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An adventure game about fish, love, and dire consequences
3,152 backers pledged $59,039 to help bring this project to life.

December Update!

Posted by clairvoire (Creator)

Merry Christmas!!

I hope your holiday is treating you well! Lots of hot cocoa and warm blankets and socks from relatives! I could use some socks. If any relatives are reading this, please send me socks.

I had to fight the urge to draw a huge Christmas thing today. I wanted this update to be barebones Sealark Update stuff. Mostly so when it's time for the next update in January, I don't wig out trying to make it the Best One Yet. But also because of time.

The past few months this fall and winter have been really stressful...   It's embarrassing, but I shouldn't keep it to myself any longer... I've been having to work side jobs and do freelancing to get by since summer. It felt like I failed everyone for a long while because of that. And maybe I have for some folks, I can understand if I've stretched their patience and goodwill too far... I've done my best to keep moving forward steadily despite having more work though! And for the most part, I'm succeeding in that! In fact, I feel I may be working more efficiently on Sealark than I ever have.  Every chance I get to work on the game, I feel so excited now! It feels like I've refound my love for making games. I had gone without it for so long, now that it's back, it's hard to understand how I could've ever lost it to begin with.

All that said though, you can only do so many 16 hour days before your health breaks, which for me happened a week ago.  I don't want to go into gross details, this update is depressing enough as it is, on Christmas of all days!   But it means I need to re-evaluate my priorities completely to avoid breaking my wimpy body again.

From here on in, I'm focusing on Gameplay and Writing. That's it. Up until recently, I felt I had to earn the right to work on these things with amazing art. Spending so much time making each asset to a really high standard and taking forever to get stuff done. I wanted so much to prove I was a great animator and a great sprite artist. But I'm not a great animator or sprite artist. I kinda suck! And that's okay, I think I see that now. I'll probably never be as good a sprite artist as the people I look up to, but I can be good enough to convey the story I want. And that's good enough for me now. My only goal is to make Sealark fun. Making it pretty will come after if time allows.


Just a map of the areas, y-yeah
Just a map of the areas, y-yeah

In addition to getting a bunch of sprites done, and planning out the areas of the game, I've also fixed a lot of bugs, replaced the unweildly renderer I made with one that uses raw/core OpenGL (which is easier to use paradoxically), added the ability to mask/stencil sprites, and the ability to colorkey sprites (independent of each other, with alpha, in 2 dimensions, so colorkey shift animations can be used now), and finished the dialog renderer entirely (It kind of looks like paper mario dialog now, with how it's animated).

I guess in summary though, I made the same mistake with animating I did with programming. I need to reel these expectations of mine back to earth a little or I'll take forever to finish. It's takin' a long while, but I will finish Sealark! Don't ever think that is a thing that won't happen. I might be really incompetent, slow, dumb, dumpy, and working like 5 jobs, but I will finish Sealark and I'm going to be really proud of it when it's done!!

My goal is to have a playable fishing/battle segment by February to show off most of the gameplay elements. Absolutely nothing else is happening until then. 2015 is going to be the year I release. ... I um. I don't know where in 2015, there's about 80 areas to do and so many fish and characters still. But you'll see them get done as I do them. I want to become more talkative and share more stuff and stop being so shy. And the first place I must work on that, is here, with you. I want this to be the year I finally deserve a fraction of what you've all done for me. I hope you'll stick by me just a little longer until then... 

Thank you all for your support! You've carried me through some tough days, and I'll always appreciate everything you've done for me. Please enjoy your holiday and have a good New Years!

Scott Warner, Ceran, and 77 more people like this update.


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    1. Missing avatar

      Jim on

      Any updates at all? Almost 4 months and no news...makes it seem less and less likely that 2015 will be the year...

    2. Missing avatar

      indyit on

      Hey hope all is well, this is one of the those games I backed on a whim and still have no regrets. Take the time you need, wish you all the best, and everything you've shown so far looks ace! Love the art style.

    3. Missing avatar

      elyetis on

      I really don't mind the delay and all but " I want to become more talkative and share more stuff and stop being so shy. " please stay true to that, it's been 2 month now.

