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Seduce lovers, snub enemies, and survive the French revolution in a new, roguelike game for PC and Mac.
Seduce lovers, snub enemies, and survive the French revolution in a new, roguelike game for PC and Mac.
Seduce lovers, snub enemies, and survive the French revolution in a new, roguelike game for PC and Mac.
1,037 backers pledged $61,503 to help bring this project to life.

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Meet Fatima Shenna!

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Mesdames et Messieurs,

As you might have noticed in our various updates, clothing plays a serious role in Ambition. You've probably also wondered how you, as Yvette, will get your hands on such things. Well look no further than the deft and incomparable Fatima Shenna!

Her 'Why me?' face in the bottom right is my personal favorite.

The owner and operator of a lesser known dress shop on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 'La Petit Mogul', Fatima's family originally hails from Morocco. 

From the get-go with Fatima, we wanted her personal style to immediately indicate her trade, her Parisian upbringing, and her personal heritage. Personally, I think that Alexandria absolutely knocked this design out of the park.

General Progress Update: The Prologue

As for where we're at with Ambition as a whole, we're currently focused on finishing the game's prologue. This means we're focusing on everything it would need; from the writing, to the art, sound, and systems. To give you an idea of scale, Ambition itself is currently divided into the prologue, chapter 1, chapter 2 and chapter 3 (very imaginative names, I know...). This is all part of our strategy to provide a solid base of the game for our beta test, which is currently slated for the mid-to-late summer. 

Thanks for reading our update, and have a great day!     

All the best,  

- Luther
Game Designer
Joy Manufacturing Co.

Spring Play Game Expo - Recap!

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Mesdames et Messieurs,


The Spring Play Game Expo has wrapped up, and we're still working on all the feedback we got at the show. It's impossible for a single person to sit down, lay out all of the systems of a game in a design doc, and just know that it's going to be fun, or play out a particular way.

No one is that good. That's why play testing, and listening to player feedback is so important.

Some of our earliest play testers of the evening.

Armed with feedback from various folks we met at the Game Developer Conference, we spent the last month refining our UI and working on our tutorial system. That effort appears to be paying off. While we're obviously far from done, the systems have a lot less friction to them. People have an easier time picking things up without moments of doubt or confusion. In an ideal world, someone can step into your game effortlessly. Even if the game itself is challenging, playing the game should be easy.

As you can see, the showroom floor was packed!

This season, the show was packed into a much smaller space than usual. There were also more teams showing off their games than ever, which meant that space was at a premium. Most teams ended up sharing tables with each other. On the plus side, this always makes meeting new people a lot easier.

That was good because these Game Expos always attract a great crowd of developers. You get everything from big indie titles getting ready for release, to student projects made by people working on their first game ever. It's always inspiring to see the hard work everyone is putting into their games.  

Getting some last plays through before everything closes up. 

Overall, it was a great experience, and we'll probably be back for the same show in the summer. In our next update, we'll start diving into more of Ambition's systems, and other exciting developments!

Thanks for reading our update, and have a great day!  

All the best,  

- Luther
Game Designer
Joy Manufacturing Co.

UI Updates, Playtesting, and Ambition on the Radio!

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Mesdames et Messieurs,


Thank you for joining us for our third progress update to Ambition: A Minuet in Power. It was a pretty hectic time leading up to the GDC, and now that it's passed, things aren't slowing down anytime soon! 

Let's dive in, shall we?

UI Updates: Out with the Old and In with the New

A game's user interface (aka: the 'UI') is composed of the panels, text, buttons, meters, and frames that provide the player with both information and context in the game. UI is one of those critical things that nobody notices if it's doing its job correctly, but everyone notices if something is wrong. One the earliest shown screens from Ambition was the 'incidents screen', which is where we convey the major story moments of the game. Here is what the old UI for that screen looked like:

In the original UI for this screen, we were going for a format that had a storybook feeling to it, hence the columned, vertical layout. However, it felt cramped and disconnected from the layout of the rest of the game. Simply, it felt like the player was flipping between two separate games, instead of staying in one cohesive experience.

The new layout on the other hand, feels way more in-sync with the rest of the game's UI. While bits of it are still being tweaked, we're a lot happier with how it feels. It's roomier and easier to read.

Come See Us At the Spring Play Game Expo!

For our fans in the the San Francisco Bay Area, there's a chance to play an alpha build of Ambition! We'll be showing off our latest build at Playcrafting's Spring Play Game Expo. On Thursday, April 26th, from 6:00pm to 9:00pm, we'll be showing off the game on the show floor. We'll be observing players carefully, taking notes, and recording as much player feedback as humanly possible.

Get your ticket while supplies last!

Hear the Ambition Main Theme on the Radio

Did you enjoy the Ambition Main Theme from the last update? Do you dream of hearing it piped through the ether into your home radio? If so, you're in luck!

Ambition's main theme will be playing on WSHU public radio on Tuesday, April 3rd at 10:20am Eastern Time, as part of a segment on music that's not as old as it sounds (we take that as a high compliment indeed). For those who don't receive that station on your radios, you can listen to the stream on their site.

Thanks for reading our update, and have a great day!

All the best,

- Luther
Game Designer
Joy Manufacturing Co.

The Curtain Rises, and the Orchestra Begins to Play...

