as we jump straight in with a continuation of our discussion with Charles telling us more about the time loop in The Sexy Brutale. Seriously, I’m a big fan of just how short the game loop is. It’s really refreshing to see a modern video game with a short loop. The majority of games have you locked in for a good few hours at a time. TSB
The Sexy Brutale
locks you in for 6 minutes at a time.
The jazzy/electro-swing soundtrack is spot on for the visual style of the game, and all three of us agree
and I’m not agreeing not just because I’ve been a big fan of electro-swing since Caravan Palace’s first album
And that orchestra pit was slightly badly placed. But that is a problem of the orientation of the rooms
seriously, if you don’t know what we mean then you should totally play the game
Questions From the Community
Shortly before we recorded this interview, I’d reached out to White Mage about it. I know that WM is a big fan, so I was excited to let WM know about it. WM then told me that there’s a Sexy Brutal Dischord server
check the "External Links" section for a link
and that the folks over there had asked if we could ask some questions on their behalf. This was awesome to here, so I asked WM to collate some questions for us and I promised that I would pass those questions on.
These are those questions.
However, taking my “I’m a host of hte podcast” prerogative, I wanted to ask a question before hand…
I had remained convinced that there was a link between The Sexy Brutale and Japan via Lafcadio Hearn. As he’s the only famous Lafcadio I’d ever heard of.
Both my brother and I had lived in Japan for a period…. James had stayed in Kumamoto, where Lafcadio Hearn had lived and written
For those whow are new to the show, I travelled to Japan in 2019 and recorded a special episode there
Please Tell Them How Much we Love The Sexy Brutale and Everything About it
The first thing that I wanted to share is just how appreciative the folks on the Discord server are of the creation of the game, and the fact that the team behind it had gone out of their way to share community creations. And Charles was super appreciative of the message, too.
On Developing Atypical But Very Human Characters
Having a varied cast of characters doesn’t feel like a selling point. If you’re going to have an ensemble cast, they have to be interesting in their own ways. One of the things that we’ve never understood is people making an enormous deal about having a female protagonist - it’s not inherently interesting. It’s about what you’ve done with those characters…. If you can only describe a character as strong, that doesn’t really make them a character. It’s the flaws that make them interesting.
I really like what Charles had to say about this, as it’s easy to become trapped behind “this character is wholey defined by a single part of themselves,” rather than everything about the character.
On Things That Were Removed
The stuff that was our favourite stuff got in [to the final product]
The only part of the game which was removed that Charles has feelings for was related to explaining something which happens at the end of the game
I won’t say what, because it’s spoiler-ific
but it was removed because it didn’t really fit with the pacing of the game.
On Subverting Expectations
Charles also has something wonderful to say about having characters who are completely defined by a single characteristic:
There’s no need for the strong woman Just to be the strong woman; there’s no need for the gay character to just be the gay character. There’s no need for the black character to just be the black character. It’s just so boring at the end of the day. You know, reducing people down to just their one thing, it’s just not that interesting.
And he’s completely right. Who of us could say that they are defined by one single part of ourselves? Something for other games devs to think about, I think.
On The Ending
massive spoilers in this section, folks
That ending came out of nowhere
We then talk about both the ending and the story in lots of details. I’ll make sure that things here are light on the ground, as I don’t want to give away any of the spoilers in text should folks be reading through these show notes.
Advice For Aspiring Games Designers & Developers
The best advice that I can give is the advice that I believe to be absolutely true, I just don’t think it’s the most fun answer sometimes… The advice that I give is informed by [by history]. The nice thing about this industry is that there are many different ways into it… My advice to people is if they are really serious about it, if they want to make a career out of it rather than a hobby is to look to join a studio where you can learn and be surrounded by other people working on all the different aspects that go into making a video game. You can be around them, and see what everyone else does, and learn about it all that way.
I feel like Charles’ advice here is really quite good. He’s right, in that the majority of good advice is not what people want to hear right now. It would be irresponsible to give out the “fun” advice, because it’s really easy to misguide that enthusiasm. Because the enthusiasm is what’s needed in order to fuel the studying required in order to put something together. Because, let’s face it
and I speak from personal experience here
development is hard. And you’ll need the enthusiasm in order to get you through the difficult times. And as Charles says:
This is a long game. You don’t to change what you are working on every three months.
On The Future
I asked Charles what the future might hold, but he wasn’t able to really tell us anything other than to “watch this space” by following Cavalier on twitter.
We will just keep ourselves to ourselves until we have something which is almost ready to release