Posts Tagged ‘Ragnar Tornquist’

Dreamfall Chapters Engine Upgrade Boosts Performance

Good news: Dreamfall Chapters [official site] should now run better and look prettier for you. Developers Red Thread Games yesterday released a hearty update boosting it from Unity 4.6 to version 5.2 of the engine, which brings better performance, nicer lighting, 64-bit support for folks stuffed with RAM, and more. The first three episodes are now shunted over to Unity 5, and future eps will launch on it. Bringing the game over has been an effort and a half, mind, says head honch Ragnar Tørnquist.

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Hands On: Dreamfall Chapters

Dreamfall Chapters opens with a series of nightmares, wasting no time before informing the player of the high stakes and gravity of its multi-threaded plot. It’s a personal story, of family and sacrifice, but the potential consequences are cosmic. In truth, it’s not a single story at all, it’s a collection of stories within stories and about stories, taking the disparate worlds of The Longest Journey and weaving a larger tapestry. I’ve played the first three hours and found something quite different to the point and click adventure I was expecting.

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The Longest Walkthrough: 30 Minutes Of Dreamfall

I always knew that I’d be playing a new Dreamfall game one day. That’s partly because I am a creature of unshakeable optimism but it’s also because Ragnar Tørnquist had a cheeky sparkle in his eye when I asked him how long we’d be waiting for a continuation of the story back in the days before Red Thread existed. On the question of Dreamfall, he had this to say:

We are definitely doing something more with it and I have the design on my computer but we just need to find the right time and the right people. Hopefully within a couple of years it’ll be something we are working on.

Two years later, that design is only a few months away from being on our computers. I’ve embedded a half hour walkthrough of an early area below. It’s looking damn fine.

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Tears For Fears: Dreamfall Devs Announce Draugen

I have emotions too but it's not cool to show them so I make fun of John to cover for it.

This comes as a surprise. Red Thread Games, the Norwegian studio founded last year by Ragnar Tørnquist with the specific purpose of reducing John to a puddle of shuddering emotion, is making a first-person survival horror game called Draugen.

The studio has thus far been working solely on Dreamfall Chapters: The Longest Journey, the crowdfunded sequel to John’s emotional puberty, since September of last year. Draugen sounds like a considerably different kind of thing.
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Avellone, Vlambeer, Introversion On Kickstarter, Greenlight

The megachat continues! At the behest of many, I’m carving it into the Internet’s unforgetting crystalline walls – one hefty chunk at a time – because mere ears could not withstand its relentless auditory onslaught. Last time, I gathered Obsidian’s Chris Avellone, Dreamfall’s Ragnar Tornquist, Vlambeer’s Rami Ismail, Introversion’s Chris Delay, and Redshirt’s Mitu Khandaker to discuss what exactly makes each of them “indie” despite their exceedingly different backgrounds, so you should probably read that and stuff. Done? Then you may now proceed onward to a spirited debate about the increasing uselessness of the term “indie,” Steam Greenlight’s many shortcomings, and the role of Kickstarter for smaller devs vs juggernauts like Obsidian. It’s all after the break.

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Avellone, Vlambeer, Introversion Talk Meaning Of ‘Indie’

Let’s try this again. Earlier this week, I posted the audio from a spur-the-moment indie megachat I put together during Rezzed, but its audio quality ended up a casualty of the fact that everyone at Rezzed never stops screaming. Never. The agony of existence. It is terrifying.

So as a (probably much better) alternative, I’ll be posting a transcription over the next few days. If I did it all in one go, the page would strike the bottom of the Internet and rupture its core (and, you know, take a billion years to read), so here’s part one. In it, Obsidian‘s Chris Avellone, Dreamfall‘s Ragnar Tornquist, Introversion‘s Chris Delay, Vlambeer‘s Rami Ismail, and Redshirt‘s Mitu Khandaker discuss the evolution of the “indie” scene in the gaming industry, the gulf between triple-A and smaller-scale development, and the way Kickstarter-empowered no-longer-triple-A developers like Obsidian and Red Thread are starting to bridge it.

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Avellone, Vlambeer, Tornquist, More In INDIE MEGACHAT

Update: embedding fixed, and download links provided!

