Fallen London redesign spruces up the horror, the horror

Failbetter Games have launched a shiny redesign of Fallen London, the browser-based alt-history Victoriana horror RPG which spawned Sunless Sea then Sunless Skies. Failbetter last updated the site’s look in 2009, when I’m not sure computers even had came in colour? Now it looks fancier and it works better on different screen sizes too, so I suppose you can fill your pocket telephone with horrors and oddities.

The new website is now live. Here, compare the same screen from the old with the new. Don’t mind the curious new friend I’ve made.

Along with the new look, it now uses HTTPS to be more secure, and the site automatically scales to fit the screen size, so it’s as home on PC as it is on whatever else you’ve got. Failbetter are closing the game’s mobile app, partly because the new site makes it less necessary and partly because it was wonky.

Failbetter explain that the redesign was long-overdue.

“Fallen London is beautiful but old – we’ve not really changed its look since it was released eight years ago. We know that’s part of its charm and adds to the atmosphere, but we felt it really needed a new lick of paint.

“For the game’s long-term health and future, we need to modernise the aesthetics. We want it to be fresh and accessible to all, particularly to new players. Fallen London is a large and complex game – the cramped interface can be hard on the eyes, and the Myself page can be overwhelming, especially for non-veterans.”

They are still making tweaks and fixing a few things, but this is largely its new form.

But hey, look, Fallen London is prettier. Our dearly-departed Adam has written before about his time in the subterranean London, and Cobbo delighted in a long and harrowing quest which made quiet clear you’d lose everything.

Fallen London is free-to-play through its site. Failbetter sell a number of extra for real cash (through a microtransaction currency), as well as optional subscriptions with extra stories and other perks, and have an option to buy more of the action points which limit our actions. But it’s a game one can happily play without paying loads.

16 Comments

  1. Andrew says:

    Listen. I know it gets a lot of praise for its writing, but “happily play without paying loads” it is not. It’s super restrictive on what you can do, mostly in terms of time. So if you want a good Tweet worth of story a day, go ahead, but IMHO, you better off with “Sunless” series – it’s gonna be cheaper in the end.

    • Faldrath says:

      Yeah, I loved Fallen London, but you hit a wall pretty early on. I did subscribe for a bit, but even with that the grind was way too much for that one resource that will unlock the next (usually excellent) story tidbit.

      • anHorse says:

        My problem was I’d get super into it, have to wait for ages for more turns and then just forget to carry on playing it eventually.

        And whenever I went back I had no earthly idea what was going on so I felt inclined to restart

    • DigitalParadox says:

      I would pay $50 for Fallen London in a heartbeat if it meant I could play without an energy system to worry about. Even with the 40 action max you get from subscribing it’s just not enough to get really into it in a session. Always end up playing regularly for like a week then just feeling no desire to go back after I hit some area where I have to grind for a while

      • Someoldguy says:

        Same here. It’s a bit like a book that only allows you to read five pages a day and insists you reread those pages a dozen times before you’re allowed to move on to the next.

      • Agnol117 says:

        Very much this. I love the writing (both in style and content), and if there was a “pay once and get everything” option, I’d take it in a heartbeat. As it stands, it’s rather difficult to get into (especially since they stopped supporting the app version) because of how grindy it is.

    • Guy Montag says:

      Yeah, I really want to enjoy the website, but their game series is such a better way to experience the world. It’s such a bummer that you have all this content you can’t put into the games due to licensing and the like, especially when the games can feel light on content due to their structure (and just in comparison to the website).

  2. Lars Westergren says:

    If you are a fan of the world of Fallen London, Sunless Sea et al, there is a book being crowdfunded where one of the chapters chronicles the subterranian capitol, and it’s being written in close collaboration with the developers.

    link to unbound.com

  3. Undermind_Mike says:

    I bought Cultist Simulator and it ate half my weekend!

    I also notice Fallen London have fallen foul of Chrome’s new stricter rules… no HTTPS on their frontpage!

  4. Hunchback says:

    I just restarted playing this today and noticed the change of design. I wondered since when it’s been updated… then i opened RPS to read this post.

    hmm

  5. gabrielonuris says:

    I should probably spend $5 on GoG to get Sunless Sea for free, as I completely forgot about this game. It isn’t actually my cup of tea, but I love lovecraftian games, so, a small game for free couldn’t go very wrong, could it?

  6. int says:

    Still waiting on that Gerard the Butler DLC.

  7. Agnol117 says:

    What I’m getting out of this is that they made the website look like the now defunct app version.

  8. bramble says:

    It’s seems an oversight that the article didn’t mention Alexis Kennedy, who was intimately involved in writing and creating Fallen London, just released his own game independently – Cultist Simulator. Very much in the same vein as Fallen London, Chthulu-esque Victorian horror written in a cheeky and vibrant style.

    This redesign will almost certainly convince me to go check out Fallen London again for the first time in many years.

  9. racccoon says:

    You either love it or hate I played everyday at one point, I haven’t played in a while after reaching my goal of everything to 100 achieved, don’t ask why, it something I wanted to do in the game plus get all the top gear freely of course. I might pop back and have a look. :)

  10. Ejia says:

    I’m using Firefox and am still seeing the old version.

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