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Sarah Hamilton needs our help

May 4, 2014 in The Cast

How to maintain a smile

What does it take for someone to be happy? It mostly depends on the person. Some people love having other people around them. Others prefer money and admiration. Some people’s happiness comes from making other people happy. But what if life gives you more reasons to be sad than to be happy? How would you still be able to smile? Why should you?

Happiness is…

Smiling, as small a gesture as it may seem, can have a huge impact on your surroundings. I’m not just talking about one smile, but seas of them, spread throughout your daily life. Smiling isn’t just the act or hoisting up those corners of your mouth. It’s an attitude. And although some people don’t seem to have a reason to smile, they do it anyway. Why? Because it makes them happy. Because they choose to be happy. That’s right; happiness is a choice. I am a firm believer in that. But it’s not always an easy one.

A Helping Hand

For almost every one of you reading this, The Longest Journey has brought you a lot of smiles. For some even more than others. A person who’s made a huge contribution to that for many of you is Sarah Hamilton. Her gorgeous portrayal of April Ryan played a huge part in how the story was perceived. But she wasn’t done giving smiles away after The Longest Journey.

Hamilton_Sarah_84_ret

Sarah has helped turn bleakness into joy for over a decade by getting involved with Statement Arts, a not-for-profit organization that believes in the power of art to inspire social and cultural change. You can read more about that on her Wiki-page, her website or the Statement Arts website. She also works as a life coach, which you can read about here. But now it’s Sarah’s turn to be helped.

The Short End

Since 2002 Sarah’s been camping with a number of medical problems. An excerpt from what she wrote about it:

“I was diagnosed in 2002 with Multiple Sclerosis, then 18 months later with Stage 2 Parotid (Salivary) Gland Cancer. [...] My back was subsequently operated on due to a completely extruded disc in 2010. In 2013 I slipped and fell on the ice and needed surgery in my hand due to a ruptured tendon. Also one of the main MS symptoms are many many migraines. At one point they were up to 25 a month.  Thankfully they are now down to about 10. All of this … has led to bills, some of which I am still paying off without rancor.” – Sarah Hamilton

And still she chose to keep on smiling. But even people as positive as Sarah aren’t invincible. On April 2nd of this year she had to go back to the hospital for back surgery.

“I spent 4 days in the hospital post surgery due to drainage tubes, IV’s and pain management that could not be medically supervised at home. I am now home and bills are coming in, which doesn’t allow for ease of healing due to stress. The stress of which has caused an MS relapse which has come in the form of severe vertigo. This doesn’t make movement easy, which is crucial to my healing. One doesn’t want to topple over after a back fusion, that’s not such a good idea…” – Sarah Hamilton

Giving Back

Sometimes it’s the helpers that need help. And Sarah’s ready to acknowledge that. She’s started a fund raising campaign on GoFundMe.com in the hope that people will lend her a helping hand with her immensely high medical bills.

If you feel like she’s helped bring joy to your life, or if you feel like helping a good person who’s in need, please visit her GoFundMe page, read her full story and donate something. Every dollar helps maintain not only the smile she’s projected onto the world, but also those that have and will be in the world as a consequence.

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Fan art competition winners!

March 21, 2013 in Fan Contributions, Red Thread Games

The winners of the recent fan art competition have finally been announced! Congratulations to them all!

Click here to have a look at all the winners.

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Fan art competition nominees!

March 12, 2013 in Dreamfall, Fan Contributions, Media, Red Thread Games, The Games, The Longest Journey

The nominees for Red Thread Games‘ official fan art competition are now online! Because many of the submissions were just too good to choose from, Red Thread decided to put them in four categories and put it up to a vote.

So go over to the website and vote for your favorite pieces in each category! Here are some of my favorites:

NTQUYNiSQbrohYaZ6OU9e
OW2bve6weB28mrGPOOWOY

m4s0n501
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Dreamfall Chapters: A Romance

March 11, 2013 in Articles, Dreamfall Chapters, Kickstarter, The Games, Thirteen Chapters articles

February 8th, 2013 – The Dreamfall Chapters Kickstarter campaign launches. And boy, does it get a lot of attention. People have had their eyes on the sequel to Dreamfall for quite some time now. Especially since its official announcement on November 1st.

