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Kickstarter update #61

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#1 Tina

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Posted 17 October 2014 - 23:30

(link to kickstarter update)

 

T-minus four days!

 

Dear backers,

 

We have been working on (and promising!) a new Kickstarter update for over a week

now, but with the release date inching ever closer and the deadline pressure

increasing, we have not been able to actually finish it up and send it out — our deepest '

apologies for that.

 

As soon as our heads are above water again and we've wrapped up the final bits &

pieces of content and fixed the last few bugs, we will put together a bigger update.

 

In the meantime, here's a quick summary of what's been going on and what's going to

happen for the next few days.

 

Project status

 

We're only days away from our digital release on GOG, Steam and the Humble Store
— and retail release in Germany — and thankfully our task lists are getting shorter and
shorter. Several team members have already completed everything on their lists and

are taking a few much-deserved days off this weekend, after working 12-18 hour days

for several weeks. They'll be back by Wednesday morning to get cracking on the Book

Two beta version.

 

Every day we have a joint review session where we run through the latest 'build' (a

version of the game) to see if there are any major bugs — what we call 'blockers'; as in

bugs that block progress through the game or are severe enough to block release. In

these reviews, we note down all bugs and prioritise them, from blockers (the most

severe) to 'post-release' (as in bugs that are minor and which can be fixed in a later

patch).

 

In this evening's review, there were a couple of blockers, a handful of P1 bugs (priority

one, or high priority tasks) and a bunch of P2s and P3s (lower priority). The latter are

things we'd like to fix, if we have time, but which will not block release.

 

If you don't work in game development, this might sound like a lot, but it's really not. In

fact, we're very happy and relieved with how few bugs there are and how great the

game looks, feels and sounds. We will work through the weekend to fix and test (and fix

and test, and fix and test) but we fully anticipate a 'release candidate' (as in a version of

the game that we hope is the final, release-ready version) by Sunday night or Monday

morning.

 

At this point, we're extremely cautious with what we add to the game and what bugs we

fix. One mistake can lead to a broken build, and therefore every single thing that's put

into the game has to be approved by the producer and project manager, and triple-

checked before it's 'committed' (added to) the game. This is another reason why the

production team has been (temporarily!) cut down to the barest minimum: fewer cooks,

fewer mistakes.

 

Here are a few of the things that we're still working on tonight, tomorrow and Sunday:

  • Voice-overs (VO). Most of the VO is now in the game. The only major thing missing
    is Zoë's internal monologue for describing the world around her when she's walking
    around Europolis. This is currently being edited, and tomorrow those audio files will
    be put into the game's resource database. This is a very low-risk task, but it's
    important to the game's atmosphere.
  • VO mastering. A lot of the voice files in the game are of varying volume and quality.
    By mastering the voice-overs, we get a more consistent volume and sound, which
    improves the experience massively. Once VO has been mastered, it's copied into
    the game, overwriting the existing, non-mastered files. This process should be
    complete by tomorrow evening.
  • Startup sequence. At the moment, we have a placeholder video for the startup
    sequence: this includes the Red Thread Games logo and the game's title card.
    This video is being redone over the weekend in order to have the best possible
    first impression.
  • EuroTrash and Most Wanted broadcasts. We are adding videos in-game featuring
    some of our backers in their roles as EuroTrash cast members and Most Wanted
    criminals. This is the final batch of in-game Kickstarter rewards for Book One, and
    these will be added to our Sunday evening build.
  • Game installer. For the DRM-free Humble download, we need to make a Windows
    installation file. This is a relatively risk-free process, and it's something we're also
    doing this weekend.
  • Smaller bugs, such as missing/wrong voice files, grammatical errors in the text,
    graphical bugs and other minor issues are also being fixed tonight and over the
    weekend.

New problems may of course pop up in the next review — in fact, we fully expect
it — but with everyone focused and energised, we will be ready to roll by Monday. And
with every review, there are fewer and fewer issues.

 

Our launch is Tuesday at 0900 PDT, 6 PM / 1800 Oslo (and central European) time.
The team will be on-site and ready to monitor all of our channels and address any
issues that may occur — and hopefully to also celebrate with all of you through that
evening. We will be available for questions after people have had a chance to play
through Book One, in case you have any. (And we're sure you will!)

 

We will post more information about this on Monday or Tuesday.

 

And, of course, on Wednesday morning, we shift our focus to Book Two and begin the
hard work all over again. But we're really looking forward to the change of pace and
scenery, and to focusing a lot more on the parallel magical world of Arcadia! Book Two
has a release date already, although we're not going to tell you that yet. Let's get Book
One out the door first!

 

Release party

 

We had our official release party yesterday — five days before release, go figure —
and it was a chance for the developers to unwind a bit and hang with friends and fans.
We had a couple of gaming stations available to guests, and they ended up being quite
popular. Of course, we kept the demo version free of spoilers, and no one got to play
the prologue (or epilogue). In fact, we didn't see anyone getting past the opening bits in
Storytime — probably because of the good food and drinks, and the excellent company.

