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

Aniline
Aniline
Posts: 144

9/1/2017
Now I realized what it reminds me of. The only good part of Lev Grossman's Magicians.

I can't pledge on kickstarter, but I hope I'll find a way to contribute to the campaign in some way.

--
Melantha Prescott, the Suspicious Statistician. "3% failure chances crop up nine times out of ten."
Francesca Ayers-Kernighan, bat-hunter, cat-whisperer
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Anne Auclair
Anne Auclair
Posts: 2215

9/1/2017
As of this post, there's only about $2,000 more to go before they hit the kickstarter goal. For those who are so obsessed with Fallen London lore to the point that they are willing to pay 150 pounds, there are still 71 slots available for Prophet. Stolen Name still has a lot of available space. But with almost 100 takers there are going to be a LOT of names in the game.

Just before the kickstarter went live, Alexis tweeted the names of a few Hours as a sort of countdown ^_^

XXVII. The Crowned Growth
XXII. The Forge of Days.
XVII. The Red Grail.
XII. The Beachcrow.
IX. The Cartographer of Scars.
V. The Mother of Ants.
III. The Ring-Yew.
II. The Black-Flax.

One of his promotional emails also had information on two Hours he has yet to mention elsewhere:

"THE COLONEL IS SCARRED."
"THE COLONEL IS BLIND."
"THE COLONEL CANNOT BE EVADED."

"THE FLOWERMAKER CANNOT HARM YOU."
"THE FLOWERMAKER CANNOT FIND YOU."
"THE FLOWERMAKER HAS WHAT YOU DESIRE."

Soon, soon I shall have them all. And when I have them all I...I...I don't know what I will do. No one ever does.

.
edited by Anne Auclair on 9/1/2017

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http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/Anne%20Auclair
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Anne Auclair
Anne Auclair
Posts: 2215

9/1/2017
crazyroosterman wrote:
have you seen the other piece of art work for the sun in rags anne? I don't know if there's anything revelatory about but It looks fantastic.

Oh yeah, I saw it. But the only finished picture was on the rough draft kickstarter page and Alexis asked us not to share kickstarter content until it was ready. Well, after the kickstarter went live Alexis sent out an email devoted entirely to the Sun-In-Rags, so here it is.




Alexis wrote:
SOL INVICTUS

This was the title of Mithras, but also Hercules, Apollo, and of course Heliogabalus / Elagabulus, who was briefly worshipped in Rome. Briefly along the Second History, anyway. His mortal incarnation was a pretty sorry specimen, although he's believed to have passed the Stag Door, and at least to have been accounted a Know.

The Mansus, of course, is both the fortress of the Hours and the House of the Sun.

Inscribed on a second-century phalera: "Inventori Lucis Soli Invicto Augusto", which can be translated as a dedication to the Contriver of Light, the Imperial Unconquered Sun.


The email also reveals that the Sun-In-Rags occult principles are the Lantern and the Moth, confirming my theory that there are gods with multiple and ambiguous aspects/responsibilities ^_^
.
edited by Anne Auclair on 9/1/2017

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http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/Anne%20Auclair
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A Dimness
A Dimness
Posts: 613

9/1/2017
As of 12 hours, 27 minutes from launch, the Cultist Simulator kickstarter has been fully funded. Further goals should be forthcoming.

--
A truth so strange it can only be lied into existence
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Gonen
Gonen
Posts: 817

9/1/2017
Anne Auclair wrote:



XII. The Beachcrow.


Isn't that the Sun-in-Rags, according to the card?
Or I misunderstood something (I am waaaaay behind on understanding this lore)

--
The Ashen Anesthesiologist - Paramount Londoner

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness.

The long journey to eccentricity:
On March 10th, 2018, reached 15 on all quirks, simultaneously. The Quirky Anesthesiologist
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Anne Auclair
Anne Auclair
Posts: 2215

9/1/2017
Gonen wrote:
Anne Auclair wrote:



XII. The Beachcrow.


Isn't that the Sun-in-Rags, according to the card?
Or I misunderstood something (I am waaaaay behind on understanding this lore)

Oh yeah, XII is the Sun-in-Rags. Alexis no doubt made a mistake in his Roman numeral countdown, which was more like a Roman numeral skip. Maybe the Beachcrow is XIII or XI.

--
http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/Anne%20Auclair
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Gonen
Gonen
Posts: 817

9/1/2017
Anne Auclair wrote:
Gonen wrote:
Anne Auclair wrote:



XII. The Beachcrow.


Isn't that the Sun-in-Rags, according to the card?
Or I misunderstood something (I am waaaaay behind on understanding this lore)

Oh yeah, XII is the Sun-in-Rags. Alexis no doubt made a mistake in his Roman numeral countdown, which was more like a Roman numeral skip. Maybe the Beachcrow is XIII or XI.


Can the numbers in the Tarot be other than the number of the hours?
Are there 30 Tarot cards in a deck?

--
The Ashen Anesthesiologist - Paramount Londoner

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness.

The long journey to eccentricity:
On March 10th, 2018, reached 15 on all quirks, simultaneously. The Quirky Anesthesiologist
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Anne Auclair
Anne Auclair
Posts: 2215

9/1/2017
Gonen wrote:
Anne Auclair wrote:
Gonen wrote:
Anne Auclair wrote:



XII. The Beachcrow.


Isn't that the Sun-in-Rags, according to the card?
Or I misunderstood something (I am waaaaay behind on understanding this lore)

Oh yeah, XII is the Sun-in-Rags. Alexis no doubt made a mistake in his Roman numeral countdown, which was more like a Roman numeral skip. Maybe the Beachcrow is XIII or XI.


Can the numbers in the Tarot be other than the number of the hours?
Are there 30 Tarot cards in a deck?

I'm pretty sure the card numbers are also the number of the Hours (hence Moth, Midnight, is Zero). Traditional tarot only has 21 cards, so a deck of 30 cards would be nine more cards than a normal tarot deck - though since a day only has 24 hours, it seems only 24 Hours actually participate in ruling the Earth, while the remaining 6 are...doing something else.

--
http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/Anne%20Auclair
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Gonen
Gonen
Posts: 817

9/1/2017
Anne Auclair wrote:

Alexis wrote:
SOL INVICTUS

...and at least to have been accounted a Know.




Anne, what does THAT mean?

--
The Ashen Anesthesiologist - Paramount Londoner

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness.

The long journey to eccentricity:
On March 10th, 2018, reached 15 on all quirks, simultaneously. The Quirky Anesthesiologist
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Gonen
Gonen
Posts: 817

9/1/2017
Anne Auclair wrote:


...hence Moth, Midnight, is Zero...


So moth is the... XXIV hour? At a 30 hours universe?
The 0 hour? 0 to 29 hours? 0 to 29 cards? (The card has 0 for moth. What represents the 24?)
edited by Gonen on 9/1/2017

--
The Ashen Anesthesiologist - Paramount Londoner

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness.

The long journey to eccentricity:
On March 10th, 2018, reached 15 on all quirks, simultaneously. The Quirky Anesthesiologist
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Anne Auclair
Anne Auclair
Posts: 2215

9/1/2017
Gonen wrote:
Anne Auclair wrote:


...hence Moth, Midnight, is Zero...


So moth is the... XXIV hour? At a 30 hours universe?

The Moth is the first Hour in a 24 Hour universe.

--
http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/Anne%20Auclair
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Gonen
Gonen
Posts: 817

9/1/2017
Anne Auclair wrote:
Gonen wrote:
Anne Auclair wrote:


...hence Moth, Midnight, is Zero...


So moth is the... XXIV hour? At a 30 hours universe?

The Moth is the first Hour in a 24 Hour universe.

So, cards go all the way to 29, then. Total of 30.
XXIII is 23:00, XXIV to XXIX are the hidden ones.
Got it.

--
The Ashen Anesthesiologist - Paramount Londoner

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness.

The long journey to eccentricity:
On March 10th, 2018, reached 15 on all quirks, simultaneously. The Quirky Anesthesiologist
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Anne Auclair
Anne Auclair
Posts: 2215

9/1/2017
Gonen wrote:
Anne Auclair wrote:

Alexis wrote:
SOL INVICTUS

...and at least to have been accounted a Know.

Anne, what does THAT mean?

He achieved some level of initiation into the divine mysteries - i.e., he knew things. He didn't become a Long, because he died.

--
http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/Anne%20Auclair
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Gonen
Gonen
Posts: 817

9/1/2017
Thank you so much for clarifications.
I hope all this lore will be available in final game, without the need to search twitter, forums, Alpha-test, etc.

--
The Ashen Anesthesiologist - Paramount Londoner

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness.

The long journey to eccentricity:
On March 10th, 2018, reached 15 on all quirks, simultaneously. The Quirky Anesthesiologist
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Anne Auclair
Anne Auclair
Posts: 2215

9/1/2017
A Dimness wrote:
As of 12 hours, 27 minutes from launch, the Cultist Simulator kickstarter has been fully funded. Further goals should be forthcoming.

Alexis Kennedy wrote:

In the Cultist Simulator setting, there are thirty Hours.

This game was 100% funded in a little over twelve hours.

