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Alexis Kennedy's Cultist Simulator Messages in this topic - RSS

Edward Warren
Edward Warren
Posts: 50

18 days ago
Anne Auclair wrote:
Alexis is surprised that, so far, the Mother of Ants is the leading Hour. Based on some comments during the last livestream, I think he was expecting the Red Grail to be the big one.

I wonder why this is. Maybe people liked Saint Agnes of the Serpent. Maybe those who wanted an Hour of Knock chose the Mother of Ants because she's the only one explicitly identified with Knock. Maybe a lot of Stolen Namers believed, like Alexis, that the Grail would be very popular, so they went with their second choices instead.

Is there a poll going somewhere?

I've been away for a few days, so if there's CS stuff going on somewhere, I'd love to give my opinion on my favorite Hour if there is.

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menaulon
menaulon
Posts: 76

18 days ago
Edward Warren wrote:

Is there a poll going somewhere?

I've been away for a few days, so if there's CS stuff going on somewhere, I'd love to give my opinion on my favorite Hour if there is.

If you've backed at the level sufficient to have a name included into the game, you can choose what Hour to associate the name with through the recently sent poll. The poll is thus for Stolen Name backers only.


  • Anne Auclair wrote:
    What do people think about this?

    At first I was a little wary of this idea, but now I really hope Alexis actually tries it because I'm rather eager to test it out.

    I feel this is an idea that might turn out well, but a lot depends on how exactly it ends up working in context. I think I won't know what to think until I actually play the game with it and feel how it interacts with other timer mechanics. It could a sense of creeping urgency. It could just lead to clicking escape and then deciding what to do.

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    Anne Auclair
    Anne Auclair
    Posts: 1725

    18 days ago
    menaulon wrote:
    The poll is thus for Stolen Name backers only.


    Well, Stolen Name and above, so Prophets, Stone Gods, and the one God-From-Light have gotten it too.
    .
    edited by Anne Auclair on 11/5/2017

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    Edward Warren
    Edward Warren
    Posts: 50

    18 days ago
    I'm intrigued, but skeptical of a pause button's inclusion in the game. I think the a big draw of the gameplay is its fast pace and deciding what options to take when working with limited time. Events like the authorities and THE RED GRAIL COMES don't give the player much time to respond, which I think is the whole point. When you're faced with a major event, you need to make a fast decision managing your limited resources. If you can just pause the game and come up with a gameplan, the game might as well be a text adventure game on can play at their own pace. I think a far better compromise would be a button that slowed down the game somewhat, or a special item or spell a player could acquire for additional time.

    On the other hand I do understand if someone wanted to take a break and didn't want the clock to run down while they weren't in the room.

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    illuminati swag (Benthic)
    illuminati swag (Benthic)
    Posts: 57

    18 days ago
    Edward Warren wrote:
    I'm intrigued, but skeptical of a pause button's inclusion in the game. I think the a big draw of the gameplay is its fast pace and deciding what options to take when working with limited time. Events like the authorities and THE RED GRAIL COMES don't give the player much time to respond, which I think is the whole point. When you're faced with a major event, you need to make a fast decision managing your limited resources. If you can just pause the game and come up with a gameplan, the game might as well be a text adventure game on can play at their own pace. I think a far better compromise would be a button that slowed down the game somewhat, or a special item or spell a player could acquire for additional time.

    On the other hand I do understand if someone wanted to take a break and didn't want the clock to run down while they weren't in the room.

    Well, if they just want to take a break, Alexis is definitely planning to make a complete pause (no interactions while paused) available. That said, I think it's a question of whether or not to make the difficulty of the game be based on your ability to click and drag things quickly and know if it'll work, or whether to make it more based on planning. I personally would lean towards the latter. I think "making choices carefully and waiting for them to come to fruition" would be a better aesthetic for the game than "frantically clicking around and hoping you'll get the things in the right place and the buttons pressed in time".

