Community Announcements - Cockroach
Citizen!

This is happening right now:

I'm wearing a black hoodie, drinking Becherovka (that I bought leaving the Czech Republic). I haven't shaved in three weeks (because that's how I roll). I'm slow-dancing to the track 'Horse Steppin'' from the first Hotline Miami game. It's great. Put it on. You won't regret it.

The reason behind all this sexy madness is because I felt like celebrating our first three years on Steam! It's been a wild ride full of releases, screenshots, updates, hot sex, cocaine, bug fixes, car chases, shoot-outs with the police, and lots of great feedback from you guys! Thank you for being there with us!

If you're still on the fence about the game, we lowered the price by 66% this week. Try out the first two chapters, or buy it all in one fell swoop if you're feeling adventurous. Either way, I think you'll have a great time!

That's pretty much it. We hope you're doing well wherever you are. As for me: my ass is in Sweden but my heart is still in the Czech Republic. The machine loves you!

Děkuji,

- a
Community Announcements - Cockroach
Citizen!

It's been a while since we last talked. Have you missed us? We've missed you. What have you been up to? Breaking hearts? Breaking laws? That's what we would do given half a chance. Trust us. But the fact of the matter is, we've been busy. So very, very busy.

What have we been up to? Why, we're glad you ask!

Aside from Chapter 6 (no date yet) we dedicated some time to completely overhaul the music engine. It was the main culprit behind the crashes that some of you have been experiencing. So it had to go. We've also added an extra hint system, that you can turn on in the settings. If you enable it, Victor will offer more advice on how to solve certain puzzles. We also optimized save file access so accessing the save/load UI should be a lot faster now.

Here's a full rundown of the contents:

Update list:
• Engine: Added an extra hint system (option in settings)
• Engine: Re-wrote music engine to address stability issues
• Engine: Optimized save file access (only affects PC Steam version)
• Engine: Fixed rare freeze bug when watching close-ups
• Chapter 1-5: Tweaked dialogue
• Chapter 1-5: Tweaked backgrounds
• Chapter 3-5: Updated music assets
• Chapter 2: Added sound effects
• Chapter 2: Tweaked background music
• Chapter 3: Added autosave points
• Chapter 5: Fixed prism mirror indentation bug
• Chapter 5: Fixed graphical glitch in Willard's apartment

All in all, it's one of our meatier updates and we hope you'll like it. As always, don't be shy if you encounter problems with the game. And remember: the machine loves you.

Cheers,

- a
Community Announcements - Cockroach
Citizen!

We're happy to inform you that we just enabled Steam Cloud for the game. This means that your save games and settings will now be stored safely in the warm heart of cyberspace, and then synchronize across all your machines.

This feature is currently only supported on PC, but we hope to enable it on Mac in the future.

Also, the machine loves you.

Cheers,

- a
Community Announcements - Cockroach
Citizen!

Things are tugging along at a pretty solid pace. We're busy working on other Chapter 6, but we'll still keep updating the game whenever we feel like it. That's just how we roll.

Below you'll find the contents of each update:

Update #1 (2015-03-02):
• Engine: Attempted to increase game stability
• Chapter 1: Added 20 interaction options
• Chapter 2: Added 50 interaction options
• Chapter 3: Added 155 interaction options
• Chapter 4: Added 130 interaction options
• Chapter 5: Added 265 interaction options

Update #2 (2015-03-10):
• Engine: Attempted to increase game stability
• Engine: Improved performance during menus

Update #3 (2015-03-18):
• Game: Enabled Steam Cloud (PC version on Steam only)

Update #4 (2015-03-23):
• Engine: Removed slight sound glitch when loading a save game
• Engine: Fixed rare case were player location didn't save properly
• Game: Tweaked UI

We hope you like it and shout out in the comments if you encounter anything strange/buggy in the game. Thanks to everyone who's taken the time to report an issue in the game. You guys help make the game better.

Cheers,

- a
Community Announcements - Cockroach
Citizen!

As some of you may have noticed, we've slowed down the update schedule a bit, since we're busy working on other things (Chapter 6). But rest assured: we'll have more updates for you before February ends.

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

Update #1 (2015-02-10):
• Engine: Attempted to prevent freeze during load progress indicator
• Engine: Reduced sound mix period to make game more stable
• Chapter 2, 3, 4 & 5: Added sounds effects
• Chapter 5: Made exits from Selma's and Martin's apartments larger
• Chapter 5: Added clues to ceiling puzzle
• Chapter 5: Added clues to first size-shift puzzle
• Chapter 5: Added clue to map view
• Chapter 5: Made sure the ceiling sound turns off when crushed
• Chapter 5: Made sure outro music plays correctly
• Chapter 5: Fixed some laser-related graphical glitches
• Chapter 5: Added another teleport option for the witch
• Chapter 5: Reduced bow lady scale
• Chapter 5: Tweaked character interaction behaviours
• Chapter 5: Tweaked item interaction behaviours
• Chapter 5: Added 3 interaction options
• Chapter 5: Tweaked light interaction in squirrel den
• Chapter 5: Fixed typo

Update #2 (2015-02-13):
• Chapter 5: Added feedback to premature grave dirt collection case

Update #3 (2015-02-22):
• Chapter 5: Tweaked background art
• Chapter 5: Tweaked lake girl dialogue
• Chapter 5: Fixed typo

We hope you like it and shout out in the comments if you encounter anything strange/buggy in the game. And thanks to everyone who's taken the time to report an issue in the game. You guys help make the game better!

Cheers,

- a
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

Update #8 (2015-01-31):
• Chapter 5: Nixed option to remove prism from northern cube

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

Cheers,

- a
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (John Walker)

The Dream Machine‘s episodic structure has been… sporadic. Chapters one and two came out in January 2011, with the rest promised soon after. Chapter 3 appeared in November 2011, taking longer than expected. Which was nothing compared to chapter 4, which finally appeared in August 2013. It was quite a wait, and rather a short entry. It’s been slightly over a year since, and now we have Chapter 5 – the biggest part of the game yet. Here’s wot I think.>

… [visit site to read more]

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
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