Dreamfall Chapters Turns into an Episodic Game
The continuation of the brilliant and complex tale told by The Longest Journey and its sequel will be coming in the form of Dreamfall Chapters, and it’s a game creative director Ragnar Tørnquist had promised would be a long, story-driven title for the PC and Mac.
Tørnquist wasn’t quite a fan of the idea of turning Dreamfall into an episodic title like those form Telltale, with his explanation being that Dreamfall would be a meaty game that wraps up and concludes the entire plot – something the limited but dedicated followers of the series hav been waiting for.
However, things change, and Dreamfall’s fate as a single game is no different. Ragnar has announced through a Kickstarter update that Dreamfall Chapters will be adapting an episodic form instead of the initially promised “one big meaty game”. Tørnquist explains it in the following manner:
“The creative process is unpredictable, however, and the story we’re telling has turned out to be bigger and more ambitious than first envisioned. 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 to the episodic format.”
The game will be split into 5 Episodes in the form of “Books”, of which the first – Dreamfall Chapters Book One: Reborn – will be released in fall sometime before November for the PC. If you’ve paid for the game on Kickstarter, you’ll gain access to all five of the episodes as they are released.
The depth of the game, along with the characters and complexity of the plot are the primary reasons the developer’s hand was forced to head back to the chalk-board and reconstruct the narrative framework of the game. Of course, the finishing aspect is also a factor that needed to be considered, as rightly pointed out:
We could have made deep cuts, removed a lot of the characters, story-lines and locations — but we would have ended up with a different game than the one that’s played inside our heads for the better part of a decade, a different game than the one we’ve promised our backers. We would have lost much of the magic and narrative depth. And we would’ve still had to delay our release into next year.
We’ve also realised that while, as a small studio, we are capable of producing a massively ambitious game like Dreamfall Chapters, we’re not satisfied with our ability to properly finish, polish and bug fix the whole game in one go. The amount of work that goes into every chapter of every book is enormous, and we do not want to compromise on the quality of our game and our story.
Personally, as a long-term The Longest Journey follower who was aching for an explanation and continuation following the disastrous ending of Dreamfall, it matters little to me if the game comes in an episodic form as long as it is as enticing and rich as the first two games were.