The Dreamfall Chapters Kickstarter is closing in on $800,000 and that means it's time for the announcement of stretch goals. The first will be unlocked at $900,000 and there's an image below that may contain a clue, as well as details on the rest. Last night's update also included the first footage of the current prototype, which shows a placeholder Zoe avatar, still wearing her old threads, exploring the Riverwood environment shown in the image above (click to embiggen). It's early footage but attractive - far more intriguing than the trees and the flowers is the first look at the 'hybrid' interface. Third person movement, with freedom to explore, and a cursor for interaction.
The game isn't due until November 2014 so this is but an early taste.
The first stretch goal image is hiding behind this link. Tense your mind as you attempt to decipher its devious coded message. At $950,000, the Loremaster is unlocked and it sounds like content I'd like to see:
...includes the Great Library of Marcuria (rebuilt in secrecy, of course), a fully-voiced librarian character, and tons of books, documents, ancient parchments and tomes of lore in-game for players to read, explore and dig into!
Not many people know this, but Proteus originally contained something similar but it was removed at the last minute because the frog lore was too upsetting and really killed the game's mood. Probably.
The stretch goals run all the way up to $2,000,000, which used to seem like a preposterous amount of money until the financial crisis made anything less than a billion seem like change lost down the back of a sofa. There are already details on the million dollar target, which will allow for new locations, characters and side stories. I'm always a little dubious about that sort of target - if it's important to the story and world, it should be there and if it isn't, I'm not all that interested. But I'm the sort of person who thinks almost every deleted scene ever shoved on a DVD or Blu-ray should have stayed on a cutting room floor. What's the digital equivalent of a cutting room floor? A recycle bin? Is there no romance left in this intangible world?
Oh, there's also the not-so-small matter of the final goal:
We're also revealing a little teaser for our ultimate stretch goal. The $2 million mark will introduce The Longest Journey Home. Exactly what that last one means, we won't reveal quite yet. We want to get a little bit closer before we'll let the secret out of the bag, but feel free to speculate in the comments!
I'm really not sure what that might be so I'm going to raise expectations unrealistically by hoping for a remake of the previous games using the Dreamfall Chapters engine.