The Dream Machine is a point and click adventure game for PC, Mac, and Linux. The first two episodes were released in December 2010, with the first chapter serving as a free demo. Chapter 3 eventually appeared in October 2011. Development on the remaining chapters is a work in progress.
Initially The Dream Machine was only playable using a web browser, requiring Flash Player 9 and a working internet connection. In May 2012 the game was added to the Steam Play library of games, allowing users to play the game 'offline'.
The browser version requires a constant online connection to utilize cloud saving, background streaming of assets and statistics gathering processes that can serve as feedback for improvements or adjustments to the game.
For the browser version we have a system that registers statistics for how many players actually solve any given puzzle in the game. If we note that we have a significant drop anywhere, we can add clues or re-think the problem entirely. We want the game to be challenging, but if we lose half our players on one puzzle, we have to do something about it.(..)We don’t track who did what. All that happens when you attempt an interaction is that a counter increases by 1. So if seven people try to smear baby oil on the radiator in the bed room we just see: "Bed room : Baby oil with radiator : 7".
The Dream Machine was a finalist at the 2011 Independent Games Festival in the 'Excellence In Visual Art' category. Utilizing cardboard, clay and various everyday materials the developers put a lot of time and effort in maintaining a distinctive, handcrafted visual style.
"Well, we handcraft all the sets and props using everyday materials such as clay, cardboard, Popsicle sticks and cotton wads. In essence we build small dioramas that we then paint, light and photograph.[¹]
The player controls Victor and Alicia, a young couple who have just moved into a new apartment. Not long after, they begin to notice that all is not what it seems with the building and its landlord, Mr. Morton.
Links and References:
- The Dream Machine Website (Flash, Demo available)
- The Dream Machine on Steam (Demo available)
- Cockroach Inc. Development Blog
- Interview with Alternative Magazine Online (UK)
PC System Requirements
- OS: Windows XP / Vista / 7
- Processor: 1.8 GHz processor
- Memory: 1 GB RAM
- Hard Drive: 250 MB HD space
Mac System Requirements
- OS: OS X version Leopard 10.5.8, Snow Leopard 10.6.3, or later
- Processor: Intel Mac 1.8 GHz processor
- Memory: 1 GB RAM
- Hard Drive: 150 MB HD space