“Angels of Our Better Nature”: Our first premium story content is live!

Tufayyar, by Duncan Eagleson

For the first time in Susurrus: Season of Tides, we are offering premium story content! We have contracted with Bram Stoker Award-winning horror writer Michael Marano to create a novella-length interactive story within the game, and “Angels of Our Better Nature” is now available for $4.99.

This artfully crafted, novelistic experience will carry the player along into a vast and totally new exploration of the lore of our world. In the course of a routine mission for L, you stumble across a terrifying ritual. There’s cult activity afoot, and it’s using unusual means to tear out pieces of the human psyche. This horrific desecration of the spirit draws you into a desperate race to prevent further atrocities and save innocent lives.

“Angels of Our Better Nature” is illustrated entirely by our art director Duncan Eagleson, known for his work on Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comics as well as decades of book and album covers, graphic novel work including Anne Rice’s The Witching Hour, and countless other projects in the TV, film, and music realms.

The story was edited and assembled by Phoebe Roberts, our writer and writer-wrangler, who is an emerging playwright best known in the local Boston scene for her Victorian lady-Batman series, Mrs. Hawking.

This exclusive content is available now in the Susurrus store; you can also acquire it (along with other in-game goodies) if you become a patron of our Patreon at the $10/month level.

Play at SusurrusGame.com now and go to the Store to get the 399 Crystals you need to play this epic questline! Once you unlock the story, go to the Brookside location to begin.

If you’d like to hear more from the author’s mouth about the process of developing the story and working with artists to create a cohesive product, read more at Michael Marano’s blog.

Play Susurrus: Season of Tides

Meet the Factions: The Gandolfinis

Nice mansion. Be a shame if anything happened to it

You knew about them almost before you knew anything else about this magical world you’ve found yourself swimming in: The Gandolfinis, the most influential crime family in the city. They’ve been around for generations, keeping a quiet handle on things: influencing the government, doing “business,” and, you figured, getting rid of people they didn’t like. But you never fully understood the extent of that last one until you walked out onto your street that morning, the morning before you changed, before everything changed. There was a face in the sidewalk, moving in slow agony, that you hadn’t been able to see before. “Poor guy pissed off the Gandolfinis,” a passer-by told you. Now, you can’t un-see it.

Mr. Ferri, by Duncan Eagleson

Since you’ve become a part of this magical underworld, the choices you’re making have been attracting attention. There are powerful forces at work, and they are looking for fresh recruits. Depending on your actions, you might receive a visit from Mr. Ferri.

He’s neat and unassuming in appearance, well-dressed but his suits are old, starting to go out at the elbows. He speaks in a way you know is designed to make you trust him.

You don’t trust him.

But if life on the inside of a major crime syndicate appeals to you, you can go to work for them.

Priscilla Gandolfini, by Jon Hunt

They have a rather strange setup at the moment. Outwardly, they’re an Italian crime family like any other you might have heard of. Inwardly, they’re torn by a fundamental division: between the old and the new, the cautious and the aggressive, and – strangest of all – the mythical and the real.

The house patriarch, Giancarlo Gandolfini, has a peculiar delusion, you see. Or else, a peculiar plot that looks a lot like a delusion. He has decided – and Mr. Ferri is determined to promote the idea – that he is the literal god Pluto, of Greco-Roman Underworld fame. Which makes Priscilla Gandolfini – his niece, and current face of the organization – Persephone.

Cheryl Gandolfini, by Duncan Eagleson

But in spite of Mr. Ferri’s own insistence in the matter – after all, his name and position both lend themselves well to the role of Charon – Priscilla is not pleased with the development. When you are called to the mansion to meet the rather grand lady, you can see that she is caught in something larger than herself – something she is trying hard to steer back toward sanity.

And then there’s the family’s three-headed hound, the 20-something siblings who haven’t quite decided what side they’re on. You know little so far except that they’re dangerous, but maybe the thing to do is get on their good side. Help them out, and maybe they’ll help you out.

The one thing you know for sure is that the only thing you want less than a pair of concrete shoes…is an entire concrete life.


Play with the Gandolfini faction, or one of 9 others, in Susurrus: Season of Tides.

