With the Kickstarter for Dreamfall: Chapters putting on a very impressive showing, sitting at $715, 742 of its $850, 000 target as of writing, Dreamfall co-writer Dag Scheve took time from his busy schedule to answer a few questions about the Kickstarter and the upcoming game.
GameGrin: With something as long-awaited as Dreamfall Chapters, was there any worry about fan response when the time came to announce the Kickstarter?
Dag Scheve: Some, of course. We know we have awesome fans, but it is still an old series. The last game came out over six years ago, so we were all anxious to see if there was still an interest in reviving the series. One worry we had was also that some of our fans may not follow gaming news much anymore, and we were talking a lot about how we could reach them.
That said, we are incredibly grateful for the fantastic support of the campaign no far. Not in our wildest dreams did we imagine such a response in the first few days. As I said, we knew we had awesome fans, but not this awesome.
GG: What made you decide to go back to the point and click route, and will Chapters be a traditional point and click adventure, like The Longest Journey, or will it be a hybrid such as, for example, Broken Sword 4?
DS: We talked a lot about what the strengths of the previous games were, where we got it right with Dreamfall and where we got it wrong. We felt that maybe we had lost a bit of the magic and wonder of TLJ and we wanted to recapture that. The direct interaction with the world you get through point and click is very tangible, it’s almost like an extension of your hand and that feels very good. But we liked the 3D environments, the option of moving around the world with freedom, so in Chapters we’re going to try and combine the two.
The interface and controls in Dreamfall were also built around new gameplay elements such as combat and stealth. I think we saw that it didn’t work as well as we had hoped and we won’t do that in Chapters, so that also made it easier to revert to a point and click set-up.
GG: Will Chapters finish the story completely, or will this set us up for another sequel?
DS: Chapters will finish what we call the Dreamer Cycle, the story we started in Dreamfall, the story about Zoë Castillo. But that doesn’t mean we won’t make more games in the saga.
Success with the Kickstarter and with Chapters in general will certainly make it more likely that we can continue making games in the TLJ Universe.
GG: On the subject of a potential sequel, would Red Thread consider going through Kickstarter again, given the enormous support you have got so far by the community?
DS: It’s always hard to speak hypothetically and we have no idea what Kickstarter will look like a couple of years from now. We don’t even know what the industry will look like a few years from now. And for now we’re completely focused on Chapters, so I don't want to speculate too much about future projects.
GG: When the game is officially released, will boxed copies/special editions be available to those who perhaps can't afford to pledge the currently required amount through Kickstarter?
DS: That’s too early to say. There are so many factors involved. We will know more about this when we’re further into development and closer to launch.
GG: Will Leon Willet be returning for the games musical scores?
DS: I’m afraid we can’t say anything about that right now.
GG: Speaking of returns, will Ellie Conrad be reprising the role of Zoe?
DS: Ellie’s moved to Australia, and that might pose some logistical problems. We would love to get her back, however, and will work to find a way to make it happen.
GG: With two such wildly popular protagonists in Zoe and April, who is the teams overall favourite leading lady?
DS: That’s like asking which of your children you prefer. No sane parent would ever answer that question with anything other than “We love them both equally.”
GG: Speaking of those two, will we ever see a return of April as a sole main character, perhaps through a prequel?
DS: Not going to promise anything, but it’s certainly something we’d love to do.
GG: Without the pressures of a publisher looming over you, how much easier is it to develop the kind of game you want to? Is it easier given the freedom, or has the freedom lead to some less-than-great ideas?
DS: The reason we created the company and put the project on Kickstarter was because we believe this is the best way to go to get the project realised the way we want it. And the best thing with Kickstarter is that we get to interact and cooperate with the fans early in the project. That way it’s not only going to be the game we want, but hopefully the game the fans want as well.
GG: Bonus question! Perhaps the most important question of them all: will Crow be returning?
Dreamfall: Chapters’ Kickstarter currently has 24 days to go, and looks set to smash its intended target. With successful funding, Red Thread Games are looking to release the game in November 2014. Be sure to visit the Kickstarter page: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/redthread/dreamfall-chapters-the-longest-journey