Sunday, May 08, 2005

Interview with European Online Magazine

Following the overwhelming media attention Dreamers has been receiving since GDC 2005 (especially from Europe), here is a recent interview we did with popular Danish Online Magazine,

The link to the original interview (in Danish):

However, since most of you (including myself) probably could not read or understand a single word of Danish hehe, here is the English version of the interview with some exclusive sneak peak "behind the scenes" screens of how we are progressing with our demo:

Interview by Morten Andersen for

Hospital-ity Concept Art by George P.Georgeadis

You could start out by telling us about Dreamgazers Interactive - how you started, where you're located and so on...

Dreamgazers Interactive was founded in February of 2004 and we are located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. It is actually quite an interesting story; I had a dream the night before I registered the domain name for that I owned a company that was working on “Dreamers” by that very same name! I saw that as a sign and since things weren’t working out so well for me with the game company I was previously involved in, I immediately signed up for the domain and the rest is history... After the website was up, people started writing me about the game out of nowhere and the support has been extremely overwhelming since! I was by myself at first but then more and more people wanted to get involved in the project and now I have pretty much a full team of 8-10 talented individuals based all around the world who can’t wait to bring the game to life! I couldn’t be more grateful for all the support and love the project and I have been shown so far.

Sleep Tight Illustration by Michael Lomon

The game, Dreamers, is your first project and had a small showing at this years' GDC in San Francisco. We bet you guys were excited to give people a first glimpse of the game...?

San Francisco was a blast! I hope the GDC is held there every year from now on! Actually, a glimpse is even more than what we actually had available to show people. As you already know, we’ve only just acquired the wonderful and powerful engine called “Reality”, by Artificial Studios, a tool that has enabled us to begin production on a prototype/demo of “Dreamers”. This engine is simply stunning and as you know it is also being used by the people behind Metronome (what a good-looking game) and what a great bunch of guys! So, for the GDC we had prepared only what time had allowed us to prepare; some early test levels showcasing some of the engine’s capabilities.

Who is Jorge? 3D Character Texture Test

How was it received?

The few people who actually saw those levels in action were extremely impressed! The feedback was very overwhelming for something that in all honesty -in my mind- did not represent what the actual game is really going to be like. I just can’t wait to show people “my world”, hehe. Anyhow, it was a clear sign then that Reality would be the engine for us, especially after meeting the Artificial Studios guys in person! They also were very impressed by the test level, something I couldn’t really understand at the time having seen what comes their way! It’s really great to have their support on this project!

Shadows Lighting Tests

Tell us about the game.

“Dreamers” is a 3rd person Action/Adventure game set in Greece in the 1990’s, that explores the life of a young man (Jorge) suffering from a bizarre form of narcolepsy, a sleep disorder characterized usually by sudden and uncontrollable attacks of deep sleep sometimes accompanied by paralysis and hallucinations. Usually the attacks are brief and do not exceed the length of 5-10 minutes but can occur at anytime and anywhere.

While our character has been living with the symptoms of narcolepsy all his life, recently, the sleep attacks he’s been having have become a concern to him. He usually dreams during these attacks and when he was younger he was able to experience lucid dreaming (the ability to realize one is dreaming and control the dream), while now his dreams have become darker, keeping him asleep longer than usual and seem to have a conclusion he has to reach in order to wake up.

Alarmed after being asleep for two days in a state of a coma he sought for help with no luck in finding an explanation as to why his condition has taken such a bizarre turn for the worse. Living in fear of the next deep sleep attack -which he knows is inevitable- he hopes to find a way out of his next dream to gain a little bit more time in the waking world to figure out what is wrong with him. Does the answer he seeks reside within his dreams and nightmares, his life-long fears or his ill-fated past? It’s up to the players to find out!

Lost Illustration by Michael Lomon

Can you tell us about some of the environments Jorge will be visiting during his adventures?

The players will embark on an amazing journey spanning through most of his life, experiencing first hand what it would be like to suffer from such a condition, playing one minute in the real world and asleep the next. Playing in the real world is a struggle with time while the players try to gain more information about his condition before the next sleep attack occurs and disturbing hallucinations become warnings of when an attack is about to occur but also stand in the way of the character and the truth. During the dream levels, players will experience a vast alternate reality, a beautiful world the main character once embraced and used to escape in from the harsh reality of his mother’s death when he was at the young age of 5, but they will also experience disturbing nightmares based on the character’s and player’s own personal fears. These nightmares will feel very similar to the disturbing psychological worlds the Silent Hill games are famous for.