 

We were lucky enough to be joined by around thirty backers, along with friends,
colleagues and some press.

 

Of course, despite the late night and the drinks, the team was back at work this
morning at ten o'clock, just in time for a visit from Norway's biggest TV channel, who
wanted to do a story on the release of Dreamfall Chapters. (And for the Norwegians out
there, this will be on the NRK nightly news this coming Monday!).

 

We hope to post some pictures from the party on our Facebook channel, but that might
not happen until the middle of next week...for obvious reasons!

 

Game key distribution

 

A lot of you have been asking when you will get your download keys for the game.

 

We are sending these out in advance of Tuesday's release. You will be able to get your
key from your Humble Store page, and we will send out instructions about this on
Monday.

 

If for any reason you believe there may be a problem with redeeming your key, or if you
can't access your Humble account, please email us at support@redthreadgames.com
and we will help you out.

 

Early access information

 

A lot of you have backed tiers that include early access. We are of course doing
everything we can to honour this.

 

With the switch to episodic, this has proven to be a little tougher than expected. We
also don't want anyone to play a version of the game that's buggy or incomplete.
There'd be no point in playing a broken game or getting a subpar experience.

 

Here's what's going to happen.

 

Early access backers will get their early access keys on Monday. Exactly when on
Monday, we don't know yet. At that point, you will be able to play the game.

 

Of course, this isn't seventy-two hours before release. But this is also just the first
episode
 of Chapters.

 

Early access backers will receive early access to upcoming episodes — probably
somewhere in the neighbourhood of twenty to thirty hours before general release. The
final episode, Book Five, will be released at the same time to everyone, however...to
avoid pesky spoilers, and to let everyone see the conclusion of our story at the same time.

 

We hope you will all be happy with this episodic compromise. It makes our lives a lot
easier and it also ensures that we get you the best version possible — one that reflects
all the hard work and passion the team has put into the game.

 

We would also respectfully ask all early access backers to avoid spoiling Book One for
those who haven't started playing yet. There are a lot of secrets we haven't yet
revealed, and we do want everyone to be able to have a unspoiled experience. So
please keep your tweets spoiler-free, the forum threads properly categorised and
labeled, and be respectful of your fellow backers and community members!

 

Finally...

 

Wish us luck this weekend and spare a thought for our hard-working (and exhausted!)
team who have sacrificed so much this past month to make the best game they could
possibly make, a game worthy of the name and of your generosity and patience.

 

We will try to post another update at some point this weekend, although we won't make
any promises. We will prioritise the production work, in order to give you the game
you've all waited so long to play.

 

Thank you!

 

Team RTG


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Tina: RTG fangirl and forum moderator.

#2 RoyMartin

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Posted 17 October 2014 - 23:36

Getting ready for what will be the slowest weekend of my life

 

lucille-buth-excited.gif


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#3 urzagc13

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Posted 17 October 2014 - 23:40

Balance be damned, guys, I got anxious just reading this update! I would have died of a heart attack if I was the project manager for this (and had all that stuff to do in just a weekend).  :)


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Giorgos Chrysikopoulos - Dream Traveller

 

Check out the unofficial (headcanon) backstory of my Europolis Most Wanted Dreamfall Character: meet the "The Scientist Thief"!

 


#4 Layara

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Posted 17 October 2014 - 23:48

Good luck, team RTG, and I hope the weekend will pass as smoothly as possible!

Really excited about the early release here - even though I can see myself refreshing my emails every 15 seconds without a fixed time now. :P Not that I'm complaining. ;)


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#5 Bruno

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Posted 17 October 2014 - 23:50

I'm so happy to read this update, it has been such a long and intense journey so far. :)

 

(Don't be surprised if I vanish from the forum on Monday - I will only be able to download and install the game on Wednesday evening... )


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#6 popcorngal

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Posted 18 October 2014 - 00:02

A part of me is still waiting to wake up from this dream of Dreamfall... so... many... years... of... waiting.

 

Thanks for taking the time to compose the update! I'll be crossing my fingers that everything goes smoothly for y'all this weeked. :D

 

(and praying that no major disasters happen like fire, flood or earthquake... not that I'm nervous or anything... *bites off fingernails to the nubs*)  ^_^


"Oh! I was having this weird dream about a big ass turkey wearing a pair of red shoes. And you were there, and he was there, and, and... maybe it wasn't a dream after all?"   :crow:


#7 Mr Moo

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Posted 18 October 2014 - 00:19

So ... the early accessees get early access keys Monday some time? This means we can't pre-load, or does the key activate the pre-loaded version? Or is there no longer any pre-loading?

 

Best of luck! Hang in there, you're doing great!



#8 longnightfalling

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Posted 18 October 2014 - 00:21

Y'all have missing assets this close to release?!  Wow.  Everything I've ever worked on had to be asset complete (with fewer than 20% being placeholders) before a Beta declaration.  But hey, I understand that sometimes small teams = taking bigger risks.  And being download-only means you don't have to have things so buttoned-down before an RTM date; you can always update after the fact.