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Mesdames et Messieurs,


Welcome to our second proper update to Ambition: A Minuet in Power, this time giving you a preview of the game's main theme song, and some other minor updates.

The main theme of the game sets the tone for all of the music that appears in the game, often serving as an audio touchstone for the players that gently reminds them which game world that they're in. To expand on this further, let's go to our composer John!

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The Main Theme

Hello Ambition Backers!

I’m incredibly happy to share the main theme for Ambition: A Minuet in Power with you all! This piece features the virtuosic oboe of Kristin Naigus, best known for her work on ABZÛ, Tooth & Tail, and the just-released Moss. The main theme sets the stage for the game, raising the curtain and acting as an overture of sorts, foreshadowing the heights of grandeur you might rise to, while nodding to the lines and people you might cross to get there. It’s all wrapped up in a musical form that takes its cues from a Classical era oboe concerto.

This piece was an absolute pleasure to write. It allowed me to pull on the sounds and techniques of the late 18th century, taking influence from composers like Mozart, Haydn, and the Chevalier de Saint-Georges himself, Joseph Boulogne. This has been an absolute thrill, and I can’t wait to share more with you.

Special thanks also to Andrew Steffen, Andrew Stern, Sam Bobinski, and Michael Scott Gebhart for bringing the orchestra to life.

Hope you enjoy this taste of what’s to come for Ambition’s musical score!

Enjoy: Ambition: A Minuet in Power - Main Theme

- John

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Other Updates

In addition to the music, we're working on every aspect of the game, preparing our 'vertical slice' demo for the Game Developers Conference (aka: The GDC). This demo allows us to show off the 'core loops', meaning the most common actions the player will take throughout the game. As you can imagine, this preparation has consumed all of our time, but fear not! More updates are in the works for after the conference. 

Thanks for reading our update, and have a great day!

All the best,

- Luther
Game Designer
Joy Manufacturing Co. 

Who Needs a Map at a Party? You Do!

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Mesdames et Messieurs,  


We're back with our first update to Ambition: A Minuet in Power, this time covering our party map generation system. Of course, you're probably wondering what that all means, so let's get started!

Parties and Maps

You go to a lot of Parties in Ambition, as these allow you to meet new people and advance yourself socially. In Parties, the Player moves around a map of the venue, exploring the estate and engaging with different groups of guests in conversations. Think of it like a dungeon crawl, but with more backhanded compliments and social maneuvering, instead of goblins and dragons. 

An art mockup of what a normal Party Map might look like. Mockups like this help us establish the end goal of the visuals before committing more resources to something that might not work. As you can see here, the Player hasn't fully explored the party yet, as some rooms are still shrouded in darkness.

Very early on in this project we realized that if we had to make every Party Map ourselves, this mechanic would get really stale, really fast. Players are great at pattern recognition, and would notice duplicate maps quickly, even if we made 50 different party maps. This is why nearly every venue you visit will be procedurally generated, helping make each party, and each playthrough, feel different. This is a common feature in rogue-like games, but Ambition presents some unique challenges here.

This party map generation system, has to generate maps that aren't just fun to play, they also have to look and feel like actual 18th century homes. As you might have guessed, it's the most complex system in the entire game. Here to talk about that system further is Mike, our Lead Engineer!

Take it away Mike!

Procedural Party Map Generation (Aka: 'Baroque-Like')

One of our objectives in Ambition is to present the player with a world they can come back to and explore in a variety of ways. One method utilized by games like Spelunky, Dwarf Fortress, and Don’t Starve is rogue-like map generation, a method where maps are generated procedurally to suit the game’s context. In Ambition, we have an opportunity to explore the aesthetic of pre-revolutionary France in the architecture of the period. For France, this was the late Baroque period, when people of great wealth would build elaborate, ornate chateaux and mansions, frequently taking cues from the Palace of Versailles. This was also the period where the Rococo style came into its own, demonstrating many notes from the late Baroque aesthetic, but incorporating elements of asymmetry, curvilinearity, and trompe l’oeil.

Considering the significance of the setting to the context of the game, we naturally want to be able to interact with historically significant locations around Paris, like the Chateau de Versailles and the Palais du Luxembourg, but for the most part, notable characters in the game will have randomly generated mansions that are intended to be convincingly appropriate for the period. Parties hosted by individuals more closely aligned with the Crown will entertain at homes more in line with the traditional late Baroque style, where Bourgeois hosts may tend more towards the modern Rococo style. So while the mansions are randomly generated, they are guided by control variables like wealth, personality, and faction.

Creation of this system was largely a challenge to myself to be able to generate these maps that would not only be configurable, but to enable the artists to add their own flair on top of the procedurally generated map. What surprised me the most about this process was incorporating the nuances of creating a realistic, recognizable floor plan. Where most rogue-like systems are content with creating connected masses of navigable terrain, generating a recognizable floor plan requires closer attention to minutiae like where to put the doors, the spacing of the windows, and the proportions of the rooms. The period itself imposes other nuances, like the tendency to use antechambers rather than hallways, and the proximity of certain types of rooms to the heart of the mansion. This sort of detail is in no short supply in game, and has also informed the gameplay as well.

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Thanks for reading this update, and have a great day!

All the best,

- Luther
Game Designer
Joy Manufacturing Co.