Check Check One Two One Two It’s Team Pillow Castle Here With Newsletter #13!

Okay, that’s enough of that nonsense.

Pillow Castle is coming to you from a long strange week of conversations and deliberations. This is going to be a difficult newsletter to write, because I can’t really talk about specifics of those discussions without, like, SPOILER VISION or something, but at the same time, we had some very unique challenges that I think will be worth exploring. So let’s see if I can do that. This could get complicated.

The team really needs a vision for what this game will be two years from now. That’s as plain as I can say it. We all have ideas about where it is headed and where things might go, but we didn’t have a damn thing written down in stone by the time GDC rolled around. We had spent so much time focusing on usability and puzzle creation that we had neglected most, if not all, of our difficult narrative and theming questions and pushed them all toward the end of development. Woops.

These aren’t easy questions to answer for five people. We don’t have a Creative Director here at Pillow Castle. We don’t have a President or a Chairman or a Founder or a Boss. We have Albert, and he’s definitely our like, you know, head dude, but we all know that none of us on the team is solely responsible for the vision of the game moving forward. This is a blessing and a curse. It gives everyone some ownership and autonomy in creating the world where Museum will take place, but it also means that there isn’t a champion to drag us through the mire when we get bogged down in simple questions.

For two days this week we talked about what the game would “feel like”, with nothing concrete coming out of it. Start over smaller. Two days talking about a mundane task to start the game (obscuring facts) with no result. Start over smaller. Spend two days talking about a location? No result. Start over smaller. Finally, finally, we as a team come up with a real plan:

Albert would create a basic outline for the story to follow, and we as a team would start from there. He did it in an hour, and it consisted of maybe 100 words total, but it was enough for team to really grab hold of something and start moving forward with decisions.

A few days later we had a complete story including setting and character and a lot of ideas on how we could move forward. All from a simple outline busted out in less than an hour. Never underestimate the power of just sitting down and MAKING something — especially when you are stuck for a while. We knew that was the solution all along, but we refused to listen to our brains and instead were trying to listen to our guts.

Our guts are stupid. So are yours. Start listening to your brain.

Okay. next week we have to wrap up pre-production and develop a presentation for softs. We also have to create two videos, and I hear-tell there is a revamp of the website in the works, too. This is going to be a doozy, but the clock is winding down til school’s out for summer, and the team is back to running on all cylinders thanks to sleep and sunlight and an actionable plan.

See you next week, pillows!