    4. Missing avatar

      David on

      I'm still cheering for you! Drink in the small victories, and keep sharing your updates with us. I wouldn't want you to ever compromise your vision of the game. The only promise I need to hear from you is that the game will be finished and that you're happy with the way it turned out. Please take care of yourself!

      - A patiently eager fan

    5. Jason Stillion on

      As long as you give occasional updates, it does not matter to me when it's completed.

      I loved your vision of the game. I also understand how a project's and life can quickly become completed, or dramatically change a time frame.

      You have zero complaints for me.

    6. Missing avatar

      Damian on

      Wow those turn arounds! Nice!

      Also I saw folks asking for C++ programming advice on your tumblr; a thing I can recommend (although it's not finished yet) is Casey Muratori's Handmade Hero. He's writing a game with no libraries from scratch and streaming/youtubing all of it. I don't know if I could follow his lead all the way, but there's a ton of little things I've already picked up that I can use!

    7. Taylor Swann on

      Even though it took you this long to realize what it takes to finish a game... I'm still excited. Having a discretely defined scope and a plan for the future is exactly what I wanted to hear.

      Thanks for the update :)

    8. Kite on

      Do you have a PO Box where we can send you some socks? :)

    9. Justin Short on

      Love all the artwork, everything looks amazing. If you are having problems financially I'd love to donate money. Do you have a paypal account or maybe a Patreon? if there is any way I can get some funds to you so that you can continue to do what you love let us know!

      There's no rush when it comes to this game. I enjoy every update you post, especially the more technical ones since I'm a game programmer myself. So, please, don't why away from those.

      Anyway, take care of yourself and keep up the amazing work!

    10. Missing avatar

      Stephen Keating on

      Stuff is gorgeous! Have a happy belated Christmas and a great New Year!

    11. Matthew Lindquist on

      I pretty much never post on Kickstarter, but I'm making an exception to let you know that I think you're doing just fine. It's been pretty well documented that few Kickstarters raise enough money to actually completely fund the development of a game, so don't feel so bad that you're having to work extra jobs.

      But what I really came here to say is that you're a fantastic pixel artist. That's why I backed your project and I'm pretty sure I'm not alone. Obviously you're right, you can't spend forever on every single sprite or you'll never finish the game, but I want you to feel confident that the work you've been doing is some of the best I've seen.

      Finally, thank you for being so good at keeping us updated. Compared to some other projects that are taking forever, you've been very good at sending out updates showing that the project is still progressing.

    12. Missing avatar

      Jabberwok on

      I like the character looks in that sepia-toned drawing. Also, the eyes on the pink-haired lady's sprite are seriously creeping me out. These are sprites and not models, right? I'm having a hard time telling, maybe because there are so many frames that the rotation looks very smooth.

    13. Last Life Left on

      GOSH! THIS IS TOP NOTCH PIXEL ART! Really happy to see an update :D

    14. Bonnye Bauerle on

      Take care of yourself and make the best game you can, in that order! *hugs* also, take your time. A rushed game will show that it was rushed. Take the time to polish this and make the inspired and fun game you dreamed up!

    15. AllinGoodFun on

      Your art is lovely! I am still very excited for this game and I am eternally patient, myself. Please focus on your health and mental well-being - the game will get done when it is done and whenever that is will be soon enough. Thank you so much for the update!

    16. Neokido on

      Just as @Lars Bendixen said, your art is amazing and me too brought me to your Kickstarter. Time, well we all gave you our time for you to share this project with us, and to the rest of the world because we all believe in you. You may have had a bit of a down time but just think, why would we support you, because we believe and love your work. Don't go making yourself sick or unhealthy by fear of letting us down. Do your best that is all we ever wanted. Good luck Good Work (and an update just to say you are alive and well and still working from time to time is enough) and thanks for this excellent update ;)

    17. Lars Bendixen on

      First of all: your sprite art is amazing. It is what got my attention when I noticed your kickstarter page.

