the (at) with @).

    20. Tomimt on

      Very lovely screenshots, it's always nice to see more stunning locations from the two worlds.. And you've done good job in optimizing the book 1 as well.

    21. Randy Navarro on

      Lovely. At what point will the team start responding to Kickstarter direct messages? Because twice I've sent mail with no response.

    22. Missing avatar

      AstralWanderer on

      Any idea of how much playtime Book Two (and subsequent chapters) will offer compared to Book One?

      I thought Book One was promising, but rather short (similar length to Dreamfall's first chapter, but that game had 13 not 5). Also if existing areas are expanded in later books (e.g. it becomes possible to enter the Abyss or T-Rex in Europolis), will those areas be backported to Book One? (just for exploration with placeholder NPCs). Not being able to indulge at the coffee shop felt very un-Zoë!

      And hope you have good holiday too. But don't try pulling our legs here - there's no such thing as "cheap beer" in Norway. :)

    23. Xavier Guillaume on

      Have a great holiday break! :D