Meet Red, the “young” vampire

Red, by Duncan Eagleson

Nice kid, that one who calls himself “Red.” Not something you ever thought you’d be saying about a vampire, but then, a few weeks ago you didn’t know you’d ever say anything about a vampire in real life. It’s just another sign of how strange things have gotten lately, that this toothy teenager with the eponymous shock of hair ignites a protective streak in you, fangs and immortality notwithstanding.

You met him in the close and quiet aisles of Conliffe, the antiques shop you’ve come to frequent when you’re looking for magical artifacts, or another clue from Rhys’ notebook of anomalies. While the proprietor eirself is a bit off-putting, Red is the opposite: sweet and welcoming and a little too open.

He tells you, if you ask, about how he was changed at the young age he now finds himself at for eternity. Some kind of joke, apparently: something an older, crueler man thought it would be cute to do the kid he was supposed to have taken under his wing. Red tells it without a trace of anger; it was a long time ago, but you feel it, just a bit, on his behalf. It’s the way he looks down when telling it, smiling slightly in that way that tells you it hurt him, but he doesn’t yet know you well enough to show how much.

You can’t help but wonder, too, whether one can ever truly get over something that happened to them at a young age, when they never get to leave that age.

In spite of all this, Red’s sunny disposition seems entirely genuine. He loves his work, loves his boss, and makes the best of every situation. Maybe, you think, getting to be a sweet young thing forever isn’t the worst thing that could happen to a person.

Definitely not the worst thing. You’ve seen many worse things in the past while.

But still you wonder. Who he was before. Where else he might have ended up. What he’ll do if Rhys decides to move on, what he might get mixed up in.  Whether wisdom comes with age even for those who don’t age. Whether his pluckiness and cheer are truly evergreen.

Whether he’ll survive what’s coming.


Learn more about Red, Rhys, and countless others when you play Susurrus: Season of Tides!

Just how Cosmic is that Coffee?

There’s one on every corner, or so it seems. That retro spinning Saturn; that loopy text: Cosmic Coffee calls your caffeine-fueled cells home to its embrace most weekday mornings. True to its name, it seems to be not just the center of the universe but also its edges, and like the universe, its edges are ever-expanding.

This was not always so.

Another company so pervasive as to constitute some percentage of the air you breathe, The Keane Candy Company, also wasn’t nearly so popular in the past.  Founded nearly eighty years ago, its products did not receive wide distribution until it was bought by a certain food service giant. The same one, of course, that owns Cosmic Coffee and many other familiar brands.

Keane Candy. You know, Tum-Tums? Small, spherical confections, the bag-bottom detritus of any Halloween haul, and the lollipops you’ve seen on the desk of every bank you’ve ever been to. Cheap sweets, the sop to every impatient, fidgeting child who has ever had to wait for their parent to finish doing their boring, adult business. If you look inside the wrappers, there are sometimes coded messages. Most take no notice, thinking it akin to a cereal-box-top marketing game, a toy in the package of caramel corn.

Look deeper.

In your local Cosmic Coffee – the one you frequent – there’s a barista with iridescent eyes and a beard of prey. He’s always been nice enough, but there’s also always seemed to be more to him. Or rather: since that morning when you woke from the dream, the morning that began the descent into all this madness. The morning you became what you Are now, what you had no choice but to become.

He knew you. He saw you, somehow. Even if you managed to evade his deeper scrutiny, you know you didn’t get by him that day, not completely. He’s one of you, somehow. These days, you can always tell.

You’re not sure what that means about Cosmic Coffee, or Keane Candy, or any of the other products that make up the warp and weft of mundane, modern reality. There’s an overlay to everything, now, a transparent glow of the non-mundane. Everything seems infused with it, these days. What are they putting in the coffee? What do the symbols on the candy wrappers mean? Would you like to see the secret menu?

How deep does it all go?

Look closer.


Go deeper into the mystery. Play for free at SusurrusGame.com

Susurrus at GaymerX East! November 4-5 in NYC

GaymerX East logoThe Evil Overlords are on the march again, showing Susurrus at GaymerX East the first weekend in November. This first-ever queer-focused gaming convention is now in its fifth year, and will explode its glitter-bombs into the Microsoft Technology Center in Times Square, Manhattan on November 4-5!

Portrait of Miguel De Soto

We’re a-quiver to be a part of all this, not least because it gives us a chance to highlight some aspects of Susurrus that we’re proud of, but don’t promote as often as other aspects. That is: our game is full of queer characters, and that’s on purpose.

