20130214110059-ithaka1

Ithaka of the Clouds

A journey to the Lands of Dream.

At first glance, the game’s cutesy, cartoony graphics and simplistic interface give the impression that this is a juvenile game designed for small children. However, it soon becomes apparent that the game is in fact a deeply political, philosophical, and even academic narrative that defies easy description. It is to adventure games what Umberto Eco’s Il nome della rosa is to murder mystery novels.
- Adventure Classic Gaming on The Sea Will Claim Everything

A surreal, intelligent adventure blends magical fantasy with a dash of realism. It takes an exceptional writer to weave absurdity and believability together to create such a vivid tale, and Kyratzes manages it effortlessly.
- The Telegraph on The Sea Will Claim Everyting (runner-up for Best Script)

It’s like a five year old with a degree in comparative literature.
- Scripted Sequence

Feathers from a magical dinosaur.

Echoes from the Lands of Dream

Far beyond our world - yet deeply connected to it - there lie the vast plains and towering mountains of the Lands of Dream. In this strange realm everything once imagined is real, as are many things no mortal has yet conceived of; in your journeys there you may meet the living, the dead, the undead, and even the unborn. Ancient authors, creatures of legend, unspeakable horrors, talking mushrooms... all are at home in the Lands of Dream.
 
We have been creating games about the Lands of Dream for many years now, beginning with The Strange And Somewhat Sinister Tale of the House at Desert Bridge and continuing with The Book of Living Magic, The Fabulous Screech and The Sea Will Claim Everything. Through these games, and through the stories collected in the Oneiropolis Compendium, people from all around the world have visited the Lands of Dream - and come to care about them. Because if there is one thing about these stories, it is that they are made purely and solely out of love.
 
A seashell from the Fortunate Isles.

As you set out for Ithaka...

The Sea Will Claim Everything was our first foray into making a commercial game, and our first foray into making a Lands of Dream game on a really big scale - three huge islands, dozens of characters, a rich and detailed story. Judging from reviews, many players found it to be a memorable and affecting experience quite unlike anything else.
 
Now we'd like to make something even more ambitious, and we need your support. To make Ithaka of the Clouds possible, to create a game that really feels like a long and eventful journey through a detailed world worth caring about, we need to have a budget. Not a huge budget, but something to work with over the many months it will take us to make it happen.
 
This mushroom is called Stelios.

A Long Journey

But what is it about? In short, Ithaka of the Clouds is a game strongly inspired by the sensual, philosophical and historical poetry of Constantine Cavafy (1863-1933), one of the greatest modern Greek poets. It's not a direct adaptation and knowledge of his works will not be necessary, but their themes will be strongly drawn upon.

Ithaka of the Clouds is the story of two lovers and their travels across the Lands of Dream as they seek the legendary city of the title. And it so happens that the two lovers are both trolls, creatures that human stories have often painted as frightening barbarians. The journey will take them through many lands, where they will meet many people and creatures and face many challenges.

This troll is famous for his concept art.

A Game of Trolls

But what are these Lands of Dream games like? How do they play?
 
Well, the easiest and best way to find out is to just play one of them! The first three games are entirely free, and The Fabulous Screech and The Book of Living Magic also come in handy Flash versions. There's also a demo of The Sea Will Claim Everything.
 
Alternatively, you could watch this Let's Almost Play of The Sea Will Claim Everything. It only shows a tiny bit of the game, but it's still a lot more representative of the game than a bunch of screenshots or regular gameplay footage. Because, as several critics have pointed out, you can't really capture the magic of these games in screenshots and videos.
 
But since summaries are faster, here's one: Ithaka of the Clouds will be an adventure game with a heavy emphasis on exploration and story, with an unusual set of protagonists and strong literary/poetic influences.
 
