Funcom has this week announced that its is developing a follow-up to The Longest Journey called Dreamfall, and that the game will be unveiled in detail at this year's E3 trade convention in Los Angeles. It should be out in time for Christmas 2005.
Set in the 23rd Century, Dreamfall stars a young lady who stumbles upon a conspiracy related to dreams, which could destroy the twin worlds of science and magic. Realising she's in over her head, she seeks assistance from none other than April Ryan, the heroine of The Longest Journey.
"We're making a game that can be enjoyed equally by fans of the first game and new players," says game director and writer Ragnar Třrnquist. "In 'Dreamfall', we are expanding the scope of the adventure genre to include action elements that will allow us to tell an even more involving, exciting, and surprising story."
Perhaps more interesting than the product announcement however - at least given that we know very little about Dreamfall - is the news that the game is being partially financed by a grant from the Norwegian Film Fund. This represents the first time the Norwegian government has actively endorsed videogame development.
Although the Norwegian Film Fund has been around since July 2001, when it was set up under the auspices of the Royal Ministry for Cultural Affairs, 2004 is the first year that videogame have counted as a medium entitled to grants, and Dreamfall seems to be the first beneficiary of the new arrangement.
Anybody interested in how games are funded would do well to add EG sister site GamesIndustry.biz to their bookmarks. Recent discussion on the subject includes a look at Fund4Games, which aims to "de-risk" the development side of games with its new funding model.