Ragnar’s Reddit AMA roundup
Yesterday, Ragnar Tørnquist was doing an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit. Here are the most interesting questions in my opinion. Starting with my three questions, because this is my site!
Q: In the Kickstarter video I noticed you’re re-using some of the Marcuria levels from Dreamfall as a basis. Is the plan to eventually connect them and combine them into one giant explorable area? If so, how much fun is (or will that be) that to do?
A: Yes, that’s the plan. And it’s beyond awesome.
Q: The Longest Journey introduced us to Newport. Dreamfall showed us Casablanca. Both served as a home, a kind of starting point for the main characters. Will there be a new city like this in Chapters? One that’s tied to one of the playable characters?
A: Yes. We are introducing a brand new city connected to one of the main characters, and you will see the first of that very, very soon.
Q: One of Dreamfall’s best moments for me was the first conversation between Kian and April. It was very interesting to see in both of the character’s minds and to decide how they responded to each other. Especially because they came from such different backgrounds. More of that in Chapters, please?
A: That was a fun scene to do! And we will certainly be experimenting with different story-telling and dialogue mechanics in Chapters.
Best 13 Questions (no real spoilers)
Q: Is this new game going back to the roots of TLJ or is it going to be more like dreamfall?
A: It’s going back to the roots, for sure. We love Dreamfall, of course, but we also feel that it may have lacked a bit of the magic of TLJ, so one of the things we want to get right with Chapters is just that: our roots. Point-and-click adventure gaming. The soul, heart and magic of TLJ.
Q: 10 hours for Dreamfall:Chapter is TOO SHORT! Please re-think this Ragnar. Your game can´t be long enough by the way
A: I know, we’d love for the game to be longer. It is simply a budget question. Longer means more money, so if the Kickstarter keeps doing as well as it’s doing now, the game will definitely be longer.
Q: How did you choose the cities in which to set your characters in the future (Newport, Casablanca, etc.)? Were the choices influenced by personal travel experiences to those places?
A: Good question! Newport was VERY influenced by years of living in the East Village in New York. It IS basically the East Village, a place I love dearly. As for Casablanca, I’ve never been there, but we wanted to build a new and shiny Africa, and it was also tied to a certain obscure, black-and-white movie. Marcuria is based on actual travel experience. Lovely place, great summers, nice people.
Q: You’ve said before that the guiding principle of Dreamfall was the concept of “faith”. April’s faith in the world, and all that. I’m curious, what’s the guiding theme in Dreamfall Chapters? Is it an extension of that?
A: Great question, because themes are SO important to us. Chapters is NOT about faith. Chapters is about…chapters. About the changes we go through in life, the ‘chapters’ of life. It’s about growing up, growing old, settling down, becoming who you need to be and accepting that. And it’s about embracing the idea of change AND embracing the finality of death.
I could write about this for hours. But I won’t! We’ll get back to this during the production of Chapters, though.
Thanks for this question!
Q: Wich city will the game action be in this time? Will it still be Casablanca or are we moving to another place this time?
A: We will only see a tiny, tiny bit of Casablance. We’re moving the action elsewhere. Marcuria’s in it, though. And we have two new cities!
Q: How finished would you say the areas in the released screenshots are? Will there be much tweaking to those before release, or do they represent the final result? They are spectacular, btw!
A: Not very finished at all. First pass only. They’ll be massively improved.
Q: Who is the real protagonist of the franchise, April or Zoë? I’ve always connected more with April, seeing as how she was first, and I really love her cynicism. But with Zoë getting the lead role in two games, you seem to favour her?
A: Trick question! For the saga, it’s April, definitely. For the Dreamer Cycle, it’s obviously Zoë. And then there is Kian. Ah, Kian…
Q: In the pitch video, you said Zoe saved April. But at the end of Dreamfall, I never really felt that was the case. Did I miss something?
A: Yes and no. It wasn’t obvious, even Zoë was confused about that, but it will become clear(er) in Chapters.
Q: At the concept looks like Zoe followed more the series style, why it was changed? To be easier to deal with 3D models (since 3D hairs are sometimes a problem)? To look more mature or something else?
A: The concept art and the 3D model are from two different points in the game, separated by months. Zoë will change during Chapters, she will look different and wear different clothes. She will also visit the hair salon!
Q: I’ve always wanted to know why you guys decided to portray the future so differently from The Longest Journey to Dreamfall? I mean, TLJ had a pretty dark and gloomy looking future. No colors or happy people, ferry crashes and fumes everywhere. Whilst in Dreamfall everything is Beautiful, colorful and everyone seems happy. Nothing seems bad at all. It might be because of the different places of course, but I always wondered if there was something more to it than that.
A: Yes! There is more to it than that, and in Chapters you’ll learn more about it. Also, Chapters will have some REALLY dark locations.
We’re actually revealing one of those, starting next week.
Q: Any chance for some non-linear storytelling in Dreamfall Chapters?
A: Yes and no. We will have a linear narrative, but we’ll have loads of non-linear spaces where things can be done in any order you want. We call those places ‘rooms’ (although they can be as big as a city) and you will be able to wander around and do things at your own pace. Explore, interact, talk to people, and experience the world and the story in a non-linear fashion. But the whole game and story are linear by default.
Q: You introduct lesbian relationship in TLJ years before it started to become common in computer games. Why did do decided to make such characters? And will we see more not-heterosexual characters in DC?
A: Because there are lots of gay and lesbian people, and why shouldn’t they be characters in games? It seemed only natural to me. And yes, Chapters will have gay characters, along with other equally normal people!
Q: How is making a 2D adventure game different from making a 3D one? What are the unique challenges? What assumptions were you forced to re-evaluate?
A: Very, very different. 2D is easier, in a lot of ways. I’d like to go back to 2D again. We have had discussions. There are ideas. TLJH.
Best 4 Slightly SPOILERY Questions
Q: Have you ever considered doing a level, where you could play as Crow? If so, why didn’t you follow this idea?
A: …yes. Play Chapters.
Q: Will Cortez be back?! And can Louis Aguirre voice him, if he is back? I miss Cortez.
A: Cortez WILL be back MAYBE! Aw, do you guys REALLY want spoilers? Cortez has an important role to play. He’s a huge part of the saga, and a big part of the Dreamer Cycle. Happy? I love him, the big lug.
Q: I just have one big cuestion that I’m not sure you can answer right now. Here it goes: there is a big revolution about who is Lady Alvane. Would that be revealed in Dreamfall chapters?
A: Yes! Maybe! Okay, yes, probably. But it’s not as clear cut as all that. So…yeah. Do you really want spoilers?
Q: If it doesn’t imply a spoiler, could you tell us whether the Maerum, Venar, Alatien, or Banda will be sighted in Dreamfall: Chapters? Along the same lines; will we get to visit any of the fantastic locations from TLJ, such as Alais or any underwater city beneath the Sea of Songs?
A: Um, let’s see… Maybe, probably, probably not, definitely yeeeee– or, y’know, maybe! (Some MIGHT be tied to stretch goals, too.) And: yes!