The time we spent in Greece was great for Ithaka of the Clouds. Verena did a lot of drawing every day and, after some stylistic experiments, finished most of the images for the first part of the game. Yes, the game is divided into parts… but I really don’t want to spoil this stuff for you, so I won’t tell you everything. The first part is not the biggest part of the game, but it is fairly extensive and very important to the story, and being able to engage with it as we did in Greece really helped us to further define and shape what the game will be about.
I don’t know if this makes sense to anyone else, but one of the things that terrifies me about working on a new project is that trying to imagine something that is still just an abstract concept isn’t really possible. I remain quite nervous until the project turns into something specific, until it has characters and places and ideas I can work with, even if they’re flawed and require revision. That’s where we are with Ithaka now: it has people in it. And creatures. I believe I can honestly say that they include some of our daftest ideas yet, and that’s coming from the people who brought you a sentient piece of toast. So, yeah. The valley of the trolls is starting to feel like a real place now.
In other good news, Helen Trevillion, the composer of The Strange and Somewhat Sinister Tale of the House at Desert Bridge and The Book of Living Magic and most of The Fabulous Screech will be contributing some music to Ithaka! I’m extremely pleased about this, since Ithaka ties the previous games together on a variety of levels and it would feel wrong not to have some of Helen’s music in there. I still can’t believe how lucky I’ve been with the composers I’ve worked with over the years.
The updated versions of The Book of Living Magic and Desert Bridge are both still scheduled for later this year, and there might even be some other surprises. As for Ithaka itself, it will still take us at least six months. The reason for this is that I think we should not, under any circumstances, rush the game. We’re working on it constantly and we’re not wasting your money, but I think the only way to do the story justice is not to let ourselves be forced into cutting the game down to meet a self-imposed deadline. That’s the freedom crowdfunding has given us, the freedom to make the game right, and we want to embrace that. If you enjoyed our previous games, believe me when I say that the result will be worth it.
(Let me put this another way: a week ago or so Verena drew an image with ninety mushrooms in it. Ninety. God. Damn. Mushrooms. Yes, the images are bigger than those in The Sea Will Claim Everything. No, I have no idea how I’m going to write so many mushroom puns after having already filled several games with them.)
Now I will go back to work, and later Verena and I will celebrate our fourth wedding anniversary. Yay!
Thanks again for your support, everyone.