Paradise Marsh interview: it's "first and foremost an immersive and contemplative game"

Heidi Nicholas - August 20th 2022

Paradise Marsh looks to be a charming story-rich game about exploring nature and helping to put the stars back in the sky — we reached out to developer LazyEti to learn more.

If you fancy a relaxing adventure of finding lost poems, catching frogs and fireflies, restoring the stars to the skies, and more, then you might want to keep Paradise Marsh on your radar, which looks to be utterly charming. We reached out to the developer to learn more, with Etienne Trudeau having been kind enough to answer our questions.

What is Paradise Marsh?

Paradise Marsh is a shorter, story-rich adventure game set in a peaceful wetland, and which revolves around the joys of nature.

When does Paradise Marsh launch?

We don’t yet have a specific release date for Paradise Marsh — just that it’s “coming soon” in 2022 for Xbox, PC, and Nintendo Switch.

What’s it about?

“You wake up in a peaceful wetland only to realise that the stars that used to fill the night sky have fallen down. It’s now up to you to restore the missing constellations,” Trudeau tells us. We’ll be exploring the world of Paradise Marsh and, as the game’s Steam page intriguingly tells us, meeting a variety of “celestial misfits” in our travels. Paradise Marsh promises to be a story-rich game, and we’ll discover fragments of this story and the mysteries of the wetland from notes hidden around the marsh as we work to help the constellations.

How does Paradise Marsh play?

Paradise Marsh looks like a relaxing game, but that doesn’t mean you’re short of things to do. “You’ll be exploring an endless procedural world inhabited by frogs, beetles, butterflies and many other critters,” Trudeau tells us. “Each has its own quirks that you’ll need to figure out to catch them. Once the sun sets, you’ll use mysterious monolithic structures to restore the missing stars in the sky and you’ll get to chat with a cast of funny characters!”

Along with catching creatures like frogs and fireflies with our net and meeting a variety of characters, we’ll also be listening to poems, building snowmen, and just interacting with the game’s peaceful world. Paradise Marsh seems to want to encourage players to slow down and enjoy the world around them, and as a result, you won’t find time limits or minimaps in the game. “The net is your main tool to catch creatures and the journal keeps you informed of your progress, Trudeau says. “But that’s not all… You can also pick flowers, eat strange mushrooms, skip stones, listen to birds, clean up trash, and much more! If you take your time and look around, you’ll find that your environment is filled with things to interact with!

“In my heart, Paradise Marsh is first and foremost an immersive and contemplative game,” Trudeau says when we ask about the long-lost poems our character will stumble across in their exploration of the marsh. “My first instinct was to add these little bite-sized poems and messages to enrich the whole experience and fuel the player's imagination. I worked with writer and designer Raphaël Dély who helped write the game’s poetry. Each explores a reflection of different themes around life and nature.”

As for that cast of interesting characters and how we’ll be helping them: “Eventually, you’ll realise that constellations in the sky have minds of their own. But, broken down into pieces, they need your help in order to get back to their former glory. Each creature in the game has their unique personality and quirks!”

What’s the world like?

Paradise Marsh will let us explore the peaceful, procedural world of the marsh. Despite the cast of characters we might encounter, we wondered whether Paradise Marsh’s solitary exploration might feel a little lonely. “Being alone and contemplating on what’s around you is definitely a big part of the game,” Trudeau replies. “But, this loneliness is balanced quite well with playful world interactions and some light-hearted chats with the constellations in the sky.”

As for the world itself: “in each biome resides specific creatures and things to interact with. Their distinctive ambiance and colours will make you feel like you’re entering a completely different world!”

Any news on the Paradise Marsh achievements?

We don’t yet have the Paradise Marsh achievement list, but Trudeau gave us an idea of what to expect. Paradise Marsh looks as though it’ll encourage us to slow down and enjoy each peaceful moment of the game, and we wondered how this might be reflected in the game’s achievements. “Paradise Marsh is all about curiosity, taking things slow, and enjoying the world around you,” Trudeau says. “This is why I decided to come up with achievements that encourage people to try out the micro-interactions scattered around in the game. Some of them are a bit cryptic and require players to be observant and curious in order to unlock them. For me, that’s what makes it fun! I’m really not a fan of achievements based on unavoidable progress, or worse; ‘lazy copy-pasted’ ones (for example: games having ten achievements based on how much money you’ve collected),” Trudeau adds, when we ask for his thoughts on an ideal achievement list. “I love when achievements reward players for looking around, finding secrets, or the ones that create an interesting challenge instead of just relying on players doing X number of things,” he says.

So, what is Trudeau most excited for players to experience when Paradise Marsh launches? “I’m just really excited for them to experience the huge amount of love that has been put into world-building, writing, and sound design. I hope this carefully crafted experience won’t disappoint!”

What do you think? Has Paradise Marsh piqued your interest? Let us know in the comments!

Track My Progress in Paradise Marsh