Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
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

50 likes

Greetings, fellow travellers!

December is upon us like a wet and cold blanket. The constant drone of Christmas music and the scent of gingerbread biscuits and clementines — it's a Norwegian thing — fill the hallways and offices of Red Thread Games, as the team lingers longer and longer into the lengthening nights to wrap things up before the church bells chime and we stumble, exhausted, into the holidays.

The days may be getting progressively darker, but we have some updates today that will hopefully make this particular day a tiny bit brighter.

JourneyCon 2013

A big, huge THANK YOU to everyone who attended this year's inaugural JourneyCon! On Saturday, November 23rd, fans from seventeen (!) different countries congregated in Oslo for a full day of talks and presentations, and a chance to party with fellow fans and the development team.

We had a packed house and schedule — both at the con and at the awesome party — and team Red Thread was kept busy, but it was worth it: we had a blast! It was a real honour to meet and interact with so many passionate supporters from all corners of the world, and to be able to share brand new footage from the game with a roomful of engaged and enthusiastic fans.

We will of course be sharing everything we showed at JourneyCon with our backers in the weeks and months ahead, so even if you weren't able to make it to Oslo, you won't miss out on anything — aside from the unique opportunity to chat and socialise with fellow fans from Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Romania, England, Scotland, Germany, Spain, Russia, France, the United States, and many more countries.

For a chance to live vicariously through the eyes of others, here are just a few of our favourite photos from the event. Check out our Facebook page for more pictures:

Head on over to our Facebook page for a lot more pictures from the event! (And credit goes to our buddy and team-member-for-the-day Dan Olthen for the awesome photographs.)

Just after the event itself, we sent out a survey to all attendees asking for their feedback. An amazing 100% of respondents said they would "most likely" or "definitely" attend JourneyCon again. We couldn't have hoped for a better response.

So will there be a JourneyCon 2014? Nothing has been decided yet, but we certainly hope so. We will gauge interest again early next year, so stay tuned for a chance to decide the ifs and whens and wheres of next year's event!

Dreamfall Chapters pre-alpha

On Friday December 6th, we reached our long-in-the-planning pre-alpha milestone. This was a big milestone — our biggest so far — and we weren't even sure it was realistic meeting all the goals prior to Christmas. But the team pulled it off, and we now have a large chunk of the game ready for internal testing.

Our definition of pre-alpha means that almost three quarters of the game is in a playable state, with most of the core features in place, along with final, in-progress or white-boxed versions of all the scenes.

White-boxing means that our artists use simple shapes or untextured geometry to represent buildings and items in the game world. Using these unfinished scenes, our designers can script the gameplay without having to wait for the artists to complete their work. The purpose of white-boxing is to get each level of the game to a playable state as quickly as possible, without worrying about aesthetics or graphical details.

Here is what one of our white-boxed locations currently looks like:

Even though we can now play through the game from the title screen and all the way through chapter nine — of thirteen — that doesn't mean we're close to the finish line quite yet. The gameplay is very rudimentary; you can get from start to finish if you know what to do and how to do it, but there are no alternative paths, no support or feedback for doing the wrong thing, and no signposting. It's a loose framework, a foundation to build on, but not particularly fun to play for anyone outside the development team. You need to have a lot of imagination to see through the rickety framework, and, without proper dialogues, you need to know the story in detail to understand what's going on.

The upside is that we can really see the game taking shape. We can walk around and experience the (white-boxed) worlds. We can poke and prod and get a sense of scope and size and ambition. We can assess the gameplay and narrative flow, the puzzles and pacing, and we can finish the writing and begin recording the final dialogue.

It is all that a pre-alpha needs to be, and we're very, very happy with it.

As for chapters ten through thirteen, we plan to have those in place by our alpha milestone in 'spring' 2014. After that we will focus on getting all the final assets into place for beta, hopefully in late summer. And post-beta leading up to release is when the polishing and tweaking and bug fixing takes place.

Of course, some polish is already being applied, along with final (and very, very pretty) assets for characters, locations, animations, effects — even some dialogues, although those are often the last to be finalised, due to constant story tweaks and changes.

The player driven choices in particular are creating many narrative challenges that we need to sit down and play to uncover, something that's relatively new to us. One conversation in particular that we looked at last week is directly affected by over a dozen different decisions and consequences, which means that until the gameplay is properly in place, it's hard to decide on all the words.

On the positive side, however, these player choices — our 'Decision Points' — are becoming so central to the game's narrative that players will really feel it's their story. And that's exactly what we've been aiming for.

New art

We always like to share something new from the art team in our Kickstarter updates, and today is no different.

Here's a piece of concept art from a location many of you will recognise, one you'll visit early on in Dreamfall Chapters: Zoë Castillo's hospital room in Casablanca.

