DreamCasters' Duel

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DreamCasters' Duel
Platform(s) Windows PC
Release 2002
Genre(s) Third-Person Shooter/fighting game

DreamCasters' Duel (aka Dream Casters' Duel), commonly abbreviated as DCD, is an international award-winning hybrid Third-Person Shooter and fighting game (the first ever of the genre) in production since 2002. The length of the development can be attributed to the fact that it is being developed single-handedly. DreamCasters' Duel features, by far and away, the world's largest collection of art assets ever single-handedly created for a video game and represents over 11,200 man hours of work.^1


DreamCasters' Duel was initially conceived as a game that would combine elements of First Person Shooters and fighting games. The idea of setting the game in a dream world arose out of the desire to "be able to account for the super-powers the characters would wield in a way that made sense, unlike, say, Street Fighter." The narrative, which features characters manipulating a networked dreamscape, was registered as "Dueling Dreams^2", over 4 years before the movie Inception. It was initially developed for the id Tech 3 engine and later, as a modification of Unreal Tournament 2004. This engine was also found to be unsatisfactory for a number of reasons and the developer intends that the art assets be ported to a different game engine. The vast majority of art assets are completed; production has halted pending the involvement of a programmer.


DreamCasters' Duel has been featured on the front page of a number of gaming websites including beyondunreal.com and diygamer.com. It has been praised as "unique^4" and has won acclaim for its "great concept, story, and promising gameplay.^5" In addition to praise, DCD has won a number of international awards having been named "Mod of the Moment" at moddb.com, placing among the top 100 mods in the Mod of the Year competition for two years consecutively, and placing third in the stand-alone category in 2006^6. DCD's animations won inclusion into the Illustrate! art gallery and developer Michael Kelley was consequently awarded $395 worth of software^7.


The unique elements have spawned imitators in terms of both game play, narrative, and characters, including but not limited to games and mods such as Nevermore^8 and DataRun^9.



Developer Michael Kelley has long been an out-spoken critic of the reliance of moddb.com on copyright infringing mods for its viewership^10. Moddb.com has gone so far as to reward copyright infringing mods with awards and prizes^11. After having placed third in the stand-alone category in 2006's Mod of the Year competition according to total number of votes, the rules were re-written so that DreamCasters' Duel was disqualified ex post facto. Third place was then arbitrarily awarded to OpenArena, a copyright-infringing mod whose developer was a personal friend of the site's owner, Scott Reismanis. Adding to the controversy, OpenArena^12 hadn't even been eligible to win as it did not place in the top 100 mods in the prior round of voting.

An interview with Michael Kelley for moddb.com was canceled. Staff journalist Methulah^13, who had arranged for the interview, cited "internal (moddb.com) politics" as the reason for its cancellation and resigned his post shortly thereafter. Commenting on the possible correlation between his criticism of moddb.com's illegality and the cancellation of his interview, Michael Kelley said, "there is definitely a connection."


The fact that DreamCasters' Duel does not allow the men of the game to inflict "physically replicable violence" against women has drawn cries of sexism from some feminists who believe that women are physically equal to or greater in strength than men.

Other Media[edit]

A DreamCasters' Duel comic is being developed in conjunction with the game. A 2d fighting game featuring the female characters of DCD is being developed^14.


  • 1. dreamcastersduel.com/txt/dcdArtAssets.doc
  • 2. wga.org, registrant WGAw# 1109915
  • 3. www.moddb.com/mods/dream-casters-duel
  • 4. Geoff Gibson "An Unusually Unique UT2004 Mod: Dream Caster's Duel," DiyGamer.com 30 Nov. 2010, <https://web.archive.org/web/20101225160208/http://www.diygamer.com/2010/11/unusually-unique-ut2004-mod-dreamcasters-duel-mod/>
  • 5. Methulah "Mod of the Moment; Dream Casters' Duel" moddb.com 26 Nov. 2006, <http://www.moddb.com>
  • 6. moddb.com/mods/dream-casters-duel/news/dream-casters-duel-stephen-colbert
  • 7. davidgould.com/Illustrate/
  • 8. moddb.com/games/nevermore/news/details-about-nevermore-game
  • 9. moddb.com/mods/datarun
  • 10. moddb.com/members/mikejkelley/blogs/moty-2007
  • 11. moddb.com/games/openarena
  • 12. desura.com/members/methy
  • 13. forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=17636.0