    With a pause button, you still have to be careful about timings relative to the timers, but you don't have to worry about "oops I clicked the wrong icon and tried to put Reason in that important time-limited token that only accepts Funds, now I'm out of time, guess I'll die". Furthermore, the timers in this game obviously go a lot faster than reality. A pause button so that you can deliberate on your choices seems like it would be a move towards realism, if anything. In terms of player choice, you can play on fast-forward without pausing if you want to if there's a pause button, but not the opposite.

    Also, I would seriously question your statement that "a big draw of the gameplay is its fast pace". The game as we can play it currently is not, by any definition I would consider using, fast-paced. A substantial portion of the game is waiting for timers to wind down. Also, it has a pause button as it stands. The fast-forward button is the actual change here, and I'll be glad to have it.

    Edit: In terms of the super-slow not-quite-pause that he's considering, I think that could well be a good idea, but I'd definitely want to test it out before it was a definite thing. The balance for it would be between "not slow enough to be worth it" and "basically identical to pause so no point in doing it instead of pause", and the question is whether there's actually any point that's in between the two, in the opinions of enough players.
    edited by illuminati swag (Benthic) on 11/6/2017
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    Edward Warren
    Edward Warren
    Posts: 50

    17 days ago
    illuminati swag (Benthic) wrote:

    Also, I would seriously question your statement that "a big draw of the gameplay is its fast pace". The game as we can play it currently is not, by any definition I would consider using, fast-paced. A substantial portion of the game is waiting for timers to wind down. Also, it has a pause button as it stands. The fast-forward button is the actual change here, and I'll be glad to have it.

    Edit: In terms of the super-slow not-quite-pause that he's considering, I think that could well be a good idea, but I'd definitely want to test it out before it was a definite thing. The balance for it would be between "not slow enough to be worth it" and "basically identical to pause so no point in doing it instead of pause", and the question is whether there's actually any point that's in between the two, in the opinions of enough players.
    edited by illuminati swag (Benthic) on 11/6/2017

    I apologize for not being clear enough in my complaint. I didn't mean that the game was particularly fast paced, but I do think that when you have limited resources and multiple important events counting down at once, it puts pressure on the player to prioritize the options that matter. If for example in the finished game we need to quickly complete a occult ritual while the authorities are at our heels and barely enough time to scrounge up resources, the player needs to do some quick thinking as to what options to take lest they need to start over or lose the game. If by chance the player thinks fast and manages to get the resources to pull both off before the clock winds down, I think that would be a really fulfilling experience that makes people feel good about themselves.

    Also while the game does run slow most of the time, I kinda thought that was the point. Just like Mr. Eaten, the game's largely a grind, a slow descent into madness as we go through the motions of daily life. Every day we scrounge the resources we need to peel back the world's skin just a little bit more. I don't think it's well conveyed in the little bit of content we have in the demo, but the gist of what I got of it was the game was like an avalanche, starting slow than gradually building until it's rushing at you full force. We start as some random nobody working a miserable job and working in dabbling in magic in our spare time, and by the end of the full game we're running a massive secret society and summoning eldritch horrors into our world.

    To that end I think the slow game punctuated by sudden unexpected bits of action was is intent for the beginning and middle of each session. If there's a fast forward button, then the tense atmosphere the countdown creates is somewhat ruined if someone who played before is rushing through.

    *Does X, does Y, does Z* = Congratulations, you ended the world!

    If there was a pause button that didn't allow the player to manage cards while they used it, and a fast forward feature that automatically wound back to normal time when an action was completed or a menace popped up, I think that would be better than what I feel is being proposed.

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    illuminati swag (Benthic)
    illuminati swag (Benthic)
    Posts: 57

    17 days ago
    Edward Warren wrote:
    illuminati swag (Benthic) wrote:

    Also, I would seriously question your statement that "a big draw of the gameplay is its fast pace". The game as we can play it currently is not, by any definition I would consider using, fast-paced. A substantial portion of the game is waiting for timers to wind down. Also, it has a pause button as it stands. The fast-forward button is the actual change here, and I'll be glad to have it.

