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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.

June development update

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Hello, backers!

Welcome to the first of several early summer updates. Today we have beta news, a very cool Zoë clothing update, and a teaser for what's coming later this month, so read on!

Book One goes beta

The Dreamfall Chapters team is currently toiling away on the next project milestone, due June 27th — the same day as our summer BBQ party (we will post pictures). Most of the team are taking a little bit of time off in July to recharge their batteries after a busy half-year, but before that we will be delivering our biggest milestone yet: Dreamfall's first beta.

A few words on how the game is structured:

Dreamfall Chapters is divided into thirteen chapters and five books. Each chapter is designed for a single gameplay session — much like an episode of a TV show — and each book is designed to have a beginning, middle and end; a story arc within the greater story arc.

Over the course of the past fifteen months, we've been working on the entire game, but as we transition into the beta phase, the team will focus on wrapping up, polishing, testing and bug fixing the game chapter by chapter and book by book, in chronological order.

On June 27th, Book One: Birth enters beta and will be gameplay and feature complete.

Book One contains the prologue, chapters one and two, and the first interlude. Birth (and rebirth) is the theme of this opening book, as both Zoë Castillo and Kian Alvane are reborn into the world: one awakes from a coma, the other escapes from prison.

(The interludes, by the way, are a closely guarded secret and will remain so until the game has been released — but they feature a brand new playable character, one that will answer old questions and add new mystery to the universe.)

Dreamfall Chapters initially had three books, not five. The game has expanded in length and scope; not because we’ve been adding content or new features, but because the story we plotted out over a year and a half ago demands it. If there’s one thing we won't compromise on, it’s the story.

With Book One going into beta in late June, we will soon turn our eyes to subsequent books — more on those in August — but before then we'll have more updates from the opening parts of the game.

Zoë Castillo revisited

Our protagonist Zoë Castillo has evolved quite a bit from how she looked in the original Dreamfall, to the character you see in the game today. Sixteen months on from the first 'new Zoë' we revealed in the Kickstarter, we are ready to pull the curtain on her final appearance in Dreamfall Chapters.

She’s still the girl-next-door we all know and love — albeit a bit shellshocked and traumatised from her experiences in the previous game — but the world (and game) around her has changed a fair bit. After the opening chapter, set in the Storytime dreamscape, we rejoin Zoë in Europolis: the cyberpunk mega-city that covers most of the European mainland from Amsterdam in the west to Warsaw in the east, from the Baltic sea to the Alps.

Zoë has a brand new life in Propast — a bohemian neighbourhood in what was once Prague — along with new friends, a new career...and new threads.

We’re very excited to reveal the final concepts for Zoë’s Europolis outfits!

There are two possible career paths in the game, shaped by a choice made early on. Depending on which path she's chosen, Zoë will start out wearing one of these two outfits.

Zoë won’t be wearing the same clothes through the entire game, of course. Subsequent chapters will see her dress both up and down, and we might even see the return of a certain classic outfit from the previous game in the saga.

Production has already begun on the final Zoë models, and we hope to reveal those at Gamescom in August.

Key art

Key art is the art of marketing campaigns and digital storefronts, including posters, banners, wallpapers and trailers.

For the past year, the key art we’ve used for Dreamfall Chapters has been early pre-production and work-in-progress art. Our graphic designer Christoffer Grav has been working tirelessly on the final key art, and we are almost ready for a grand reveal.

In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek at what’s coming.

On June 24th we will reveal the rest of it, including the box covers and several beautiful new wallpapers. We think you'll be very happy!

Among the Sleep

A few weeks ago, our good friends at Krillbite released their atmospheric, original and exciting first-person horror adventure Among the Sleep. If you haven't taken it for a spin yet, you definitely should! You can grab the game on Steam, from GOG and at the Humble Store.

It's a really impressive debut for a new studio, and we're lucky enough to have a couple of the Krillbite guys sitting in our little gaming collective here in Oslo — we can't wait to see what they're doing next!

