In the meantime, I thought I'd share a few bits and pieces that are currently influencing my thoughts on the new game. Let's start with something kind of cute but cripplingly bleak at the same time:
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See? Not so scary, was he? And didn't you feel sad? In case you aren't aware of it, the sentiment matches some of mine on the nature of human existence.
That's why absinthe was invented.
For Bemuse, my main takeaways from this were that it only takes a few odd bits and pieces to make something that might be cute into something alien and nightmarish. Oh, and that existential angst is powerful even once you're over 16, maybe moreso.
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I didn't lie! I said a bit cheerier.
Here, my takeaways are the multiple layers of movement and form, and the use of fog to add colour and depth to the scene. While Bemuse won't be a silhouette game (and nor was Incoboto, really), there are some nice uses of 3D models in a 2D silhouette field that lend some real 3D-solidity to the piece.
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This is a major musical influence during this period. During Incoboto it was 'The Advisory Circle' which suggested 'The Corporation' to me.
Julien's work has more shape and form than my ambient atmospheres, a bit more silence, and sounds more 'organic' to my ears. Where Inco's theme was friendship in a mechanical, lifeless universe, Bemuse's is a bit more 'pagan' than that: relationships between humans and deities in a wild, threatening world.
This long-running childhood imagery thing is also wrapped up in my main influence in Bemuse. Yes, it's 'The Moomins':
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I love this setting. The world is beautiful and mysterious. Its denizens are all utterly unknown entities. The world has its own powerful and lethal forces. The protagonist is fairly helpless. Yet there is solace in hot-drinks, lamps and camp-stoves.
I can't think of anything cosier on a winter's night...
...apart from Bemuse, if I do it right.