    Edit: In terms of the super-slow not-quite-pause that he's considering, I think that could well be a good idea, but I'd definitely want to test it out before it was a definite thing. The balance for it would be between "not slow enough to be worth it" and "basically identical to pause so no point in doing it instead of pause", and the question is whether there's actually any point that's in between the two, in the opinions of enough players.
    edited by illuminati swag (Benthic) on 11/6/2017

    I apologize for not being clear enough in my complaint. I didn't mean that the game was particularly fast paced, but I do think that when you have limited resources and multiple important events counting down at once, it puts pressure on the player to prioritize the options that matter. If for example in the finished game we need to quickly complete a occult ritual while the authorities are at our heels and barely enough time to scrounge up resources, the player needs to do some quick thinking as to what options to take lest they need to start over or lose the game. If by chance the player thinks fast and manages to get the resources to pull both off before the clock winds down, I think that would be a really fulfilling experience that makes people feel good about themselves.

    It might feel fulfilling if you succeed, but it would really suck to lose the game when you knew exactly what you needed to do but you just didn't click through the options in time. I think that with a pause button, you can still have the tension of having to scrounge up resources to perform the Rite of the Stag Door and escape from the authorities into the Mansus, it would just mean that the limiting factor is the actual options you have rather than your ability to click around the interface as fast as possible. The interface in the alpha version, at least, is not the sort of interface where I think that testing players' ability to navigate it is fun or helpful, and I doubt the final interface will be that different. (For an example where testing players' ability to navigate an interface is fun: the interface of a crosshair where you have to take the precise actions to aim it.)
    Also while the game does run slow most of the time, I kinda thought that was the point. Just like Mr. Eaten, the game's largely a grind, a slow descent into madness as we go through the motions of daily life. Every day we scrounge the resources we need to peel back the world's skin just a little bit more. I don't think it's well conveyed in the little bit of content we have in the demo, but the gist of what I got of it was the game was like an avalanche, starting slow than gradually building until it's rushing at you full force. We start as some random nobody working a miserable job and working in dabbling in magic in our spare time, and by the end of the full game we're running a massive secret society and summoning eldritch horrors into our world.

    Sure, but I think there should be the option to be deliberate and careful about how you run the secret society and how you perform the relevant rituals and so on, rather than being stressed out by whether or not you can drag such-and-such resource into the ritual interface in time.
    To that end I think the slow game punctuated by sudden unexpected bits of action was is intent for the beginning and middle of each session. If there's a fast forward button, then the tense atmosphere the countdown creates is somewhat ruined if someone who played before is rushing through.

    *Does X, does Y, does Z* = Congratulations, you ended the world!

    If there was a pause button that didn't allow the player to manage cards while they used it, and a fast forward feature that automatically wound back to normal time when an action was completed or a menace popped up, I think that would be better than what I feel is being proposed.

    Fast-forward would just be something like 2x speed from the way Alexis has described it, it's inspired by the different speed options in Paradox games. If it automatically wound back to normal time, it would just be irritating to have to click on it again every time anything happened.
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    Anne Auclair
    Anne Auclair
    Posts: 1725

    14 days ago


    New Contentment art. Nicely symbolic, contentment as a fleeting moment in a larger journey. You pause to take in the tree, the gazebo, the sky, the clouds, the distance you've covered...and then you continue on your way.

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    Anne Auclair
    Anne Auclair
    Posts: 1725

    9 days ago
    A screenshot of Cultist Simulator's challenge/combat system.



    Also, you're now given information on what certain actions might do and their respective odds of succeeding or backfiring.
    .
    edited by Anne Auclair on 11/15/2017

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    Anne Auclair
    Anne Auclair
    Posts: 1725

    9 days ago
    illuminati swag (Benthic) wrote:
    In terms of the super-slow not-quite-pause that he's considering, I think that could well be a good idea, but I'd definitely want to test it out before it was a definite thing. The balance for it would be between "not slow enough to be worth it" and "basically identical to pause so no point in doing it instead of pause", and the question is whether there's actually any point that's in between the two, in the opinions of enough players.

