Community Announcements - Cockroach
Citizen!

The new format seems to have been an unequivocal success, so we'll stick to it for the time being. Usually we drop these updates in one big chunk at the end of the month, but since some of you have been having problems, we're committed to keep fixing all issues continuously. We'll be adding to this list throughout January.

Below you'll find the contents of each update as we release them.

Update #1 (2015-01-02):
• Engine: Made sure mouse commands still work if the player has disabled the music
• Engine: Re-worked loading of XML files to make game initialization more stable
• Engine: Made sure each music track clears completely before a new one loads
• Engine: Improved game start-up time

Update #2 (2015-01-07):
• Chapter 5: Attempted to fix issue with stomach dialogue not triggering correctly

Update #3 (2015-01-12):
• Chapter 5: Added 370 interaction options

Update #4 (2015-01-13):
• Chapter 1: Added 3 interaction options
• Chapter 2: Added 55 interaction options
• Chapter 3: Added 120 interaction options
• Chapter 4: Added 150 interaction options

Update #5 (2015-01-19):
• Chapter 4: Reinserted screen shake when moving photos
• Chapter 4: Made sure music plays correctly once tentacle has been cut
• Chapter 4 & 5: Fixed typos

Update #6 (2015-01-26):
• Engine: Fixed glitchy playback of sounds
• Chapter 1, 2, 4 & 5: Fixed typos

Update #7 (2015-01-30):
• Engine: Fixed sound sequencer
• Chapter 5: Fixed typos

We hope you like it and shout out in the comments if you encounter anything strange/buggy in the game.

Cheers,

- a
Community Announcements - Cockroach
We did this neat interview with WIRED a while back, but they only had the editorial space to publish a fraction of it. So we thought it might be a good idea to use this space to publish it in its entirety. Because it's a pretty good interview, all things considered. It would be a shame to waste all these delicious answers.

We hope you like it and we hope you have a great weekend! On that order.

Cheers,

- a


What is the most difficult thing about the "hand-made" process you chose for The Dream Machine? And why is it still worth it?

Anders: I haven’t actually built anything in the game, so my perspective is probably different from Erik’s. For me, the hardest part is the amount of planning that goes into making these chapters. Building things by hand is obviously a very linear medium. You have to plan things out ahead. If you change your mind halfway through, you can’t just revert to an older copy of the file. Major changes often means starting over from scratch. So you have to break down the individual scenes and have clear ideas at the start of the process. What type of environments do we need? What moods should they evoke? What are the puzzles? What part of the story will be told? Why items should populate them?

Erik: The handmade process in itself is not the biggest hurdle. Working for many years, keeping focus and energy up is more of an issue. Motivation. Creating something as big and crazy as The Dream Machine has really been worth it, for me at least. It’s the first time I have pushed my limits, really exploring to see what’s on the other side. You’ll never learn anything good if you don't take any risks.

Anders: I second that. It has been totally worth it. It’s been the most difficult thing I’ve ever attempted so far. But also the most rewarding. We’ve poured so much time and effort and love into this thing – it truly is an insane effort. I’m confident that will shine through to the player in the end.


Can you describe what happens when the very tactile materials – clay and cardboard – hit the digital realm? In other words: How do these two worlds enhance each other?


Erik: Good question.

Anders: A digital pipeline lets you lock down your assets later on. It’s easier to backtrack and make adjustments late in the process. If you do everything by hand, and then discover you’ve made a mistake, you might be forced to start over entirely. Or at least make creative use of what you’ve got. Surprisingly enough, we found it was often better to change the design to fit the build, rather than rebuilding to fit the design. It was a way for us to allow some whimsy into the design process. If you pre-plan everything down to the finest details, it will eventually feel like you’re just mindlessly executing on someone else's ideas. So we tried to stay open to accidental design opportunities whenever we could.

Quite often Erik would build things that looked far more interesting than my crude sketches called for. And as a player, if something looks interesting, I get disappointed if it doesn’t have some significance attached to it. So I found myself going back, tweaking some objects interactions as I went along. Sometimes just a little. Sometimes a lot. I have to say, some of these objects really took on a life of their own and started demanding all kinds of added importance. For example, the teddy bear late in Chapter 4. He was originally just supposed to sit in the background, as a forlorn toy. Nothing else. But once I saw Erik’s build, I wanted to see him up close, I wanted to see him blink, I started getting ideas for what he might say, what he might sound like. And before I knew it, he had his own little scene in the game. If Erik had built something less interesting looking, that scene probably wouldn’t be in the game at all. And now it’s my favourite thing in Chapter 4. I love being able to let the game itself dictate what it wants to be in this way.