We talk a lot about our deep and involving narrative, our unique system by which individual player actions shift the world subtly for others, our evocative and beautiful art. But we don’t talk a lot about our nonbinary-gender characters, or about our bisexual characters, or our gay characters – mostly because the world we’re creating gives space to all kinds of expressions of gender and sexuality, without making a big deal about it.

Portrait of Melinda Corazon

While the world of Susurrus is messed up in countless ways, it’s fun to imagine that gender/sexuality policing and homophobia aren’t among them. This is idealized, of course: in real life, that is nowhere near the reality. And in some supernatural fictions, exploring the consequences of those oppressions is a big part of the point. But we also feel, as gender- and sexuality-diverse developers, that being able to spend time in a world that’s more relaxed about those things is a refreshing change, and a chance to feel safe for a while, to feel centered in a fictive world that doesn’t often center us. In Susurrus, after all, someone might hack your mind and send one of your own nightmares after you in physical form, a megacorp might track your movements until your life is not your own, or a vampire might try to eat you.

Portrait of Red

But nobody is going to make you feel like less of a human for how you present or for whom you love.

We’re looking forward to bringing this world to GaymerX and letting the attendees play around in it. And if you like the idea, too, then you can play around, too.

Join us in the game and on the forums, and of course, at GaymerX East!

Join Susurrus at IndieCade!

We continue to be tickled senseless by having been selected for IndieCade this year! We know not everyone lives in Los Angeles, or can even make it if they do, but we want to encourage those who can attend to come see us in the Library of the Japanese American National Museum, starting Friday October 6 at 4pm!

For those who can’t join us, please tell your friends about it! If you are an indie developer, are friends with indie developers, or just love Susurrus and want others to play it, spread the love around. Use the hashtag #IndieCade17 on Twitter and other social places, and tag us @SusurrusGame.

We’ll be appearing along with the cult hit Dream Daddy, fellow text-driven mystery The Black Widow, based on the story of one of the first lady serial killers, and other awesome text-driven games that take a retro form and turn it toward new ends.

See the full lineup of games here!

It’s a crazy honor to be chosen, of course, but it’s also just awesome to be able to go to this gathering of the people who are riding the edge of the game industry today, and show off this thing of ours, with its dense, rich writing and its wacky cast of characters who break genre, gender, and any number of other norms. We love this little game, and we’re looking so forward to showing it to other people who, we hope, will see it the way we do.

And in case you haven’t seen it yet: play the game for free here, on any browser.

 

As requested: More of ‘L’ in Susurrus

Last week’s game update included, per player feedback, another quest to go on with ‘L,’ the mysterious vigilante who shows up to kick fifteen shades of ass shortly after your character’s awakening in Susurrus: Season of Tides. We like her, too.

For us, L is one of many examples in our game of characters who break certain molds for video game heroes. She’s female, for one thing; while female protagonists and supporting characters are on the rise in video games, it’s still somewhat rare to see a woman character show up in-game who is there to give beat-downs to bad guys without also being a skintight-clad sex object. (Not that we have anything against skintight outfits, but really, other outfits truly are possible!)

It’s also less than common for such a character to appear who doesn’t make some kind of move on the player character. While we plan, in the near future, to make certain NPCs romance-able, we also find it tiresome that the assumption for female characters continues to be that they show up to be the love interest.

So it’s not all that surprising that our player feedback tells us they love L: female, fiercely competent, combat-equipped, straightforward, and interested in how you can help her in the work she’s already doing. Granted, this shouldn’t be a rare thing, but at present, it still is.

There are more mysteries that are apt to unfold about this somewhat epic fighter; get to know her a bit better, and you’ll learn some interesting things about why she dresses as she does, and how she got so powerful. Find her in the latest update, and stay tuned for more character development, more story arc, more quests, and, well, more as we continue to add content to the Early Edition, every two weeks!

Play for free, now:

Play Susurrus: Season of Tides

Susurrus: Season of Tides keeps getting better on a 2-week cycle

As we shake out the aftermath of Gen Con and the mad development cycle that led up to the first public release, we’ve established a new set of protocols for our team to follow as we keep on making Susurrus: Season of Tides better and prepare to move it out of Early Edition. The first update since Gen Con was released on Friday, September 8: play it now to see some of the new nifty things!

