Saltsea Chronicles has just launched on Switch today, and it begins with a kidnapped captain and a stolen ship. Where it leads next? That’s up to you…

In this story-driven adventure game you will explore strange and wonderful communities, uncover a deep conspiracy, and chart a journey through twists and turns, difficulties and delights. You’ll also see a world that’s been completely ravaged by the effects of climate change.

Not only does Saltsea Chronicles tackle climate change head-on, the developers behind the game set out to address the topic in the real world as well. During the development of Saltsea Chronicles, Die Gute Fabrik commissioned a climate impact report for their own studio to see how they contributed to climate change.

In an interview with Polygon, developer Hannah Nicklin explained why the studio not only set out to make a game where climate change is a major theme, but also learn about their own impact as well.

The obvious answer, of course, is to better understand Die Gute Fabrik’s impact on climate crisis. As you may read in the report, I’ve been an activist and advocate for climate action ever since I can remember — one of my earliest memories is learning about flooding in my home county of Lincolnshire, U.K.. A large amount of my activism and art over my adult life has been connected to climate. And while there are some things I have tried to implement in Die Gute Fabrik to reduce our impact, I found myself stuck for how to make change, and how effective we already were in reducing our impact. That’s why I wanted to ask an expert to assess us, and it felt ‘right’ to assess the whole of the game’s production rather than a single year. Saltsea Chronicles is set on a flooded world, after a great climate crisis. I’m a storyteller by trade, and that story is easier to tell to the world than ‘a year in DGF’; here’s a game after a disaster, here’s how its production impacted our own.

I fervently believe that climate crisis is an existential and urgent thread — more important and more connected to almost everything, connected to racial justice, to Indigenous rights, to economic and worker justice, gender, disability, all of it. The people who suffer first in our systems of oppression will also suffer first and most if we allow our climate to spiral past the targets that scientists have been warning us about for years. Obviously it pales in comparison to the impact on people but there are no video games on a dead planet, either. Climate crisis is also an existential threat to games.

[Hannah Nicklin, developer]

Following the game’s launch today, the dev team has shared the complete findings of their climate impact report as well. You can see a quick explanation for this whole endeavor, as well as the complete report here.

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