Posts Tagged ‘Failbetter Games’

IF Only: Stories With Texture

Screenshot of the Texture Public Library page

Newcomers to interactive fiction tend to distinguish just a couple of IF formats — Twine and parser, often, depending on whether you’re clicking or typing. Those with a little more experience might also recognize ChoiceScript and inklewriter, as options for creating games with a classic choose-your-own-adventure-style interface and some of the qualities of a gamebook. But in fact there are many other possible interfaces for IF — and the IF community has just seen the release of a new one.

Texture, designed by Jim Munroe and Juhana Leinonen, is an interactive fiction platform intended to be effective across mobile devices as well as the PC screen — unlike parser designs that require fiddly typing. Despite its simplicity, though, Texture gives the reader a little bit more control than the average hypertext piece: to interact, you drag a verb from the bottom of the screen and release it over a hotspot in the text.

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Sunless Sea: Zubmariner Release Date And Unterzee Art

Sunless Sea‘s [official site] first expansion, Zubmariner will be released on 11 October bringing with it new ports and cities to explore and tales to be told. Or as developers, Failbetter, put it: “agonising choices presented in beautiful prose.” But it wasn’t the beautiful prose which caught my eye in recent dev blog entries, it was the undersea (or rather, Unterzee) flora and corals. That’s why I’ve been asking Failbetter CEO and art director, Paul Arendt to tell me a little more about how the art works in the game.

For the images in question, just use the left and right arrow keys on your keyboard or click the arrows just next to the pictures!

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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 London and Sunless Sea will be adding to those space-stories. Alexis Kennedy, co-founder and formerly creative director of Failbetter Games, is now crafting word-shapes for Stellaris.

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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 I’m not going to talk about anything I’ve had a hand in. Instead, I thought I’d discuss Seeking the Name. It doesn’t sound like much, but it’s one of the most interesting, disturbing quests you’ll ever regret taking on.

Some minor lore spoilers follow, but nothing too deep.

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Failbetter Fund Five “Small Narrative Games”

Edit: Three games are coming to PC, not two as originally reported.

The elegantly named Fundbetter is a new initiative from the wordy types at Failbetter, home of Sunless Sea and Fallen London. Launched in February, Fundbetter will provide the financial necessaries “for small narrative games and interactive fiction”, and the first five have been announced today. Three are destined for PC so we’ll concentrate on those. First up is The Edgelands, out this Autumn. It’s “an atmospheric adventure game set in the present day, based on real and imagined folklore”. Then there’s “narrative strategy game” Astronaut: The Best, heading to PC, Mac and Linux with a Kickstarter for funding (to be matched by Fundbetter) later this year, and Big Mike Lunchtime’s Business Training ‘95 – “Jumanji, but with businessmen”.

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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 list of best RPGs, we singled it out for bestest best words of 2014 – testament to Failbetter’s storytelling prowess.

Which is why it’s a surprise to learn today that their creative director Alexis Kennedy is parting ways with the studio he co-founded seven years ago.

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Deep Thoughts: Sunless Sea’s Zubmariner Expansion

If you were at Rezzed last week, you had two opportunities to see Failbetter folks live on stage, talking about narrative games on a panel hosted by our own John Walker, and presenting a talk on the Zubmariner expansion to the wonderful Sunless Sea [official site]. You can watch the latter presentation below and it contains loads of new details about venturing into the depths of Fallen London’s perilous waters. Key points: the Constant Companion is the most horrible of all the horrible things, and submarines are fragile things.

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