February #2: DERONDA
Game dev is a motley crew of specialists concentrating on their Particular Thing in the general direction of a final product. Early development often feels disjointed, like you’re piecing together the skeleton of a creature you’ve never seen before. When you get far enough into production, there’s (hopefully!) a coalescent moment where it all suddenly makes sense: that fits there, meaning this goes here, and the skeleton leaps up from your table and off into a Tim Burton film. It feels like Cultist Simulator has reached this point.
AK has been an absolute monster of a dev this sprint, melting Cultist Simulator down into a lore-rich proto-ooze and reforming it into a mostly believable simulacrum of the previous build (sorry, Neville). You can now promote cultists to particular specialisms, depending on your cult and their aspects: enter Seers, Reshapers, Tarantellists, Skintwisters…
‘This was my past, but now I am changed. These are my garments, which I set aside. Here is my skin, but it is loaned to me. Here is my name, which is only a blindfold. Here is the Wood, where we strangle the light. Here I was, and here I am not.’
He also implemented end game magic, setting out some aspirational, arcane victory conditions (one is simply annotated: ‘FLEE INTO HISTORY’). As you may have seen in various Twitter threads, he’s also introduced tools, ingredients and influences for all principles, helping you do your dastardly culty biz one Subtle Rupture at a time. Skaptodon Fangs, Amaranthine Nectar from our handsome Flowermaker, an icon of St Agnes, an embrous Carcass Spark, a Dappled Mask, askew:
In the forest where the moon couldn’t go, the boughs of the trees were woven together like bandages or lovers. The moon might change herself to an ant or to a bird or to her sister, but the forest would not yield to her penetrations, no matter her caresses. One day we came with our scissors, and we severed the branches until the moon and the blood dappled the rotting leaves on the forest floor.
All these and more are now at your disposal. Cultist Simulator is becoming a sprawling, monstrous cookery class where the end result is a Doomsday Blancmange and I’m NOT REMOTELY SORRY.
[ In an unprecedented move, AK interjects at this point: ‘Very nearly all the core game systems are now in place. Only Exploration (including the Mansus) is missing. This posed a problem, because I wanted you folks to be able to play with the summoning system, and all the resources for summoning are supposed to be available from Exploration. So I’ve added some placeholder content where you can, with some effort, use certain cultists to acquire random resources for you.’ ]
Martin, meanwhile, has made things ever more beautiful and smooth, like the subtle flayings of the Lionsmith in love. In the next update, look out for his new title screen, soft lighting effects on Verbs, puffs of ephemeral dust on disappearing tokens, and the soft, ethereal winks of atmospheric glowies, which might be motes of dust, but might be something else.
Clockwork Cuckoo have been finishing off icons for our Rites, as well as some aspects for AK’s influence, tools and ingredients. I’ll let you discover the majority of their work in the Adept’s Build, but let me just share a nasty, delightful WIP with you:
Look closer, sweetling.
I, meanwhile, put a bunch of people in prison. Well, okay, I also did a bunch of ART this sprint, from icons (some placeholder, some not)…
… to graphic design for upcoming expos like EGX Rezzed, where we’ll be at the Tentacle Collective (and where AK will be talking about Cultist Simulator). You can watch live on Twitch if you’re not there, and if you are there, come say hi to me at our stand! I’m planning a SPOOPY TOMBOLA.* We’re also nesting inserts into the 12,000 bags of GDC attendees next month, which required me to
a.) learn about PRINTING (disastrous); and
b.) do battle with international vs US paper sizes woooo! THE ADVENTURES OF A PRODUCER AND/OR CO-FOUNDER WHO’S NOT THE KEY CODER/DESIGNER/WRITER ARE UNENDING.
We’re looking good to release our next update, the Adept’s Build, next week, so expect that to appear on Monday. We’ll post full patch notes on the blog when it releases, but it’ll include a trough of bug fixes from AK and Martin as well as the alluvium of new content, lore and recipes above. Not long now, believers. <3
*Literally no one will ever hire me again.