Ah, Walpurgis Night! Few days are as sinister as the eve of the first of May. Saint Valentine's, perhaps. Most of you would tie in Witches' Night with Halloween... well, Walpurgis Night is like a Halloween for adults.
Here in old-world Europe, witches and warlocks gathered around a fire to worship arcane pagan deities in orgiastic rituals which have nothing to do with picking up caramel apples from a bucket with the mouth (fine, ALMOST nothing). Those afraid of the powers of darkness, on the other hand, spent the day spreading salt in front of their doors, walking around their houses six times one after the other, hiding their brooms or catching a fire in order to expel bad spirits. Truth is, devoted or heretics both, the basic concept of Walpurgis Night is to set something in fire — fire is always fun!
In faraway Groldavia, this night comes with a special meaning, given it is, by coincidence or not, the local festivity. A night during which people get to the streets to celebrate their triumph against the forces of Evil... and to make sure they have not left anything open in case those forces may feel like coming back from Hell. There is a tasting of the limited local cuisine and caustic traditional liquors, and children eat Grolderjöv, sweets made of beetroot and sweet potatoes with a dense earthy flavour which, according to the Groldavian nutrition experts, gives a healthy olive shade to the skin and it is not related at all to bad school performance, contrary to what rumours say.
The festivity ends in a ceremony to help dispel the Devil and enter a new boreal summer safe from his malevolent influence — a ceremony which, in line with Groldavian folklore, consists in setting fire to a curious bearded straw doll dressed in red.
Groldavia is a cold, mainly barren land where the sun shines only ocassionally and, as described by foreigners, with a "putrid and unbearable" smell. Thus, the controversy— some say that far from protecting against calamity, these local traditions only perpetuate a curse over the region, but nobody would ever say so in presence of a proud local, who would not be precisely happy to hear anyone mocking the foolishness of their customs. The authorities have even turned the blind eye to quite many cases of violence by covering people with feathers, something quite understandable given judge Arno Malthus, custodian of Law and Order, is also responsible for the organisation of the festivity and year after year he devotes careful efforts so that the Baroness does not have to worry with such worldliness.
If you are sick of idyllic touristic experiences and want to finally come back from holidays with stories about deplorable behaviour, lack of hygiene and sombre villagers, do not forget to put Groldavia in your destinations list for next season!
But when is The Season of the Warlock arriving, do you ask?
Well, that is a good question! We are working hard to deliver the best possible finishing, beautiful animations, detailed backgrounds, interesting challenges and fun texts, and that is why it has been some time since you last heard of us -- you, our beloved ones, our pets and our creditors. But we carry on! Last November we attended the AdventureX, where we happened to meet other developers, and a couple of press members who were so kind to talk about us (thank you, Adventure Gamers and Richard Cobbett). We showed a playable version to some unwary ones, and many are the improvements we have implemented since then (some, thanks to that finely unwary ones). There is a lot left to do, but we are working with a new version of the Visionaire Studio engine which speeds up development and gives better results, so The Season of the Warlock is really near now.
We will also be at the Gamescom, which is taking place again in the beautiful city of Köln, in August! Here is what some people said last year:
"The overarching logic behind the sequence actually reminded me of some of the LucasArts classics, which, obviously, is quite a compliment". Ingmar Böke, Adventure Gamers
"The puzzles and the humour gave us a good impression and we are already looking forward to the finished game ... We are excited too about the two different ways of solving the game". Tobias Maack, Adventure Corner (in German)
Sorry for the long silence and... stay tuned!
PS: We were missing a couple of screenshots.