Durham, USA – November 1st, 2012 – Funcom is excited to announce that ‘Dreamfall Chapters’, the long-awaited sequel to the award-winning adventure title ‘Dreamfall: The Longest Journey’, has gone into pre-production at Red Thread Games, a new studio founded by Ragnar Tørnquist, creator of ‘The Longest Journey’ saga.
Red Thread Games has licensed the rights to ‘The Longest Journey’ universe from Funcom, and Mr. Tørnquist will spearhead development of ‘Dreamfall Chapters’, while continuing in an advisory role as Creative Director on Funcom’s recently launched modern-day massively multiplayer online game ‘The Secret World’.
Last month Joel Bylos stepped into the position as Game Director on the myths, legends and conspiracy themed online game, allowing Mr. Tørnquist to devote more of his time to ‘Dreamfall Chapters’, which recently entered pre-production.
Red Thread Games will independently fund and produce the sequel to ‘Dreamfall’, and has entered into a revenue sharing agreement with Funcom as part of the licensing deal. Funcom owns the intellectual property rights for ‘The Longest Journey’, but due to the company’s focus on and commitment to the development of online games, the decision was made to license the rights to Mr. Tørnquist and his new development studio. The close working relationship between Funcom and Mr. Tørnquist will allow him to continue on as Creative Director of Funcom’s ‘The Secret World’, in parallel with putting together a team to develop ‘Dreamfall Chapters’.
“I’m very excited to finally have the opportunity to continue the ‘The Longest Journey’ saga,” says Ragnar Tørnquist. “Ever since we ended ‘Dreamfall’ on a nail-biting cliffhanger, players have been rightfully demanding a sequel, and my deal with Funcom will finally make that possible. I’m extremely grateful to Funcom for this unique and exciting opportunity, and I can’t wait to dive back into the universe I helped create more than a decade ago, and continue the story players have been waiting for these past six years."
Red Thread Games will release more details about ‘Dreamfall Chapters’ in the coming months.
‘The Secret World’ is developed by Funcom and co-published by EA Partners, a division of Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA). For more information about the game please visit www.thesecretworld.com. Media assets can be found at ftp.funcom.com/press.
‘Dreamfall Chapters’ will be developed by Red Thread Games, under license from Funcom.
I never did play Dreamfall. I was a huge fan of the first game, but missed the launch window where everyone else was playing Dreamfall. Once you miss that initial excitement period, it’s always tough to get into it later when the game is one of many in a huge backlog. I mean, which game would you give priority to in a backlog? Mask of the Betrayer? Torment? Baldur’s Gate 2? Dreamfall? Fallout: New Vegas? This year it’s going to be New Vegas. Next year maybe Torment. I think I’ll tentatively pencil in Dreamfall for 2015.
At this point, because of the cliffhanger, wait for Chapters to start coming out.
Also: fuck yes. I was afraid that The Secret World and/or TSW’s rather limp reception would prevent Tornquist from taking on Dreamfall Chapters as he’d originally talked about doing. I mean, I love TSW, but it’s not a continuance of that story or world(s).
I was always a little bitter that they left that brutal cliffhanger ending to Dreamfall dangling to go off making a doomed MMO (poor Secret World). Very happy they’re going back. TLJ is a P&C classic and Dreamfall is kind of an underrated gem in many ways.
RPS: Before we move on to talking about the game, I was wondering about budgets. You may not have figures, but do you know the difference between the budget you’re aiming for here and the budget for the previous games?
Tørnquist: I actually just did a calculation on that earlier today. These are not super exact numbers because I don’t remember and don’t have the spreadsheets. But I think Dreamfall cost between 5 and 6 million dollars, and Longest Journey cost about half of that. Maybe a little bit more. We’re asking for $850,000 on Kickstarter but that’s not the entire budget for the game. We put our own money into it and we’re getting some government grants and some other sources of money. They are completely unrelated to publishers – being a socialist country helps us out quite a bit – but there are lots of ways for us to get a little bit of money here and there. It’s over a million dollars but definitely not close to the budget of Dreamfall.
The reason for that is not that we were wasteful. The first thing is that we’re using a well established and very good engine now – Unity. On Dreamfall we did have a licensed engine but it was shit and we had to do everything in order to make it work.
I loved TLJ on PC, then got Dreamfall for Xbox which was not quite as good (UI stuff mostly), even on PC it still had the issues that the console version had introduced (‘dumbing-down’ etc).
They use the word ‘no compromises’ a lot in the pitch, and i think i know what they are referring too, so that gives me hope this will be a return to the pure adventure and story-telling of the first game, and less the issues that started to creep into the second game. So yeah i’m in, a great adventure series.
If TLJ3 has to have combat (and I don’t see why it should), I’d greatly appreciate something less clunky than TLJ2. IMO the only thing combat did for TLJ2, was making the already painful controls even more painful.
The upcoming title follows a different art style than its predecessors which will reflect a particular narrative and thematic evolution in the game, he says. Its mechanics and combat, however, are an improvement upon what was previously seen in Dreamfall.
“A lot of the combat [in Dreamfall] was awful,” says Tornquist. “That’s gone. I think the focus field was a misfire. It was supposed to supplant the cursor, but it didn’t work very well. It also wasn’t used much, which I guess was a good thing. In general, I wasn’t happy with the controls in Dreamfall. It felt clunky, particularly on the PC. That’s something we’re fixing. With Chapters, we’re doing something a lot more intuitive. The current prototype already feels a lot better. The first time I sat down to play it, I knew we were on the right path.”