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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.

Update #29: Zoë's evolution & new wallpapers!

The Visual Evolution of Zoë Castillo

Our esteemed art director Christer Sveen has put together a cool video describing the process behind the development and evolution of Zoë Castillo, the (dreamy) heroine of Dreamfall Chapters.

This video also offers a glimpse of the latest tweaks done to make Zoë look closer to how she looked in Dreamfall: The Longest Journey -- something a lot of you have been requesting! We will, of course, keep tweaking our characters until the game launches, and everything you see here is still work in progress.

You can watch the video at the bottom of this update, or you can click here for the YouTube HD version!

Oh, and if you missed it, we revealed our second playable character a few days ago: Kian Alvane!

Kian is an apostle and assassin of the Azadi empire, and in Dreamfall he was sent from the city of Sadir by the Six, to hunt down and kill the leader of the resistance in Marcuria. A man of strong faith, his beliefs were challenged when he met April Ryan, and his journey led him to a confrontation that would change his whole life and set the course for the future.

Kian's role in Dreamfall Chapters will be significantly larger than it was in the previous game, and his part in the saga will soon become clear.   

(And if none of that made sense, we will recap the entire story when Dreamfall Chapters begins. We are also releasing an interactive graphic novel prior to the game's release, so you can get to know the key characters and their stories before playing Chapters.)

For your first in-game glimpse of Kian Alvane, check out the video we released a few days ago! But beware some (light) Dreamfall spoilers!

Wallpapers & cover images!

We have a brand new set of wallpapers for all of our pledgers! You can find them here, and this set is called Storytime. And in case you missed it, here are The Loremaster wallpapers we released a few days ago.

We also have a bunch more Facebook and Google+ cover images for you guys to use and share! Put 'em up today and let the world know that we're approaching the end of our campaign!

We will be back later with ANOTHER update. In the meantime, keep spreading the word and help us onwards & upwards in these final hours of our campaign!

RTG

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    1. Ina on March 11, 2013

      Thank you, Christer, for your elaborate response! It's great to see that you guys don't just listen what us mere mortal fans have to say but that you also take the time and communicate with us.

      Regarding Zoë, I definitely understand where you're coming from!

      The reason I loved (and related to) the first Chapters Zoë so much - even her nose stud, and I'm not that keen on piercings in general - was that she was showing personality and humanness. I felt as if Zoë was finally coming into her own as a person - and all of a sudden she's transformed back into a (imo) more generic, impersonal game character. That's what I was reacting to.

      But I see that you have a clear vision and that you've only started to realize it. I can't wait to see more of the magic you do. And as long as Zoë will be 'real' and relatable in the end (and I don't doubt that she will) I'll be happy - whatever her nostril shape.

    2. Missing avatar

      Desirée Eriksson on March 11, 2013

      The previous model was cute, but not quite Zoë, this is much better :D

    3. Missing avatar

      Marie-Pierre Lenain on March 10, 2013

      Nice result, very interesting video! :)

    4. Kami on March 10, 2013

      +1 Christer :) Congrats on the 1,5m!

    5. Missing avatar

      Christer Sveen on March 10, 2013

      Hi all!

      Really appreciate the enthusiasm and the feedback. As for Zoë's looks, my chief concerns are story continuity and recognizability - we are, after all, making a game that picks up right at the end of the last game, and while we want to do certain updates and stylistically new choices for Chapters, I think it is very important that we also get continuity within the Dreamfall/TLJ universe.

      In a Kickstarter campaign we also here have a unique chance to gauge people's reactions and feedback to the things we present. Kickstarter is new to us and allows us a fantastic new way to communicate with our fans, and truly the fans and backers here are the ones making this possible so I think it is definitely worth listening to what the fans say. Not that we can cater to everyone's tastes, but I feel that we owe it to listen, and keep an open mind about it :).

      Also remember that as a female video game protagonist, Zoë is somewhat different from the typical norm in many ways. Besides her face she doesn't really have any signature clothing, weaponry or other bodily traits that some lead females tend to have in other games. So making her head recognizable is definitely very important to me, and since I made the very first concept sketches of her back in the day, I've had a very clear picture in my head of what she looks like, - it just takes some time to get it right, and it's something that tends to evolve over time. So while I personally am more happy with the newest version of Zoë, I would certainly expect further tweaks and changes as the project evolves too. It's all a part of the process :)

      Thanks again for the support and the feedback, very much appreciated! And, 1,5m+ reached, wow!

