Welcome to Hush House
“The Hours are not all-knowing. Perhaps in truth we should not call them gods…”
What secrets lurk in old grimoires? What histories lie beneath Hush House? What’s true about the invisible world, and what legacy will you forge with your hard-won numina? It’s finally time to share BOOK OF HOURS’ launch trailer, the first step across the threshold for all Librarians. Hopefully this gives everyone an appealing taste of the game, from hardcore Cultist Simulator fans (here’s looking at you, Apostle Entheates) to people who’ve never heard of the Secret Histories. Watch below, share it around and let us know what you think! 🤫
So shiny! Much heart-feels! Wow!
Now, onto development. Our beta period is now officially over, so a serious thank you to everyone who participated in any of them over the last few months. Your feedback has been incredibly helpful, and AK’s full-time job at the moment is tweaking the game based on what we’re hearing from players. He only implements a few suggestions – as with all Kennedy games, BOOK OF HOURS is highly distinctive and therefore divisive – but he really does read and think about every email we receive. AK + Feedback in the ‘Consider’ verb = Better Game + Need of Gin…?
As a result of everyone’s hard work, I’ve finally been able to take some shiny new screenshots (see ’em all on the Steam page)…
…and have been feverishly finishing off all remaining Aspects, Elements and Things, with some help from veteran element artists Clockwork Cuckoo.
Most importantly, we now have proper states for all pets. Like the Wild, Tame and HONGRY cat below:
AK, meanwhile, has been working flat out on polishing the game post-beta. This means bringing the last 20% of Hush House to life (that’s right: the caves under the House remain unexplored until launch), QoL improvements, and zillions of technical bugs like ‘this runs at 3FPS on my potato’, ‘this runs at 10FPS on my laptop’ and ‘are you trolling us with the phonograph, where the hell is it’. Having finally had the time to play more of the game myself, oh my Hours am I sorry I didn’t put in more wall art / comfort / thing slots for you all to put things down! I love the idea in theory of picking up a snake and then never, ever being able to put it down, but in reality it’s less fun. So… I’m working on that! But let me hand over to AK for one moment…
In Sheri S. Tepper’s Sideshow, there’s a recurring children’s story that has always stayed with me. I re-read it today, and it sounds oddly relevant in some expected and unexpected ways.
“And so, sustained by this ambition, he went higher and higher yet, gray stone and gray cliff and gray rain falling, year after year, until he came at last to the place the swallows danced in the air above the bottomless void…”
Back in 2021, Lottie and I described BOOK OF HOURS as a game of ‘peace, melancholy, satisfaction and curiosity’. If you’ve followed our work, you’ll know that we’re theme-first; you might also know that I have a thing about there always being an core, understated theme that the others orbit like an invisible sun. In BOOK OF HOURS, this understated theme is loneliness.
“When they saw him, they stopped dancing to perch beside him on the stone, and when he saw them there, silver and black, beautiful as a night lit with stars, he was possessed once again by a great longing, and he told them of his desire for wings. ‘Perhaps you may have wings, but you must give up your shell,’ they cried…”
One of the things they tell you in children’s books is that if you’re a loner, but gifted, or virtuous, or interesting, you will have a happy ending. This much is often true. But many children’s books end with the loner getting a medal, or a big parade, or a special hat, while everyone cheers. This is not, in my experience, how it generally works.
“And even as they told him he might have wings, he seemed to hear in their voices some of the carelessness he had heard in the voice of the owl and the bat and the bullfrog, who had told him where to go without telling him the dangers of the way. He heard them rightly, for the winged gods have a divine indifference toward those who seek flight. They will not entice and they will not promise and they will not make the way easy, for those who wish to soar must do so out of their heart’s desire and their mind’s consent and not for any other reason…”
The Librarian of Hush House has left the world behind. Visitors will pass like seasons into their life and out of it, and the Librarian may never see them again, let alone know the end of their stories. The Librarian will live, die, and leave something for whoever might come after. This is of course what all of us do, all our lives. Much is taken, but much abides.
“And the turtle struggled with himself, wanting wings but not wanting wings, for if he had wings, they told him, he would no longer be interested in going back to the pond to tell the creatures there of his journey—that comfortable telling, the anticipation of which had been, perhaps, more important to him than the wings themselves. So, he struggled, wanting and not wanting …”
I don’t think anyone will thoroughly enjoy BOOK OF HOURS if they have never been lonely. I hope that people who’ve never been lonely will still like the game. But, honestly, I don’t know if there’s anyone in the world like that.
………I always come across as a bit of a cheesepuff (light; dusted; non-profound) after I let AK write anything, so I shall epilogue succinctly. We’ve a bunch of stuff coming between now and actual release, including streamer access, social countdowns, a launch-day AMA on r/Gaming and a gameplay-focused final video. It should all be terribly exciting and I will be appealing to YOU good souls to help us, if you like, make BOOK OF HOURS’ release as big as a game about being left alone to read quietly in a library can possibly be. Thank you for sticking with us so far – you must now enjoy launch on our behalf while we run around with our hair on fire saying British things like ‘ah, I am undone’ and ‘halp’. Stay tuned.
For our final ‘dog on a skateboard’ story, I leave you with news that everybody’s favourite Weary Detective from Cultist Simulator has been working hard, working out and has duly received a much-deserved promotion. Good job, Douglas! That means you get a cooler hat. ♥