Announcing: Masques and Murder

I get restless. Why work on one project when you can work on fifteen? Surely there’s no downside to that at all, and I have limitless time, and none of these projects are poorly-planned or done on the spur of the moment and would take months if not years to finish!

So, for this update there’s good and bad news! Which would you like first?

Oh, the bad news? Well, if you insist.

So, that Steampunk game I was working on? Not so much. When I started making it I had no clear plan, just a jumble of excited ideas. That’s great motivation for the first few weeks, but eventually you realise you’ve coded your way down a deep, winding rabbit hole with no clear idea how to get out.

Sorry, not gonna happen.
Sorry, not gonna happen.

Let’s not get into this now, but basically the design was vague and unfocused, and it was my first big Unity project. The result was that I got tied up in knots and by the time I realised I would have had to redo the whole thing. Which I might have been willing to, had the design been tighter etc etc. Maybe one day I’ll come back to it and revisit the ideas, and maybe something will come out of it after all – we’ll see.

Now that you’ve swallowed the bad news with such stoic fortitude, I’ll move on to the good: in its place, I’ve been developing another game with a tighter focus, a better design and more text. I love text. Text is brillo.

Ok, so there isn’t that much text. Let me pretend to be Failbetter a little longer? Pleeease?

I have a weakness for pictures of horrible men getting their heads cut off.

The name? Masques and Murder!. It’s set in the late 16th century and inspired by plays and paintings from that period. You play a female aristocrat bent on revenge for the murder of her family, but you can’t just go up to the people responsible and stab them. You have to visit them, earn their trust and then exact revenge when they least suspect it. That means training yourself in courtly skills like dancing or writing poetry (or seduction!) to impress those around you and lull them into a false sense of security.

Genre-wise it’s basically a stat-managing RPG with a bit of a visual novel vibe. If I were forced to come up with a pithy and enticing soundbite, I would say that it’s Long Live the Queen plus The Revenger’s Tragedy. But that’s a terrible tagline, so I certainly would never describe it like that.

Also, I try my best to use thou and thee correctly, which is always fun.


I'd like to see RPGs that have skills other than "Ranged weapons", "Close Combat" and the ever-simplified "Charisma".
I’d like to see RPGs that have skills other than “Ranged weapons”, “Close Combat” and the ever-simplified “Charisma”.

As you can see, I’m using artworks from the period because 1) Oh my God there’s all this amazing artwork just lying around and it’s perfect and 2) oh yes IT’S PUBLIC DOMAIN SO I GET IT ALL FOR FREE.

(Except it’s not, really, most of the time. More on that in another post.)

Release is “When it’s done”, but I thought I should let people know about it! 🙂


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