Now that Morten has quit Funcom, I’m the last programmer left that still knows the code for The Longest Journey enough to poke around in it. For about a year, I’ve been the maintainer, and that’s not a curse at all, it’s fun. I really like the old game, and there hasn’t been much new in the adventure genre, so it’s still one of the best adventures you can buy, if you ask me. I guess that’s why we still get requests from publishers to make re-releases.
Two years ago I took the English release and compressed it all down to just two CDs (instead of four) because if you’re making budget releases theat earn you only about a dollar on each game sold, then the cost of the media acually makes a big impact. The major reason his was possible is that we have far better sound compression these days, and PCs can spend more CPU time decompressing it. the original game used ADPCM sounds and was specced to run on a 485/25. The new release uses .ogg sounds and needs a slightly better CPU. I picked ogg because it’s royalty-free, and was supported by audiere, a LGPL-licensed sound library that even I could use. I’d never done any sound coding before.
That version is the one now on sale, and not only is it smaller, it also runs on Windows XP without any compatibility mode settings. The old game had some issues with certain onboard soundcards, the new one works with any kind of modern hardware.
With the Dreamfall release date getting closer, there’s been more and more interest in the old game. Some weeks ago, a romanian computer magazine asked us if they could use it for a cover-mount, something we couldn’t have done with the 4 CD release. And when our french publishers wanted to re-release the game in france, I recompressed the french sounds, so now we’ve got the 2 CD version in two languages. Right now, I’m working on a new german release and a scandinavian DVD that’ll contain the swedish, norwegian and english versions all in one. And on op of all that, there’s been an offer from one publisher to do an entirely new synchronization, bringing the total number of localizations for the game to a whooping ten!