    I think the sweet spot for a super-slow but not-quite-pause speed would be something that creates an enjoyable tension without causing you to stress or rush through the story. It would give you plenty of time, but make that time feel more significant. When I think about how this would work, the example that comes to my mind is the fire pit puzzle in Portal. Now this is a fairly simple puzzle to solve in the amount of time you are given, but by creating danger and actually putting a limit on your escape time, the experience is made to feel a lot more rewarding. The same goes for the boss battle with GLaDOS. Initially the plan was to have a very action packed battle with the player being forced to dodge all kinds of projectiles. But after testing this out the developers realized this battle was just too busy, there was too much to keep track of, and consequently it was not all that enjoyable an experience. So they created another timed puzzle, where the player knocks emotion cores off GLaDOS and then incinerates them before the room fills with a deadly neurotoxin. Again, a fairly straightforward puzzle, made more exciting from the combination of danger and a time limit.

    Now, a time limit in a first person puzzle platformer would be fairly different from one in a narrative crafting digital card game. The narrative crafting card game is way more complex and requires more thought and planning, to take one example. But the basic principle is the same.

    So, I kind of imagine super-slow but not-quite-pause as a sort of psychological spice. Something that could potentially enhance the feel of the game, deepen the atmosphere, make the challenges more exciting/rewarding, and give your narrative crafting greater momentum - stuff like that. I think it's worth testing out.
    .
    edited by Anne Auclair on 11/21/2017

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    Anne Auclair
    Anne Auclair
    Posts: 1725

    8 days ago
    Anne Auclair wrote:
    A screenshot of Cultist Simulator's challenge/combat system.




    One thing is definitely clear, whatever the exact History currently in force, this 1920s is a period of widespread insecurity and pessimism about the future of civilization:

    The Dark Beyond the Walls wrote:
    There are too many uncertainties; too many fears of the future; too many crushing terrors of possibility. I hardly dare learn these lessons.

    Bad enough to fill a sensitive soul with explicit existential horror:

    Dread wrote:
    I've seen too much. A nameless gnawing fear has its teeth in my hopes; an existential horror.

    Which is not all that different from Britain's current History, come to think of it. Of course a civilization standing on multiple precipices would be a powerful motivator for one who is seeking power or escape. It also raises the stakes of your research. Whether from some inner irresponsibility or violent nihilism, you might easily become the one who gives your tottering civilization its final push (well, not final from the Hours' perspective - they'd just change the History like they did with England's Age of Steel - but it would be final from a purely linear mortal perspective, probably).
    .
    edited by Anne Auclair on 11/16/2017

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    Alice Lutwidge
    Alice Lutwidge
    Posts: 27

    8 days ago
    I've been keeping an eye on Cultist Simulator for some time; unfortunately I couldn't contribute to the Kickstarter, but I'm definitely hyped and will be snatching up a copy of the Perpetual Edition when its released. I don't even know how much time I've spent pouring over the alpha prologue in the meantime :P

    That being said, I haven't seen anyone talk about this and I've been wondering... has anyone else discovered/learned how to work the debug panel in the prototype? It allows access to some pretty interesting things--not a whole lot, of course--but I've been debating about how to go about talking about some of the stuff I've found, and if it's even acceptable to do so.

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    Anne Auclair
    Anne Auclair
    Posts: 1725

    7 days ago
    I don't know. You could always ask Alexis on the CS Reddit whether he'd be cool with that. At the very least, spoiler warnings and tags should definitely be used.

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    Anne Auclair
    Anne Auclair
    Posts: 1725

    7 days ago
    I've been doing some research into the Depression era consumer economy of the Pacific Northwest, which involves looking through lots and lots of newspapers. Anyway, I found the following editorial in a small town paper, dated September 1936.

