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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
21,858 backers pledged $1,538,425 to help bring this project to life.

Update #6: 90% funded & first prototype video footage!

Posted by Red Thread Games (Creator)

So two great things just happened:

We are 90% funded, with over $765,000 pledged! And our first video update just arrived!

This update contains the very first footage from our in-development playable prototype, including an early look at the game's controls and user interface.

Keep in mind that this is still very early prototype footage, and as such does not reflect the final quality of the art, animations, frame-rate or UI. Zoë is a placeholder model still dressed in her old Dreamfall clothes, and the geography, trees, buildings and assets are also temporary, and will change a lot in the months ahead.

(Riverwood is, after all, a magical, fairy-tale forest, and right now it's not looking particularly magical or fairy-taley, but this will change.)

The prototype is mostly a tool for us to work with in order to tweak and adjust the game controls, user interface, and gameplay experience. In other words: things are far, far from finished.

That said, enjoy the show!

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    1. Missing avatar

      Maria Ahlstedt on

      At 02:20, is that Roper Klacks old crashed castle? ;)

    2. Christine - Dream Traveller on

      Awesome! It looks like you've already done so much. It gives me hope that you will have time to put the final polish on the game before the launch date. The UI looks good, and love that we'll be able to control the camera too! Keep up the good work.

    3. Vince Vazquez
      Superbacker
      on

      I personally hate pointing and clicking, which is why I was thrilled that Dreamfall was designed for the Xbox controller. I played it on PC, but I still used my 360 controller, so thanks for that. I look at your prototype footage, and see a unique hybrid of traditional 3rd person movement and also clicking on objects of interest, and all I can think about is how cool a game like this would be on Wii U. Being able to move your character and explore the world traditionally with sticks and buttons, and then being able to inspect things on the touch screen and puzzle away on that Gamepad. I don't know what your post-$1 million dollar stretch goals are, but I hope one of them is "Bring this to the Wii U eShop".

    4. Missing avatar

      Domce on

      i sincerely hope you guys will do your best to make your vision into a reality. I also hope that you will NOT go crazy listening to suggestions from everyone. There is no way to make everyone happy. The first 2 games are true masterpieces: you guys clearly know what you are doing. Dont let us get in the way.

    5. Eduardo Takeo Igarashi on

      Wow. You guys are KICKING MAJOR ASS regarding showing transparency, authenticity and enthusiasm for the project. I never participated before in any kickstarter funding, but I'm pretty sure that you guys are doing something very special for us, true fans, regarding the aforementioned topics. Keep it coming.

      About the video, I understood that this is not the final product, but I really don't mind about having "state-of-art graphics". See, my fave tv show is a sixties old-style homage (Archer) where what really matter are the characters. And the voice action. Just like the TLJ games! Once said that, I really liked the new engine. And I hope you get some neat idle movements for our leading heroes as well. Movements with personality ;-)

      Cheers from Brazil (I bought the original games and later on, both on Steam again. And, of course, helped here).

    6. Dilip Thomas on

      @treehouseartist
      I'd never thought to include the player's perspective, keen observation! You're right, knowing the history of the Border House - and maybe even to a lesser extent the Journeyman Inn - definitely added depth to the experience.

      I think Ragnar mentioned during his Reddit AMA that console release requirements were responsible for the smaller scale present in Dreamfall (or was he referring to the incessant loading screens?). I absolutely agree though - the experience was left wanting, especially in comparison to TLJ! However the powerful storyline and superbly directed cut-scenes trumped the gameplay and environment in the sequel for me, so I was happy to be blissfully ignorant :)

      Either way it looks like they're unfettered with outdated console restrictions for Chapters, so things can only get better!

    7. treehouseartist | Dream Traveller on

      @Dilip Thomas

      I agree with you on your thoughts about having different characters visit the same locations and interacting with/observing the same objects in a different way. Also different characters would notice different things according to their objectives and unique personality. I think that's a great way to create depth in storytelling, as long as it's not overdone.

      Speaking of depth, that's one of the things I loved about Zoe visiting Venice and the Border House in Dreamfall. I like how TLJ and Dreamfall plays with different perspectives. Sometimes the player knows exactly as much as a character (TLJ), sometimes a character knows more than the player (an observation referring to a location/event in the future), and sometimes the player knows more than the character (Zoe in Venice).