Zoë, our heroine, begins the game in a coma, having been drugged by a woman named Helena Chang at the end of Dreamfall. The first hour of Chapters is all about Zoë escaping this comatose state and reemerging into the world. To be born again. To start a new life.

This image also contains the subtle revelation of Zoë's hitherto unknown middle name. Can you spot it?

In case you missed it when we posted the art to our official Dreamfall Chapters Facebook page last month, here's a look at another scene from the first thirty minutes of the story:

What exactly is going on? Feel free to theorise, though you'll have to wait another year to find out if you're right!

T-shirts

Our monthly T-shirt update is here, and after almost half a year of searching, we have finally found a factory that meets our ridiculously high quality goals.

If you haven't done so yet, please log into your BackerKit account to choose your T-shirt size as soon as possible. For reference, here is the sizing chart:

If you ordered a T-shirt, either as part of your reward tier or as an add-on, please consult the above chart and make sure you're happy with your selection. We will lock down your order this coming Sunday.

If you pledged for any tier of $1,000 and up, you are entitled to one or more free T-shirts. Please log into your BackerKit account and make sure you have selected the style and size you want.

If you want to make changes to your selection, please log into your BackerKit account at https://dreamfall.backerkit.com

If you have any trouble changing your selection, please shoot us a message at backers@redthreadgames.com, and we will do our best to help you.

We are ready to begin production on the shirts, so as soon as backers have confirmed their sizes, we will start shipping them out. The shirts should arrive at some point in January.

The Red Thread Yuletide Game Jam

With the team having met their Christmas pre-alpha milestone, we’ve given them a tiny bit of a breather from Dreamfall Chapters in order to work on something completely different.

It can be good to get some distance and perspective when you’re neck deep in a project, and we firmly believe that the brief time away from the constant deadline pressures of Chapters will end up benefitting both the project and the team.

So what are the team jamming on? We won’t tell you yet, but we hope to have something ready before Christmas — and if we're happy with the result, we'll share more at some point next year.

Wrapping up

That's it for this update — but it won't be the last you'll hear from us before Christmas. Next Monday we'll have a little surprise and a Christmas greeting from the Dreamfall Chapters team.

Until then!

Team RTG

Follow Dreamfall Chapters on Facebook!

Questions? Comments? The latest news & updates? You can find Red Thread Games on both Facebook and Twitter!

Adam Wendt, Dieithrio, and 48 more people like this update.

Comments

Only backers can post comments. Log In
    1. Roy Sieh - Dream Traveler on

      I love how, if you're a guy, and your hips measure either 97-99 cm, 105-107 cm, 113-115 cm or 121-123 cm, you're pretty much royally screwed.

    2. Tina Bryntesen - Dream Traveller on

      AstralWanderer: You should check out this thread on the forums, which was created for the exact purpose of collecting the information shared on twitter (and facebook), going back to April :)
      http://www.theundreaming.com/showthread.php…

    3. Missing avatar

      Kardn on

      About Spoilers. One major spoiler was released right at the start. We are going to play as Zoe. So something is going to happen to her current state (undreaming and hospital).

    4. Red Thread Games Creator on

      AstralWanderer: Thanks for commenting! We try to cross-post as much as possible in all channels. Backers get all the best (along with all the rest) in Kickstarter updates. Sometimes we'll put something out on Facebook or Twitter or our website first, but be assured that we'll notify all of our backers when we do!

    5. Missing avatar

      AstralWanderer on

      "In case you missed it when we posted the art to our official Dreamfall Chapters Facebook page last month..."
      Please don't limit information to Facebook only as that excludes those who want nothing to do with FB. Linking to a blog (or forum thread) with spoiler warnings as appropriate would be fairer to all backers.

    6. Russell Deitch on

      @Nikolai, the answer such as it is is on the Home page in the FAQ. Not yet.

    7. Tomimt on

      @reiko it's pretty clear lettering IMO, but if you cant read it I'll give a hint: everyone's favourite end of the world indians.

    8. Pyragor on

      @Reiko : spoiler. Don't read if you don't want to know.
      Her name is beyond this point : Maya.
      End of spoiler alert.

    9. Missing avatar

      Reiko Yukawa on

      I can see exactly where Zoe's name is in the picture, but I just can't read it because the letters are oddly-shaped and it isn't clear enough for me. Will the name be posted in a future update?

    10. Missing avatar

      VkBest on

      Will this game run on a rMBP (650m) for mac? I saw several videos some developers are using this laptop.

    11. Nikolay Kozloff on

      i apologise for the question - i'm shure this matter was mentioned before - but i simply don't know where to look for the answer. i've purchased 25$ at the begining of the compain. is it possible for me to get the wii U version of the game?

