"It's about food," Hofmeier said. "It's a food-themed murder mystery in the way that Cart Life is a retail simulation. I haven't said much about it yet because I don't want to over-promise and under-deliver, which I did with Cart Life."
That last part is debatable – at the IGF awards, Cart Life picked up the Seumas McNally Grand Prize, the Nuovo Award for innovation, and the Excellence in Narrative award, for a cash total of $38,000. Blood of the Ortolan streamlines Hofmeier's development approach: It uses only mouse and touch interfaces. Yes, touch, since he has an "explicit interest" in getting Blood of the Ortolan onto mobile devices and consoles. First he'll see if Steam is interested in putting another one of his games on its service.
Blood of the Ortolan, if it flows in Cart Life's vein, will be about food only on the surface, while the true tale unfolds within the interpersonal relationships and emotional, introspective tensions of real life.
"Money is of concern to everyone, much more so than, say, ammunition or military fundamentals or the vocabulary of racing," Hofmeier said. "We all worry about money. Also we all have to eat and we all confront the neuroses of food. It's one of those things that mainly when we're alone we feel that we are especially perverse in our relationship to food and then we find, maybe through catharsis, through art, that other people have these experiences too and maybe we have more in common than we might have thought otherwise."
Don't expect Blood of the Ortolan to take it easy after Cart Life's positive public reception.
"If people put up with Cart Life, I feel like I've gotta try harder to upset them," Hofmeier said.