      I have to admit, though I loved when Zoe visited Venice and the Border House in Dreamfall, I felt that the scale of the 3D environment didn't quite match the scale that the 2D backgrounds in TLJ suggested. I guess this was partly because the 3D environment contained less detail the 2D background, but also that the environments were made deliberately narrower so that they would be quicker to move through. However, I'm curious to see how this might turn out with Chapters...

    8. Christian Klass on

      Great video, nice landscape - but I too hope that Zoë will look different than in the prototype video. You wrote that it's just a placeholder model. But the eyes seem wrong. Thats not Zoë. Anyway, really looking forward to the game. :-)

    9. Missing avatar

      Richard Cawte on

      Looks lovely and sounds great! Think you can get one of the background tunes here too!

      http://octavcat.bandcamp.com/track/clay-2

      :)

    10. Ecco Td on

      Love the sounds of the forest around. Will you let the blue interface with that look or will you give it a more "magical" (?) look, like the one from the longest journey ?

    11. Mitch Sickler on

      Will this game have controller support? It seems like it wouldn't be too difficult.

    12. Missing avatar

      Andrei Gabzdyl on

      My favourite thing about the longest journey was the development of the story. It was simply amazing. I hope your focus on creating a large, and fully explorable "world" for us to interact with doesn't come at the cost of great, linear story telling.

    13. Arian Wichmann on

      Just a quick question - all of the people in the video are working on laptops, and therefore mobile graphic cards - do you also use "real" workstations that also have "real" graphic cards? I mean why do you limit yourself in that regard? Just something that popped into my mind.

    14. Vojislav Stojkovic on

      Looking cool, love the new UI! I do have a question, though: how would that kind of UI adapt to traditional gamepads?

    15. Teresa Manco on

      As weird as it may be to notice or appreciate, I really like the view of the sky with the crows flying around. It's something I noticed in your first video as well and hoped it would be there - I don't know why, I just like it and I was wondering whether it would be only in a cutscene. I really liked the particle effects in Dreamfall when going around certain places and I always like that kind of thing in games.
      I'm also quite optimistic for the pointing/tracking of objects - it looks more intuitive than in Dreamfall so far! Is the position of the commentary text decided or is it just for the prototype?
      Anyway, I'll be waiting impatiently for this for the next two years. I am actually happy it's there, it doesn't happen with games any more: it's something to look forward to! Best of luck for your endeavour, and thanks so much for deciding to go indie to make this project the way you want it to be, I really hope a lot of people back it so that you can have as few as possible monetary constraints!

    16. Leo on

      Re-watching the video again..so beautiful! And the music is great too!

    17. Steve van Weelij on

      Will you hear sounds when walking through the undergrowth/brushes? Tiny details like that will make the game feel alive and actually playable. As it is now, it feels flat and lifeless. I understand that this is an early prototype. This is just an encouragement to really make it come to life.

    18. Missing avatar

      Matthew K Diehl on

      With regards to the hotspots also remember that it looks like the game will have head tracking for points of interest the way Grim Fandango did back in 1998. So even if you have the option to turn off hotspots or toggle them as you wish in game it's not like it will be a pure pixel hunt anyway.

    19. Giorgos Chrysikopoulos - Dream Traveller on

      @Dilip: we have been promised an even greater level of detail on the objects and environment than Dreamfall, more like the first Longest Journey (where April would make fantastic commentary on almost everything around her if you clicked on it). I believe it will be awesome.

    20. Pirateguybrush on

      Well, I've researched Unity a bit, and it seems my request regarding modability is probably too hard to bother with. :)

    21. Dilip Thomas on

      Really interesting video, thanks for sharing!

      The interface looks really slick! Of particular note (as Stephan pointed out below) were the blue circles highlighting the interactive elements in the scene. For me, one of the most cherished features of Dreamfall was being able to focus on seemingly mundane objects in the environment purely to learn some backstory, even if the information wasn't pertinent to the problem at hand.

      Even better was the fact that the three different playable characters could investigate the same object and would present three entirely different points of view (eg. Kian, April and Zoe scoping out the steam machines interspersed throughout Marcuria)!

