A Postcard From Afthonia

Hi,

So it looks like Jonas and Verena and Chris have just released a new magical portal to the Lands of Dream! It’s called A Postcard From Afthonia and it will take you to a time shortly after the events of The Sea Will Claim Everything, but you don’t have to have been to the Fortunate Isles before to use this portal.

The portal is entirely free, but if you want to support the creation of further magical portals, there is a Special Edition that you can purchase at a very affordable price, which comes with an audio commentary that is actually a video, some short but beautiful musings by Henry Trollweather, and a traditional Afthonian moussaka recipe. Isn’t that amazing? I think it is, but then, what do I know? I’m a fox, I bite the heads off chickens.

Yours truly,

Julian the Announcement Fox

Proper News Soon

This fox smells of something reddish.

Hi all,

It’s been a bit quiet around here, I must admit. I’d gone off on a bit of an adventure to other websites, and Jonas was apparently very busy with a form of torture called “bureaucracy” (shudder). But now things are slowly moving again, I’m told, at least from his post on the other site:

As the release date of The Talos Principle approaches, I’ll be posting reviews and other links of interest here. I am, however, also preparing the release of A Postcard From Afthonia, which is ready and just being set up at Humble, and The Council of Crows, which I’d love to release before Christmas (but I’m not sure I can). I’m also working on a post about the writing of Talos and another one about Ithaka of the Clouds. Loads of stuff happening right now!

Unfortunately I’ve spent the last few weeks utterly and completely inundated with terrifying tax and healthcare paperwork that I can’t safely ignore, so I’m way behind.

A Postcard From Afthonia is a very cool little portal, and I think you’ll like it a lot, but what I’m most excited about is The Council of Crows, which is actually quite a big thing. It even has Henry Trollweather in it, a writer I’ve always wanted to meet, and a tiny but beautiful sample of whose writing is included in the Special Edition of A Postcard From Afthonia. I’ve also heard he’s working with R.L. Smith and Jonas and Verena on Ithaka of the Clouds. Excited, even if I must admit they’ve taken forever. Maybe Jonas can explain that properly at some point.

Anyway, I’ll dig around the website a bit, clear away the cobwebs, update the mushrooms on what’s going on, that sort of thing. Talk to you soon.

Love,

Julian the Announcement Fox

Postcard Unity

Backers of Ithaka of the Clouds have been sent a beta version of A Postcard From Afthonia! It’s a bit more buggy than I’d realized, but it does contain the complete game. (If you’re a backer and you haven’t gotten your link, check your spam folder. If it’s not in there, contact us.) The game will become available for everyone else in October.

Between these annoying bugs and an excellent conversation I had with some adventure developer friends in Cologne, I think I’m starting to realize that I should move over to Unity. A slightly scary thought for someone so used to a specific way of working, but probably necessary to keep doing the Lands of Dream justice. And since we have so many fans who use Linux, we could finally also produce games that don’t require emulators to run…

Mini-update

This fox smells of something reddish.

A mini-update has been sent out to backers, with a bigger one next week. A Postcard From Afthonia, the new game, will be available next week! (Definitely for backers, hopefully also for everyone else.)

Right now Jonas and Verena are off to Gamescom. Say hi to them if you’re there.

– Julian the Announcement Fox

The Steam Will Claim Everything!

This fox smells of something reddish.

Hi,

I woke up in my den (under an HTML file to the left of the about page) this morning and saw that Jonas had posted the following:

So, not only has The Talos Principle been announced, but now The Sea Will Claim Everything has been greenlit!

And the week isn’t even over yet.

Holy shit.

I’m so excited! Aren’t you? I think I’m going to eat a digital chicken.

Yours truly,

Julian the Announcement Fox

Ithaka of the Clouds and other news

We just sent this email to our backers:

Hi everyone,

We thought we’d finally share some news about Ithaka of the Clouds and the Lands of Dream in general, because we know we’ve been entirely too silent. This is not because anything’s gone horribly wrong, by the way, but simply because we’re always worried about spamming people and giving away too much of a game’s magic. (But it certainly isn’t good PR, and our backers deserve to know what’s going on!)