We’ve improved the chat interface and done some other tweaks, bug fixes, and feature additions that’ll make the game a smoother experience, of course. Below, though, are the fun things we’ve added this release:

Nyx the bartender. If you’re stuck and could use some direction, or just want to know what interesting things are going on, head to the Giant’s Dance and talk to Nyx, the friendly neighborhood bartender there. She knows a little bit about just about everything that’s going on right now.

News Tab. As the city cycles turn, new quests and things to do emerge across the city. Click on the News tab to see reports of what locations have new adventures available to play.

New companion. There’s some thorny business with some local psychics that could net you a new companion. Explore old ground with your Mind and Heart temperaments very open and see what comes of it…

Ask for the Secret Menu. Cosmic Coffee’s secret menu is now available, offering a variety of stat-enhancing and healing artisan coffee blends specifically crafted for the magical community!

More from The Harbinger. They’ve reappeared in a few extra places, leaving behind a handful of Glimmer and cryptic clues. Characters who diligently pursue anomalies will have a new conversation and a few hints toward upcoming plot.

Check it out now, and explore our world as it continues to emerge!

There’s a contest on! Play before the Equinox to flaunt your species pride!

The UmbraSphere, by Duncan EaglesonIt’s a strange, sparking ball, full of the kind of darkness that feels like it has light just inside it. It’s warm in your hand, alive with an electric energy.

The UmbraSpheres are strange little artifacts, and none of the species leadership seem to know where they came from. But you can fill them with Glimmer, and when you have enough, you will have in your hands a rare type of currency indeed.

Between the recent total solar eclipse – when it seems these things were created by some rogue Mage or other – and the coming Autumnal Equinox on September 22, you can visit Estzi at the Farm if you’re a werewolf, Philippa at the University if you’re a mage, or Narendra at Choudary and Bloodworth if you’re a vampire. Each of them will tell you about these strange orbs, and the friendly competition that has arisen among the three species: whoever collects the most Glimmer-filled orbs will be able to build a new place of power for their kind.

Should you accept the challenge, you will take one of the Spheres with you – and join others of your kind to secure that Well for the future.

Glimmer - Evil Overlord GamesGlimmer – in case you forgot the old lady’s lesson from the beginning of the game – is a kind of magical currency, a luminescent essence that clings to all things and beings who are threaded through with magic. Collect it by going about your business in the city – exploring, taking on quests, furthering your story. Add the Glimmer you find to your Sphere until you have 126 inside it; then, return it to your leadership.

If you haven’t started playing yet, don’t worry! Simply create an account and begin! Once you have gone through your transformation and gotten acquainted with how your species operates, return to Your Home, where you’ll find a message waiting that will kick off the competition.

We’ll see you on September 22, when we’ll find out who will take the prize!

Susurrus: Season of Tides Early Edition is HERE!

Play now at SusurrusGame.com!

What the heck is Early Edition?

Some of you are probably wondering exactly what Early Edition means. Well, as we hurtled rapidly toward our launch deadline of Gen Con 50, we realized that we still had a lot of story to tell, and not enough time to tell it in. So we wanted to make sure we got a finished game to you, and to the attendees of Gen Con, and to the world, that you can sink your narrative-loving teeth into.

But we also want you to know that much more story will be coming over the next three months, and by late fall, we’ll be well on our way to releasing the close of the first season arc.

Did we mention there are season arcs? There are season arcs. We promise: this whole thing is going somewhere. Somewhere weird and exciting.

But for now, play this week and check out the Gen Con quest! It is super-cool, and will disappear August 21!!


Watch the preview trailer below:


Get the Golden Dragon Minion, Through Gen Con Week Only – But Keep It Thereafter!

For Gen Con’s 50th anniversary, their art features a beautiful Golden Dragon. And that Dragon lives in our game, too…and will live on in the companions of those of you who buy it, this week only!

The Golden Dragon is a bringer of dreams. It lives in your home, an incorporeal presence, and tells you beautiful stories. For each story it tells you, your abilities will be enhanced for a time.

Remember: you can get it this week only, but you get to keep it forever!


Susurrus: Season of Tides is finally here! Play it for free at susurrusgame.com.