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The Norwood Suite: Off-Peak Dev's Curious Hotel

If you haven’t yet explored the strange ‘curated’ train station of Off-Peak yet, hey, go do that – it’s free. Off-Peak has popped into my thoughts enough since it came out a year ago that I wish I’d mentioned it more beyond in that fun chat with Pip. Do play it – it’s great, and then you’ll be keen to see what creator Cosmo D is up to next.

All of which leads me to my real point: Cosmo has shown a little more of his upcoming follow-up, The Norwood Suite.

The Norwood Suite is set inside the same universe as Off-Peak and does similar things, but is set within the confines of the Norwood Hotel deep in the woods. Big weird hotel in the woods? Ooh, go on then. Cosmo D explained when announcing the game last year (yes, I missed it – I’m a bum) that he plans for re-use the setting for different stories and adventures with some regular characters and others coming and going.

“New areas will certainly be added and explored, but it will usually come back to the Norwood Hotel. This way, I aim for the game to unfolding like a graphic novel, released over time in different phases. I won’t go so far as to say it’s going to be a “episodic game,” because that implies that I have an arc in mind.

“The truth is, I want to make this game like how I make music: I have a starting point in mind, with a vague destination, but how I get there will be dependent on the way the play session unfolds. I just want to been the groove of the journey, reacting to the characters, the situations, the interactions, growing the tale organically, letting myself (and players) become immersed and familiar with these characters and with this place, so I can tell their stories. That way, I can expand the game outward, upward, downward. Especially downward!”

Which sounds ace.

I’d really like to see more games try anthologies, not episodes. Triptychs, not trilogies. Albums, not… other things which would make this tangent even more tenuous.

A new post today says that The Norwood Suite’s coming along nicely, with the hotel’s overall environment design done and the first chunk playable from start to end, but it all needs fleshing-out and polishing. Cosmo also has a handful of new screenshots. No firm word yet on when it might come out, though.

To my surprise, Off-Peak still hasn’t made it through Steam Greenlight.

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Alice O'Connor

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When not writing news, Alice may be found in the sea.

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