    6. Missing avatar

      Spip5 on March 10, 2013

      I played The Longuest Journey in 1999 and Dreamfall in 2006. My opinion about Zoë's design is that I prefer the one you created especially for Dreamfall Chapters to be in DFC, not the new-old one look like.
      You are creators. You can listen to fans opinion, but if you want a more realistic DFC than DF was, just do it !
      The important about DFC to be a sequel to TLJ and DF is not the design to stay the same, but the universe and the background: I want to get through the looking-glass again, that's why I support.

    7. Missing avatar

      Ian Javier Pérez Zayas on March 9, 2013

      Sharing to a degree Lenka's concerns. As much as I liked original Zoë's design, she always came across to me as someone who was supposed to be a Woman of Color, but whose looks didn't quite make that clear: her model, intentionally or not, came across as a bit of a Rorschach test, ambiguous enough so that the player could imprint on her whatever racial heritage they desired. And while there's plenty of actual people for whom the same is true, I do feel that, given the dearth of People of Color in starring roles in games, someone who is meant to be one but could still be plausibly considered White (due to a combination of looks and lack of available information) isn't terribly helpful.

      Now, I realize that her design is bound to a degree to what has come before, but if Zoë is to have a specific ethnicity and heritage, it is my personal hope that that comes across in some manner in the actual game. While she doesn't suddenly need to adhere to essentialist ideas of what people of a certain race look like, I would like it if one didn't have to compare her to a color chart in order for her to prove to myself that she's not white.

    8. Davide Rinaldi on March 9, 2013

      Way better now (WAY better!) of course Dreamfall box art Zoe is still a tad better but I would settle for this new in-game model without much gripes ;)

    9. Kami on March 9, 2013

      @Scale - I don't think there will be. :) If you are referring to the different outfits, those are just outfits, it's not a plastic surgery ;) And as the update #24 says - "We will not add a character creation option to Dreamfall Chapters -- obviously, since you're playing established characters." and that is completely right. There's only one Zoe and this is just a matter of updating her model.

      BTW that whole "discussion" about those outfits... RTG wanted to address some of the fans requests and in the end it turned out to be an arrow in the knee. One of those examples that fans doesn’t necessarily want what they say they want. :) Or at least if it’s paired with supporting the developer (so like… the whole point of pledging on Kickstarter in the first place). ;)

      @Tomer - I think that is just spot on. ;) While you could say that if all of those people are giving their money, they can expect to have some impact on the game - this is exactly what big publishers do. Isn't Kickstarter the opposite of that? ;) This should be about supporting the creator and not expecting to bend the final product to your will.

      @Gleb - of course :) to start with the eyes (that even at the beginning were bigger than normal), narrower head (seriously, if that narrowness’ doesn't creep you out...), I guess the nose is quite normal, but elongating that made the lips look quite weird. Like she was making some kind of silly face for no reason (like a cartoon character ;) ). Then there’s the texture... just look at the side by side comparison. The hair looked way more natural, the eyebrows - before with that sculpted look, that you can get after visiting a make-up artist and after, which looks just like painted with a crayon. And of course the lips, that can tell you that Zoe is horrible at make-up and for some reason thinks that it's cool to use a lip liner without the lipstick in the same color. :) Before that cartoonization they looked almost real. So yeah, this is Zoe and everything that was wrong with her look in 2006. And that's a good thing? :)
      I'm not saying that Christer Sveen did a bad job, on the contrary. He just really made the new model look like the 2006 one. But is that good in 2013? I seriously doubt that.

      Maybe I just don't have the right perspective here, because I recognized Zoe on the first picture that Ragnar posted on his twitter. But Dreamfall had a huge impact on my life and I'm a designer myself, so maybe I can just imagine her in real life more than most. ;)

      @Emmo - From what I saw on the prototype videos - the new Zoe definitely fitted to the new game. :) Maybe they should change her a bit, but better to go forward than backwards to all of those things that make her look more cartoony. After all, Ragnar repeatedly said that Zoe has changed. Specifically - "Zoë will be back," he tells us. "But she won't be the same Zoë we met in Dreamfall. Like all of our characters, she will have grown and evolved, and Dreamfall Chapters is going to take some daring twists and turns. - this is what he said in the interview for Polygon.
      And after that, people still want to put her in that old skin. Can't she just grow overall as a character? :) I just don't get that fear of a little change, of something new. But hey, they teach about that on marketing classes. That's why there will always be hate about every new interface update to youtube or etc., despite how little they would be and regardless of how much they would improve the usability.

