Sealark is an old-school adventure game inspired by such classics as Earthbound, Cave Story, and Harvest Moon. It has a colorful 2D pixel art style backed up by an interesting premise. The world has been overtaken by waves, and our protagonist is the last human, the last fisher at least, in a world full of fish, fish men, and talking birds.
It swam out on Kickstarter in September 2012, and was fully funded almost instantly. By the time the campaign was over, it reached nearly $60,000, a whopping 1180% above its initial goal. However, that hasn’t been enough to finish the game. On February 11, 2016, developer Clairvoire announced the project was now on “long-term” hiatus.
Unfortunately, the update is for backers only, and no one on the Cliqist staff backed the campaign. All we have to go on is the title of the update, and the publicly available comments, which all seem positive. We reached out to developer Joshua Cross who had only a brief statement for us. He didn’t want us to write an article about the update.
“If you have any questions, please feel free! I can’t stop ya or anything, but… I’ll be honest, I was hoping it’d be between my backers and me mostly… I’m really bad at handling negative attention, which was why I wanted to make the hiatus official, so I could hide away and work for a bit until I was sorted enough to resume.”
I replied to Cross with my questions, and I asked him if there was anything going on that he might want to talk about. After over a week and multiple emails, he never replied.
Comments by backers seem to be positive with several stating they won’t seek a refund. Cross seems to have found a way of communicating with his backers that works for him. It is however our job to write about these kinds of things. We don’t know what Cross is actually doing right now because he’s not speaking publicly.
When, or if, Sealark makes its comeback, we’ll be sure to write about it. Until then, refrain from sending Cross, or anyone on Kickstarter who has gone on hiatus for that matter, any harassment. It’s a bad look for everyone, and it’s not going to solve anything.