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Dreamfall Q&A

Labeled With  dreamfall pc funcom
Written by DM on Friday, April 07 2006

We got to the chance to speak with the guys over at Funcom who are working on Dreamfall, the old-school adventure game for PC and XBox. Let's hear what they had to say.

Can you give us a brief synopsis of the storyline behind Dreamfall?

Dreamfall’s story is quite epic, so it’s hard to encapsulate it in one paragraph – but hey, I’ll give it a shot!

This game is a follow-up – or spiritual successor – to The Longest Journey, which told the story of April Ryan, a normal girl who wound up having to save the Balance between the world of science, our world, and the world of magic, Arcadia.

Dreamfall takes place ten years later, and tells the story of Zoë Castillo, the first of three playable characters. Zoë’s twenty years old, and lives at home with her father in the North African city of Casablanca in the year 2219. She’s recently dropped out of college, and she’s lost faith in herself and in the future. When her best friend suddenly vanishes, she’s forced to take a stand and risk everything by going after him. At the same time, she starts having strange visions of a little girl in a bleak wintry landscape telling her to ‘find April Ryan, save her’. As she tries to find a connection between the two events, Zoë soon finds herself transported from our world into the parallel magical world of Arcadia, where she— Nah, that’d be spoiling it.

And that’s just the first four chapters of the game! You also get to play a mysterious assassin character named Kian, who also has an important part to play in the story. Suffice it to say, the story is quite complex, very long, and most definitely epic!

Many consider the game’s predecessor, 2000’s The Longest Journey, to be one of the finest adventure games of all time. Are you planning to draw from Longest Journey at all or is Dreamfall going to be completely new?

Both. Dreamfall is a brand new story with a brand new lead character, but it takes place ten years after the conclusion of The Longest Journey, and lots of characters, locations, and history carry over from that game. Our intention was to make it as approachable as possible for new players, while rewarding our fans with tons of details that they’ll pick up on from the previous game. Dreamfall may be a standalone game, but it’s also the second chapter of an ongoing saga, so if you’ve played The Longest Journey, you’ll have a slight advantage.

Would you classify Dreamfall as an adventure game?

Dreamfall is definitely an adventure, though we prefer to use the phrase ‘modern adventure’. After all, it’s a far cry from the 2D point-and-click adventure games of the 90s. But there’s still a focus on story and characters, exploring environments, and ‘alternative’ gameplay like puzzle-solving and dialogues, rather than just combat and stealth action – though there’s that, too. There’s a bit of everything in Dreamfall.

Programming this game for the Xbox and PC at the same time must present some challenges, can you tell us about that?

Luckily, the Xbox is very close to the PC, so the most difficult part has been to squeeze all those high-resolution visuals into the Xbox. I think our technicians have done a great job with that, and the game looks almost as good on the Xbox as it does on a high-end PC, despite the fact that the textures are a lot less detailed.

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