Media coverage

In case you missed out on it last month, here's a reminder to check out Rock, Paper, Shotgun's hands-on previews of both Dreamfall Chapters and Draugen:

"The world has been designed to encourage exploration, through observation as well as conversation, and the writing is strong enough to reward the curious. Zoe has undergone something of a personality transplant and is pleasant to spend time with, while having just enough gaps in her motivations and opinions for the player to insert little pieces of themselves."

"With Draugen, Red Thread are taking on board the methods that other designers are using and looking for ways to add something new. It’s impossible to say whether the experiment will pay off but I’m glad that it’s taking place."

There's been a lot more media coverage of both games in the past month; check out our Facebook page for more links and follow us on Twitter for all the latest news.

Next time...

We will be back soon, and next time we're going to talk a little bit more about Europolis, one of the key locations in Book One. More specifically, we're going to talk about the politics of Europolis — something that will be an important part of Zoë's storyline.

Until then, we want to hear from you! Post your comments below, make your voice heard on Twitter and Facebook, and please join the conversation on the official forum, where the development team can provide their own insights and perspective.

May the Balance be with you!

Team Red Thread

Comments

    1. Creator Shaun Huang on June 23, 2014

      What's with all the nitty gritty criticisms on Zoe's look? It's the inside that counts.

    2. Creator Jordy Mol on June 20, 2014

      Whatever the job is that gives me the blue (and better looking) outfit, I'll take it. The red one, not so much. Also: for two different jobs the outfits are quite similar. ;)

      I love the political aspect (time to get some deeper lore on Stark), but I can understand that it is a semi-sensitive subject.

      Still, I am looking forward to seeing more. ;)

    3. Creator Feuertanz on June 18, 2014

      Awesome teaser for the upcoming Zoe art. I am looking forward for the rest of it!

    4. Creator sth128 on June 17, 2014

      A few questions:

      1. Will the books be released all at once or will the books be released one by one?

      2. Do backers receive all books or just some of them?

      3. Do decisions made in one chapter / book affect the rest? (this is merely to satisfy my curiosity, I have no preference one way or another)

    5. Creator AstralWanderer on June 17, 2014

      All those complaining about the size of Zoë's backside might want to replay the original Longest Journey - April Ryan's rear is mistaken for a solar eclipse at one point...

    6. Creator nagi on June 16, 2014

      Dreamfall Chapters going beta.... excuse me while I squeeee like a little girl.

      Ahm, where was I? Oh, Zoe's outfits: I love the green, the red is a bit too aggressive for me. Not by much, but maybe her somewhat-haunted/sleepless-looking eyes soften it.

      Love the key art, I hope we'll get it in a big enough resolution to custom print it for my room!

    7. Creator Helena on June 16, 2014

      I really like the concept art for Zoë's outfits - both of them - and the key art preview is looking promising. Bring on the beta!

    8. Creator Gavin Lambert - Tormented Dreamer on June 16, 2014

      I instantly have a theory as to the character in the interludes. I won't spoil it here though. :)

    9. Creator Libor - Dream Traveller on June 16, 2014

      Hi all. Thanks for the new update RTG. I sure believe you guys won't say no to summer vacation after all those busy months leading to the first beta :-) Good job!
      Very happy to hear you say stuff like "If there’s one thing we won't compromise on, it’s the story.".

      Also, wery happy to hear Prague mentioned :-) Like the name you chose for the neighbourhood where Zoë's living her new life - Propast is Czech word for abyss.

      BTW, liking the Zoë’s Europolis outfits quite a bit!
      As for Zoë’s butt, it's exactly that.. her butt, none of my business :-)

    10. Creator Topios on June 16, 2014

      While the outfits look okay, in the sense that I can live with the weird heels, that pose looks really uncomfortable. It seems like she's leaning back just to highlight her ass for no apparent reason. Giving her curves is perfectly fine, but I'd like it better if it was done in a way that didn't require twisting her body in ways that at best looks like she can't hold the pose without straining her back.