Erik: You know, all that matters is matter. Our physical bodies are made up of stardust. To build stuff by hand, putting it out there for another person to experience, that’s almost a religious experience for me. It’s a way of handling the great questions about the meaning of life and death and how everything is connected. When I dig my hands into dirt and clay, creating the worlds in The Dream Machine, I think of it as my way of creating a ghost in the machine, so to speak. Taking something from the idea world into the real one. It’s some kind of animism in this digital age.
Dec 2, 2014
Community Announcements - Cockroach
Citizen!

We're trying out a new format for these updates. Usually we drop these updates in one big chunk at the end of the month, but during launches it's better to fix problems continuously. So we'll be adding to this list throughout December.

Below you'll find the contents of each update as we release them.

Update #1 (2014-12-02):
• Engine: Added 'Sound Sequence' task command
• Chapter 2: Fixed anvil placement issues
• Chapter 2: Fixed invisible anvil bug
• Chapter 5: Removed Selma's erroneous mention of home invasion
• Chapter 5: Fixed the northern cube getting stuck with prism rod
• Chapter 5: Made sure the beam bridge draws correctly
• Chapter 5: Fixed re-entery issue from Willard's void space

Update #2 (2014-12-05):
• Chapter 5: Fixed freeze bug when removing prism from northern cube
• Chapter 5: Added failsafe timer to Jerome's stomach

Update #3 (2014-12-09):
• Chapter 5: Fixed prism rod size issue

Update #4 (2014-12-13):
• Chapter 5: Fixed issue with sounds fading in too fast
• Engine: Reworked sound engine, hopefully making the game less crash prone

Update #5 (2014-12-16):
• Chapter 5: Tweaked some text descriptions
• Chapter 5: Added interactions

Update #6 (2014-12-28):
• Chapter 2: Added case for stone placement puzzle
• Chapter 4 & 5: Attempted to fix living room interactions not working properly
• Chapter 5: Fixed typos

Update #7 (2014-12-29):
• Engine: Removed possibility to move during scene changes
• Engine: Reworked sound engine, hopefully making the game less crash prone

Update #8 (2014-12-30):
• Engine: Fixed sound loading issue
• Engine: Fixed rare case were mouse input was being ignored
• Chapter 4: Added hints to sleeping powder puzzle

We hope you like it and shout out in the comments if you encounter anything strange/buggy in the game.

Cheers,

- a
Nov 17, 2014
Community Announcements - Cockroach
Citizen!

The launch of Chapter 5 went really well, all things considered. We're really proud of it and hope you're enjoying it as well. Some of you have been reporting problems however. Most of them were minor, but some of them were more serious.

Here's our first volley of fixes to address the situation:

• Engine: Added 'Place' task command
• Chapter 1, 2, 3 & 4: Tweaked intro
• Chapter 1, 2, 3 & 4: Tweaked credits list
• Chapter 4: Fixed freeze on showing young Edie a photo
• Chapter 5: Made sure staff resizes correctly
• Chapter 5: Stopped player from re-entering already purged dreams
• Chapter 5: Fixed the pumpkin freeze bug
• Chapter 5: Fixed so the north cube only gets stuck while facing south
• Chapter 5: Removed erroneously drawn laser beams
• Chapter 5: Blocked off some unwalkable surfaces
• Chapter 5: Removed twig from bow once the void has been bridged
• Chapter 5: Made sure the staff is large in Selma's dream
• Chapter 5: Tweaked Willard's pre-flight dialog
• Chapter 5: Added dialog if Victor tries to enter squirrel home before getting recipe
• Chapter 5: Added dialog if Victor talks to Selma before getting recipe
• Chapter 5: Fixed void crossing issue
• Chapter 5: Fixed issue while showing magic to the witch
• Chapter 5: Tweaked bow on passage behavior
• Chapter 5: Tweaked center room cube behavior
• Chapter 5: Removed freeze while getting back from Selma's dream
• Chapter 5: Fixed deletion of permanent states on chapter start
• Chapter 5: Added fail-safe duplicate barrel
• Chapter 5: Added fail-safe duplicate ladder
• Chapter 5: Added smoke effect when potion has been brewed
• Chapter 5: Removed candle flames if Animation Effects has been turned off
• Chapter 5: Removed menu access in pumpkin scene
• Chapter 5: Removed option to enlarge in the northern most rooms in Willard's dream
• Chapter 5: Removed freeze on fringe-case path-finding
• Chapter 5: Removed option to give wagon parts to lady without legs prematurely
• Chapter 5: Stopped all interactions while growing or shrinking
• Chapter 5: Hindered the player from entering the derelict mill without the gun
• Chapter 5: Fixed typos

I hope these solves the issues you've been having. If not, shout out in the comments below.