    12. Missing avatar

      Jeremy on

      So replay Dream fall near the end of summer is the message I got. Look forward to seeing more as it develops

    13. Andrew Snyder on

      I may be in the minority with this opinion, but I prefer having more information, hints, teases, previews, news articles, and sneak peeks, since I know RTG will be good about keeping the big mysteries behind the curtain. I really, really like speculation, and I get a lot of pleasure in finding out whether or not the guesses I and others made are right (or anywhere close to right). Back on the Black House forums, one of the folks figured out Kian's last name from an initial on a piece of concept art. It was extra-cool to see that speculation pay off when playing the game.

      Having spoiler-warnings--or maybe posting teases and concept art in discrete threads on the forums, instead of here on Kickstarter--is fine by me, though. I'll just be spending a lot of time trying to decipher whatever crumbs RTG throws. :)

    14. Michael Hartmann
      Superbacker
      on

      Regarding spoilers: I would like to know as little as possible about the story before I play it. Of course, you are right that it is very hard to say something about the game without any spoilers. I don't think this update gave much away, but you should probably indicate potential spoilers in future updates. That will give us a choice to avoid the spoilers.

    15. Jamie Dutton on

      Omg this is so exciting or maybe it's all the caffeine, lol! I so cannot wait to wear my t-shirt proudly!

    16. Missing avatar

      Thor Kobberrød Husby on

      Hey! The carpet in the hospital room! My parents got one just like that!

    17. Philip on

      Regarding spoilers: To me, Double Fines Adventure (and other games I've backed) are games I look forward to playing and having fun with. No less and no more. So I don't really mind knowing details or scene of the story, though I tend to stay away from major spoilers.

      DF:C, on the other hand, is the continuation of a story that I've loved playing (and that I've been waiting for for quite some time). So for this one, I'd like to start the game with very little knowledge in order to let it surprise me :-)

      While replaying a good game or re-reading a good book is always fun, nothing beats the first time when you discover the different places, story-arcs and characters! The second time, I still enjoy the story and look forward to some scenes/chapters, but the sense of discovery isn't there any more (at least not comparable to the first time).

      So for DF:C, I'm with the "no spoilers" people. For the update above, just setting the "new art" section into spoilers would be perfect. I don't know if I could resist, but I could try... and yes, I understand the dilemma between "giving fresh updates" and "not spoiling". Just wanted to give my two cents!

    18. Daniel J Day | Unreal World on

      Great update, glad you've finally got the T-Shirts sorted ;p
      always interested in hearing how games are put together (white box world lol)
      the art has a nice mystery vibe, can't wait! keep it up!

    19. Red Thread Games Creator on

      Jelena: We are still beta testing our new forums, and the badges will come soon after that. It's all happening, slowly but surely!

    20. Missing avatar

      mnanonymous on

      Just a quick thing: It would be nice to credit the artists when posting art. It's almost never done with game art, which I think is a pity, and it would be lovely to strive to be better than that. At least the second image is signed with what I think is Christer Sveen's (http://www.christersveen.com/) signature.

    21. Missing avatar

      Jelena Palalić on

      Nothing like a sweet long update from RTG gang before the holidays!:) Thanks! I was wondering if there are any news about our forum badges? Hopefully that's the Monday surprise;)

    22. Justin Lowmaster on

      Made the second art picture the background on my tablet. Perfect size for it!

    23. Red Thread Games Creator on

      Pirateguybrush: Then you will definitely need to stay away from all future trailers, in-game videos, screenshots and concepts as well. Some of the story *will* get revealed as we show more of the game. I don't think it's practical to spoiler-warn everything we release. But point taken, consider this a spoiler warning for future content reveals!

    24. Christian on

      Which poor soul *doesn't* eat clementines during the holidays?

    25. Pyragor on

      In France, we eat them too. And I wouldn't by any means compare France's cold weather with Canada or Norway's ones.

    26. Colin J. MacDougall on

      We also eat clementines at Christmas-time in Canada. Maybe it's something to do with cold weather?

    27. Pirateguybrush on

      I have to agree with Ilan, as much as I'd love new information I plan to avoid previews and reviews before playing, and that did feel like a bit of a spoiler. Perhaps even information from the start of the game could come with a simple spoiler tag in future?

    28. Pyragor on

      And please, DO MAKE a new JourneyCon. I couldn't come to the previous, but I won't miss the next one, no way !

    29. Pyragor on

      Subtle hey ?
      I know, I know, irony is not my major...

    30. Red Thread Games Creator on

      Ilan: While in general we do agree with the spoiler thing, the above-mentioned events happen within the first couple of minutes of starting the game, and will most likely be spoken about numerous times before the game's launch. Our philosophy in regards to the story is that if it occurs in the first hour, it's not a major spoiler and we can talk about it. Otherwise it will be really hard to say *anything* at all about the game.

    31. Missing avatar

      Pazuzu on

      Info about how the game starts and so on (along with other things) are typical spoilers and you really need to start marking such info with *SPOILER ALERT* from now on. Personally I don't want to know ANYTHING before I get to play it. I want to be 110% surprised and explore everything myself thanks. God jul!