Of course, we wouldn’t ever stop Jonas from creating what he wants to create; he has many works outside of the Lands of Dreams games that are just as brilliant for different reasons. As he writes in a prior blog post, though, he wants to do more – write screenplays, his series The Starving Artists’ Kitchen, publishing a children’s book and working on other small game projects, it would seem.
For those not so familiar with the Lands of Dreams games, to put it simply, they’re some of the most wonderful, serious, silly and thought-provoking adventure games you’ll ever meet. The last instalment was The Sea Will Claim Everything, which needs much more attention than it garnered. Last year we were also treated to the much shorter, but just as powerful The Fabulous Screech, and it’s recommended that you check that one out if you want to get a taste of the games. Or just play them in the order they’ve been released, as you can see on this page.
From A Seed Grows A Tree
So, apparently, Ithaka of the Clouds is an idea that Jonas has had in his head growing over time. It was originally about a troll, and then it became two trolls. And with that it grew into a game about life and the journeys we take, or at least a particular journey, or just journeys in general. For a while, though, Jonas wasn’t sure where he wanted to take the game or what it should become. Fortunately, he found resolve in Constantine Cavafy – a widely praised Greek poet that, unfortunately, doesn’t translate well into any other language. Jonas writes about the shame in this fact:
“Poems like Ithaka, Waiting for the Barbarians and Thermopylae have been a huge influence on me. I wish I could share with you how wise Ithaka is, how relevant the satire of Waiting for the Barbarians remains, how well Thermopylae expresses my understanding of struggle and principles.”
Luckily, being the brilliant developer that he is, Jonas will be bringing his influence from Cavafy over into Ithaka of the Clouds, so we’ll at least grasp some semblance of what these grand poems may be like. The themes of these poems is what have given form to Ithaka of the Clouds and has intertwined with those present in the other Lands of Dreams games: the sensual, the historical, and the philosophical. We’ll be following two lovers as they journey – the two trolls – which makes it sound as if the game will be constantly travelling forward, rather than emerging in scale from a central hub that the player can recognize as a retreat.
This already makes Ithaca of the Clouds markedly different to the other games in this beauteous realm, but there’s a further distinction in the gameplay too. Crafting is what it has been referred to as, only briefly. This emerged from the fact that these two trolls are builders, and as such, this allows the player to construct objects of some kind within the game, presumably to further progression. Other than that, the game will remain true to the series with the serious and the silly colliding often, and with a focus on the exploration of spaces in detail.
As this will be a much bigger project than even The Sea Will Claim Everything, which took me several hours at least, there will be an Indiegogo campaign that should be launching soon in order to fund the development time. And just in case you need to hear reasoning for that:
“It may be the last major Lands of Dream game, and it will play a very significant role in the greater tapestry of stories; if the funding campaign works out, it will not only significantly improve our lives (so we can make this game without starving), but it will also allow us to create something that we are deeply invested in.”
So if you’re at all invested in the Lands of Dreams games, then it’s most certainly in your interest to make a monetary investment too. Looking forward to this one? We very much are!