    11. Creator Andrew Blackledge on June 16, 2014

      Ahhh, you can't just give me a portion of the cover art and expect me to wait eight days for it! I'm probably going to cry when it's released. It looks so beautiful already!!! And Zoë's outfits look BADASS.

    12. Creator Red Thread Games on June 16, 2014

      Aidan: We won't be releasing any betas into the wild. Story-driven games don't typically do betas. Without any complex systems or multiplayer functionality to test, all you'd end up getting is a broken, unpolished experience. We'd rather have you wait a little longer and get the finished experience.

    13. Creator Red Thread Games on June 16, 2014

      While gaming is certainly in need of more realistic — and more varied — female proportions, keep in mind that the Zoë outfits above are concept art: 2D illustrations, not 3D renders. The final models might not look exactly like those illustrations.

    14. Creator Giorgos Chrysikopoulos - Dream Traveller on June 16, 2014

      [Disclaimer: a joking post follows!]
      @Konstantin: You know, between the nose stud, the hoop earings, and now the -obvious (wink!) - butt plastic surgery (how's that for an "explanation"?) , I think it's time we all realized what Zoe has been trying to "tell" us all this time: she's a apparently a "wild girl" (lol) and that's none of our business! And coming up next: a naughty tatoo!!!

    15. Creator Aidan Mowat {{Order of The Goat}} on June 16, 2014

      When and do we get a chance to play the beta?

    16. Creator Konstantin Senz on June 16, 2014

      Haha! Thanks guys. But could you tweek her butt a little be more slim. Zoe looks like pr0n-star. Didnt say I like it, but it will be a hard time to play her char (third person view, you know).
      Jokes aside, where can I sign in beta testing? Really want to help you guys to squash bugs, and make playtime seamless

    17. Creator Michael Hartmann on June 16, 2014

      This update needs a link to this video: http://youtu.be/_JphDdGV2TU

      I like Zoë's new look.

    18. Creator Maus on June 16, 2014

      Dat ass! I'm glad Zoë's got curves. Nice work RTG!

    19. Creator Jeremie Lariviere on June 16, 2014

      Thanks for the update!

    20. Creator Tina Bryntesen - Dream Traveller on June 16, 2014

      I think Zoë's curvy ass looks smashing.

    21. Creator Sergey Bessarab on June 16, 2014

      Like Zoe's new outfits, but don't like her new fat ass...

    22. Creator Stephan Vandenborn on June 16, 2014

      Hehe, that's one sexy jumpsuit she's wearing. What intreagues me is to try to figure out if we'll see all these changes from a fragmented perspective. I guess the books themself are a bit fragmented because some time will pass in between them. But it would be indeed interesting to see if you escape Kian from the prison, suddenly it jumps forward in Europolis whith Zoë already having that carreer, knowing that the last thing you did was jump her out of her coma.

      I also like the idea of the interludes, and return of some classic Zoë's outfits :)

      Well, it's getting boring to read I guess, Only "looking forwards" here; Also to the new artwork and milestone infos.

    23. Creator Marc L. Allen on June 16, 2014

      Cool!

      I hope the choice of Zoe's career doesn't radically change content. That is, as much as I love these games, I don't want to have to play them multiple times to get all the content.

    24. Creator Cyberbard | Shift Happens on June 16, 2014

      Exciting stuff! I really hope they can make the deadline, as this coming autumn and winter will be so bloody cosy! But hey - quality comes first; take your time RTG!

    25. Creator Tomimt on June 16, 2014

      Progress is always good. I'm so itching to get to play this. On the other note, I just finished playing The Longest Journey through again after a couple of years of absense. I had almost forgotten how nicely told story it is and how well it flows. It really is among one of the best traditional point-n-click adventures ever made. And despite I remembered mostly how to go through it, it still took me 18 hours to beat.

      Such a great game, just as Dreamfall is. Broad shoulders to stand on and I really, really want to see where you'll go with this.