September #2: SHELLEY
Happy Friday, believers! Your bi-monthly glance through the window of our souls is here.
In case you missed me talking about it constantly and it taking over my life, this sprint we opened our Weather Factory shop! It’s on Etsy, we’ve only a small amount of stock to work out what sells and what doesn’t, and it’s v blue and pink.
Sadly, my GIFs are not for sale.
Things’ve gone very well – to the point my week has basically been wrapping things up, bothering Royal Mail post-people and cannibalising envelopes so they fit our Mansus posters. Turns out there are no mass-produced envelopes which can encompass the House without Walls. I’ll write a postmortem of our merch experience later down the line for other indies interested in starting their own shop, but the TLDR so far has been:
- it’s fun
- it’s more work than you think
- nobody gives a hoot about branded posters. POOR IRIS! ;(
As you are one of the Special Ones by virtue of reading our blog, I will let you into the secret that our merch shop is not just an excuse for me to design fun physical items, but genuine market/viability research into physical goods for some currently unannounced Weather Factory initiatives and possibly even games. Shhhhhhhhhh.
Alexis, meanwhile, has been working on the Dancer DLC, which is currently playable on the beta branch on Steam (warning: if you don’t want to spoil yourself prior to actual launch, don’t!). This involves lots of diagrams like this:
IF IT NEEDED SAYING, THIS IS OBVIOUSLY A WORK IN PROGRESS AND NOT REMOTELY FINAL
Hope that helps explains things. Alexis has also given some 100% accurate information on what to expect from Ascensions, filmed an excellent (and recorded!) design stream on apophenic design and the Dancer, and has been working on romance, where you can date (almost all of) your Followers. There is a particular sting in the tail for those of you wishing to skip off into the Glory hand in hand with your chosen beloved – you do know what happened to Teresa and Christopher, right? Anyway, don’t let that ruin your candlelit trysts in the crypt. It’ll… probably be fine…?
Here’s my interpretation of Cultist’s upcoming romance:
And here’s Alexis’s:
Again, in order for Alexis to let me share this, I must say: NOT FINAL MAY CHANGE THANK YOU
You now have a 360-degree understanding of romance! I guess there is no point in playing it! #marketingfail
We were joined this sprint by not one, not two but THREE magnificent developers. Chris Payne, our habitual Make This Be Betterer, fixed a variety of issues from Aspect icons not fitting on verb windows properly to serious autosave bugs (we were alarmed to hear that 8% of players’ autosaves were failing, at one point – but it turns out almost all of that % was coming from one extremely unfortunate man in Minneapolis. SORRY MAN IN MINNEAPOLIS).
Fraser McCormick, who’s jumped in to help us with platform-specific issues before, came on again to a) you guess it, help with platform-specific issues, but b) make a playable web version of the game so we can try out some strange marketing things we’ve been thinking about for a while. And Mystery Man #3, Caolain of Rat Simulator fame, came in to QA the Dancer. He also brought banana bread. Have you brought me banana bread recently? NO YOU HAVEN’T. BAD YOU.
In the meantime, among being basically a merch carrier pigeon and speaking to students at the NFTS, I’ve been working up a bunch of new art. I’ve edited a few of them for important art reasons like ‘they need a fatter chin’ or ‘he used to look like Hitler’, and was also tasked with drawing what essentially boils down to a ‘I really need to have sex quite soon’ icon. This is your priceless insight into all the processes we artists go through all the way back to, like, Michelangelo. I should charge for this.
We’ll have some news for you soon too about soundtracks (who doesn’t want to go about their daily biz to an OST of existential dread?), and next week we’re not only running our inaugural Coven Club meet-up, but we’re also up for Forward Ladies‘ start-up of the year, so GO TEAM WEATHER FACTORY GO.
I leave you with my parents enjoying some nice cakes in France until Alexis told them about the infamous Werewolf of Dole who went around eating people in the same jolie bourgade as the one in which my parents were mainlining pâté. The jury’s out on whether he’s invited to the Bevans’ Christmas this year. We’ll be covering this breaking news story as it develops.