Jorrum Dooga’s Revised Book of Incomplete Feature Lists (Second Edition)

Real Feature List

  • A point & click adventure game accessible to everyone!
  • A funny, moving, bittersweet story from the writer of games like The Infinite Ocean and The Sea Will Claim Everything.
  • Bad puns.
  • Philosophy.
  • Mushrooms.
  • Simple to play but full of complex ideas.
  • Colourful hand-drawn graphics by children's book illustrator Verena Kyratzes.
  • A breathtaking score by acclaimed composer Chris Christodoulou.
  • A huge world to explore.
  • Details! Everything has a description, down to the smallest mushroom, and all of them are delightful.
  • Walls of text. Yes. We believe in the power of words.
  • Multiple solutions to many puzzles.
  • Crafting! Trolls are builders and makers.
  • In short: a game you won't forget.

Fake Feature List

  • Seventeen types of assault rifle.
  • Game makes you tea.
  • Voiced by professional cat actors.
  • Always-on DRM embedded directly into your brain.
  • Good puns.
  • Multiplayer deathmatch.
  • Also includes presentation software for horses.
Money! Actually, it's a token from the Tomb of the Timber Tyrant. True story.

What We Will Do With The Money

Mostly we'll just work. Making a game of this size will take us about 6-8 months of working 5-6 days a week. If that sounds a lot, remember that the hotspot descriptions in The Sea Will Claim Everything alone amount to about as many words as your average novel, and Ithaka of the Clouds will be quite a bit bigger! This will truly be an enormous game.

(We'll be particularly happy to be able to give Chris Christodoulou an appropriate amount of money, so he can focus on composing without having to wait for more than half a year before seeing any kind of payment! Too many composers are exploited these days.)

On top of that there are a variety of production costs, such as the paper and the drawing materials (more expensive than you'd think), software licenses, the perks, etc. We won't be wasting any of your money.

Projected release date: 6-8 months after funding.

Quadricorder not included.

Challenges

We've made Lands of Dream games before, so we do know what we're doing. The only real danger is our somewhat-legendary bad luck - last year Verena got hit by a car, for example, which put a bit of a crimp in our plans (she's better now). So, while there are few dangers in terms of indie game development, it is possible that funding this campaign will cause the Earth to be invaded by aliens or struck by a meteorite. (Sorry.)

Compass

Stretch Goals

People have been asking us for an updated version of The Strange and Somewhat Sinister Tale of the House at Desert Bridge for a while now, ever since it stopped working on newer systems. We'd love to go back and create improved versions of both Desert Bridge and The Book of Living Magic. They would remain free, of course!

Here is a list of stretch goals:

$13,500 - remake The Strange and Somewhat Sinister Tale of the House at Desert Bridge

$14,000 - update The Book of Living Magic, add minor improvements to The Fabulous Screech

$15,000 - remake The Museum of Broken Memories

$20,000 - remake Phenomenon 32

$50,000 - remake The Fabulous Screech as FPS/RTS hybrid

$100,000 - remake Phenomenon 32 five times

$500,000 - build a house out of cream cheese

$1,000,000 - remake Call of Duty as Marxist text adventure

$25,000,000 - make a pretty good science fiction movie

$99,999,999 - build working replica of Babylon 5

$1,000,000,000 - buy tuna for cat

 

 

Map

Perks

We've created some wonderful perks for anyone who wants to support our campaign! You can see the details on the right.

(Note: the game will run on Windows, but will be playable on Linux and Mac via Wine/WineSkin. You'll always get a DRM-free downloadable version, and if possible keys for any additional distribution services it will appear on.)

The Book of Trollish Wisdom: A collection of tales, anecdotes, recipes, and philosophical treatises from the lands of the trolls. We are offering a very limited number of professionally hand-bound copies of this unique cultural document.

Boxed Version

Boxed Treasure: Each box will be painted with a unique image from the Lands of Dream. It will contain the game and all the extras on CD, and you'll also get downloadable copies of the game for yourself or friends.

Canvas

Painted Window: The Lands of Dream look particularly stunning on canvas. You get to choose a theme, of course, and delivery costs are included (unless you want an abnormally huge canvas, in which case we can arrange something).

Team on This Campaign: