Sunless Skies hangs closed alpha signup sheet

Sunless Skies

Attention all delicious friends (or whatever the airborne equivalent is – delicious airline catering pals?): Failbetter’s celestial horror RPG Sunless Skies [official site] is recruiting for its closed alpha. The closed alpha will kick off on 5 June with the aim of exposing an early version of the game to a limited audience for the purposes of bug squishing. It’s a public signup which doesn’t seem to have any barriers or expectations of pre-ordering or whatnot so if you’re interested and don’t mind a scruffier game state you should try your luck!

For a bit more on Sunless Skies, it’s a top-down 2D exploration game or a similar type to Sunless Seas, although this time the world of Fallen London has taken to the heavens. Flying about and carving your starship captain’s own course through the narrative-heavy skies will be the main elements of the game.

Early Access is expected in the summer (presumably after the alpha concludes at the end of July) and I think that’s when I’ll probably start digging into the game. Sometimes when you’ve seen too much of the unpolished state you can’t stop seeing the unpolished state when you get your hands on the final game. It’s why Early Access and betas and things can be a mixed blessing when it comes to this profession. Anyhoodle!

As per the announcement, Failbetter are seeking:

  • People who have played Failbetter games before
  • PC gamers who haven’t played our games before (especially RPG fans)
  • Players with accessibility requirements, so we can build Sunless Skies with specific accessibility feedback in mind
  • People who have QA or previous testing experience (though not required!)
  • For those invited, we’d of course ask you to install and play the Sunless Skies alpha. Each batch will be involved for at least two weeks, though you are free to help us test until the alpha ends! We will be looking for you to report any bugs you find, along with your general thoughts on the game so far.

    Sunless Skies was tremendously enthusiastically received when it popped up on Kickstarter. By that I mean it was fully funded a mere four hours after going live which was STARTLINGLY fast. With that in mind I assume there are plenty of people who might be interested in this alpha so I should not that not everyone who applies will get in. Other caveats include a confidentiality/non-disclosure arrangement, being okay with the fact that progress won’t carry over once the alpha is finished, and that you need Steam.

    Here’s the signup sheet :)

    9 Comments

    1. Drib says:

      Wasn’t going to space one of the endings of the Sunless Sea game?

      Anyway, I expect I’m far too crap at this game to be a good tester. Good luck to folks though.

      • dontnormally says:

        Having people of various skill levels is actually an incredible boon. They don’t want only experts.

      • colw00t says:

        It was, but it didn’t count as a “victory.” Worth doing once both because it’s a fascinating path, and also because it gives your following captains a Legacy item.

    2. brucethemoose says:

      Already? They were just funded in March, and AFAIK the final release is supposed to be in May 2018.

      I suppose they’ve already got the skeleton of this game built with Sunless Sea, but still, they must’ve done a ton of development waaaay before the Kickstarter campaign kicked off.

      • Babymech says:

        The engine seems pretty much identical, so the bulk of the work should be just writing stories – which they can easily do during a prolonged alpha period.

    3. April March says:

      I’ll probably sign up, but I’m an awful tester. Pretty likely that I won’t have time to play the bloody thing until the game is out already. ?

    4. TobleroneRoloCombo says:

      Decided to get my partner to sign up. They’ve got dyslexia and vision issues, and haven’t played Sunless Sea before (they have played Fallen London, however.)

      • Babymech says:

        I don’t want to be rude, but my humor compass is off on this one – are you playing a prank on your partner or being serious? Sunless sea is pretty much all about reading reams and reams of text while squinting to see minescule fonts (more so before they fixed their 4k bug, but it’s still pretty tiny)… or are you just stress testing the alpha build to its extremes? I don’t think they’ll ever reach a build state that won’t require reading lots and lots of tiny text.

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          teije says:

          Well, Failbetter is specifically asking for accessibility feedback, so it sounds like they want to improve in that area. Which would be good for all of us with aging eyes. I”m getting tired of squinting at Fallen London.

          Backed this at a high level, but don’t think I’ll alpha. I just don’t want to spoil the stories for myself.