On the first day of the Kickstarter, the attraction is clearly present. The fans don’t beat around the bush. We pledge around $350,000 (more than a third of the original goal of $850,000). Oh yes, there’s definitely chemistry present…

Teasing Dreamfall Chapters

Along with the launch of the Kickstarter page comes the Kickstarter video. It begins its smooth seduction by remembering old memories; playing familiar music and whispering things to us like “señorita” and “you’re unlike anyone I’ve ever met”. Then it moves on to a vision of a gorgeous and familiar face looking up at a sky full of birds. The video makes us feel safe an comfortable. And we’re enjoying it immensely.

zoe

New music starts playing. It sounds fresh and hopeful. It makes promises without even uttering a word. And we’re loving it…

Great promises continue to be made throughout the video. We hear everything we want to hear. We’ll revisit old places and experience new ones along the way, as we travel the worlds together. The team at Red Thread Games is extremely excited about this prospect. And so are we. By The Balance, are we excited. We all really want to make this “more than just a beautiful dream”…

Read the rest of this entry →

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The Evolution of Zoë Castillo

March 9, 2013 in Dreamfall Chapters, Media, Red Thread Games, The Games, Video

A lot of people have been saying that the Zoë model in the previous video’s and screenshots looks too different from how they remember the leading lady from Dreamfall. The team at Red Thread Games, especially art director Christer Sveen, hasn’t been ignoring these comments.

A video was just posted in which Christer shows the process of making Chapters Zoë look more like her original self. We’re still being told to keep in mind they’ll be tweaking the models more during the development of the game, but I have to say these changes already help quite a lot. Go and have a look for yourself!

YouTube Preview Image

Apostles, wallpapers and covers

In their most recent Kickstarter update, Red Thread also talked a little bit more about the recently announced second playable character Kian.

Kian’s role in Dreamfall Chapters will be significantly larger than it was in the previous game, and his part in the saga will soon become clear.
Red Thread Games

Also, they posted links to a new wallpaper called ‘Storytime’, gallery of Facebook and Google covers and – in case you missed it – the ‘Loremaster’ wallpaper. Get ‘em while they’re fresh and juicy!

TwitchTV live countdown broadcast

Don’t forget to tune in to Red Thread Games’ Twitch channel to join the countdown to the end of the Kickstarter!

We will be live from 0900 CET and onwards, and we’re bringing some special guests to the ‘studio’. Should be a fun time for all!
Red Thread Games

What do you guys reckon? Are we going to see (some) actor(s)? We’ll just have to wait and see for this mystery to unfold… ;)

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Last 24 hours for the Kickstarter

March 9, 2013 in Dreamfall Chapters, Kickstarter, The Games

We’re almost there, everyone. From the moment I’m writing this, it’ll only take about 24 hours before the Dreamfall Chapters Kickstarter ends. And what a ride it’s been. We’ve learned a lot about both the game and the people behind it. And, most importantly, we’ve made it possible for the game to even come out! But what’s amazing is that we’ve nearly achieved 8 stretch goals! Well done, everyone. Well done.

Kickstarter stretch goals

But we’re not there yet.The 8th stretch goal, The Director’s Cut, still needs about 150,000 to be achieved at this moment. With a little over 20,000 backers we have to be able to achieve that with little effort. If everyone of those 20,000 people pledges another $7 to $8, we’d be done. I’m not counting on literally everyone to do that though, so my advice is to up your pledges with a bit more than that. Personally, I’ve pledged another $60. Another thing to think about is to up your pledge a little now, keep watching the Kickstarter, and then up your pledge a bit more when the Kickstarter has a few hours left en still hasn’t gotten to the 1,5 million of The Director’s Cut stretch goal.

Not sure yet if you want to do that? Just look back at that wonderful trailer and the rest of the video’s (Kickstarter, prototype, introducing new players, Europolis Revealed, gameplay and 2nd playable character). And also watch this blooper video to see how much effort these guys put into all the videos. (beware of some F-words and light Dreamfall spoilers)

YouTube Preview Image

Throwing yourself in front of a camera isn’t always a picnic! But they did well and kept us up to date. I think they deserve a bit more talk-time by doing the commentary included in The Director’s Cut stretch goal.

Let’s go and help them with that!

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The Longest Silence

March 5, 2013 in Articles, Contests, Dreamfall Chapters, Interviews, Kickstarter, The Games

It’s been quite a while since my last update, and even more than quite a lot has happened. I’m not going to discuss everything in detail, but let’s start with a list of what happened:

And of course… the new trailer!