Rezzed was a time of magic and wonder. Indie developers of all shapes and sizes mingled with fans and each other alike, and it was nearly enough to make us all forget that we were trapped in Birmingham. Honestly though, it was a pretty strange scene. I mean, on one hand, there were devs like Vlambeer and Introversion – outfits who’ve been relatively small since day one – but on the other, folks like Obsidian‘s Chris Avellone and Dreamfall/Secret World creator Ragnar Tornquist roamed the halls. And yet, all of them could technically be considered “indie” nowadays. So I decided to gather a formidable panel of developers for an impromptu discussion about what exactly “indie” means, indie as a reaction to triple-A, the difference between bigger “born-again” indies like Obsidian and tiny outfits like Vlambeer, publishers, creative constraints, the film industry’s approach to similar issues, diversity, and heaps more.

Head past the break to hear Chris Avellone, Ragnar Tornquist, Introversion‘s Chris Delay, Vlambeer‘s Rami Ismail, and Redshirt‘s Mitu Khandaker chat about all of the things. All of the things.

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Rezzed: Chris Avellone & Ragnar Tørnquist In Session

As if there weren’t already enough reasons to visit this year’s Rezzed (in only a week’s time!), I’m really thrilled about two developer sessions I’ll be hosting. And even more thrilled about who will be on those panels. With game-creating gurus Chris Avellone and Ragnar Tørnquist appearing on both, you’d be a fruitcake not to come along.

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Stark Contrasts: Dreamfall Chapters’ Cyberpunk City

If you’ve never played The Longest Journey or Dreamfall, you could be forgiven for thinking that Dreamfall Chapters is set in a world of rolling hills, sunbeams and magic. That’s partly true. There’s another world behind and sort of alongside that one. Stark is one possible future of our world, and it contrasts sharply with Arcadia’s green and pleasant lands. The latest Kickstarter update contains the first sight of Europolis, a cyberpunk dystopia of dark alleys, and neon-bright corporations and nightclubs. Below, you’ll find the latest video, showing the city streets and providing an insight into the state of Europe in 2220. All of the footage is in-game, taken from the current prototype. I’ve also included some screenshots and concept art, including two new characters, that you can’t find anywhere else just yet. For good measure, I asked project director Ragnar Tørnquist to provide some detail about the characters and the city.

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Journey’s End: Dreamfall Chapters Interview Part 2

The first part was the starter. This is the main course. The conversation continues, as Ragnar Tørnquist, Martin Bruusgaard and Dag Scheve go into detail on the plots and plans at the heart of Dreamfall Chapters. There is a huge amount to read, so sit back and eat your lunch at your desk, or relax with a glass of wine or cup of tea. Thought-topics covered include the magic of the mundane, the origins of storytelling, conflict, maturity, and pointing, clicking and other mechanics.

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Journey’s End: Dreamfall Chapters Interview – Part One

Ragnar Tørnquist founded Red Thread Games with one immediate goal in mind: to finish the story he has been telling for a great part of his adult life. As this interview is published, the Kickstarter for Dreamfall Chapters went live a couple of minutes ago. In readiness, I had a long conversation with Tørnquist, Dreamfall co-writer Dag Scheve and lead designer Martin Bruusgaard earlier this week. The studio is new, the premises are new, but the team are old friends and Dreamfall veterans. In this first part of the interview, we talked about cold hard cash, going indie, Kickstarter and the state of the industry.

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Keep The Faith: Dreamfall Chapters Interview

Sometimes it takes a while to turn the page. Ragnar Tørnquist announced today that his new company, Red Thread Games, will be developing and publishing Dreamfall Chapters, finally continuing the story that began with The Longest Journey. I wanted to know more about the timing, the return to adventure games and what this means for The Secret World, so I spoke to Ragnar about how far along development has already come, psychological RPGs, storytelling and singleplayer social gaming (not what you might think).

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Secret World’s New Dance Move: The Internal Shakeup

WHERE DID YOU GET THAT COAT WE MUST KNOW.

And by dance move, I of course mean “tectonic shift in creative management affixed to a phrase that happens to sound like it could be a dance move in a universe where things like layoffs and sadness don’t exist.” Given recent events, however, I imagine that actually adding a dance animation titled “The Internal Shakeup” to The Secret World would elicit a chorus of “too soons” powerful enough to wake the dead just so they could add, “Yeah guys, that’s sort of not-cool” before returning to their grim slumber. Anyway! Longest Journey mastermind Ragnar Tornquist is stepping down from his role as senior producer and slipping into some striking new creative director pants, while Joel Bylos is moving up from lead content designer to game director. Join me in reading way too far into it after the break.

