AUG #1: PERCIVALfeatured

This sprint is named after arguably the most milquetoast of Arthurian knights, though he did at least have the decency to spawn the Knight of the Swan, a.k.a. Bad Cleve. Naughty Cleve! Stop enslaving large, pissed-off waterfowl! Gawain 4 lief, frankly.

It’s been a very busy sprint, but let me start this update with an ANNOUNCEMENT, which may totally not affect you BUT IS V IMPORTANT NONETHELESS.

We’re finally launching simplified Chinese localisation on PC! We’re releasing it across Steam, Humble and GOG in September, hopefully in time for Mid-Autumn Festival. Specific date to follow, and moon cakes for all!

If you have any friends who’ve been holding off to play in Chinese, please do let ’em know. One of the really interesting things we’ve come across this year is how useless our open development strategy is when it comes to communicating with new, non-English speaking audiences. When you depend entirely on talking to people, turns out it’s pretty problematic if you don’t speak the language…

Anyway, onwards! This sprint we’ve had the wonderful Catherine Unger in, who’s been just phenomenal. We’ve shared a few of her WIP, but I’m only gonna tease the rest. Her art direction’s already making BOOK OF HOURS sing – watch our social channels over the next month for the full versions of the below to drop. Eeee!

Hannah’s been steaming ahead with the BOOK OF HOURS demo in the meantime. As well as things that sound peripheral but are actually really important anchors in a project – the title screen, version news, loading and saving – she’s been working on seasonal transitions and day-night cycles like these:

I should say that a bunch of people mentioned BOOK OF HOURS looks suspiciously like Cultist Simulator in these sort of GIFs. One, you’re right! Cos it’s a super early alpha prototype which reuses as much of Cultist‘s code as we can. Two, don’t worry – Catherine and Hannah are prepping a more representative version of the game AS I WRITE, which you’ll see when we launch the Kickstarter on Tuesday 3rd September. So don’t worry: BOOK OF HOURS very much has its own identity. And honestly, from what I’ve seen of the concept art and assets so far, I’m already in love.

Alexis has been in serious design mode this sprint, focused on NPC stories, book crafting and contamination, as well as waging war upon a blight of mispelling ‘HOROMACHISTRY’. Here’s a snippet of the sort of stuff he’s coming up with at the moment…

Alexis has also been working on a different sort of design. As promised in our roadmap, he finished up a design spec for the prototype of PROJECT #3 (SECRET), which Marc is now beginning to implement. I can’t tell you anything about it yet, but I can confirm it apparently requires no art, and apparently we’re not allowed to market it either. Not that my co-founder has a vendetta against my side of the studio, or anything…

Marc’s also been releasing Cultist Simulator patches (v.2019.8.a.1), teaming up with Alexis for a variety of localisation pieces (simplified Chinese, and Russian) and has created ‘a guide to Fucine, for writers’, which we must assume teaches them all the language of the witch. Finally, he’s been sorting Cultist out for a release on the Mac Store – more news on that later. 🙂

I’ve been working on Kickstarter stuff: reward mock-ups, like the Hush House bookplate stickers below, some giveaway freebies, and a whole bucket of stuff for social media in the next few months. Keep an eye on our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram in particular! Especially as Claire has selfishly gone on holiday to Japan for two weeks, so the reins of power have been handed back to me. 😈

(I’ve also been working on our Kickstarter video, but that’s by the by. No video editing experience whatsoever? No problem!)

Claire, meanwhile, has been prepping for BOOK OF HOURS Kickstarter marketing, as well as devising a brand new event whose name I cannot even speak at this stage. It’s pretty exciting though, and something indie devs may find useful…

Finally, we had a monthly All Hands day this sprint, where the whole team appears in our living room and we have to banish the cats ’cause Marc has allergies. It’s really to make sure we touch base with everyone and the company has a clear strategy and sense of financials, but it’s so nice having everyone together. I’m delighted with the way Weather Factory’s shaping up. ♥

Have a lovely weekend, Believers! I need to come up with a comparable term to do with libraries…

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