YouTube Preview Image

Let’s analyze this. Here are my thoughts:

  • At first I thought the voice we were hearing was Zoë‘s, but it resembles the White Dragon‘s voice much more. It’s more logical too, because the voice talks about Zoë in 3rd person.
  • The trailer starts on an image of some kind of vortex, which is later (1:55)  seen as part of the Storytime. This reminded me of the vortex April saw in the Dream Chamber. Could it be that it punched a hole in not only Arcadia and Stark, but also in the Storytime?
  • We can pretty much say with certainty that the vortex is new. It’s not far from the Vagabond‘s tree and the landscape was flat and quite calm in Dreamfall.
  • In the same shot (1:55) we can see some kind of dark creatures floating around the vortex. Is anyone else reminded of The Undreaming?
  • In the Marcuria shots, the tower looks a lot darker than it did in Dreamfall. This is probably connected to the events at the end of the game, just after the Dreamer was released in Stark.
  • Speaking about Stark, it seems like there’s some kind of oppression going on there too. Or is this just an isolated incident?
  • I always love the commercials and signs in Stark. Europolis (1:10): “Licence to Pill”! That’s punny :P
  • And.. oh yeah… Elgwan! Several! :D
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The Longest Journey OST: The Music of Stark and Arcadia

February 24, 2013 in Articles, Media, Music, The Games, The Longest Journey, Thirteen Chapters articles

>> WARNING: minor spoilers for The Longest Journey ahead! <<

The Longest Journey OST

I want to talk a little about The Longest Journey‘s original soundtrack (OST). One of the most important things that hooked me on the game, even from the first time I saw the trailer, was the music (composed by Bjørn Arve Lagim).

tlj_soundtrack_banner

For reference while reading this article, and also for a great musical experience, you can download the full soundtrack right here. Completely for free!

Read the rest of this entry →

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ONE MILLION DOLLARS!

February 22, 2013 in Dreamfall, Dreamfall Chapters, Kickstarter, Media, Red Thread Games, The Games, Video

A very big congratulations to the people at Red Thread Games for achieving the ONE MILLION DOLLAR mark on Kickstarter! Look at those happy people! The Longer Journey stretch goal has been achieved! To remind you what exactly that means:

At one million dollars, we expand the journey. We will add new characters, including Abnaxus of the Venar, and new locations, both in Stark and Arcadia. We add more exploration, more depth, more lore. More to see and more to do. Think of this as the extended edition of Dreamfall Chapters. We don’t alter the story or flow, but we open things up and allow players to delve deeper into the game world.
Red Thread Games

TwitchTV LIVE playthrough today!

Don’t forget to tune into the live playthrough of Dreamfall: The Longest Journey in a few hours! The times are as followed: 1800 CET / 1700 GMT / 12PM EST / 9AM PST / 4AM EDT (Sydney) / 0100 CST (Beijing) / 2100 MSK (Moscow).

Hope to see you there!

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Welcome to Europolis

February 22, 2013 in Concept Art, Dreamfall Chapters, Kickstarter, Media, Video

Red Thread Games released their biggest update as of yet: a video with in-game footage of the city-state Europolis, the dark heart of Europe. Read the entire update here, but go to YouTube for a higher resolution video. And don’t forget to Like and Favorite the video of course. We’ll want it to be noticed as much as possible :)

Click on the image below for a larger version of it.

Dreams of Europolis

Europolis may be called ‘the dark heard of Europe’, but there are lights aplenty. They mostly are bluish in color, but lights they remain! Take for example that ‘Sexperience!’ sign. It really brightens up the place!

Some of you might recognize the name on the left of the ’1001 DREAMS’ sign from the previous games: Seshadri Industries. It seems these manufacturers of the oh-so-helpful FACT machine are in the Dream business now.

But not only Seshadri Industries are selling Dreams. At 1:13 in the video, Bingo! (sole winner of the Soda Wars of 2159) sneaks in a short text commercial for their ‘Bingo! Dreams’ sale. Remember the good ol’ days, when they were just all about Classic Cola, Lemon, Lime, Lemon-Lime, Strawberry, Strawberry-Lime, Strawberry-Cola, and Cherry-Cola? I guess the Dream market has become quite an attractive one since the release of the Dreamer in 2219.

Stark: A Journey Back

It feels good to see this side of Stark again. Don’t get me wrong, I’d like to see some happier places like Casablanca too, but there’s a charm about these dark and dirty cities too. Looking at the concept art and the footage really takes me back to the streets of Newport. And those are some good memories…

Radio_Power_building

Mira & Wit

And lastly, let’s mention the two characters that appear on the screen while Art Director Christer Sveen says the words ‘seedy’ and ‘scumbag characters’: Mira and Wit.Their motto is “Your shady business, is our shady business”. What do you people think? Would we want to meet these characters or stay far, far away from them? Leave a comment below.