      Here's hoping a similar level of detail will be present in Dreamfall Chapters - love your work :)

    22. Laila Eikeland Knutsen on

      I am so chuffed that this still has the characteristics of the good old point-and click adventure game. Am very excited to see how it'll turn out because as an early concept this already looks really nice. This was an awesome way to start my morning! I (almost) don't need my tea!

    23. Boris Kuznetsov on

      I just really hope we won't lose these awesome TLG'ish atmosphere. It changed and evolved a lot during the first two games, don't really know what to expect. The existing video and screenshots are definitely not enough.

    24. Vasiliy - Dream Traveller on

      No, that's not Zoe at all, but I hope she WILL look like her in the future.

    25. ponytear on

      Thank you for the frequent and cool updates! :) Indeed it really looks promising but... who is the girl? She doesn't look nor feel as Zoë to me. I hope she is also a work in progress and that she will look more like the Zoë in Dreamfall (game or concept art)...

    26. Rinu on

      Wow, functional prototype. I'm pleasantly surprised how far you have gotten :). Keep doing good work!

    27. Missing avatar

      Jonatan Ericsson on

      This looks extremely promising! I am so happy you guys are actually doing this.. Keep up the good work! :)

    28. Missing avatar

      Jasper Uijlings on

      Great video. Some thoughts:

      One thing that worries me a bit is the scale of the 3D world. Often for solving puzzles you walk around the world wondering what to do next. In 2D the world is logically compact as the paths between areas are simply skipped. In 3D this would break the spell. But it may be a good idea to provide a map with teleportable areas of interest to avoid too much wandering.

      Show hotspots can be made a key-press (but is a necessity).

      The radial dial seems slightly overcomplicated. Why not use left-mouse for look and right-mouse for interact? Items from inventory can be taken from there. Much simpler and works in many adventures.

      An in-game hint system will be good. One thing that I always miss: I want to solve the puzzles myself, but often I do not know if I have not explored enough or if I did not think hard enough. If possible, I would like a hint system which detects if I have not interacted yet with an item for solving a puzzle before giving me half the solution.

    29. Yik Boon Tan on

      From a strictly facial perspective (ignore hair) - it doesn't look like Zoe. I'm open with the idea of her looking different so long as she doesn't look too different and still looks beautiful. Looking at her face from a horizontal angle, she looks good and beautiful. From a downwards angle however (e.g. when she looks up), she almost looks like an ugly flat-faced pig with small nose and large eyes.Improve that?

    30. Stephan Vandenborn on

      I like the idea of this interface. The interactive elements give off this blue circle that you interact with if you click on it.

      Some people are going to want to play without any hud or visual aids at all. So it would be cool if there were some visual aid toggles. Although I really would like to suggest to avoid forcing the player to go on a constant "pixel hunt", it's not funny. People who actually WANT to pixel hunt can do so by toggling the feature. But for accessibility's sake (for people with a visual impairment like me) this system like shown here is great.

      Also something could be done to ease players into participating in side quests. Either by color coding or waypoint system. I imagine it a bit like this: You find an item (or a collection of items that you can combine to something that will trigger you on a sidequest), from that moment on, waypoints to the general mission area would become available and maybe color coated differently than those from the main quest.

      Although I could imagine that some people see this as "holding hands", It should be available only when you want to,

      So in this regard, I turn to a minecraft plugin for inspiration called rei's minimap.

      Here's the thing: I could imagine that exploring big areas like forests and cities in this game could become disorienting. But at the same time, having automatic mission waypoints can be seen as restrictive and locking you in on a set story path.

      So how about a map function (and hotkey) where all the stuff that you found could be manually marked by a pushpin with a tooltip that explains what it is. The responsibility of going where you want, adding together relationships between locations to resolve a puzzle is entirely your own responsibility, but the game enables you to place pointers (ala Firefall waypoints) on the map so you choose where you go next and you make notes and they are visible in game.

      Sorry for the long read, I really just feel very strong about how a game interface facilitat's (or takes away) exploration.

    31. Arild Jacobsen on

      Man of Code! My new favorite title! Also, love the idea of having the interface "transparent" and discreet.