 

Still, I would be pulling my hair out right now, so I feel for you.  Fingers crossed nothing major gets horked in the database updates and asset swaps.  Really looking forward to playing!  Also really hoping you folks get to sleep soon!  :)


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#9 agirlnamedbob

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Posted 18 October 2014 - 00:30

Maaaaan...Monday is going to be rough. 

 

Also thinking I should probably get a spoiler guidelines post drawn up before this place blows up. ;) 


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#10 Lee-m

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Posted 18 October 2014 - 00:33

so we get to play monday now ! damn weekend go away...I think i'll be skipping work to stay home and hit F5 on the humble page.
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#11 agirlnamedbob

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Posted 18 October 2014 - 00:36

damn weekend go away

 

This may be the only time where uttering those words is appropriate. :P

 

Still, much as I'm looking forward to DFC, after this week I'm looking forward to a weekend of becoming one with this here couch. 


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#12 Vainamoinen

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Posted 18 October 2014 - 00:36

Okay, still not getting it. ;)
 
Is the early access stuff only via the Humble version? Or is it working for GOG and Steam as well?
 
Two days!!
 

Of course, this isn't seventy-two hours before release.


Which is OK, because all that was ever promised was fourty-eight. Are you guys forgetting the Kickstarter tiers in the heat of battle? ;)

Hey Ubisoft, you can keep your "seamless vast online GTA in space" to yourselves. Signed, one of the greatest Beyond Good & Evil fans alive.


#13 Lee-m

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Posted 18 October 2014 - 00:42

the way I understand it, all relevant keys will be available to ppl that qualify via the humble site. I guess that includes GoG and Steam.

#14 Mr Moo

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Posted 18 October 2014 - 00:42

As long as the story isn't full of placeholders I'll be happy :D. We live in the golden age of patches, and I expect many. Hopefully I won't experience every thing they correct.

 

I wonder a bit how old the build on the German retail dvds are ... Isn't it supposed to be for retail sale in Germany next Tuesday?

 

Okay, still not getting it. ;)

 

Is the early access stuff only via the Humble version? Or is it working for GOG and Steam as well?

 

Two days!!

 

As I understood it, we'll get early access keys. For ... I don't know. I thought Steam or GOG, but it could be a humble key as well, I suppose? Time will show.



#15 agirlnamedbob

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Posted 18 October 2014 - 00:43

the way I understand it, all relevant keys will be available to ppl that qualify via the humble site. I guess that includes GoG and Steam.

 

This was my understanding, too. 

 

Presumably we'll find out soon enough. 

 

EDIT: Though, on second thought, I'm curious how that will work with Steam's timed unlocking and the preloading Ragnar mentioned elsewhere. 

 

...Guess we'll see!


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#16 Lee-m

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Posted 18 October 2014 - 00:50

I'm curious how that will work with Steam's timed unlocking and the preloading Ragnar mentioned elsewhere.

For the early access I wouldnt expect pre loading.

Expect pre-loading for everyone else to go out at the same time we get to download and play.

Thats my take on the situation anyway.

#17 Vainamoinen

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Posted 18 October 2014 - 00:51

the way I understand it, all relevant keys will be available to ppl that qualify via the humble site. I guess that includes GoG and Steam.

 

That would require three builds to be ready by Monday, plus selective distribution mechanics to exist on all three platforms, wouldn't it? I'd be... genuinely surprised... :wacko:
 

I wonder a bit how old the build on the German retail dvds are ... Isn't it supposed to be for retail sale in Germany next Tuesday?

 

It's advertised as a retail version, sure enough, but I do wonder how much data is even on those DVDs. They were probably printed two to four weeks ago, if not earlier, because it never really mattered. There has never been a "gold master" for the "retail" version. I guess this version always required you to download substantial updates from Steam before you got it to work - at 6PM Oslo time on Tuesday, of course. :uncrow:


 


Hey Ubisoft, you can keep your "seamless vast online GTA in space" to yourselves. Signed, one of the greatest Beyond Good & Evil fans alive.


#18 Lee-m

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Posted 18 October 2014 - 00:56

That would require three builds to be ready by Monday,

It would seem they plan on 'shipping' the game monday. Three builds ? its the same build but compiled for 3 different OS's. No big deal with unity.

plus selective distribution mechanics to exist on all three platforms, wouldn't it?

Its just steam and gog isnt it ?

#19 LeChuck

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Posted 18 October 2014 - 00:57

I hope there will be an option to get a GOG key.

In the humble page, there is only listed: drm free version (humble version I would guess) and Steam key.

 

I love GOG.com !

 

edit: ok thanks. :)


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#20 agirlnamedbob

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Posted 18 October 2014 - 01:00

There will be a GOG version. That's been confirmed by Ragnar himself, so I wouldn't worry too much about that. 


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