      @Max Hrabrov - So you say, that the new Zoe isn't likeable? Why? :) Does she have a mean look in her eyes or somethin'?
      You say that she can have different make-up, hair, etc. but there were already questions about her hair style. :) Apparently even that is too much of a change. I wonder what will be the reaction when she'll visit a hair saloon in the game.

      @ Christian Page - well said :)

      RTG - stand your ground! Despite what some people say, ultimately we all want to see your work and your vision! This is what we were waiting on and this is what we pledge for. Don't bend for no one. If you are happy with the new-old look, then it's fine with me. I just don't want to see you starting to change things and feel a pressure that you’re not supposed to feel. You're independently funded and you can do whatever YOU want. I'm sure we will all love it in the end. :)

      And the new Kian looks awesome! More manly in a way. ;) Glad that no one seems to complain about him.

    10. Missing avatar

      firesock on March 9, 2013

      Yes! This is an amazing change!

    11. Missing avatar

      Rendref on March 9, 2013

      Zoe looks great :) It's amazing that you hear us and make corrections. Although I think than nose still needs to be a bit flatter :)

    12. David on March 9, 2013

      Awesome work, Christer! You're a really talented artist! :)

    13. Gustavo Elias on March 9, 2013

      Hey guys. Nice work with the wallpapers. Could you make the Loremaster one available in mobile resolution, mainly 800 x 480? :) You can also make them available for most mobile resolutions, maybe.

    14. Mr.Dream on March 9, 2013

      Instead of leaving the choice to change clothes, it could be better to let us choose in game Zoe's face! xD

    15. Victor "Dream Traveller" Buttaro on March 9, 2013

      Looks good. Definitely closer to the old Zoe. Now all she needs is her hair from the Dreamfall box art. :)

      Still liked to see a recreation of the concept art shown here. Probably even more so than a recreation of the old in-game model. Though this is a good recreation of that.

    16. Eriksen on March 9, 2013

      To be frank, I've seen "new Zoe" so much now that I've gotten used to her. Seeing the two versions side by side I think they're both great, and either one would be just fine. Looking forward to a great adventure.

    17. Astarti Alexia Pourgali on March 9, 2013

      to be honest both Zoe were wonderful. Of course the new one looks like the Zoe we used to know but why not accept the changes? Zoe got up from her coma, put on some make up and pierced her nose. She has an attitude anyway! btw can we see something like that for Kian?? he looks awesome *drools*

    18. Eriksen on March 9, 2013

      Looks great!

    19. A.A - The Dream Travelling Echidna $6.13 on March 9, 2013

      Having said that, I'm glad it seems to have won over quite a few (not all of course...never can please everyone) other folks.

    20. A.A - The Dream Travelling Echidna $6.13 on March 9, 2013

      I couldn't give a flying **** what the character/s I play look like. I'm wierd like that, I know.

      Don't care one bit. I don't play games to marvel how pretty the characters are.

    21. Missing avatar

      Jymm on March 9, 2013

      I won't bother to try to judge whether the new model looks "better" or the tweaked model. But I will say it bothered me a bit that the new Zoe didn't look much like the old one. I have to say the tweaked one immediately seems recognizable to me, and so I'm immediately more attached to her. So I'm in favor of the tweaking, even if its less "right" than the original model was. The continuity trumps for me personally in this case, particularly because of how great the story and characters are in this series.

    22. Bình Trọng Vương on March 9, 2013

      I understand some backers' desire to switch to the new model considering her half Chinese heritage ( I am Vietnamese with very strong Chinese influences running in the family).

      But honestly I believe in the consistency of the story and one of the many ways to do that is the consistency in visual, especially in keeping the same features of Zoe in Dreamfall.

      Thank you so much RTG for tweaking Zoe back!

    23. Balgin Stondraeg on March 9, 2013

      To my eyes the original Zoe just looked more Italian than oriental.

    24. Missing avatar

      Matthew K Diehl on March 9, 2013

      @Gleb I'm specifically not trying to have a discussion with anyone because I want to enjoy whatever RTG puts out artistically, not some watered down over-collaborated rubbish.

      Look at the people who say, "Oh I upped my pledge because you changed this" - backers are as bad as publishers. RTG should not pander to people who are more interested in their own ideas than playing the game RTG wants to create.