    32. Jakob Uhd Jepsen on

      The interface does indeed look like a happy medium between point-n-click and freeform exploration. I will add my vote to allow players to turn off the "show all hotspots" setting. For me, and I'm sure ofr others, part of the fun is looking around for the thing you missed, and having them show up autmatically if you even get near, could mean that many puzzles become trivialized.

      It should still be able to be switched on, for those that find pixel-hunting frustrating rather than challenging.

    33. Tyrel on

      Even knowing that these kinds of very early prototypes are possible thanks to using Unity, i must say I'm quite impressed.
      The game is beautiful and i really really love the way you're implementing the controls. I don't think you should make it like the controls of any other game (like some others suggest), your idea and approach is quite good as it is.

      Thanks for this cool update!

      On the other hand, I'd like to point out that for people to be able to totally embrace the game, up-to-date graphics and intuitive controls aren't enough. You as professionals surely know that if you want people to be emotionally involved, you have to give them a great vocal experience as well. One part of it is the voice actors (more like actresses in our case), who - kudos to you - seem to get a lot of attention, and I really love it. I'm happy to have the voice of April back, and I really hope to have the original voice of Zoë as well.

      However, I can't remember having much info about the music of the game. Dreamfall was very very strong at this point, with themes like those we heard during the scenes with Faith, or with the tracks from Magnet which helped a lot in understanding Zoë's feelings.
      These two videos you made this far have great music, but it's mostly from Dreamfall as far as I can tell.

      So, how about making the next update about the music of Dreamfall Chapters? Will it use the songs from Dreamfall, or will it have a brand new soundtrack? Can you tell us what your plans are with this, and overally how much attention the music gets?

    34. Emmo on

      Aweesomee. :)
      I know these are generally standard in 3D games, but please allow for inverse horizontal and inverse vertical camera controls - seperately. I'm a bit mad that I like inverse horizontal, but not vertical. ^^

    35. Petar Petrov on

      Great video update! I love the point'n'click interface :)

    36. Benny Samuelsson on

      Oh, a small hint on which options are available could be shown just by hovering so if you're looking for something to USE you don't have to click on everything first.

    37. Benny Samuelsson on

      Looks very promising. I hope the foliage will be physical so flowers and bushes wrap around her as she moves through them. that always helps immerse a lot.

    38. ShadowNate on

      I like the approach in the interface and the free full 3d exploration in 3rd person!
      And it seems that your hubrid point-n-click approach will work quite well.

      Also, sorry that I seem to disagree with some of the comments, but I wouldn't want to see GK3 gameplay controls in anything ever. That was just a horrible experience to put the player through in my opinion. Really counter-intuitive (camera) movement and object interaction; you had to put in significant effort to get used to it, and it still felt weird. It could make you ragequit the game in the first few minutes.

    39. Missing avatar

      Philip Thompson on

      I am loving this and I cannot wait for this to come out! I am so happy Sarah Hamilton is returning to the voice cast. Please tell me Ellie Conrad Leigh is reprising her role as Zoe. It doesn't bother me that Zoe might look a little different, I just fell in love with that voice! Keep up the awesome work!!!

    40. Tom Brückner on

      I like those hotspots, because I'm more interested in the story than in pixel hunting. So if you should disable them by default in the future, one should be able to bring them back in just like it works now. The rest is pretty nice, indeed. I especially like that you can look around with full freedom. Only Zoe still looks too sad for me, I definitely loved the more innocent look in Dreamfall. At the moment, I would not even recognize her as the same person (same applies to the concept art, though).

    41. Anthony Coddington on

      Fantastic interface design. I also agree with others about making the blue highlighting come up on pressing or holding a key (Deponia does this quite nicely with the shift key though has a rather bad case of pixel hunting). One thought I did have is clicking twice to do everything could be quite irritating. A radial menu style (an example being the Crysis power selection but better) with clicking and dragging to select alternative actions and clicking without dragging for a context sensitive option is one possibility, though discoverability could be an issue. Alternatively right click could bring up the menu and left click choose a default action (that is indicated similar to TLJ).

      So glad to finally see this game being made! I'd been thoroughly checking every couple of months for years.

