‘Though Much is Taken, Much Abides’

Well that’s nice. We thought BoH would do pretty well, but we emphatically didn’t expect this:

The launch went really, really well. Lottie and I teared up more than once, basically the max number of times Brits are allowed to show emotion and a bit over. Thank you, everyone.

The downside of the launch going really well is that I’ve answered something like a hundred help tickets since Thursday night and I have another 135 in my inbox right now! So I’m taking today off but next week I’ll be back on the patch train. Our regular freelancer, Chelnoque, is pitching in, and we’re getting a specialist in from the Knights of Unity for optimisation and obscure technical issues (‘why is my mouse cursor insanely tiny on this Linux distro’) .

The next month is going to be all about quality of life improvements and bug fixes – after that, a holiday – after that, we’ll start looking at content updates and, ultimately, localisation. But it’s QoL first. We don’t want to polish away the intentionally eccentric design decisions that some people have fallen in love with… but we don’t want to annoy people needlessly, either. There’s almost always a smart third way.

We probably won’t add an in-game recipe book… but we probably will add in-game note-taking as room notes or bookshelf plaques.

We probably won’t add fast-travel to Brancrug, because I want the House to feel remote… but we definitely will tweak and improve ways to get around the map and reduce wear on the wrist.

We might add mouseover to view on slots… and we definitely will find ways to make the game less ‘clicky’.

And so on and so on and so on and so on. We’re nowhere near done with this game: we’re going to keep on improving and expanding it. Thank you to everyone who’s left a review. As I said elsewhere, I enjoy reading the rave reviews much more. But the nuanced positive reviews, and even the negative ones, are also the designer’s meat and drink, and we’re going to use them to polish this game until you can see your face in it.

EDIT: yes polish the game with meat AND WHAT


18 comments on ‘Though Much is Taken, Much Abides’
  1. Since you seem to be taking requests, I would love to be able to zoom all the way out and see the whole house (including the village and sky) laid out in front of me.

  2. Played far too much these past few days, about to play some more absolutely loving it
    it would be nice, if possible to have options for how the inventory is organized at the moment is all via name
    sorting them via wisdom, or most prominent aspect would be wildly useful

  3. I may have some 300 hours in on CS and I loved every second, but Book of Hours is how I’m gonna get people into the series. BoH adds so much to the world I’m gonna have to update my lore presentations, my next The Lady Afterwards is gonna stay up to date!

  4. While I understand your thematic reasoning for not wanting fast travel to brancrug, consider it from an acessibility viewpoint
    I have chronic RSI and i try to minimise movements wherever i can. Scrolling between castle and village is a huge quantity of the excess wrist labour this game causes

    Perhaps you could allow it with a keypress, but just make it non instant. The camera would scroll between the locations at a speed such that it takes 2-4 seconds, so you can take in the distance of it. Just crucially, without requiring manual labour to do it

    1. I recommend Talon for custom voice commands for RSI – a bit of work to set up but you could set up 2 commands, one to scroll left and one to scroll right for 10 seconds, for instance. You can do keyboard shortcuts too. The slack community is great for help with setting that stuff up

  5. I’ve really enjoyed playing this game, got a first ending and started over with fresh knowledge to get the deeper endings. I do agree that sometimes there’s a little bit of … tedium, especially when retrieving the same memory for the tenth time, but I don’t have a good solution for that without fundamentally changing the game. The big problem is that I end up consulting my extensive notes a whole bunch, and that feels quite rote, with no interesting decisions on my part. (Maybe a way to automate something? But the “feel” is super important to the game.)

    1. I’d have the book telling you what memory it provides as an extra info in the upper right panel: you’ll still have to sift through the books on the shelves and look for the right thing, but at least you’re not breaking immersion by consulting a spreadsheet

  6. Suggestion! For things like ‘what can I craft with a skill’ or ‘what memory does this book produce’, let us Consider the thing in question along with our Journal to get that information on a relatively short timer (5 to 15 seconds). This keeps the general *feel* but makes out of game note taking less necesarry.

  7. If i could ask for one simple thing is to reread the book text without spending a soul part and 30 seconds. if i had a penny for everytime i hastily clicked C and could not read the book description i could hire the dev as an occasional visitor!

  8. I know you don’t like the recipe book idea, but what if you could write your own recipes into the journal where you pick a station you’ve unlocked, and the ingredients. You write your own description of what it makes and you can click it to automatically place those ingredients in that station if they’re all available. It would reduce the clicks by so much for making earlier things that are prereqs for the later recipes and you could easily craft some simple things at the end of the day. Otherwise I spend way too much time figuring out if I can make an ampoule at the end of the day.

  9. I sympathize with the people who want a recipe book, but I also appreciate your commitment to the librarian concept: If you want your world to be organized, you have to organize it.

    If you’re adding room and bookshelf notes, maybe add workstation notes? Conceptually, you have a notebook that’s tucked inside each desk/craft station/etc to record your thoughts, but you still have to puzzle over “where did I write that down?” It breaks the “ink and paper are consumable resources” idea, though, so it might not fit.

    Personally, I figure this is one of those games where it’s appropriate to take paper notes, so I’ve got a notebook open to my left right now. It reminds me of when I played Myst and Riven, actually.

    Congratulations on the launch! The game is beautiful, and I can see the effort you put into upgrading the “card UI” since Cultist Simulator. In my playthrough, I’m just opening rooms past the staircase, and I’m starting to appreciate how deep the lore and mystery will go!

  10. First off, congratulations on the amazing launch! I’ve been playing Book of Hours every night this week and am in love. What a great follow up and evolution on Cultist Simulator. Thank you for making such unique games.

    I feel like there is so much good in this game that some of the UI flaws really stand out. I desperately wish there was a way to read and re-read the book text/descriptions/progress in a dedicated window with clean white text and not in the little gray box tucked in the upper right hand corner. Being the focal point of the game I’m surprised you can only “read” the book in that little tooltip box. Maybe I’m missing something?

    Enjoy the success and keep up the great work!

  11. Oh, I’m so pleased to see the launch was such a success! A friend (who is just as into the world of the Secret Histories as I am) spotted it and told me and I had to immediately get it. Even though I never buy things at launch – I prefer getting games when they’ve stopped being updated. 🙂 No regrets this time, though! I am tremendously excited about in-game bookshelf notes! 😍 I keep tabbing back and forth between the game and my edited picture, haha (well, and the lore spreadsheet of course, as with any good AK game!). I am also very relieved that you’re planning on making the game generally less clicky – my wrist has been in agony because I simply cannot stop playing even though it hurts 😅

  12. I just want to say thank you for making this beautiful game. All the tunes are lovely too.
    Now it becomes a better world after it’s launched.

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