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Dark Ritual: Failbetter Co-Founder's Cultist Simulator

Mind-losing larks

Former Failbetter Games creative director Alexis Kennedy is hoping to release his Cultist Simulator [official site] around Halloween next year, he's said. Since leaving the Sunless Sea and Fallen London studio, he's signed up for gigs including writing on Stellaris and for BioWare, but bless 'im he can't resist the call of unspeakable horrors from beyond the stars. Cultist Simulator is a singleplayer digital board game about dreams and hints of dark gods, rituals, research, recruitment, and slowly losing your grip on anything resembling a normal human life. Always a splendid idea, that.

Kennedy explains the idea thusly:

"Find abominable rites in dreams. Craft tools and summon spirits. Indoctrinate innocents. Choose between sane and insane victory conditions. Become the herald of a new age.

"Cultist Simulator combines my usual pungent prose with crunchy crafting mechanics, and with parallel victory conditions. It's possible, though very difficult, to find success in career or romance. You can always turn back from the brink and try to make a life. But why would you do that?"

Kennedy released a very early, artless, browser-based prototype earlier this year, which you can still play online. That's the very basics of it - using dreaming, studying, talking, and so on to uncover hints of awful things, recruit followers, and try not to die before the truly awful stuff kicks off. Do be aware it's only a prototype.

Should the stars align, Cultist Simulator will be out around Halloween 2017.

"But this might slip, depending on how much client work I do (I'm booked out with BioWare at least half next year, and I have a couple of consultancy gigs), whether I run a Kickstarter to cover the costs of art, whether I work with a publisher, and whether the moon turns red."

These things happen. Sounds like he is planning a Kickstarter now, so it may be a bit later. Surely that won't be any sort of covert dark ritual drawing upon the cash and blood of followers/cultists/backers.

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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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