The Sea Will Claim Everything

My new game, The Sea Will Claim Everything, is now available as part of the Bundle in a Box indie adventure game bundle. It’s a pretty sweet offer – you get several really cool games, and some extras, and you support the Indie Dev Grant, and you support an important charity. And, you know, you get my game.

Speaking of which, let me tell you about The Sea Will Claim Everything. This is a game that I would have loved to have played when I was just getting into computer games. I love it now, too, but I think in making it I tried to go back to thinking about games as I did back then: full of enthusiasm, without cynicism, before I heard of game design dogma and strange debates about what makes a game a proper game. It’s just the sort of game that would have made little Jonas happy, that he could have spent hours exploring and playing with. It has a lot in it of the games that I played back then, sometimes without fully understanding them. It has something, too, of those peculiar shareware adventure games I found on CDs that collected hundreds of games; games that would seem laughably rough to us now, but which to me held an infinite sense of wonder – if only because I would never get to see their full forms. Playing through their first few screens I always imagined all the wonderful things that you could find later, and longed for those magical places and great adventures. I know that most of those games never delivered, of course, but I remember the feeling.

It’s also a very personal game. It’s a game about home and about family, about having roots in the land (not necessarily the land you were born in) and about standing up for justice and equality. These aren’t abstract ideological issues, they are things that concern me deeply, more so right now than ever. The game is unapologetically political, philosophical and emotional. And silly in all the ways that amuse me. It may not be to everyone’s taste. It almost certainly won’t be. But I believe in Auntie Pixelante’s motto – we have to make the games we want to play in the world. I think that is vitally important. So I’d like to invite you to visit the Fortunate Isles, and to treat this game not like an exercise in game design theory, but more like you treat a person. The flaws and quirks are part of what makes it itself.

24 Comments

  1. James Patton

    I am overjoyed that this is finally out. And I’m glad that, like you say, it’s the kind of game *you* want to play. Games needn’t be nothing but fun-mechanisms, and the fact that you engage with political issues just makes the game that much more mature, in my eyes, than most others – even if it, paradoxically, has a charmingly simple aesthetic.

    Just to let you know, I’ve already got 3 of the games in the bundle so I thought it would be unfair on you to have my money split five ways. So I bought the bundle and then donated to you too. I know the donation system is supposed to be for the Oneiropolis Compendium, but think of it as my way of leveraging the “Pay what you want” concept.

    Sadly I won’t be able to play until later; I have to revise for my finals (which begin tomorrow, paaaaniiiiic), but I can’t wait to immerse myself in this world you’ve created.

  2. *-*

    hi! i just want to be sure, this game wont run on mac? i just wondered since the other land of dreams games played in the browser. love the previous games, great work!

  3. Yeah – sorry about that. Flash is great because it’s so flexible, but I couldn’t accomplish what I needed to in it. I will look into whether it’s possible to produce a Mac version or to find a way of running the game in some kind of emulator, but right now it’s Windows-only.

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  5. FUCK YES!

    Ii can’t wait to play this!

    Well, I’ll probably wait until tomorrow to play it, since I need to finish Katawa Shoujo tonight and write a review of it after I finish, but still!

    SO MUCH EXCITEMENT!

  6. lin

    YAY! Done and done. AND I have the day off tomorrow. Must set alarm early! XD You on the other hand should sleep in, you deserve it.

    Oh and I suppose I should have suspected that it wasn’t an accident that Bundle in a Box and TSWCE seemed to be about to launch around the same time. In retrospect it just seems so obvious. Good call for all of yous. 🙂

    More tomorrow, can’t wait!

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  8. lin

    Update: It absolutely rocks so far Jonas, it really really does. I’m having such a great time. Don’t know what to say really, except, eh, can you pretty please tell me why I can’t escape the Screech? I seem to have summoned him somehow and now he refuses to leave? Kinda clueless as to why the return button refuses to work. Is this a bug?

  9. @lin: Yes, several of the things that can be summoned refuse to leave. It is indeed a bug, though it doesn’t always happen (only certain combinations cause it). Exiting and reloading should always fix it, and the autosave should mean you don’t lose any data. And of course there will be a patch.

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  11. lin

    Game Over. Damn.

    Thank you so much for this game, both of you. So many of good, odd, strong emotions. You’re such a terrible person for making me go around saying goodbye to everyone, now I’m all mushy and don’t want to speak aloud lest I break the spell.

    Can’t really review anything, this was an emotional journey. Without being spoilerish, I’m just gonna say that the gameplay is just on the right side of easy so as not to distract from the journey, and aside from having to bust my head to figure out how to get inside the darn cave (so obviously genious) I didn’t really have much of a problem with anything, it all went very smoothly. Oh, and I LOVED the crash, it totally made my day.

    Two miniscule bugs: The Pythia dialog option for Cranion doesn’t work for me, and all the summons at the Mixanomatron seem to force a restart, but autosave works. Didn’t affect gameplay.

    Also, because I’m silly like that and went ahead and researched all the mixes and combos, what IS that something weird that happens after eating the Potion of Gnurg? Please don’t burst my bubble by telling me it’s nothing, just pretend you’re not gonna reveal it, yeah? 😉

    Off to buy Chris’s music because damn. Too good.

    All my love.

  12. Thank you for your kind words. They made me happy after a rough day.

    The bugs you mention are all real, though thankfully not fatal. I’ll let The know so he can fix the portal.

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  14. Robert

    Congratulations on finishing the game! It looks so amazing. You’ve been my favorite game designer ever since I played Desert Bridge back when I had a PC. Since switching to a Mac, I’ve been lucky to be able to play your games on a browser, but I understand that would be impossible for a big game like this. It breaks my heart that I won’t be able to play it, but I’m very happy for you.

    I hope you find a different way to sell the game other than in the bundle. I think if you priced it in the $10-15 range, many, many people would buy it. (Certainly almost everyone who played The Fabulous Screech!)

    Regardless, congratulations again! 🙂

  15. Ro9ge

    “A blue-box. It contains a slip of paper with the true name of a two-hearted alien on it.”

    You, sir, are a very evil man.

    Anyway, just getting started myself, but so far I’m loving it as always. These games are my favorite – the sheer amount of imagination’s such a joy to experience.

  16. mno

    Fantastic game! The blend of social commentary and humour works great, it’s been a while since anything has made me think seriously while keeping a big smile on my face. I loved meeting all of the inhabitants of the islands so much that having to leave at the end brought me to tears.

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