Will there be a lot of focus on the story or will the game be more action-oriented?

I think a game can definitely successfully have both elements driving the overall interest of the player to embark on a unique journey… however, most games these days have just enough story to sell the action. The movie industry actually is a major example for that these days. Despite the trends, “Dreamers” is all about the story. Action, in some unique forms, is a pretty big part of the game as well, but it is a story-driven game for sure.

Temple of Icarus Concept Illustration

You're using Artificial Studios' impressing 'reality engine'. What kind of advantage does this engine have compared to other current engines?

It’s powerful, competitive, artist-friendly and at the time was very accessible! Also, when you are an independent game developer like me, working full-time at a different job and then coming home to work on your dreams (no pun intended :) ) you aren’t left with much time to create an engine from scratch. Needless to say, it is also very difficult to afford any of the other big engines out there. I love technology, and “Reality” seemed to have everything I needed to bring my screenplay to life. Good visuals is only half the battle of course.

Let's step away from Dreamers for a while and talk about the huge event that E3 is going to be this year. What games/showings are you looking forward to the most?

I am really looking forward to the unveiling of the two new big consoles! Xbox 2 and Playstation 3. I am just crazy about the thought of how much better games could become in the future and I want to see/experience this future now! I am also a geek for new technology, but most importantly I am excited because “Dreamers” is being designed with the new generation of consoles in mind. I would also love to see a new Silent Hill game announced by Konami and see more of Final Fantasy XII, as I love the series. Also, more adventure games -please!!

Below the Surface Lighting effects

What are you currently playing at the moment yourself?

Even though time is extremely limited between the game and my day job, I just finished playing Resident Evil 4 on the Gamecube, one of the best games I have ever played. Usually, I wouldn’t comment like that on a game like RE4. I haven’t honestly been successfully frightened by it’s predecessors - a major reason for me to like a “scary” game (except when the first Resident Evil surprised the hell out of me when that dog jumped out of the window in the beginning of the game – I was a lot younger, ok?), but this game has it all! Just the AI of the enemies in the game is enough to impress even someone who absolutely hates this type of games, while the drooling visuals and in-game cinematics are simply stunning! I have great respect for these guys; they’ve managed to take a game series that was beginning to feel a little stale and turned it into a brand new experience full of movie-quality entertainment and fun. Needless to say the game offers plenty of scares (I love being scared) and moments I will remember for a long time. Ubisoft’s Prince of Persia games are still on the top of my list as I am still playing them –simply beautiful games! Oh, and lastly I think I will never beat Myst IV, but it’s so beautiful I can’t help just wondering around from place to place taking photos and listening to Peter Gabriel in the credits…

Something else you want to say or let us know? Maybe a little secret?

“Dreamers” is going to be a game whose target audience is male and female alike. There are so few games appealing to women nowadays. I have so many female friends who love video games and they always complain there isn’t much outhere for them. And it’s so true! One in particular is playing Prince of Persia over and over until a game that she will enjoy playing finally comes out. We have plenty of female game designers on board this project to ensure the needs are covered but don’t let that fool you guys outhere, this game has plenty for everyone.

A secret huh? Well, I am afraid secrets in this industry must remain secrets until they become press releases hehe…but I can leave you with the fact that you should keep checking our website, as something major and exciting is coming soon. Thank you again for this opportunity and thanks for listening!

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

GDC '05 -After

Finally got around to uploading some photos from the GDC! Sorry it took so long, but we have been so busy since we got back working on this demo! The GDC was such an amazing event and San Francisco is such a beautiful city! I wish next year's conference takes place there again! We met some extremely amazing people and few key people that will play an important role for the realization of "Dreamers". Stay tuned for more news on that soon ;)

Hope you enjoy the photos:

GDC 2005, San Francisco

George at the Discreet Presidential Suite with our very good friend Jodi Vetterl (our Discreet gem ;p). Just look at that view!

After the magnificent Final Fantasy Concert, I finally got to meet the brilliant Nobuo Uematsu!

Some unique and interesting stuff around San Francisco

Alcatraz offered some great photo opportunities and some very creepy settings..

Simply Beautiful! I love photography and now I love San Francisco!

One of my 100's of bird shots (lol), Chinatown and mmmm...SUSHI!

Got to stand in front of the house that one of my all-time favorite movies was filmed! Electric Dreams is the name of the movie and this is the house that the main characters, Miles and Madeline, were sharing along with Edgar the unforgettable and evil computer!