Cheers,

- a
Community Announcements - Cockroach
Brothers & Sisters,

It is our honour and pleasure to announce that the epic fifth chapter of the immortal Dream Machine-saga has just been released. It's difficult and big and bold. It's dark and sexy in a Keanu Reeves kind of way. We're freakishly proud over it. What else could you ask for?

Go play it. Go nuts.

In that order.

Over'n'out,

- a
Community Announcements - Cockroach
Citizen!

First of all, thank you for you patience. We know we're slow. Stop-motion takes a ridiculous amount of time. Especially when you're only two sexy Swedish boys. I'm sure you'll think it has been worth the wait once you get to play it. Chapter 5 has been a thrilling ride, but now the time has come for us to step off and let others aboard. Yup. We're finally ready to unleash this beast.

So mark your calendars, folks. 14th of November is the date to save.

Check out the YouTube Date Trailer here

Cheers,

- a
Oct 23, 2014
Community Announcements - Cockroach
Citizen!

We just pushed another update live. This one contains all kinds of spicy greatness. The most significant change is that the player character now pathfinds competently. That was never really an issue before, since he only had to traverse very simple room geometries. But once we started testing Chapter 5 in earnest, it was obvious the old pathfinding wasn't going to cut the proverbial mustard any more.

Another change you'll be happy to hear about is that most of the freeze issues should now be fixed. Particularly those that occurred on a black screen, between room loads.

The rest of the changes are minor, but delicious. You can read all about them in the list below:

• Engine: Rewrote pathfinding code
• Engine: Fixed freeze on black screen
• Engine: Made sure the Game Menu icon appears properly
• Game: Made sure credits music only plays once
• Game: Refactored soundscape code
• Game: Improved performance while on game menus
• Chapter 1: Tweaked soundscape
• Chapter 1: Added fishing sounds
• Chapter 1: Tweaked Alicia's interaction hotspot
• Chapter 2: Fixed temporary freeze bug when putting the helmets on Alicia
• Chapter 3: Fixed depth sorting issue in cabin 1
• Chapter 3: Fixed door issues on the bridge
• Chapter 4: Fixed freeze bug when you put helmet on mover
• Chapter 4: Removed screen shake while manipulating photos
• Chapter 2 & 4: Added information to the dream map
• Chapter 1, 2, 3 & 4: Redesigned intro sequences
• Chapter 1, 2, 3 & 4: Redesigned credits list

Don't be shy if you find something wonky about the game.

Regarding Chapter 5: We're still testing it and it's going very well. Release date announcement will follow shortly...

Stay tuned.

- a
Sep 20, 2014
Community Announcements - Cockroach
Citizen!

We've just launched another update to the game. We've been receiving reports from Steam players that the game sometimes appears to freeze during loads. We're happy to tell you that that particular bug has been addressed. Along with a few other fixes that you didn't request but got anyway. 'Cause that's how we roll.

Aside from that, we're still working hard on Chapter 5. It's looking great, but there are still some things yet to do. No launch date yet, but it's not far off at this point.

Here's the full list of changes:

• Steam: Fixed bug that sometimes made the game freeze on the load screen
• Engine: Added 'Scale' task command
• Game: Fixed bug that caused Victor to move while on menus
• Chapter 1: Swapped worm graphics
• Chapter 1, 2 & 4: Interaction options added
• Chapter 1, 2 & 4: Fixed bug preventing some door interactions
• Chapter 1, 2 & 4: Tweaked interaction responses
• Chapter 4: Interaction hotspots added to Edie's apartment
• Chapter 4: Fixed intercourse display bug
• Chapter 4: Fixed freeze bug that happened if you showed young Edie photos
• Chapter 4: Swapped petal graphics
• Chapter 4: Fixed typo

As always, we hope you like these delicious tweaks. And should you encounter any problems with the game - don't be afraid to sound off. Preferably in the comment section below.

Cheers,

- a
Aug 20, 2014
Community Announcements - Cockroach
Citizen!

We're working hard on getting Chapter 5 out the door. It shouldn't be too far off now. More and more post-its are getting checked off each day. No dates yet. In the meantime, we've released an update to the game. It's fairly meaty. A lot of the changes will only affect Chapter 5, but we also replayed all the earlier chapters and corrected any problem we encountered.