    42. Victor "Dream Traveller" Buttaro on

      Looks good, but remember the first rule should always be don't needlessly complicate things. When it comes to keyboard and mouse control; there are already tons of games that work in 3rd person doing exactly the things you want to do. Think Skyrim 3rd person for example. Nothing complicated there for anyone who's use to playing with a keyboard and mouse. And it's pretty much point & click without trying to emulate a traditional adventure game 2D game.

      Like others have said; I don't think we need to be shown what objects are of interest, etc. That's part of adventure games in general; trying to figure things out. being shown points of interest all the time would be too much hand holding. Let me move my pointer over something and see what happens.

      Also while I see the need for a pop-up wheel where there is more than one option available to you; please make this smarter. If there is only one option open to me, you don't need to see the wheel. If my only option is to look (and comment) about a house down the road; a mouse click alone should suffice.

    43. Missing avatar

      Magun on

      I'm positively surprised by the progress of the game development. Keep up the good work, guys :) As to the interface I agree with @treehouseartist that when it comes to 3D adventure games, GK3 had the best UI.

    44. Pirateguybrush on

      GK3's control scheme*

    45. Pirateguybrush on

      @treehouseartist
      I didn't hate GK2's control scheme, but it could get pretty cumbersome. I wasn't talking about making the actual in-game interface work that way, rather I'd like to see it left in for non-gameplay-related reasons (exploration, screenshots) . More for something to do once you've completed the game and want to fly around checking out the levels some more.

    46. Tomimt on

      Really loved it. An amazing prototype to be sure and the music was beautful. As others have said, it would be great if the hotspost could be turned off, but other than that I got nothing.

    47. treehouseartist | Dream Traveller on

      @David Jeffries

      Did you mean free camera control in-game, or just a 'fly-through' mode.

      I guess that's what I enjoyed so much about GK3 (Here I go again), because you have direct control over the camera. You can move the camera across the courtyard for instance, and if you click on the ground (or a hotspot) Gabriel just steps in front of the camera. The real advantage of this is that you can zoom in on an something (a painting, a safe and get really up close without the character getting in the way.

      This video is a nice example: http://youtu.be/O_w99DnJWDM…

      When you zoom in on an object, Gabriel makes a comment off screan (the painting), and he does not move on screan in front of the object unless he has to interact with the object. It sort of is a combination of 1st and 3rd person all at the same time.

    48. Ethan Wolff on

      Those are some sexy plants. Plants in most other games look terrible. Nice work!

    49. Erika Eby on

      I actually quite like what I've seen of the UI so far. It seems like a natural way to integrate the 3D and the point-and-click style. It's similar to other things I've seen in games that went a similar direction. If done well (and I'm sure it will be), it works rather well.

      I do think it might be wise to have the option to toggle the "show all active hotspots" thing on and off in the menu, like has been mentioned. I'm not sure how hard that would be to program, but I know other games implement similar options. The hardcore people who don't want it or feel that it's distracting can turn it off, but for people who like it, it's there (or it's there when you get stuck).

      For me, though, that's frankly a pretty minor gripe. If the prototype looks this solid, I can't wait to see what the end result looks like!

    50. Missing avatar

      Sven on

      It really looks awesome, guys. The interface looks pretty cool too (I guess that's the advantage of not having to develop with consoles in mind; Dreamfall's UI with its clumsy "focus beam" always felt like it was designed for people not using a mouse/keyboard). I assume the frame rate will be better in the released product, I'm not judging that at this stage. :)

      One minor point: please consider carefully how the movement keys interact with the camera. Dreamfall had the annoying habit of switching the camera around during scene switches, and the controls were relative to the camera. So you were walking forward, leave the scene, you get a nice camera angle, but now you press forward again and accidentally go back the way you came because Zoë was facing the camera so forward causes her to turn around. As far as third person 3D character controls go, I wouldn't mind if you took a little bit more inspiration from games like Mass Effect, which do this much better. :)

      Finally, I do hope you'll tweak Zoë face model a bit more. Right now it doesn't really feel like Zoë (when I first saw the image the only reason I even remotely thought it might be Zoë was the hair), and between the ultra-realistic skin texture but still somewhat cartoonish proportions (particularly the big eyes), it's kind of uncanny valley. It's nothing game-breaking, but I do hope to see some improvements there.

      Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go back to this time machine I'm working on so I can jump to November 2014. :)