      Second: I would encourage you to make sure you don't drown yourself in working on this project. I believe I've said it before, but it is important to take a break once in a while. Otherwise you will end up focusing on getting the project done instead of making it into something you are really happy with.
      Another thing I've said before is that no matter how long it takes, I will wait for it. If you are happy with the result, then I guarantee you that we will be too!
      Complete the game in 2015, 2016, or even later! As long as you are proud of the game the wait doesn't bother me. Updates are appreciated though, so we know that the project is ongoing. Even just a short "Hey guys, I'm not dead and that is great!" message will be enough. :D

      Really looking forward to more updates, keep up the good work and remember not to rush yourself too much. :)

    18. Missing avatar

      Jim on

      Just when my faith in this project was beginning to slightly wane, Clairvoire posts an Xmas treat that reels me back in! (See what I did there?) But seriously, I can't stand it when talented people say they are not good enough and/or apologize constantly. You posted AMAZING sprite work, so stop putting yourself down. This is still the project I look forward to the most, because of the love poured into it from the creator. "Anything worth doing, is worth doing right." Don't doubt yourself, bring in the scope of the project a bit, use extraneous ideas for another project or game, do what you can when you can, take care of yourself, ask for help when needed, and let your vision come to life.

    19. Ander on

      Actually, I have some doubts about some of the projects I backed being a good idea, but I'm still so happy to have backed this one! It is a great project, and it is advancing slow and steady because that's the pace it has to advance on. You are doing a great job, just be careful about your health!

    20. Yousef Alnemer on

      Are you kidding me? Your sprite art and animations are amazing! :)

    21. Jared on

      Hey friend, this will be a great work, but ultimately your well-being is more important to me. This game will get done when it gets done, and I know you are working diligently, so am neither frustrated or upset or feel like my goodwill has been taken advantage of. To be honest, I'm not bothered in the slightest. I look forward to it, and that's it. No ill will or hard feelings have cropped up.

      Hope your Christmas was good and that you have a great New Year, Clairvoire.


    22. Missing avatar

      Will on

      That's some pretty nice artwork.

    23. Kuhaa on

      Keep up the good work! Happy holidays! And remember to take good care of yourself.

    24. Missing avatar

      Mark Something on

      Your sprite work is awesome and you're dedicated to making this work. I'm rooting for you, following your tumblr, and wish you the best this holiday season and beyond. Just remember to take care of yourself. We'll be here.

    25. Clayton Grey

      Definitely don't feel bad about taking another job. That money was only going to last you so long. As long as you're making progress, you're doing *exactly* what you're suppose to.

      Like everyone else is saying: You ARE an amazing sprite artist. Your work may not look as good as you expect, but you'll always be your harshest critic. Keep your head up and keep going. We're all rooting for you! : D

    26. Missing avatar

      J on

      Don't worry about us being upset, just go on and do your thing. You do it quite well, too.

    27. Missing avatar

      Miki Ball on

      Please take as much time as you need, and remember to stay healthy! Your work looks terrific so far.

    28. Kenny

      Great update, amazing art! As always, ignore the negativity of the impatient, and take your time to produce something awesome!

    29. Missing avatar

      sanoadono on

      Looking forward to 2015. Keep your health at top billing though. :) Love the sprites and maps.

    30. Missing avatar

      Brian Mulligan on

      That's a really good joke to say you're bad at sprites and animation and then immediately show fantastic looking sprites animating. Please, take your time and don't worry, the game's going to be great!

    31. Missing avatar


      You! You are a liar who lies with the lying and the untruthful prevarications! Those rotating sprites are jaw-droppingly amazing, and you don't ever get to call yourself a bad sprite artist again.

      Seriously, wow! If that's the stuff that fails your "awesome" test, I really want to see some of the work you slaved over to acceptability.

    32. Robert Dietrich on

      Nice update, the first rotation is a bit hypnotic. :D It looks like a round christmas tree.
      Keep on with the work and we are not impatient!
      Merry Christmas to you and all the best.

    33. clairvoire Creator on

      Thank you all so much for the positive feedback! I was so worried when I posted this that I might not get any at all... aha... I'll do my best for you folks!

