Thursday 10 August 2006
With its ambitious virtual world populated with a fascinating cast of characters and unique vision of videogame storytelling, Dreamfall: The Longest Journey is a rare adventure game gem that continues the story that Norwegian developer, Funcom, began in 2000 with the critically acclaimed, The Longest Journey.
Xbox hosts Dreamfall's console debut (it's already been released for PC), with the game out in shops for Microsoft's bulky black box tomorrow. So, with development well and truly done, we direct 10 quick-fire questions at Dreamfall's marketing manager, Vincent Munoz, before he disappears over the horizon on an adventure of his own.
How long have you been working on Dreamfall?
Dreamfall has been in the mind of game director Ragnar Tornquist since we finished The Longest Journey in 1999 (and probably before that!), but development of Dreamfall has been going on for around three years.
What has been the high point of the project?
When all the separate elements pored over on paper during design phases become a game - it's definitely the point at which you know you have something special.
And the low point?
No particular low points, but there is always the anxiety that immediately precedes the point mentioned above. Until you can pick up the pad and play it through there is always that little voice going "I hope we can pull this off!"
Describe Dreamfall in 10 words or less...
An enthralling and fantastic adventure with characters you'll never forget.
What have been the main influences on Dreamfall?
It's more fun to let players speculate that themselves! There are more than a couple of subtle references and reverential nods in there for the eagle-eyed to find.
Above: This is Dreamfall's primary character Zoe. She starts off naive, but becomes determined
What element of Dreamfall are you most proud of?
It's not easy to make your audience believe in and sympathize with your characters, especially in such a twisting and deep storyline, so we are very proud of how well Dreamfall works in that regard.
Will you ever play Dreamfall now that development is complete?
For sure! There are so many layers to the story that the development team and voice cast brought to life so vividly, that even when knowing the story backwards and forwards it's still a pleasure to watch it unfold.
What's the most valuable lesson you've learnt while developing Dreamfall that you can apply to future projects?
You learn so many things when you spend over three years working on a game that it's impossible to name just one. From project planning to design through the QA process and marketing - all benefit from the experience of each successful launch.
What's next now Dreamfall is out the door?
We are already hard at work on Age of Conan (www.ageofconan.com) and have another project in the works as well, but it's a little early to talk about that one just yet... watch this space!
Why should gamers spend their hard-earned cash on Dreamfall...?
To discover a truly unique and engaging story told in a wonderfully detailed and interesting setting. Dreamfall will leave a lasting impression on those who play it.