Tender Claws, the acclaimed creative studio behind Virtual Virtual Reality, Tendar, and The Under Presents, have announced a new in-house publishing imprint to support other indie game creators: Tender Claws Presents. The first title to be published is Turnfollow’s Wide Ocean Big Jacket, launching February 4 across Nintendo Switch and PC. Wide Ocean Big Jacket was recently announced as a finalist in the Excellence in Narrative category at the 2020 Independent Games Festival Awards, and received an Honorable Mention for the Seumas McNally Grand Prize.
Turnfollow is an independent game studio co-founded by Carter Lodwick and Ian Endsley, known for its narrative-focused and minimalistic yet expressive games. Its latest title Wide Ocean Big Jacket is a story game that explores the interpersonal relationships of its four main characters: Mord and Ben, a precocious young couple in middle school, and Mord’s Uncle Brad
and Aunt Cloanne. As the group embarks on a weekend camping trip, Mord and Ben reckon with the unknown freedoms of nature and adulthood, while Brad and Cloanne take on new responsibilities and deepen their connection in the process. The slice-of-life game is charming and tender, a story unfolding over 20 chapters as players guide the characters to explore new
areas around the campsite, share their inner thoughts, and evolve their relationships.
“Our approach to games has always been to craft an effective story where the player can absorb moments that feel natural, personal, and inviting,” shared Endlsey. “In Wide Ocean Big Jacket we were inspired to explore the internal and external influences that have shaped our view of relationships, and how that has evolved as we get older – examining the effects of both
small and large decisions, the way you try to communicate your own experiences to a partner, and navigating a partnership in both its early and established phases. We hope that players see the nuance, humor, and beauty in this game, and can relate to the characters and situations within.”
Through Tender Claws’ new imprint, the studio will dedicate funding and other resources to help bring a curated selection of experimental, independent projects to a larger audience. Such projects will primarily be narrative-driven, and will include games as well as content that cannot be easily categorized. Tender Claws plans to support one title per year, kicking off 2020 with
Wide Ocean Big Jacket.
In a joint statement, Tender Claws co-founders Samantha Gorman and Danny Cannizzaro shared: “As creators ourselves, it is a personal goal to set aside a bit of the profit from our projects to feed back into games and other content we want to see in the world. We are fortunate to be in a position where we can offer both financial assistance and industry insight to support other indie creators and advocate for bold, untraditional games and stories. We have long admired Turnfollow’s work and were glad to collaborate with them on Wide Ocean Big Jacket.”
“Wide Ocean Big Jacket is our most ambitious launch yet, and Tender Claws has been an invaluable resource in helping us to expand our reach to new platforms,” said Turnfollow’s Lodwick. “We’re very excited to connect with new audiences and keep playing with the story- game form.”