“Marksman, detective, renegade. He has always been a quiet man, but since he left the Suppression Bureau, he has grown even quieter, and terribly still – except for his fingers and for his eyes, always in restless motion.”
It’s June the 28th, once again. So we have presents to share! Shiny animated presents. Here’s a fresh new atmospheric trailer for BOOK OF HOURS, introducing how it feels to play this melancholic, bittersweet CRPG. I hope it tugs at your heartstrings like a kitten alone in the rain.
I can also now tell you useful launch info. BOOK OF HOURS will cost £19.99 / $24.99 when it releases at 6PM BST / 10AM PDT on Thursday 17th August. (It’s double the size of Cultist Sim at launch, with 120,000 words to Cultist‘s mere 60,000.) [Sorry, I went away and wrote more, it’s well past that now, but I promise I’ll stop before 140,000. – AK] [Two weeks on: I discovered a bug in the word counting function, and it’s actually up to 170,000 already NEVER MIND I don’t think we’ll quite make it to 3x the size of launch CS – AK, again] [August 11th 2023 – okay we made it to 3x the size of launch CS, shut up, I’m not going to run any more word counts. – also AK] We’re also offering the same Perpetual Edition deal we did when Cultist Simulator released: anyone buying the game in the first week of sale will get BOOK OF HOURS: Perpetual Edition and receive all future DLC for free, for life! (This means we’re committed to releasing DLC, in case anyone’s worried we’ll scam ’em.)
Now, let’s get to the GAME. AK’s written
99 101 different endings – I am not making that up, that is not a typo, there are 99 101 different endings. [I apologise to my wife for adding content even while she’s writing this blog post. – AK] Some of them are variant endings rather than totally unique ones (my favourite is an extremely lovely homage to a famous ending of Cultist Simulator‘s) but I feel even our most enigmatic players still have quite enough to get on with within that vast array. With some of AK’s most weird and wonderful prose, too:
“I crouch beneath like the scavenger I am, but the bloody gods favour me – I feast on furry shadows…”
We’re also implementing a record system which tracks players’ endings over multiple playthroughs, so you can see all your different characters’ ends:
And in case you feel that’s setting the bar too low, I’m working to implement 77 achievements with names like ‘A Knowledge In The Look Of Things’ and ‘The Bells of Ys’. One of these is a total troll-y condition and I will not apologise for it. You’ll know it when you achieve it. >:)
All major content is now in-game. AK’s finished the core of the writing, including the Visitor stories – hence the enigmatic quote at the top of this blog. Any guesses who the quiet ex-Bureau gentleman is? We now have a month and a half of fixing and tweaking time before launch. That means we have a final round of card art, aspect art, new books, text tweaks, bug fixing and UI love before launch in August. AK will be spending a lot of time playing the game and making sure there are helpful breadcrumbs just the right side of esoteric to lead players enjoyably through the game, while I’ll be desperately polishing assets, taking screenshots for our Steam page (finally!) and adding all the little extras that should make the game sing, like custom cursors…
… and fixing crabbed old fossils like this. 😅
This is what the save menu looks like currently. It will not be what the save menu looks like in August. [sez you. – AK]
Finally, all Cucurbit Gaol and underground Dawn rooms are now in-game and functional. Some took a lot more effort than others (the Night Gallery with all its shadowy swathed-paintings was particularly complicated) but that means the game can really be properly fully played and all of Hush House unlocked. So our last beta – the NOCTURNAL beta – launches on Monday 17th July and runs until Friday 28th July. It will include all rooms up to the end of the Cucurbit Gaol, a bunch (if not all) our endings, and probably achievements. It will be our last beta before launch – we want to save the true horror/wonder of DAWN for the full game.
Look how pretty it looks in winter.
Hope you felt the love and loss in the new trailer, and are as excited as I am for release! That is: terrified and determined, like a storm-wracked sailor at dawn. Stay tuned.