    Frocks and Futures


    Gradually we have become accustomed to women's clothes that reveal the wearers with increasing frankness. But now the Parisian dressmakers are promoting an idea that brings a chill of apprehension.

    They propose to reveal through clothes not only the external woman, but the innermost secrets of her heart and the fabric of her being. All this by working into the clothes the celestial symbols and astrological dingbats which the dressmaker's own private astrologer says govern the lady's personality and future.

    Go slow, ladies! Picture yourself at dinner with that man to whom you are being especially sweet. He casts a wayward eye at a frilled ruffle or embroidered border of madame's costume, and if he's a student of the stars, the symbols may terrify him.

    Think twice, Mr. Parisian dressmaker, before you make clothes more revealing than even your most exhibition-minded client might wish!

    Color me skeptical that astrological signs would actually scare off a significant number of men :P Chinese restaurants have zodiac menus and fortune cookies, newspapers have horoscopes, and carnivals have palm readers because people like that sort of thing and see what they want in it. And I say this as a Scorpio, the one sign that should honestly scare people :P

    But it got me thinking, instead of harmless old astrological signs, what about a dress that symbolically conveys the Hour of your birth? For someone in the Know, such a dress could be pretty terrifying. A bad date or a tumultuous relationship would be the least of the potential trouble.
    .
    edited by Anne Auclair on 11/17/2017

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    Frederick Metzengerstein
    Frederick Metzengerstein
    Posts: 65

    5 days ago
    I prefer a sedate pace that gives my time to think and reflect but obviously Alexis has designed this game around a real-time strategy mechanic so… the game will be what it will be.
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    GuesssWho
    GuesssWho
    Posts: 24

    4 days ago
    Seems like an interesting game so far.

    --
    DO you recall how the Hunger began?
    I'm sorry, my darling, I don't think I can!
    FROM past the High Wilderness and beyond
    Don't dare to go Seeking, but of Him I'm fond.
    --The Elfin Cannibal

    Bohemian. Fond of Rubbery Men. Carefully friendly towards He In The Well.
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    illuminati swag (Benthic)
    illuminati swag (Benthic)
    Posts: 57

    2 days ago
    A new update about the upcoming beta build!

    http://weatherfactory.biz/this-the-season-cultist-simulator-beta-build-soon/

    In case you don't want to or can't click through for whatever reason:

    Alexis Kennedy wrote:

    I committed to getting a beta build of Cultist Simulator out by the end of the year. I’ve been tidying up my task list, and I can say it’s going to be significantly earlier than the end of the year – you should see it by mid-December.
    This is still an early build, but when it goes live I’ll be happy to call it beta, not just alpha. It’ll be available to everyone who backed the game on Kickstarter, and everyone who’s pre-ordered it: as ever, this is the Perpetual Edition, meaning that anyone who purchases now gets the same basic perks (dev builds, free DLC forever).
    What does it bring?
    - Lots and lots and lots of UI improvements from the alpha

    - Game is now loaded and saved

    - Your character can be named

    - Much smoother game intro

    - Legacies – starting over with different beginnings – now work, though there are only a couple of them

    - Scholar work: solve conundrums, compose new works, publish them for funds

    - Dreamer activities: begin to explore the Mansus

    - New menaces: Dread and Fascination

    - A miscellany of further content

    - Basic indicator of whether an activity will END THE GAME

    - A double-speed fast-forward button!




    edited by illuminati swag (Benthic) on 11/21/2017
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    Anne Auclair
    Anne Auclair
    Posts: 1725

    2 days ago
    Relevant to certain fan theories about Christopher Illopoly



    Fire and transformation have some erotic connotations and Illopoly seizes upon them to justify writing some very intense love poetry to a very special someone (probably Teresa Galmier). Because of course he does :P

    TOO MUCH INFORMATION CHRISTOPHER!

    Fire is not a toy and you are so going to get burned :P

    Also, add the Unburnt God, which seems associated with the Principle of Forge, to the list of unknown Hours.