I normally have an aesthetic objection to one-sentence effect paragraphs, but **** it.

OKA WE'RE MAKING THIS GAME. Imma bring the dawn. SERIOUSLY you people have exceeeded my expectations in quite a terrifying way. I am very nearly going to ask you to stop giving me money but I'm not quite there yet.

I'm going to bed please don't have tattooed anyone when I get up I love you all

Oh yay, we terrified him ^_^
.
edited by Anne Auclair on 9/1/2017

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http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/Anne%20Auclair
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A Dimness
A Dimness
Posts: 613

9/1/2017
Anne Auclair wrote:
A Dimness wrote:
As of 12 hours, 27 minutes from launch, the Cultist Simulator kickstarter has been fully funded. Further goals should be forthcoming.

Alexis Kennedy wrote:

In the Cultist Simulator setting, there are thirty Hours.

This game was 100% funded in a little over twelve hours.

I normally have an aesthetic objection to one-sentence effect paragraphs, but **** it.

OKA WE'RE MAKING THIS GAME. Imma bring the dawn. SERIOUSLY you people have exceeeded my expectations in quite a terrifying way. I am very nearly going to ask you to stop giving me money but I'm not quite there yet.

I'm going to bed please don't have tattooed anyone when I get up I love you all

Oh yay, we terrified him ^_^
.
edited by Anne Auclair on 9/1/2017

Still hoping some mad genius drops the 5.000 necessary for the tattoo.

A Second Skin-Bound Memory for Alexis.

--
A truth so strange it can only be lied into existence
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Corvo
Corvo
Posts: 221

9/2/2017
I started playing the ALpha version today and I'm insanely hyped for this game now! Even if I am having some troubles with gettign the hang of a few things lol

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http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/raaret
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Edward Warren
Edward Warren
Posts: 120

9/4/2017
I've been playing the alpha as well and it's really quite good. You can easily tell the places where there's more to be added, but for what it was the game was still quite enjoyable and left me wanting for more, which I strongly suspect was the point. Not just for releasing the demo, but thematically as well.

While I was playing it, I quickly started seeing the themes present in the Mr. Eaten and Salt's Song storylines. Play your cards right (*rimshot*) and it's fairly easy to get the option for an ending where you can leave the occult for a steady legit job and a comfortable life. It's the easiest ending besides just dying... and yet during my first couple playthroughs, it didn't even occur to me to pick it. There was so much to learn, I couldn't bring myself to just walk away.

I made tons of money at my day job. But between my bills and buying new occultist reading material, I ended up burning through it as quickly as I made it. I think that's the point of it all, really.

You put yourself through hell, sacrificing everything you've earned for a shot at something you're explicitly told time and time again will drive you mad and probably kill you in the end, but you end up doing it anyway. The option to walk away is always there, but you have to make the conscious choice to turn your back on it. In the end, you know that your downfall is 100% your fault.

Only Alexis Kennedy could make a choice in a game feel so visceral... feel so real.

I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to this game.

The dawn is coming. I cannot wait to burn in its light.

--
WHAT IS BELOW CANNOT ESCAPE WHAT IS ABOVE
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Anne Auclair
Anne Auclair
Posts: 2215

9/4/2017
So sometime after the Kickstarter went live, Alexis and his daughter Sonya did a very cheerful – actually downright adorable - livestream about the project. I didn’t see it while it was actually streaming, but I’ve since watched it and transcribed the most important parts having to do with Cultist Simulator’s lore and game development. I usually don’t have time to watch livestreams or podcasts, so I figured a transcript might be appreciated by the other very busy people of the world.

Word of warning, I probably made one or two mistakes when writing everything down. The video is grainy in places and Alexis is very giddy at times and he talks really fast. There were also a lot of interruptions and unrelated asides, from the chat, from his daughter, and from his own train of thought, which I had to clean up. Adding to these difficulties, Alexis is super British, and during his giddy moments he achieves this kind of max Britishness. While his accent is nice to listen to…it can sometimes be difficult for someone from the Colonies understand. All I can say is I did my best ^_^

Alexis's remarks are in italics.


1. A More Complete Answer to Gonen’s Question

There are five levels in the grand taxonomy of Cultist Simulator.

1. There’s us.
2. There’s the Know, who crossed the Stag Door.
3. There are the Long, who don’t end.
4. There are the Names, who are sometimes the emanations of the Hours.
5. And there are the Hours.

And more will be revealed in the game.


2. Gameplay Details: Play Session Length and Endings

‘How many times,’ somebody asked, ‘am I expected to die in any play through?’ At the end of a play through the game will end either with your death, or assumption, or insanity, or extinction, or consumption, or incandescence, or immolation, or devolution, or sometimes there will be a happy ending. This is really one of the things I want to get into the game. The idea of the possibility of stepping back from a happy ending.

