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Posted on Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 by Malin
As I am here, writing this, Zoë Castillo is staring into the abyss of dreams on my computer screen. It is the launch day for Dreamfall Chapters, and I have played nothing of the real game, yet hundreds of emotions have swept over me throughout the introduction. I had to pause. I had to collect my thoughts. I had to stop because tears were filling my glasses to the brim and I couldn’t see anything anymore. I haven’t interacted with the game in any way; I have just been a passive observer and yet it has affected me far greater than any game I have played in years.
It is quite unbelievable how games and the memories connected to them can affect people this way. You grow up with them, and the good ones always walk with you on your own journey. I’ve waited eight years for this game, and so have many others. During those eight years I have grown up considerably, and the mere panorama of the worlds I’ve loved to walk in ever since TLJ’s release in 1999 was apparently too much for me to handle.
I am still crying, and I find it odd, and… fascinating. Embarrassing, even.
When Dreamfall: The Longest Journey was released, Zoë and I were in the same head space. I played it during a summer of incredible heat amidst a depression of not knowing what my life held in store for me. I was barely seventeen years old, and her interaction with Wonkers is something I still have etched into my mind.
As the game came to a close I felt lost and abandoned, but life goes on. I found a path and followed it, never truly looking back until I was at JourneyCon, the convention held by Red Thread Games in Oslo. As they played through Friar’s Keep I remember looking around me in the audience; seeing the amazed and happy faces of those around me. I felt very disconnected and slightly jealous. If this moment had happened when I was seventeen I would have been just as ecstatic as them, but I seemed to have gotten lost while growing up.
I’d like to blame game making, even though it has brought so much joy to my life. When working with games and playing them on your free time it usually takes the edge off certain things. You start analyzing and appreciating the craftsmanship instead of being immersed. You applaud their makers and try to memorize things you liked so that you can develop certain aspects yourself.
When logging into Steam today I was terrified of feeling the same thing while booting up Dreamfall Chapters.
Instead I was met with too many emotions to count, bawling my eyes out over seeing a glimpse of April Ryan and the confident smile of Zoë Castillo. The introduction made me feel like it was only yesterday I saw April on that bridge.
I don’t even know what to say except that I am a tad bit jealous of the lovely people of Red Thread Games for making me feel this way, but I am also ecstatic over the fact that it was still possible.