February #1: COLLINSfeatured

OH MY GOD HOW ARE WE IN THE MIDDLE OF FEBRUARY ALREADY

Actually this is fine. Because oh boy do we have a lot of fingers in a lot of pies. In fact it’s quite disgusting really we are basically a Red Grail Ratatouille and we should be stopped.

Firstly, we found out this sprint that not only is Cultist Simulator nominated for ‘Best Emotional Game Design’ in the Emotional Games Awards (along with games like Hellblade and INSIDE and oh my god), but we got a – wait for it – FOUR PAGE SPREAD in this month’s PC Gamer, with a v positive preview write-up. Pick up a copy if you like! Both AK and I give good quote.

Aside from this very pleasant news, the first thing we did this sprint was release the palpitating NEVILLE’S BUILD. Which turned out to be a bit buggier than expected, but nevermind. Thank you to everyone who sent in bug reports (stack overflows, who knew)! We’ll be spending a bit more time on bug fixing next sprint to the next build you get is stabler, shinier, flexier, mmmm.

We also sent out Steam keys to all our Kickstarter backers, so I am delighted to now be seeing delectable activity on our Steam forums and stats (🤓) on our store page like these:

I choose to interpret this as 3,500 people have played Cultist Simulator for one hour each. Right? Right?! Anyway, our forums are a great place to ask advice on strategy, lore and whether or not that stupid Inspector Wakefield bug which crashes the game is just you or everyone, so I would encourage you with all the dark heart-ravens of my soul to scope it out.

We also have a big new influx of art coming your way. Clockwork Cuckoo started on a new back of Adept-focused assets – lots of Rites (of the Sea’s Wedding, of the Crucible Soul, of the Wolf-Divided) – while I revamped some of our existing book assets to better reflect their principle colours (colour theory is IMPORTANT), and to use some new assets from Tom and Sophie.

Also, I also played around with the infamous man-butt. As it were.

Moving swiftly on, I’m delighted to announce that Sarah is back, producing NEW HOURS CARDS! Which is glorious in every respect. See below for some (very!) early sketches for three biggies: the Mother of Ants, the Red Grail and the Forge of Days.

Finally, we also have some extremely exciting news from Catherine, who has been secretly working away at an entirely new feature in the game: a navigable map of the Mansus, accessible through dream, where you’ll be able to gather lore you can’t get in the real world. See below for a mocked-up screenshot of the map in-game (please note: this won’t be actually in-game for a good while yet, but we wanted to whet your appetite).

She’s also produced some up-to-date game mock-ups that I am totally going to PLASTER over everything because they’re so beautiful. Catherine, I salute you.

Martin, meanwhile, has been doing an amazing job improving our existing UI (e.g. better token placement), adding in entirely new and exceedingly pretty inspection windows, fixing some bugs with the new ‘Collect All’ system, and entirely revamping the title screen and main menu design. You’ll see all of his hard work in the next build, and it should be a biiiiig improvement.

Finally, the King of Cults – that’s AK to you – has written part of our endgame magic, part of Appetites – which are horrible – and designed and implemented the full ritual architecture for summoning ghoulies and using spirits to help you and/or hinder your enemies. For, of course, a price.

Did I mention the Appetites being horrible?

“‘Extensions and eruptions’ is the nick-name for the Fifth Mark. I have developed two new fingers, and only one is on my hand. I have a fistula in the crook of my knee. Pressure upon its edges is a soft glow of pleasure. I think that the bulge at the small of my back is a new organ.”

Stay tuned next sprint, where we should be finishing off the last bits of the next big milestone: the Adept’s Build (formerly the Magus’s Build, but murdered for Euphony).

A final thought to leave you with: AK gave me a pleasant pep-talk this morning about how running a studio constantly pits your linear, immutable time against the 20248234328 things you could be doing, asking you constantly to make difficult decisions and choose only two or three of those 20248234328 things at any given time. Sound familiar to anyone?

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