Water, for Stories
Best known for co-creating the delightfully eldritch Sunless Sea, Alexis Kennedy is no stranger to haunting storytelling. Before you delve into his latest game Cultist Simulator, take some time to read this insightful blog post about how he challenged himself to keep the text short but sweetly tantalizing.
Cultist Simulator‘s a game about being the antagonist in a horror story – the kind of antagonist who we sometimes cheer in preference to the hero, and the kind of horror story that stays with you when you wake the next morning. It’s also a simulation game, and a card game, but above all it’s a story game. So there are words in it.
To be precise, there are seventy thousand words of content in Cultist Simulator. The last game I launched on GOG, back in my Failbetter Games days, was Sunless Sea, and that had two hundred and fifty thousand words in it. I’ve fallen short of my goal, but not in the way you might expect. I was very definite that I wanted Cultist Simulator to have about 25% of the words in it that Sunless Sea did. I wanted to top out at sixty thousand at launch. Why?
Boring answer first: it’s cheaper to localise shorter games, indie studios don’t have much money, and we want to localise CS. Okay, but that is a very boring answer, and it’s the least important one.
Emotional answer. I didn’t write all of Sunless Sea – maybe it was two-thirds, maybe three-quarters – but that was still easily three novels worth, and bloody hell, by the time I’d done, that was a lot of typing. This time round, I wanted to spend less time typing and more time designing.
But here’s the most important answer: words are …read more
Source:: GOG – Good Old Games