I’m still processing the massive amount of feedback I’ve received from those of you who have played Dreamfall: The Longest Journey, so it’ll be a little while longer before I can gather my thoughts and post something meaningful to wrap it all up. It’s really amazing and heartening, however, to see that the response so far has been overwhelmingly positive - particulary in regards to the story (with some possible reservations; see below) and the characters. Even those who aren’t completely happy with the game have had an emotional response to it (4/10). Love it or…not, you can’t help feeling something. The game stirs emotions. Strong ones. Which is great, and totally in line with what we set out to do.
Yesterday marked my going-back-to-work-proper-after-finishing-Dreamfall …day, so I’m finally getting back into my regular routine again, and I’ll be more, um, regular with my posts from now until - well, until E3, which is the week after next, actually. Wheee! I’ve been busy with interviews this week, from my virgin breakfast TV appearance on Monday - live TV sounds a bit intimidating, but it turned out to be jolly good fun - to my very first live radio show this morning. (’Live’ being this week’s theme, then.) Throw in another radio show today, a taped TV appearance last week, and various newspaper and website interviews - it’s been pretty busy, and I’m starting to strongly dislike the sound of my own voice. And there’s more to come. But it’s all good fun, to be honest. I love speaking about the game and spreading the word, and it’s not every year I get to shout from the rooftops about a new release. Or every other year.
(In fact, it’s been a while. Too bloody long. The next game is definitely not going to take three years to make.)
Right then, enough jabbering, and on to the reason most of you are reading this post:
I’m not going to discuss any particulars at this stage, because it’s too early, and part of the fun (and/or frustration) is figuring out what it all means, discussing it with other players, arguing, screaming, shouting, kicking, laughing, crying - cursing my name. We’ve certainly encouraged conversation and stirred up some controversy, haven’t we? I will talk about a couple of things, however - after the jump. So do not continue reading unless you’ve played through the game, all right? I wouldn’t want to spoil anything for anyone.
Are we alone now? Good. Take your clothes off– Wait, no, wrong forum.
First off - and sorry for being cryptic - but Dreamfall (the game) finishes the story of Dreamfall (the game). It may not seem like that to everyone who’s played it, at least for the time being, but it does. Dreamfall’s story is a story about faith and the story of Faith. It’s about a little girl who needs to let go, and it’s about three people’s journeys - both physical and metaphysical - and those journeys do reach an end. It may not wrap up everything (or, you know, much at all), but it does wrap up some things, the most important things (as far as this game is concerned), and that was the point of this (part of the) story.
(Feel free to scream at me now for being a) complicated, b) obtuse, or c) cryptic - but do read the rest of this post before commenting on it. Please.)
Secondly, Dreamfall was from day one designed as the first part of a two-part story…and also the middle part of a trilogy. (Which again is part of a larger saga. Phew. No wonder people are getting confused. I’m getting a headache myself.) There are lots of unanswered questions because the story isn’t over. Yet. I know exactly where it’s going and how it will end, and I know how the next game plays out, chapter by chapter. It’s been planned from the get-go. We’re not making this up as we go along. Promise. I hated that about The X-Files. I felt so cheated when I realised that the writers had no idea where the show was heading. Betrayed, even. The thing I love about Lost is that I have faith in the writers. They’ve told me they know where it’s going, that there’s a Plan, and I trust them. I can deal with the frustrations and the cliffhangers and the cryptic clues because I know there’s a point to it all, and that it (probably? hopefully?) won’t disappoint. So try and trust me on this: this story has an ending. I know what it is. It hasn’t been told yet.
Because, yes, the story will be completed. If, for some reason (the collapse of Western civilisation, for example) I don’t get to make an interactive (emphasis on ‘interactive’) sequel, I will do everything I can to complete the story in some other way - be it through the pages of a comic book, a novel, a serial on my website - or, if all else fails, just sending out my super-secret story notes to anyone who’s remotely interested. I know that it would be horribly, incredibly, unbelievably frustrating to never find out how it all ends, and I’ll work hard to make sure that no one who’s invested in Dreamfall (or The Longest Journey) will be cheated out of a proper conclusion - to this part of the saga, at least.
Of course, at this point I trust that I’ll be able to make Dreamfall 2 (the game!) soon(ish), at which point the story will be wrapped up, most of your questions answered, and everyone (hopefully) satisfied. Or at least sated. You see, it could be that some questions aren’t supposed to have answers - and even if they do (and they do), you’re not supposed to know them.
After all, don’t forget what Cortez said in The Longest Journey:
“You see, señorita, mystery is important. To know everything, to know the whole truth, is dull. There is no magic in that. Magic is not knowing, magic is wondering about what and how and where.”