The Red Market Dev Log #5 (October 2018, Part 2): Haunting Memories and Very Spurious Rumours

In today’s fortnightly update: fun, evocative writing, very boring planning, and shameless self-promotion.

Another small update this week. Development has been going pretty darn smoothly, if I do say so myself. I did lose a couple of days due to hurting my back (while hiking (i.e. somehow hurting my back while *walking* (i.e. I’m now an old man))) so badly I couldn’t sit at a computer for more than a few minutes at a time. But luckily I was smart enough to plan for these kinds of hiccups during pre-production, so we’re still 100% on schedule.

Here’s a short list of the things done this sprint:

  • Rebuilt the game’s Challenge system from the ground up. Instead of just percentage based rolls for success or failure the game will now take into consideration the expedition party’s condition, illnesses,
  • Reworked and rewrote a lot of the tutorial content so it’s not a flabby mess of poorly-written code.
  • built and tested the majority of the game’s other gameplay mechanics (more on Secrets, Memories, and Rumours below), so that when it comes time to write fun new storylines (starting December) I’ll be able to focus on just writing fun new storylines without worrying about the foundations crumbling around me.
  • written a lot of fun flavour text for the Secrets, Memories, and Rumours systems.


When you’re searching the world for monsters to capture it helps to have some reliable information to guide you. Well, what could be more reliable than unsourced rumours? At a certain marketplace you’ll be able to pay a little ready cash to hear about the latest sightings and regurgitated superstitions that might – *might* – lead you to a lucrative catch. Here are some examples of the rumours you may be lucky enough to encounter:

“There appears to be a patch of sickness clinging to the surface of the Dabrowan sea like the skin on a soup. Reports that it moves of its own volition, or that it can eat through the hull of a ship in seconds are, as yet, unverified.”

“Have you heard of the night hag Jenny Hundredweight? They say she comes in through your window as you sleep and crushes you beneath her weight. Just an old wive’s tale, eh? Tell that to the precipitous rise in night-time crushing incidents in St. Tepping-on-Sea.”


In The Red Market everything is a commodity – from tinware to iced cream, from holy relics to the very memories buried behind your eyes. Experience something wondrous (or horrid) enough on your travels, and you just might be able to trade the memory in for useful Secrets. Here are some of the memories you may be lucky (or unlucky) enough to acquire:

“A Feast of Rats – beneath the skin there is, almost invariably, flesh. But beneath the skin of The Concatenation of Rats there is something quite different. Whatever it was, you should not have eaten it.”

“A Vision of Death – You have seen the way you will die. The knowledge hangs above you at all times. A curse, yes, but also a kind of blessing?”

“Inhabited by Another – the heart cauterised, the self hollow. Other eyes looking out through your own.”


Trade in memories and you can get secrets – useful, often cryptic hints that will let you peel back the hidden places littering The Red Market. From letting you know the best way to bring down a dangerous beast, to teaching you how to properly treat that troublesome fungal infection you picked up fighting a sentient mushroom – Secrets will be of great use on your adventures:

“Those who enter the sewer-waters under Angmering come out changed. This is to their great misfortune, but not necessarily to yours.”

“The Sea-Bound Tomb is a place where one must give of oneself greatly. Greatly, and for increasingly dubious rewards.”

“The doll lies.”

That’s all for today! Remember – if The Red Market seems at all interesting to you, you can follow me on Twitter for more updates and, among other things:

  • lovely photos of hiking in rural Japan
  • impenetrable tweets about niche videogames
  • my thoughts on the various literary fiction novels and poetry books I read to convince myself (successfully) and others (not so much) that I’m smart and good.

Until next time – thanks for reading!


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