March development update (including news about Kickstarter rewards)
It’s been a couple of months since our last update — for various reasons we skipped a February Kickstarter update — but it’s certainly not for a lack of work being done on Dreamfall Chapters.
We are fast approaching our alpha deadline in late spring. This is when all features and systems will be in place, and the entire game will have received a 'first pass' on gameplay, art, story and dialogue. It’s a really tight milestone, there’s a lot to do still, but the team is highly motivated and working hard to get it all done. Which means there’s never enough time for everything else.
Despite hunkering down in the office, however, the team has been able to escape from time to time. What have they been up to? Here are a couple of recent highlights you may have missed:
Design director Martin Bruusgaard and creative director Ragnar Tørnquist were in Birmingham this past weekend for EGX Rezzed, where they demoed Dreamfall Chapters in front of an audience of several hundred passionate gamers.
You can check out their entire presentation here (including the world premiere of the teaser trailer for Draugen), but beware spoilers! If you don’t want to know what happens in the first twenty to thirty minutes of the game, you should probably resist clicking. We like to think this only whets the appetite for more, but we know that some of you prefer to see or hear as little as possible before the game releases, and we respect that.
(Note that we're planning on posting a YouTube walkthrough of the opening chapter of Dreamfall Chapters for our backers and fans — updated with extended developers’ commentary, and with proper voiced dialogue and sound — in case you want to wait for that instead.)
Team RTG also went to GDC — the Game Developers Conference — in San Francisco a couple of weeks ago, in order to meet and mingle with friends, fans and partners both new, established and potential.
We showed off the Friar’s Keep prison escape at the fantastic Humble Store party, spoke with several localisation partners about our plans for the different language versions of the game, did a couple of exclusive interviews (which you’ll most likely hear about very soon) and got nowhere near enough sleep.
Most importantly, Dag Scheve and Ragnar Tørnquist had dinner with some of our backers (two Socialites and one Guardian of the Balance!). We hear that a great time was had by all who attended, proving once more that ours are the loveliest and friendliest of fans.
Kickstarter rewards, an update!
In the ongoing saga (verging on comedy, or possibly tragedy) of those elusive T-shirts, we’re still working out those pesky logistics.
For various reasons — logistical and otherwise — the shirts are still stuck in cardboard boxes in Poland, but we’re inching ever closer to getting them out the (proverbial and actual) door. As soon as we do, we’ll let you know: hopefully it won’t be very long now.
We apologise yet again for the delay. If we’d known it would take this long, we…well, we’d still have produced the T-shirts, because they’re awesome. But we wouldn’t have promised any firm dates. Important lesson learned.
The short story collection Journeys: Birth — originally due, rather optimistically and unrealistically, in retrospect — at the end of 2013 is still being written. A few changes to the game’s story, affecting the backstory of a few of the characters, has delayed things. In the process, these stories have also grown from short short-stories into quite-a-bit-longer short-stories, something we should probably have foreseen. We're not good at keeping things very short.
Mind you, this is not a bad thing: the stories that make up Journeys: Birth will be both significant and comprehensive, providing a great deal of context and depth to Dreamfall Chapters and the saga as a whole. We don’t yet know exactly when these stories will be ready, but it will be well before release, in order to give our readers time to get through them before experiencing the game.
As for the wallpapers and forum avatars: what’s the hold-up? For the latter, we had to launch our new forum first and then work out how to distribute and implement the avatars — no small task, apparently. With the former, it’s been a question of time and priorities for our amazingly talented and constantly harassed and overworked concept artists. But with a bit of breathing space, they’ve finally able to put pen to (virtual) paper and create some really cool desktops. So it shouldn’t be long now.
We’re obviously a lot better at making games than getting the rewards ready on time (and when we do a Kickstarter for Draugen, we’ll definitely take this into account!) but we’re learning as we go and trying to do as much as we can with a too-tiny team.
And, for the most part, it’s working out — at least in terms of the game development.
Thanks again for all your patience, support and good will. We’ve said this before, but it’s really true, and we’ll keep saying it: we couldn’t do it without you.
As a small reward, here’s a new piece of concept art from the game — spoiler free! — hopefully whetting your appetite for the future.
(Who is Bip? Bip is important, is who. And he'll be a big part of Kian's quest. More than that we won't reveal yet, but you'll probably see a bit more of Bip before November.)
Thanks so much for reading, and we’ll be back again, sooner rather than later, with more updates, art and information about our progress and the development of the game.
Before we go, we wanted to highlight a couple of interesting Kickstarter campaigns, both with eleven days to go and both in need of some assistance.
First off, from our Norwegian friends at Snowcastle, there's Earthlock: Festival of Magic; a turned-based RPG with a very cool visual style and a really interesting setting and story. Definitely worth a look, particularly if you like your RPGs Japanese and colourful.
And from Spanish developers Fictiorama Studios, there's Dead Synchronicity; a 2D adventure game featuring "space-time distortions, a dystopian atmosphere... and a dark, bloodstained plot". It looks very cool and very original, and these guys need a big push to meet their $45,000 goal, so please help them out.
That's it for now. Have a great spring, everyone!
From all of your friends at RTG