      @disastercake - Oh nyah, nothing 3D or anythin'! It's all 2D, just sketching out how I think the turnaround should look first. Animate the sketches (and it looks awful at first), then spend the rest of the time fixing the whole sprite until it eventually looks about right to my eyes.

    34. Aerothorn on

      I'm not at all impatient! Take your time, don't overwork yourself.

    35. Bormac on

      No worries, good things are worth waiting for. : >

    36. Missing avatar

      Godewijn on

      Have a good holiday and all the well wishes for the New year, and thank you for the candid update. And don't feel stressed on my account ":)

    37. Disastercake on

      The 360 view on the sprites are really neat. Do you build them in a 3D program first then paint over them to create sprite to get that nice of a perspective from so many views? Or did you decide to go with the 3D and with some sort of pixelaton shader?

    38. Kyle David Frost

      And Sealark continues to be something I look forward to exactly because of the nature of the creator behind it. You do great work (as evidenced by the artwork in your post) and trust in your well of creativity (as evidenced by the concept of Sealark in its entirety). Thanks for the great update, enjoy your holidays and revel in the excitement of renewed passion for making something your own. :)

    39. Sector94 on

      Those 360° animations are like crack for the eyes, I can't stop watching them. And don't worry about delays, take your time and most of all go easy on yourself. I'd rather play a great and polished game in 2016 than a not so good one in 2015. I think the majority of KS backers understand that indie devs often have a hard time doing their job and won't blame your for it. Quite the opposite, actually. So stop pushing yourself too hard and stressing about an imaginary deadline, it won't do you nor this project any good.

    40. Cerzel on

      Those sprites look pretty damn nice, actually.

    41. Ben on

      awesome to hear from you! be well, and know that you've got people who are willing to help you out, if you need it!

    42. L. Coues on

      In my opinion, you can't be better than the people you admire. You'll be different. You'll be yourself.

      I really love your sprite and all your artwork.
      Also, I think it's a good idea to focus first on story and gameplay.

    43. Missing avatar


      If those sprites are the result of you reeling it in, then you're even better than I imagined! Seriously, it looks fantastic, and if the rest of the game is even half as well-done as that, it's going to be a sight to behold.

      Thanks for the fantastic update, and I hope we can look forward to many more in 2015. Merry Christmas!!

    44. Missing avatar

      Raif on

      Glad to see an update! I think if you posted smaller, more frequent updates you'd get more feedback and that would be pretty motivating.

    45. J.G. on

      Please keep your health the number one priority! I hope you feel better. I'm glad to hear you're still making progress, just keep at it! Happy holidays to you!

    46. Missing avatar

      Matthew Winter on

      "I finially realized im not a great sprite maker "

      *produces stunning 3d turnarounds of the sprites*


      I have loved this from the start and im happy to wait however long it takes to have an oceanic adventure with you at the helm. Take care of yourself and enjoy your holiday!

    47. Alexander "Xan" Kashev

      BTW, part of your problem is lack of positive feedback from us, the backers. Post little updates more often, and you'll get that to "recharge" you.

    48. Ben Balmaceda on

      "Even if you fall flat on your face, you're still moving forward."

      Don't worry, just keep working hard and everything will hopefully turn out ok. You've got a great foundation, art style and some really good ideas. Just work on making them all functional, polish em up and you're good to go.

      I'm also kinda sickly and my dream is to become a game developer too, so seeing you endure some tough times while still keeping focused is really inspiring.

      You can do it, I believe in you!

    49. clairvoire Creator on

      @Alexander - aaaa I can't believe you sent me so much money just now... w-whahgkh I don't know what to say... thank you!! *gross sobbing for 5 miles* (I made those sprites after deciding to stop trying to make everything perfect, I'm happy to hear you like them still! If that's the style you like, then the rest of the game should look pretty nice afterall!)

    50. Dan Leary on

      Merry Christmas!!

      Thanks for the update! And hey, go easy on yourself - you should be proud that you're seeing such a big project through. Your sprites look amazing and the unique art style continues to impress.

      Take your time and make the game you envisioned! Don't get me wrong - I can't wait to get my hands on it, but I'll gladly wait until it's ready.

      Here's to your speedy recovery - take care of yourself!