[Alexis gives a lengthy shoutout to paraTactician]

And [paraTactician] gives an account of what I aimed for in the game, which should be the sense that you are dipping into occult lore. You want to find out what lies underneath the skin of the world. And you get a chance of promotion to a really good job, so maybe you want to give up the danger of [your] studies and take the promotion at Glover and Glover and then retire to a comfortable, perfect life.

So at the end of each play through the game will end. I am aiming for, I think, 30 to 90 minutes for a play through. So you’ll kinda die twice or three times in an evening. The model for this is FTL – which you should play immediately instead of watching the stream if you haven’t. If you have, you know how good it is, where you can die in like 15 minutes or you could have a sort of dramatic epic battle that goes onto the end.

[Cute interjection from Sonya. Alexis continues.]

Okay, so in answer to the question, ‘how many times,’ I expect you’ll probably die one or two times an evening, but I’m hoping it’s something you’ll want to play through again and again, sometimes a quick play through, sometimes a long play through, but to see all the content you’ll have to end and begin multiple times.


3. Gameplay Details: Character Creation and Legacies

Character creation process just like in Fallen London – there won’t be! What there will be is when you being the game you’re making choices which are the kind of relatively fundamental choices you’d make in Fallen London and stuff. You very quickly make choices how to allocate your reason, your health, and your passion. So that will direct the course of your life. And is not like Fallen London where you end up doing all the content. Each character will generally only be able to do a bit of content. But when your character dies, or is eaten, or retires to a comfortable life with their family, or becomes president of the bank, or passes through the Spider Door in the Mansus, or becomes one of the Long, or [indecipherable], any of these things…

[Adorable interruption by Sonya. Alexis picks up where he left off.]

So every time your character dies, you get to choose a legacy. There will be three legacies selected from a larger pool of legacies each time. My UI guy Martin Nerurkar – who is really good and you should definitely use him if you want a US interactive freelancer – Martin Nerurkar, Playful Systems. Um, [in] the legacy system you get to choose what your background, your connection with the [deceased/former] character will be like. Somebody who is a noble – a noble? that’s not very 1920s – somebody who is a wealthy 1920s gentleman or lady, who has found your journal at auction – the journal of your previous character. So this goes in a particular direction. Or [you’re] the daughter of your previous character. Or an employee at the bank where you used to work. Or a librarian who has come across materials on them.


4. Alexis: Not a Fan of Stretch Goals

I am very skeptical of stretch goals. I don’t want to get to them. Budgeting a game is very hard. I’ve been budgeting games for eight years, software projects for twenty, and you always go over, it’s super risky, and the idea of taking from your backers and not having a game to show for is a horrifying one, not just for moral and ethical reasons, but also because I would be finished in this industry if I took your money and didn’t give you a game. To date I haven’t done that, so I want to make sure it’s something I can get done. Stretch goals mean you’re doing a second round of budgeting without knowing the details, especially if its stretch goals that are widely ambitious and I know, I don’t want to name names, but I know there are people on the stream who have seen other very promising kickstarters made by well-intentioned ethical people that have gone over because of stretch goals. SO I’m really nervous doing another set of estimations for stretch goals.

So, stretch goals… I think I’m probably going to do a stretch goal for a physical, custom Tarot-Hours Deck. And I will – I’m still waiting for an estimate on the cost commissions from my artists. I have an estimate for printing the cards. But I will announce that soon if I’m going to do it. A bunch of people have asked about a physical Deck, so it makes sense, and it’s a nice contained thing to do that doesn’t involve making more game.


5. Short Summaries of Other Remarks

Here are some things I didn’t have time to transcribe, but are worth mentioning.

Alexis also discussed his plans to make the card table less messy and easier to organize. One thing they’re looking at is the possibility of flipping over unused cards, but there might be some interface difficulties that make this a less than ideal approach. Other possibilities are pins for pinning down the cards, coins that you can place on top of the cards, and grid lines for the table.

Over the years Alexis has discovered he has quite a few fans in Russia and Eastern Europe, but the written stories in Fallen London and Sunless Sea are just too large to be involved in translating. The condensed writing of Cultist Simulator thus partly stems from Alexis’s desire to create a game that can be readily translated for Russian and Eastern European players.

.
edited by Anne Auclair on 9/4/2017

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http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/Anne%20Auclair
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Ragnar Degenhand
Ragnar Degenhand
Posts: 175

9/4/2017
Thank you, Anne, that was very interesting.

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