So. Here we go. The news:

– Ithaka of the Clouds will be released this winter. We don’t want to name a specific month, because you know how these things are. If we name a month, it won’t be that month.
– The Council of Crows, a smaller Lands of Dream game that will be free for everyone who backed Ithaka, is coming out… soon? It turned out bigger than originally intended, but it’s nearly done. We just need to make sure we can have the time and energy to publicize it enough when it does come out, so there are some scheduling issues that have to be resolved.
– These are not the only Lands of Dream games coming in 2014. That’s all I can say for now.

All in all, we’re making progress. We should have anticipated a longer development time, really, especially given how easy it is to get interrupted by health issues when you’re such a small team (Jonas and his teeth…), but we’re definitely getting there.

Speaking of getting there, we’ll also finally get to all your perks that relate to actual game content. Expect emails. Actual emails. From us. :)

Thanks for your continued support!
Jonas & Verena & Cat & Chris & possibly some mushrooms

PS If you haven’t played The Matter of the Great Red Dragon, it’s now available on the Lands of Dream website.

Matter of the Great Red Page

DragonHi,

Julian the Announcement Fox here. Nothing important to say – Jonas is still working on your next trip to the Lands of Dream – but I wanted to let you know that I put up a separate page for The Matter of the Great Red Dragon. If you haven’t experienced that story yet, why not do so now? It’s completely free.

I hope you like it.

Greetings,

Julian the Announcement Fox

Bundle of Love

The Sea Will Claim Everything is currently part of the Bundle of Love for Brandon Boyer. The story is one that should be unsurprising to anyone who is familiar with private healthcare in the United States: person gets healthcare, person gets sick, healthcare company refuses to pay, person is left destitute.

Humble Bundle has teamed with independent developers to put together a bundle like no other. To help support this cause, pay at least $25 to receive a ton of games and all proceeds will go directly to the Brandon Boyer Cancer Treatment Relief fund. In addition to Brandon’s medical bills for cancer treatment, the excess funds from this promotion will be donated to a select cancer research organization.

Jonas wrote more about this on his website.

Broccoli Remembrance Day

The Deadliest Vegetable

Join us today in mourning the victims of broccoli.

Fear of Twine

The Matter of the Great Red Dragon

Fear of Twine is an online exhibition of text-based games made by a highly diverse group of people from all around the world. It’s not just diverse in its list of authors, though: it has everything from fantasy to horror to science fiction to deeply personal explorations of kink to abstract political fiction about working-class politics. The site’s a little minimalistic, but the content is fantastically rich.

Fear of Twine features my new Lands of Dream game, The Matter of the Great Red Dragon. I know I’m supposed to be either insincerely humble or ridiculously boastful for the purposes of marketing, but the truth is that I’m just really happy that I got to make this game. It turned out exactly as I wanted it to and thinking about it gives me the warm, fuzzy feeling of having met some old friends and found that we still get along. So there you go. I hope you enjoy it.

Fear of Twine also includes Verena’s first solo game, Zombies and Elephants. Personally, I think it’s pretty awesome, with a lot more layers to it than the title might suggest (as is true of a lot of pulp fiction), but then again I may be biased. (I’m not. I’m a very harsh critic.) I know there are still a couple of things that Verena would like to change, but you know what they say about art. It’s full of the undead.

There’s a lot more to Fear of Twine, though I can’t figure out how to start another sentence with it. I haven’t played all the games yet, but I should definitely mention Abstract State-warp Machines by my dear friend and accomplished, original poet Ivaylo Shmilev. Interactive science fiction poetry! You’re in for a challenge and a treat. (And then there’s Workers in Progress by Konstantinos Dimopoulos and Truth is Ghost by Joel Goodwin and and and…)

I hope this exhibition will gain some traction with the press. I don’t think there’s ever been anything quite like it, and it deserves some attention.

Note: As this is a guest post from another site, we’ve decided to keep the strange reference to “games.” – Julian the Announcement Fox

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