    25. Missing avatar

      Lenka on March 9, 2013

      I agree with Eirys and Balgin. I guess what bothers me most about the changes to "old" Dreamfall Zoe is that her looks are subjected to European standards of beauty (as requested by many fans) while Zoe is (at least according to what Ragnar said earlier during the kickstarter) part Chinese. I thought the original Chapters model reflected that heritage much better than the updated version. I was fine with changing her face shape and polishing her skin tone but when her eyes were made bigger I just thought "ah I see where this is going". While I understand people's desire to see Dreamfall Zoe back I have to say that Zoe did not look Asian in the least, and I think I wasn't the only one who thought her to be white.
      Please don't just say she's biracial, make her look it. There has to be some middle ground here.
      Thanks so much for listening to our opinions. We all greatly appreciate it.

    26. Balgin Stondraeg on March 9, 2013

      I'm kind of with Eirys on this one. When first I saw the new face & head model in the early videos I found her quite likable. Not the same as the earlier version but this new one looked more human. More like a person you might actualy meet. I liked the cheekbones, the ajw, the facial proportions. Squeezing it in again to resemble the old model more closely does not seem like an improvement to me.

      I also noticed the absence of her nose stud although there seemed to be a mole in it's place so perhaps that's a marker for placing it later as it might interfere with tweaking the morph and it's probably easier to put it back later than to constantly keep moving it as her face changes shape.

      Hopefuly there'll be more revisions and tweaks to watch as time goes by but hey, the tweaked version doesn't look bad. Slightly less to my tastes but not unpleasant. I'm fairly confident that whatever the final Zoe looks like will please most people and that ought to be good enough for me :).

    27. Gleb on March 9, 2013

      @Matthew K Diehl, Good job condescendingly dismissing us without adding to the discussion.

    28. Ina on March 9, 2013

      Apparently I'm in the minority, but I don't like DFC-Zoë's new-old look at all. Sorry! (This is by no means supposed to be a criticism towards Christer, who seems to be a true master of his art!)

      Yes, she much more resembles Dreamfall-Zoë now, but that also means that she looks much more like a generic Barbie/real doll again, so streamlined that she almost seems artificial.
      (While watching the video, I was fine-ish with her transformation until the changes to her nose and mouth. That tipped it for me. But it might also be the new texture that makes her look too "smooth" now, I'm not sure. )

      I hope there can be a middle ground between Dreamfall-Zoë's old "perfect doll" look that a lot of people seem extremely attached to and her looking like an actual, real, unique human being with a personality. (Even though I fear that this current model already *is* the middle ground.)

      At least give us the nose stud back ;)

    29. Buemba on March 9, 2013

      Definitely grew to like the new character model, but I'm not going to complain about tweaking it to bring her closer to the old look (Though as mentioned in the video Dreamfall had a more cartoony look than Chapters, so I hope you don't sacrifice your artistic vision to appease backers).

      I do think the previous lips looked better, though.

    30. Tamas Bedleg on March 9, 2013

      Wow! Nice work. She looks much better now :)

    31. Missing avatar

      James on March 9, 2013

      Whoo, this is what I've been looking forward to, thanks a lot for listening to your fans RTG, I'll be upping my pledge later today :)

    32. Rasandes on March 9, 2013

      Great update and great work!! Dere er dyktige!

    33. Thalon on March 9, 2013

      She's a way better now if I have to say so...

    34. Christian Page on March 9, 2013

      @max
      the problum is that you are complaing about alot more
      the more polygons changes the shape of the face if you kept the same shape the new polygones ar useless
      and people complains about a nose ring but you think hair is ok to change?
      further skin tone is likly to change with time
      the old zoe was madewith limitations
      we should not obide to those same limitations now or else games would never evolve
      would you have been agenst all 3d games back in the day becuse it changed the way the charicter looked and changed thear faces look at old mario,samus,link,ect games they look nothing like they do now

      we are in a world that evloves and i think people need to get over thear hate of change because its tireing that every time i go on a forum to a game people are complaining about some change an update did or some change in a new game

      i have alot more respect to a devloper that stands ther ground and only makes changes they want
      and this is clearly done becuse of ranter
      and what did they get?
      a few minuts of pepole saying great fallowed by everyone else saying that it was not good enogh and they want more changes to be like old zoe

      they sacrficed the charicter they mad and the quality and effort they put into it to pleas about 3 people in the end

    35. Julien Lavoie on March 9, 2013

      Zoe is back!!!! Thank you, she is gorgeous <3

    36. Eve on March 9, 2013

      Woo! I can actually recognise her now! Brilliant tweak.

    37. Missing avatar

      ZetaWolf119 on March 9, 2013

      I have been enjoying these updates. Thank you so much, Red Thread. :)

      I feel that both iterations of the Zoe model development look fantastic. I hope you find a happy median between pleasing your fans and standing behind your artistic vision.

