It's time to head back to 1862, and date some people who may well be murderers. Failbetter Games have announced Mask Of The Rose, a romantic visual novel set in the Fallen London universe. It's a prequel to all of Failbetter's games, including Fallen London itself, as well as Sunless Sea and Sunless Skies, and follows a group of lodgers in a boarding house just months after Victorian London has gone underground. Ah, trapped in a creepy underground building together, what better place for love to blossom, eh?
"The story is about how you all adjust to a world that works differently from everything you’re used to - and the friendships and romances you form while there," creative director Emily Short said in a press release. "There’s no sunlight. Not all of your new neighbours are human. Parliament is underwater, and the mysterious Masters Of The Bazaar are now in charge."
Sounds pretty tense, though I did read one time that being scared near your significant other actually draws you closer. I don't know if being scared by your significant other has the same effect, but I am concerned seeing as one of your lovers in the trailer appears to be a murderer.
If you don't know Fallen London, it's a free browser game set in an alternate history where Victorian London has been transported underground. Its follow-ups, Sunless Sea and Sunless Skies are (very good) gothic RPGs set in the same universe. Mask Of The Rose will take players back to when London first fell, however, letting us see what the world was like after the main event first kicked off.
"Players will get to spend more up-close and personal time with a few well-known characters and play through a story that's more centered on individual relationships,” Short added. “We're building a story that doesn't require any prior knowledge of the setting, but still has secrets that may surprise veterans.”
Failbetter are setting up a Kickstarter campaign to fund Mask Of The Rose next year, and they plan on releasing it in 2022.
They mention they're working on another new game, too, which will take place in a new setting. They're quiet on the rest of the details, though, so we'll have to wait a little longer to find out more.