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    illuminati swag (Benthic)
    illuminati swag (Benthic)
    Posts: 57

    2 days ago
    Anne Auclair wrote:
    Relevant to certain fan theories about Christopher Illopoly



    Fire and transformation have some erotic connotations and Illopoly seizes upon them to justify writing some very intense love poetry to a very special someone (probably Teresa Galmier). Because of course he does :P

    TOO MUCH INFORMATION CHRISTOPHER!

    Fire is not a toy and you are so going to get burned :P

    Also, add the Unburnt God, which seems associated with the Principle of Forge, to the list of unknown Hours.

    Interesting. Right now, I think we have the names of 19 or so Hours, some of which may be duplicates. 16 of them are from the backer survey:


    Survey wrote:

    The Moth
    The Door-in-the-Eye, sometimes called the Doorkeeper
    The Thunderskin, sometimes called the Heart Relentless
    The Mother of Ants
    The Witch-and-Sister
    The Sister-and-Witch
    The Lionsmith, sometimes called the Golden General
    The Colonel, sometimes called the Cartographer of Scars
    The Beach-Crow
    The Sun-in-Rags
    The Horned Axe
    The Red Grail
    The Flowermaker
    The Forge of Days
    The Rising Spider
    The Crowned Growth


    The ones not mentioned here of which I am aware are the Ring-Yew, the Black-Flax, and the Unburnt God if that's not another name for the Forge of Days (or maybe another hour, but Forge of Days seems like the most likely one, if it's a duplicate). Are there any others whose names we know?


    Also, I am absolutely certain that nobody would dream of writing their interpretations of said poetry, especially not with all words which cannot be used in polite society euphemised with the names of Hours. This would be both scandalous and foolhardy.
    edited by illuminati swag (Benthic) on 11/22/2017
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    Anne Auclair
    Anne Auclair
    Posts: 1725

    2 days ago
    illuminati swag (Benthic) wrote:
    and the Unburnt God if that's not another name for the Forge of Days (or maybe another hour, but Forge of Days seems like the most likely one, if it's a duplicate). Are there any others whose names we know?

    I considered that as well, but t I'm not so sure the Unburnt God is the Forge of Days. Obviously this god partakes in, or has some relationship with, the Principle of the Forge, but a Forge isn't unburnt...it literally is burning.



    Do you think "unburnt" when you think "forge"? Actually, Unburnt seems to suggest a deity in opposition to the Forge of Days - one who cannot be consumed or transformed, even by that which yearns to consume and transform everything. There are still eleven Hours as yet unaccounted for after all.

    Anne Auclair wrote:
    The Orchid Transfigurations (‘a feast’)Card Text: An original edition of a compilation of quasi-Rosicrucian allegories, supposedly by Robert Fludd. This is the original Latin.
    ...
    The Orchid Transfigurations is a very weird text. It is definitely not the work of a single author, as its attribution to Robert Fludd is clearly bogus and your character identifies the work itself as a “compilation” of texts pretending to be something they’re not (in this case, Rosicrucian). It sounds a little bit like the Corpus Hermeticum, where a number of diverse texts arising out of a shared intellectual milieu were later combined together into a single invented tradition and wrongly ascribed to a single author. As the common milieu of the Orchid Transfigurations is sixteenth century alchemy, it seems safe to assume that all the volumes explicitly deal with the subject of perfection and transmutation. The hodge-podge nature of the compiled sources however means that the nature and intent of these transmutations could vary pretty widely. Yet the compiler must have had a larger purpose in mind when making the selections that they did. Personally, this series is my favorite so far, as I just love strange stuff like this.

    Someone I only just noticed. After you translate the The Orchid Transfiguration's into English, the card text changes to:

    Part of a compilation of quasi-Rosicrucian allegories, supposedly by Robert Fludd.

    Confirming that this book is part of a larger series.
    .
    edited by Anne Auclair on 11/22/2017

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