Here's the full list of changes:

• Engine: Tweaked proximity trigger object
• Engine: Tweaked step trigger object
• Engine: Optimized drag manager
• Engine: Tweaked 'Face' task command
• Game: Improved performance while on game menus
• Chapter 2 & 4: Tweaked gas machine graphics
• Chapter 1: Fixed Victor's depth sorting issue during breakfast
• Chapter 1: Fixed telephone's obstacle issue
• Chapter 1, 2, 3 & 4: Added auto save points
• Chapter 2: Changed tentacle sounds
• Chapter 2: Fixed problem with putting on the helmets in the machine room
• Chapter 2: Tweaked Morton's conversation
• Chapter 2: Tweaked ink pad puzzle
• Chapter 2: Tweaked palm print door behaviour
• Chapter 2: Fixed minor safe behaviour bug
• Chapter 3: Fixed bartender's depth sorting issue
• Chapter 3: Reduced bartender's interactive area
• Chapter 3: Swapped graphics for dumb waiter contents
• Chapter 3: Fixed cabin 1 door's depth sorting issue
• Chapter 3: Tweaked minor graphical issues
• Chapter 4: Disabled ghostly jitter if Animation Effects have been turned off
• Chapter 4: Fixed game freeze that occured after speaking to "ghosts"
• Chapter 4: Fixed typo

As always, we hope you like what you read. And should you encounter any problems with the game - don't be afraid to sound off. Preferably in the comments below.

Cheers,

- a
Community Announcements - Cockroach
Citizen!

Earlier this week we solicited questions on our Facebook page . We received quite a lot of replies, so we'll do this as a three parter. And who knows, if you like this we might do more down the line.

So without further ado, here comes the first volley of questions...

***

What is the development status on Chapter 5?

I’m glad you ask, darling. Things are going pretty well. We hoped to have a content complete version before the onset of August, but it slipped a bit. There’s still some things left to design and implement., so it’s still too early to start handing out dates. And since it’s such an extensive chapter, we expect testing to take a little bit longer than usual.

***

How are the sets built?

We’re not lying when we say that everything is built by hand. Erik has a little garage studio, where he builds, rigs, lights and shoots. Most of the game is made out of clay and cardboard, but lately we’ve gone in more of a found-object direction. For Chapter 5 we wanted to build a pretty extensive forest, so Erik when out and foraged. Painstakingly building trees out of clay and cardboard would've been a fools errand. There are plenty of branches just lying around, so why not use them? You can't beat what nature creates. There are also some environments that are a bit more stark and abstract. The parts for those where hand built, and then tweaked in Photoshop to achieve a scale that would be hard to accomplish in a garage.

***

Who's your favourite Swedish opera singer?

I’ll have to go with Jussi Björling on that one. I don’t have any strong opinions on the matter. It’s mostly for nostalgic reasons. I remember my father playing a lot of Björling at home.

***

What's your views on software piracy? I haven't seen The Dream Machine on any torrent sites (I haven't looked for it either) but for some reason this game is one of those games that you choose to pay for even if it's available for "free". If you agree, why do you think that is?

You can find Chapter 1-3 on Pirate Bay. That happened instantaneously once we released the game on Steam. We saw it as a weird honour of sorts, but it bugs me that the files are so old. We constantly update the game, so knowing that some poor sod is playing an old version feels unfortunate.

When it comes to torrent piracy in general, I see it as a lending library. No more, no less. I think it benefits mankind in general, so I don’t have any problem with it. If you don’t have the money to buy and still want to play, I don’t have any problems if you pirate it. Buy me a beer and we’ll call it even.

That being said, it does really bug me that somebody pulled the MP3 sound files from the sound folder and is calling that the ”soundtrack” for the game. That’s just misleading. It’s like if you take random screen dumps, slap them into a PDF and then upload that as the ”art book” for the game.

***

Are you going to keep creating point & click games after The Dream Machine is finished?

I honestly don’t know. It won’t be a pure point & click game, is all I can say. I feel a bit sick of the confines of the genre, and would want to explore something else for a while. Some kind of hybrid, sounds likely.

***

Do people really like lutfisk?

Yup. It’s considered a delicacy here – although a very divisive one. It’s an acquired taste to say the least. The few times I’ve tried it, it didn’t do much for me. Gelatinous and bland. But it is still quite popular during Christmas. As with Surströmming, it’s all about the trimmings. If you lathered melted butter and and a generous helping of horseradish over it, I suspect it could be quite good.

Lutfisk, for those who don’t know, is a very traditional Nordic dish were you take dried white-fish (normally cod) and reconstitute it in a water and lye solution. During this process the fat in the fish becomes really gelatinous and funky. That strange, soapy texture is one of the reasons people have problems eating it.

Why on earth would you want lye anywhere close to foodstuff, I hear you ask? Well, as with most cuisines, this tradition has it’s origins in preservation methods. People needed food during the cold, dark winters and drying and soaking in lye solutions was a way of keeping bacteria at bay.

***

Which would you rather have: a delicious cake or a nice selection of biscuits?

Cake. I didn’t even read the end of the question. How could I ever want anything more than cake?

***

If you come up with questions we haven't answered here, don't hesitate putting them in the comment section, and we'll try to include them in the next volley.

Cheers,

- a
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