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Secret World’s Tornquist On F2P, Single-Player Games

The Secret World is officially live, and we’ve both locked it in a room with our most dangerous mythical creature, Adam, and hurled questions at creative director Ragnar Tornquist until he cracked – by which I mean “willingly and jovially answered my questions in a highly consensual fashion.” And today, the insane brutality continues. Specifically, we discuss free-to-play, what Tornquist plans on doing next (hint: probably not another MMO), social gaming, whether or not MMO business models hurt fun, and more.

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Secret World’s Tornquist On WoW Copycats, What’s Next

Secrets! Everybody has them – even you. Maybe you occasionally take two samples at the grocery store, or talk on your cell phone while driving, putting millions at risk. Or perhaps you’re just part of some boring, hum-drum Illuminati that controls the world’s every thought and action. The Secret World creative director Ragnar Tornquist used to be like you – except more interesting and with a cooler name. Now, though, his secrets are all gone. Yep, I snatched up every last one. He’s afraid of liquorice-flavored jellybeans. True story. But also, more pertinently, he thinks Secret World “doesn’t feel like any other MMO” in existence, and he has big plans about how to keep you wayward folk interested long after launch. Read on for all of that and more.

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The Not So Secret World: 30 Mins From GDC

Are you John Walker?
I’ve been waiting for a John Walker simulator to arrive, and this is the closest I’ll probably ever get. It’s the Secret World’s GDC presentation, showing off Ragnar-Tørnquist’s increasingly-interesting (to me) MMO. You can pretend you’re in the room being John Walker, who can be seen here following Ragnar. Toss some water at the screen to simulate the tears that usually flow when John experiences a game by Ragnar. Or you can just watch the most complete look at the upcoming MMO yet. It includes a scene that suggests oral sex is being performed, so I’d not risk it at work or at a funeral. They really go down… look down… LOOK DOWN on that sort of thing.
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Ragnar Tørnquist: The Secret World’s Myths & Mechanics

Scenes turned ugly during the interview.
Last week I sat down to play some The Secret World for the first time. But not before I’d chatted with project lead, Ragnar Tørnquist, in the rather creepy location of a 90th floor bedroom in a vast hotel suite. It’s an interview in which he threatens to kill me. We also talk about how people are getting bored of MMOs, why the game has XP after all, and the role of religion in a game based on myths.

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Voices In The Shadows: The Secret World Interview

The setting for the interview was opulent but not packing factor 60 had been a mistake
After spending some time with The Illuminati, I escaped from The Secret World to speak to lead designer Ragnar Tørnquist about overcoming the challenges inherent in building a story-based MMO. We talked about creating coherence in a vast and varied world, the confused and confusing role of the hero in an MMO, and how it’s possible to reinvent and deconstruct a genre.

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Funcom Unveil The Secret World: Part Two

Even the bright parts of The Secret World have monsters in them

In the first part of this in-depth conversation about The Secret World, the talk focused on the game’s fiction and mythology. As the discussion continues, we explore how different the game will be to other MMOs as well as talking about the importance of lore. After covering connections to Indiana Jones and Tintin, the questions turn to other matters as we wonder aloud how long we may have to wait for more Dreamfall. The interview followed a full day hands-on session with the game and those present were: Marten Bruusgaard, lead designer of The Secret World, lead content designer Joel Bylos and the game’s writer/director, Ragnar Tørnquist. We were also joined by Norwegian journalist Knut Gaute Vardenær.

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Funcom Unveil The Secret World: Part One

Our conversation took place in a distant land, but thankfully it was Oslo and not a splintered realm between two realities

Playing The Secret World was enlightening but the only way to explore its most secret parts was to sit down with some of the myth-makers who are conspiring together to create this story-led MMO. So I did what was necessary, gathering together three of the minds behind the game and forcing them to talk at me and each other for many an hour. In the first part of this two-part conversation, you will DISCOVER the reason the game is set in the modern day, THRILL to the origins of the secret societies, CONSIDER the difficulty of inserting narrative into an MMO, and PONDER religion and mythology at great length.

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