The game is coming along nicely, and my rewrites of several of the critical systems are pretty much over. This is the period when I stop building systems for a while, and start trying to find ways of showing the systems off through building up the environment.
As GDC looms near, and after the delays and horrors of last year, I'd like to have something I can wave in front of people: a small islet with a couple of ritual bits and pieces, just to see if people are getting to grips with the movement. interaction and inventory. It's time to stop being quite so precious. Still precious... just less so.
Phase 1 - Testing testing
Once GDC is over (and the inevitable bugs and broken things have been fixed), my plan is to put up a web-player based version of the testbed here so people can give me feedback, bitch about the controls, movement etc. and let me know how the game feels to them in terms of mood and tone.
Although it will not be a full game (just a very limited testbed of very specific systems) the feedback will be incredibly important. While people are prodding and poking around that, I'll be getting on with squishing some environments together and finalising some ritual stuff...
...which will lead to Phase 2.
Phase 2 - Finally, Asking for Help
I make my games almost entirely solo. I have had some friends help out with bits of organisation (as in 'for the love of God focus on this bit!) and art advice, but 99.9% of the time, it's just me sitting here by myself, hoping that I'm not going completely out of my mind - or that if I am, it adds something interesting to the game. It's quite painfully solitary, and - this last 12 months in particular - has been really, really hard.
I said I'd ask for help at some point. It's at the root of the name 'BeMuse' (yeah, I thought I was being clever). Now that getting stuff into the game is a lot easier, and the context is hanging together, it seems a good time to start living up to that name.
I want to do this for more reasons than just improving the game. I'd like to get better acquainted with the audience and let them feel they have an ongoing hand in making this something special.
Here're some ways you can help.
1) Who Are You?
You don't have to share your name (some find it creepy), but I'm interested in what brought you here? What are you most looking forward to over the next 6 months? What music do you listen to? What do you look for in games? Art? Literature? Other people? Did you like Incoboto?
2) What Do You Expect?
I remember looking at screenshots of games when I was growing up, and - with very scant information - imagining how that world was going to feel. 90% of the time, games weren't as good as I expected. In some cases they were different, but so much better than I could have hoped (Ultima 4, please put up your hand). So, tell me how you think the game is going to play. Tell me what aspect you're most looking forward to. Tell me how you think it's going to feel.
3) BeMuse - What Would You Like to Share?
BeMuse is potentially endless. As long as there is room in the sky for new Wishes, there'll be room for new rituals, secrets, locations and discovery. So, send anything: a sketch of a weird rock. A scrap of poetry. A name that tickles your particular fancy (the campest phrase in the English language). A weird sentence. Anything you think could have magical, inspirational significance.
We did this with Fable and got the SandGoose. I think we can do better.
I think post-comments are a fairly clunky way of handling feedback, so if I get enough interest I could start some threads in the forums and see what happens.
As ever, you can mail me via the contact form and I'll always get back to you.
Thanks for your time - I know that in this period of our history, attention and caring are more valuable than dollars, so I appreciate it.
Fluttermind’s director, Dene Carter, is a games industry veteran of over 25 years, and co-founder of Big Blue Box Studios, creators of the Fable franchise for the XBox and XBox 360.