It’s been a few months since Exquisite Land’s first canvas, Terra Masu, was completed. You may be wondering, what’s going on behind the scenes? Is the project still alive? Wen canvas 2?! This post will give you a peek into what the team behind Exquisite Land (XQST from here on) has been up to for the last little while.
First off, XQST is alive and well—and we’re just as excited as you are about introducing more game play. The Discord is relatively quiet, with some action around our gm wordplay, and a collab with XQST community member @golira on a Riso print of Terra Masu!
I had no idea what a “Riso” was, and figure many of you won’t either? A Riso is a type of printer, short for Risograph. Risographs work using an ink layering technique, layering on individual colors one at a time until a final image is produced. @golira has a Riso print shop in Mexico City and offered to experiment with a Terra Masu Print—we were psyched!
If you’re interested in learning more about this XQST art project, we’re having an informal session to chat about it this coming week. We can ask @golira how the Riso works, and talk about the test prints and designing a final print.
Outside of making XQST art IRL, our focus has been adjusting our work style a bit. After reflecting on the process of producing Terra Masu we realized we had built a functional prototype, which served the purpose of running the first canvas, but was going to be difficult to build upon without some refactoring. This means there’s still plenty of work in development, design, and community to move from prototype to a more accessible contributor experience.
Part of the transition toward a more self-organizing XQST is cleaning up our design and dev environments a bit. Our build philosophy promotes prototyping quickly so we can get the smallest, most viable experience out of our heads, and into the world. What we’ve got now on both the design and dev fronts is a bit of a messy workspace.
So, as we move forward in building additional game experiences, we’ll also be updating our design and dev environments. With a goal to get things a more organized, more legible to others. Our intent is to have design and dev ecosystems that are easier to jump into for community contribution.
The thing is, no one likes cleaning up—it’s a chore! We decided we only want to tidy up if we can make it into a game, make it fun. So we’re currently exploring new game dynamics with the help of XQST community members @dood and @boolean. We’ve been chatting about how to transition to canvas 2, the story arc between canvases, and how to bring the fun to more players. Finding new game dynamics to explore gets us in the right mindset to continue building XQST and in the process, tidying up our design and dev workspaces.
We’re still early in game design talks so I won’t even try to loop you in on what’s happening here. For now I’ll leave you with a bit of a teaser: we’ve got a few fun ideas for extending the canvas drawing dynamics and adding a depth to the play with a toy economy. Let the slime flow!