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

Project Update

Posted earlier today on The Unofficial Jonas Kyratzes Website:

Crows!

I recently finished my text game for the upcoming Fear of Twine exhibition. It’s called The Matter of the Great Red Dragon, is set in the Lands of Dream, and has turned out quite wonderful, even though the whole thing came to me in a flash at the last minute, after I’d thrown my original idea out the window. I don’t mean to brag, I’m just really happy with how it turned out. You should be able to play it in a week.

I am now returning to work on The Council of Crows, which may or may not be a working title. This is a short(er) Lands of Dream game – bigger than The Book of Living Magic but not as huge as The Sea Will Claim Everything – and will be free to all those who supported our Indiegogo. The rest of you will be able to get it for an affordable sum. Chris Christodoulou has written absolutely fantastic music for it, and Verena has drawn some of her most evocative art so far. I think it’ll be beautiful.

(The screenshot is old and a little unpolished, but that’s pretty much what it looks like.)

Incidentally, this game was supposed to come out much earlier, but I ran into a serious problem with how Windows 7 handles fonts in Multimedia Fusion games, and had to engineer an ugly but functional solution. This has also caused a delay for Ithaka of the Clouds, but don’t complain – you’re getting a free game!

(If your text looks weird and a bit jagged in The Sea Will Claim Everything, it’s a Windows feature called ClearType. There’s nothing I can currently do about it, so if it bothers you, you’ll have to turn it off before playing. I’m very sorry about this, and more than a little irritated. There doesn’t appear to be a simple solution, and I cannot currently go back and rewrite all the code for a game that sells almost nothing. Thankfully, not that many people seem to have had this problem or noticed it.)

I’m also working on a few other projects in parallel, including a platformer and another text game which… pertains to the Lands of Dream, to slightly paraphrase Dunsany. In fact, I’m quite in love with text games at the moment. Or actually with writing in general. Every now and then I get a chance to do really write and I remember that writing is actually what I’m all about.

And then there’s the Secret Project I’m Not Allowed To Tell You About, which does not involve squirrels, scorpions, or the use of the word “pronk.”

Exciting times. Now to just convince my body to defeat the common cold.

Mission Statement: Clown-Free Products

We here at the Lands of Dream Official Website are aware of the serious problems many people face in our society, issues which are never addressed by the oppressive clownophiliac mainstream. Too many products in this modern world are created by processes involving, affiliated with or secretly watched by clowns. Unlike the production of goods by slaves or the impoverished state of the working class, the issue of clowns is one that cuts to the very heart of who we are as a society. So today we pledge that none of our products will under any circumstances:

  • contain clowns or clown byproducts
  • be manufactured by clowns
  • be distributed by clowns
  • resemble clowns
  • smell of clowns
  • support narratives of clown privilege
  • be spiritually connected to the ghosts of clowns
  • continue the clownification of games
  • make any reference to clowns that is not broadly derogatory
  • in any way suggest that clowns make acceptable pets or astral companions
  • use words specifically associated with clowns and problematic clown practices
  • mention the clown standing behind the reader

In this way, we will demonstrate our allegiance to creating a 100% clown-free society, which means this website is morally better than the majority of all websites, which you don’t read but which almost certainly contain nothing but clowns. Any claims that this alters nothing about our current production methods is itself a sign of clownophilia and will result in an angry tweet from Pennywise the Clown, a valuable ally of our movement who has embraced Critical Clown Theory. We hope other websites will join us in our crusade for lasting change.

Thank you, and remember to minimize your clown footprint.

  • Monkeys