Knot-Cake and Soused Mackerel

You know you’re in the right place when the top-rated post on your subreddit is:



The real hot topic from this week, though, is what comes after vegetables. I’ll let AK explain:

“You probably know the George Bernard Shaw crack about the US and the UK being ‘two countries separated by a common language’ (GBS, like many Irish writers, did well out of snarking accurately at British English). BOOK OF HOURS evoked horror and disgust from our American readers with its unsparingly explicit depiction of pre-decimal British currency. But you might not know about pudding.

‘Pudding’, as all her late Majesty’s subjects know, is the correct word for ‘dessert’, at least in traditional English upper class dialect, just as ‘supper’ is the correct word for ‘dinner’. I was brought up middle-middle-class but my mother had upper-middle-class aspirations, so I learnt that we ate ‘pudding’ after ‘supper’ in the evening. If I’d been lower-middle-class or she’d hung around slightly less posh people, we’d have had ‘dessert’ and ‘tea’ (not to be confused with tea, the drink). As it was, if we ate early, say five rather than seven in the evening, the meal was was called ‘high tea’ (which didn’t include the drink ‘tea’, unlike ‘afternoon tea’ for which the drink ‘tea’ would be a central feature).

That was the 1980s, and ‘pudding’ has been largely been driven to the margins by ‘dessert’ now, partly cos America and France, partly cos it sounds stodgy, but you’ll still find it on the menu in very traditional restaurants. And that ‘very traditional’ vibe, heavily flavoured with ‘English country house’ is what we’re going for in the cooking update in HOUSE OF LIGHT. The 20s and the 30s were something of a lost era in English cooking, when we got a bit more experimental and informal. (Then of course the Second World War, and food rationing in its aftermath, helped develop a rep for stodgy monotonous food that isn’t really deserved any more but I grew up in the 70s and 80s and Jesus Christ it was then.) So some of the dishes won’t look English at all, while some of them are so English they’ll make your teeth spin.

tl:dr; pudding is what you call dessert. But Yorkshire pudding is a savoury dish, duh, that you have alongside the main course. And meanwhile, also, when you put sausages in Yorkshire pud, you get toad-in-the-hole. (No, not bangers, sausages are generally only bangers if you put them in mash.) And black pudding is also sausage-related but isn’t something you should google if you plan on sleeping soundly tonight. Alright?”

…You can’t get this sort of #gamedev #content anywhere else, now, can you? It might sound a bit petty that we’re spending weeks of development time deciding on the most historically-plausible menu for a cast of fictional characters who may or may not be invited to dine at a made-up library on a made-up cliff, but this is actually the stuff Weather Factory games are made of! AK’s particular brand of bizarre but internally consistent period RPGs underpinned by a complex Aspect system means we not only have to research period-appropriate foodstuffs, but they have to make sense of people’s systemic affiliations too. For example, DI Douglas Moore feels like someone who’s more likely to want a simple, manly sandwich than some fancy French nonsense, but is there a manly sandwich that evokes his Principles of Heart and Lantern?

Speaking of Aspects, they’re also a good way to show the sorts of things we’ve been working on without spoilering anyone. So here’s a selection of new Aspects going into HOUSE OF LIGHT:

They range from aspects for all 63 non-language Skills in game to Agendas, Fears and Sympathies (feelings and intentions Visitors have which will affect their work if you add them to the Lighthouse Institute board). How many of them can you identify, do you think…?

ANYWAY. I hope to have some HOUSE OF LIGHT screenshots for you soon, but AK will be working on his lonesome next week as I have been called for a mysterious life event that I can’t talk about until afterwards. Until then!

on Knot-Cake and Soused Mackerel

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