T-minus four days!
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.
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
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
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,
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
- 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
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!
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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!
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.