disney Dream Light ValleyThe next major free update is slated for February, bringing two new beloved Disney characters to the game: Encantoof Mirabel and Frozenit’s Olaf. Developer Gameloft shared the game’s early 2023 roadmap on Wednesday, laying out the next few months.
The game itself is still in Early Access, having been released nearly seven months ago now. Gameloft stated that before its next updates, Disney Valley of Dreams continues to grow to reach its highest ever active player base, he said.
Beyond Mirabel and Olaf in the February update – which also extends the main story and explores the Frosted Heights biome – Gameloft has a new kingdom of The Lion King scheduled for April. Simba will join Scar in Dreamlight Valley, bringing another massive mammal into play – though this one surely won’t be looking to eat Remy. Beyond April, another update is planned for early summer, but Gameloft said it was not ready to share details; all we know is that the main story will continue again and players will finally learn who lives in the game’s mysterious pumpkin.
“It will be a huge leap forward with the main story, all coming together to find out what lies behind oblivion,” Disney Valley of Dreams lead producer Manea Castet told Polygon.
Elsewhere in 2023, Disney Valley of Dreams will continue to expand with more characters (like Belle!), kingdoms, clothing, and decorations, but will also add a long-awaited feature: multiplayer. Details on what multiplayer means for the game are slim, however. Gameloft will continue its Star Path-like Battle Pass, which rewards players for following the game. These have been themed so far, and those in 2023 are no different – Star Paths in February and April will be themed Disney’s 100th Anniversary and Disney Theme Parks, respectively.
The main story of Disney Valley of Dreams is original content, and the developer can create their own world, something not explicitly tied to a particular franchise. “We can tell our own stories, where we can show this metaphor of growing up and finding our inner child,” Castet said. “[The world itself] is the best way to do it, to tell our own stories. He said that throughout Act 1 of the game, players will understand what is happening in the valley.
Each character expands on this main story a bit, weaving into their own. Olaf will be a big part of the main story, Castet said. He said Olaf’s quests are some of the best they’ve devised to date. Castet did not go into detail about these quests, but pointed out that Gameloft relies on player feedback to refine its new scenarios. An example cited by Castet is The Lion King‘s Scar, which takes the player to a previously hidden area of the valley, the Underground Mine. “That’s what we want to continue doing in the next update, exploring new areas of the valley and not just having the existing area as our playground.”
Mirabel, from Encanto, is more of an “integration” character, he said. “You don’t have to play a lot of hours to meet Mirabel and have fun with her,” Castet said. “She’s going to bring her own version of Casita” to the game – “mini Casita”, as Castet called it.
February also brings the new Star Path celebrating Disney’s 100th anniversary – Castet said the assets are some of the “most beautiful” the team has done, following the artistic direction of the entire Disney 100 celebration. There’s also a new pet, new furniture and new items directly related to the event.
The April update is the one with Simba, joining The Lion Kingit’s the scar. Scar entered the game without his own kingdom, so Simba The Lion King kingdom is the first in the franchise. Castet said there are tons of references to the movie, but the kingdom will also have its own storytelling. There is something different about the atmosphere that these large animals give to Disney Valley of Dreams; it was immediately felt with Scar, and Castet said it was the same with Simba too.
It’s also the update that adds the Disney Star Path theme parks – “We can already imagine how cool it can be to customize your valley to look a bit like a park,” Castet said. You can’t completely turn your valley into a Disney theme park, but you can decorate it with items from the parks.
Quality of life updates
Disney Valley of Dreams is an early access game – and a very polished one – but that doesn’t mean the game is without issues. It had some major bugs when it launched, and it has slowly improved since then; it is in much better condition at the start of 2023.
Since launch, Gameloft has looked to game players to prioritize content updates and feature fixes. “For every update, about 50% of the update is community driven,” Castet said. “There are big community requests that are highlighted, and that raises the priority for us.” The February update is a good example of that, Castet said: There are a ton of quality of life changes coming, like an improved storage system.
Anyone who has played the game knows how much the storage system needs improvement. You store things in safes around your house and the systems are clunky. Items don’t stack automatically, and you have to run from chest to chest to access what’s in each one. If you’re like me, you don’t know what’s in each chest, and finding what you need is a frustrating exercise. Not to mention the huge fleet of chests that line the perimeter of my house – they’re all the same!
To solve these problems, Gameloft is adding more types of chests, so there are more options, as well as automatic sorting and selection tools for better and easier organization. Castet said Gameloft will also add a panel so you can see what’s in the trunk before opening it as well. The second quality of life change described by Castet is more customization in the valley, especially with the exterior of player houses.
Disney Valley of Dreams is free in early access on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X.