Red Thread breaks Dreamfall Chapters into episodes

It was getting unwieldy as a whole.

When creative director Ragnar Tørnquist said "no episodic gaming" in an interview leading up to Dreamfall Chapters' to-be-successful Kickstarter campaign, he meant it.

His explanation at the time was: "The nature of Dreamfall Chapters and the nature of the story means that we really want to have one big meaty game with a full story with a full conclusion that wraps up everything everybody has been waiting for."

But things change.

Now, Dreamfall Chapters will be episodic, Tørnquist announced in a Kickstarter update.

"The creative process is unpredictable, and the story we're telling has turned out to be bigger and more ambitious than first envisioned," Tørnquist wrote. "We're not on track to meet the release date we estimated a year-and-a-half-ago, and we've had to take a long, hard look at our schedule and budget.

"After much internal debate and careful consideration, we've decided to return [it was the original plan many years ago] to the episodic format."

There will be five episodes in total and the first - Dreamfall Chapters Book One: Reborn - will be released this autumn, before November, on PC (Windows/Linux) and Mac.

Those who paid for Dreamfall Chapters as one game, during the crowd-funding phase, will get the entire series for free as you'd expect.

There's no release date for Book Two but Tørnquist vowed to keep the wait "as brief as possible". Book Two is "already in alpha", he wrote, and Book Three "isn't far behind".

Tørnquist apologised sincerely for not delivering what the studio at first promised, but outlined 'why' the studio had come to the decision. It was a case of either scaling back what Red Thread wanted to achieve, and not being happy with it, or breaking it into pieces - and the game was already designed in five chapters. By breaking it into pieces "several hours long", and with beginnings and ends, the team can still deliver you a Dreamfall experience this autumn with the quality and "magic" you expect.

What's more, the income generated by Book One will go into improving Book Two and so on - as will your feedback. The whole may take longer to be completed but will be "bigger, longer, more ambitious and more polished game" as a result.

Bringing a publisher on board wasn't an option Red Thread wanted to take.

Tørnquist said Draugen - the spooky adventure game Red Thread is also making - wasn't drastically affected by any of this. The two projects don't share any resources and Draugen is still in pre-production, he said, aiming at release next year. But naturally Dreamfall's elongated episodic development should be expected to have at least some knock-on effect at such a small studio.

There are still plans for a point-and-click The Longest Journey Home game too, and for pre-production to begin in the second-half of 2015.

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About the author

Robert Purchese

Robert Purchese

Senior Staff Writer  |  Clert

Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.


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