      The visuals for this adventure game have already surpassed my expectations. I think it's a testament to the skills and experience of your team. To my eyes, it looks as though Dreamfall Chapters has the potential to easily top the emotional impact of the digital acting in the Mass Effect series.

      I am glad to see that Kian Alvani is taking a bigger role this time around. I really enjoyed his brief story arch in the original Dreamfall. I can very much relate to his experience.

      By the way, this is the first kickstarter campaign I have ever backed and I'm thrilled that this game is being made!

    38. Missing avatar

      Mikael Hartwig-Karlsson on March 9, 2013

      Great update, loving the new new Zoë!

    39. Katherine Harlan on March 9, 2013

      Loved seeing the process that goes into how to create the faces. The realism is amazing!

    40. Missing avatar

      Remi Løvoll on March 9, 2013

      Is there any chanse of getting those wallpapers in the native resolution of my monitor 2560x1440. :)

    41. Matt Combes on March 9, 2013

      @Matthew K Diehl -- I don't think RTG has a problem standing their ground when it comes to decisions on what they want to do (or not do) with the game ... I think that was borne out with the kerfuffle over the outfits/hair/etc. If they thought their first take on Zoë was already the best one and didn't want to make any changes, then they would have left it that way. As it is, I think they heard those of us who wanted a more passing resemblance to the character we know, did their own contemplation, and agreed with us. As was stated in the update and the video, even the "new new" Zoë may not be the final design, and may be tweaked further according to their whims. So it still remains the game as RTG envisions it, and quite so.

    42. Max Hrabrov on March 9, 2013

      rrr, sorry, Kani = Kami!

    43. Max Hrabrov on March 9, 2013

      @Kani - there is a difference between modernizing a look (based on availability of new technology, or even for other reasons) and maintaining a likeness. I think what people are asking for is that the new Zoe look like the same person as the one we met in Dreamfall. She can have different make up, different hair, etc. etc. (and she can certainly have more polygons!!), but we have to be sure it's the same person - this is a sequel, after all. And I think that's what people are pointing out, not necessarily that they want the new Zoe to look EXACTLY the same as the old Zoe in every single aspect. Right now, the new Zoe looks like perhaps Zoe's sister, but not like Zoe herself. Not yet, anyway.

    44. Elaine Morgan on March 9, 2013

      Wow, when the new complexion was added it just was Zoe, instantly!

    45. bloodraven43 tormented Weresheep on March 9, 2013

      ID FIGURED ID RE-POST THIS HERE TO...oops caps

      @Hector Davila 2 minutes ago

      Out of curiosity, why can't the Longest Journey Home get its own kickstarter? Red Thread makes it sound like not reaching the 2mil will mean that home will not be their next project. I don't understand this.

      bloodraven43 answer ...its all about timing and its not the present....have patience....im just hoping RTG sends an email to all the backers here when it happens so we don't forget about THE LONGEST JOURNEY HOME.

    46. Max Hrabrov on March 9, 2013

      Definitely getting closer, though not quite there yet, in my opinion. The original Zoe was one of the most beautiful female faces in all of gaming, IMHO. In my mind, the key distinguishing features of her face were the shape and size of her eyes, and the shape of the overall oval of her face. You are getting closer on the eyes in this new model, but I think the face oval is still a bit off. Seems like the new Zoe's face narrows a bit too much around the mouth area compared to the old Zoe; it may be that the distance between the bottom lip and the chin in the new Zoe is a bit longer than in the original, giving the face a skinnier feeling. Hard to tell just looking at static pictures, of course, but keep working on it, and I am sure you will get it right in the end! Thanks for all the hard work and an interesting inside look at the process.

    47. Missing avatar

      Matthew K Diehl on March 9, 2013

      Very discouraged to hear you guys are already caving to your vocal echo chamber backers. Please keep in mind that many of us who don't want to spend all day at our computers being annoying on your forums are more interested in playing the game as RTG envisions it.

    48. Jose E. Diaz on March 9, 2013

      the new Zoe model indeed looks closer to the original one in dreamfall, but to be honest i was already liking the new one as well so maybe adding those two skins and allow us to changed it would be the best way to go

    49. Matt Combes on March 9, 2013

      YES! The new Zoe model is a much better representation of her, I think, than the first one. I wasn't sure at first as he was making the individual changes; it wasn't until he changed everything, including skin tone, and put it all together that I could finally look at it and say "yep, that's definitely Zoe". Great job!

    50. Missing avatar

      Kent Rheborg on March 9, 2013

      The new Zoë is beautiful... Thanks for listening to us!