Just wanted to post an update about Dream and where we are currently at with development stages. There is quite a lot to talk about so ill do my best to split it into sectioned paragraphs.
Lack of Updates
As many of you have noticed it has been quite a while ( October 2014 ) since the last major Dream update. For this we can only apologize but rest assured we are still hard at work with Dream and have not/will not abandon Dream like a few of fear in the forums. – We are actually around a month away from posting the new side-dream.
So why so slow suddenly?
As some of you may know we started HyperSloth as a 3 and then welcomed Gary Lloyd into the team as a 3D artist which sped up development time. As of September, Gary’s contract with us ended and for now he has stepped up to other exciting commitments but he still is very much excited about HyperSloth and we can’t wait to have him back.
The remaining 3 of us, Me, Lewis and Sam, have also been back at university since September to finish our final year of studies. We’re currently juggling studies and Dream which is proving to be very demanding but we are still very dedicated to Dream. I can’t speak for the others but for me right now, Dream is more important than studies and if you’ll take the time to read the optional story, you will see why.
What’s the ETA?
I know Dream has been in development for a while now and many of you are eager to see it finished. Ideally it would have been great to announce and release Dream in the space of a year but if you read the story below you can see why we didn’t and why it was a good decision not to. You and Early Access has been a great support for us but as with many Early Access games it takes a while to see games through development.
The current timeplan : Release this year, around May.
We have been working closely with Mastertronic to ensure a more sustainable time plan.
For those asking, we will be giving out press/review keys around April or so.
So what’s left to do?
Well, not much. Despite the lack of content updates we have a lot of work done behind the scenes.
- 2 Side Dreams
- New Story / Voice implementation
- Inventory system / collectables / inspectables
Now I guess it’s time for the bad news. We know alot of you have been asking this, as have we. Where is the Dream Oculus DK2 compatibility?
As of right now there is a Rift version of Dream that is compatible with the old Oculus DK1. If you read my report on Develop Online (https://www.develop-online.net/opinions/the-vr-dream-and-overcoming-game-dev-hurdles/0191523) and another on my blog (http://www.ashstancill.net/?p=36) you can see that implementing Dream into UDk (our engine) was no small feat. It was broken and buggy but ultimately there was nothing we could do besides wait for an update from Oculus/Epic like many other developers using UDK.
We never got an update. Fast forward to the release of the DK2 and we were all hopeful that the new engine would be released for us to upgrade to. We are still waiting.
I have spoken to people at Oculus and Epic and honestly it doesn’t look good. You can see the image on the website clearly shows UDK support for Oculus DK 2:
However in the Developers forum there is no news on a release.
The team at Oculus made this statement a while back now and there has been no update since:
We have looked at lots of methods trying to implement Oculus and will carry on and do our best to succeed.
Porting over to UE4 is not an easy task either. We are looking at around months of extra work and the accumulated costs are quite high. We’re exploring our possible options.
Apologies for the wait and will update ASAP when we get an update, but for now unfortunately it is out of our hands – all we can do is pester and look for alternatives.
The story and Early Access
That’s the important stuff out of the way and if you are interested I’d like to share our progress and express our thanks.
We started this venture a couple of years ago from practically nothing – no money, little knowledge of games business and with the little savings we had in our pockets and support from family set off to create our Dream.
It’s honestly shocking to me how fast things moved, we struggled very much for a year to support ourselves; as this was our own business in the placement year we didn’t receive any student finance or financial support other than the help of our relatives.
Skip ahead around 4 months and Greenlight presented itself as a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness and share our project. We weren’t 100% ready to announce Dream but there was really never going to be a better opportunity that suited the situation we were in. This is where you folks came in and everything changed. Your support on Greenlight made us one of the first games to be Greenlit meaning we could be published on steam!
Shortly after we ventured towards Kickstarter. I won’t get into that dark time much but to cut a long story short, it failed, we had no money and we thought it was all over. After chatting with the lads we decided to offer what we had now and ask for donations to keep the project alive – we were in so much debt it was such a long shot but it would be sad to see Dream die without seeing what it could have been.
The donations turned out to be a fantastic idea, more of you donated than I thought and the response was fantastic. Honestly it will sound a little soppy but words cannot describe the feeling you get from knowing people actually believe in Dream and share the same passion. The donations gave us each around £100 to live each month until we managed to secure our publisher Mastertronic.
Because of all that happened the decision to go to Early Access was an easy one. It was clear there were people interested in Dream and we saw Early Access as an opportunity to not only generate funds to continue but also collab with you, the community. Without you and the support you have given on Early Access, Dream wouldn’t be what it is today and we wouldn’t be where we are today. We have a small (sl)office which allows us to collab as a team and we’re stable enough to finish Dream.
Issues did arise with Early Access however, it was a new market and people, quite rightly, were sceptical about buying a project in such early stages. Again for this we can only thank you for the support and in an ideal world it would have been nice to announce Dream about 6 months before release and then release 100% finished onto Steam. We’ve been working on Dream for over 2 years now and it is nearly done! For those that have been with us since the beginning of development, thank you, and for those of you just seeing Dream for the first time, thank you! It’s been fantastic developing with your help and I look forward to seeing Dream graduate out of Early Access soon.