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fallen london

4 months ago

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…

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8 months ago

Failbetter lay off a few staff and delay Sunless Skies

Following a difficult year, Sunless Sea and Fallen London devs Failbetter have battened down the hatches and scaled back some of their plans, including laying off several members of staff and delaying Sunless Skies. Part of the problem is early access sales of the encounter-unspeakable-cosmic-horrors-then-eat-your-crew space survive-o-exploration RPG sequel have been lower than expected. The small English studio assure that they will finish Sunless Skies…

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1 year ago

Feature: Touring different types of worlds

The RPG Scrollbars: Cool Setting, Bro!

The problem with fantasy is that it's often not very... well... fantastical. Far too often, even brand new worlds feel like Tolkein or Warcraft or Star Wars with a few twists, and the serial numbers scraped off. The good thing about this is that when a game does take us somewhere new, it feels all the more special for it. This week then, a quick…

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2 years ago

Sunless Skies Takes Sunless Sea To The Stars In 2017

'Sunless Skies' sounds a bit too 'A Day Trip To Reading' to my ears. I guess 2unless 2ea, Sunless Sea 2: None More Sunless and 2 Sea 2 Sunless were deemed insufficiently lyrical. The name, of course, matters nought: what does matter is that charmingly bleak, ocean-bound, narrative rougelikelikelike12 Sunless Sea [official site] is going full sail to sequel-land with Sunless Skies next year. And…

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Sunless Sea’s Former Lead Now Writing For Stellaris

Stellaris [official site], Paradox's sci-fi fusion of 4x design and grand strategy ideals, is a game that generates stories. As your species moves through the galaxy, encountering all manner of alien life, you'll create tiny tales and epic sagas. There are also stories already written, however, in the form of quest chains, and over the weekend we learned that one of the minds behind Fallen…

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Feature: The joy of self-destruction

The RPG Scrollbars: Seeking Mr Eaten’s Name

Full disclosure time. I'm about to talk about Fallen London [official site] by Failbetter Games, a game and company that I've now done a fair amount of writing for. Please pause to get the necessary pinch of salt to take with anything that follows, if you wish. However, my love for this crazy Victorian universe goes back a lot further than that, and this week…

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Failbetter Co-Founder Alexis Kennedy To Leave Studio

If I've one regret with regards to games I've let slip through my fingers over the years, it's Failbetter Games' Fallen London. I'm told its mysterious world, its lovingly illustrated interface, and its quirky character ensemble is rather wonderful; yet this is exactly how I feel about last year's follow up Sunless Sea [official site]. Not only did the latter bag a place on our…

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3 years ago

Punbetter: Failbetter Launch Narrative Game Fund

Failbetter Games have found fame and fortune with Fallen London and Sunless Sea, and now they've started helping other folks in the narrative games lark. For fun and profit! They've already helped fund Harry Tuffs's A House of Many Doors, but today formally announced Fundbetter. It's a funding initiative for folks who want to make small narrative games and interactive fiction, fronting them cash in…

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4 years ago

London, Arise! Sunless Sea Is Released This Friday

After a year drifting through the sinister oceans of Early Access, Failbetter's wonderful Sunless Sea [official site] is released this Friday. Full steam ahead, Mr. Boatswain, full steam ahead. It's a game of steampunk and Lovecraft, sailing and survival, roleplaying and pint-sized naval combat, wonderful words and terrifying faces. It was one of 2014's best games as far as Adam and I were concerned, and…

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Feature: Rime and Reason

Lyrical Ballast: Impressions Of A Sunless Sea

We’re deep down now, deep down where dreams and figments tumble and churn together like silt, deep down in sleep, where pain and sorrow fall drop by drop into the Sunless Sea, and wisdom comes in whispers of text and through the rubbery fronds of some ancient lifeform. Now in Early Access, Sunless Sea is the first ‘proper’ game from Failbetter, the clever-clogs creators of…

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Between The Devils And The Deep: Sunless Sea

If I had my way, everybody who reads RPS would have at least a nodding acquaintance with the writing of Failbetter Games. The showcase for the tiny English studio's talents is the free to play, browser-based RPG/adventure Fallen London, built in their own StoryNexus engine. Understandably, some people don't want to invest time and (potentially) money into a fragmented narrative, which requires players to pay…

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5 years ago

Feature: Tentacular Talk

Of London And The Sunless Sea: Failbetter Interview Pt 2

Our lengthy conversation with Alexis Kennedy and Paul Arendt of Failbetter Games continues, with mysterious, enigmatic and untold tales of Fallen London, details of the nightmarish voyages undertaken by the captains of the Sunless Sea, and adventures in the mind of a dead god. If you haven't read part one, you'll find it here. If you have, jump right in.

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Feature: London falling, and I wanna shout

Of London And The Sunless Sea: Failbetter Interview

"Have you ever been to Córdoba?" It's not the sort of question an interviewee normally asks me but this isn't a normal interview. I'd like to say that I spoke to Paul Arendt and Alexis Kennedy of Failbetter games in a corroded wine cellar by gaslight, but that would be a lie. The creators of Fallen London work in Digital Enterprise Greenwich, overlooking the Thames…

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Of Madness And Steamships: Sunless Sea

Sunless Sea takes the excellent writing and world-building of Fallen London, and injects it into a 2D exploration, trading and survival game. It's Elite but with steamships instead of starships, and dwindling-dark ports instead of space stations. Throw in giant fish with moustaches, living mimic islands and deranged cannibal crew members, and the resulting concoction seems more than satisfying. I spoke to Failbetter about Fallen…

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6 years ago

Revolt And Romance: Fallen London

When I read Alec's salute to Kingdom of Loathing, I recognised the sentiment immediately. Although it hasn't existed for as many years, Fallen London is a firmly entrenched feature of my waking life. I've written about it before and I'll readily admit that I've only been reminded to mention it again because of a Valentine's press release, detailing The Feast of the Exceptional Rose content.…

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Text My Breath Away, StoryNexus

While it's still at the 'sign-up for info' stage, Fallen London creators Failbetter Games are getting ready to launch a cool sounding set of tools that could let you beat them at their own game. It's called StoryNexus, and with it anyone will (eventually) be able to create their own card/text based adventures. There's also going to be a new game based on the technology,…

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Feature: Under the Underground

Impressions: Fallen London

Browser-based narrative experiment Echo Bazaar has quite the following and when it took on the new name, Fallen London, I decided I was long overdue a visit to the delirious, devil-haunted sprawl of suggestive steampunk. It's a browser-based adventure, working from a lovingly illustrated but mostly textual interface, which involves seeking mysteries, stories, secrets and opportunities in the sunken city. There are stats that increase…

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