Posts Tagged ‘Failbetter Games’

Sunless Skies rockets into early access

After exploring a cheerygrim subterranean Victorian city in Fallen London, the seas around it in Sunless Sea, then beneath those seas in the Zubmariner expansion, Failbetter Games have blasted off to the dark and dreadful cosmos above with Sunless Skies. Continuing in the same explore-o-trade-a-cannibalise RPG vein as Sunless Sea, Skies today rocketed into early access. The full release should follow in mid-2018 but if you’d like to develop space madness sooner and maybe help shape the game, you can now buy into early access. Read the rest of this entry »

Sunless Skies blasts off into early access on August 30

Sunless Skies [official site], the starfaring follow-up to lose-your-mind-and-eat-your-crew-adrift-on-an-underground-sea trade-o-RPG Sunless Sea, will hit early access on August 30th. That’s the word today from developer Failbetter Games, who say that early access helped them shape Sunless Sea and they’re hopeful it’ll work out well for those dark skies too. Read the rest of this entry »

Podcast: The Electronic Wireless Show talk Sun Dogs, Black Crown and rubbish merchandise

Pod dogs

What’s that faint light? It’s the glare of the RPS podcast, the Electronic Wireless Show, crashing through the atmosphere of the internet like an unstoppable comet capable of both massive destruction and enlightened conversation. This week, we’ve all been playing transhumanist adventure game Sun Dogs, which sees us romping through the solar system, necking drinks made out of germs and being killed over and over and over again by extraterrestrial forces beyond even our own post-human ken. It’s quite a pleasant trip.

But we’re also talking about “merchandise” and why it is often so rubbish. Pip will warm your heart with tales of a contraband dagger, and Adam will soothe you with a story about blood. There is much to learn. Read the rest of this entry »

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! Read the rest of this entry »

IF Only: Alcyone on Kickstarter

Logo and banner from Alcyone

Fresh on Kickstarter is a science fiction IF piece called Alcyone: The Last City. A look at the screenshots will suggest something familiar to dedicated IF fans: it looks a lot like StoryNexus, the Failbetter engine that powers both Fallen London and (behind the scenes) Sunless Sea/Sunless Skies. Read the rest of this entry »

Sunless Skies definitely happening, KS closes tomorrow

Sunless Seas sequel Sunless Skies [official site] has a rosy glow to it as it nears the finish line of its Kickstarter. Successfully bringing in £300k in pledges – 3x what devs Failbetter originally asked for – will do that, eh?

In other words, the spaceshippy alt-Victoriana exploration, storytelling and sudden death game is, barring developmental disaster, looking like a sure thing.
Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: A House Of Many Doors

A House of Many Doors

A House of Many Doors [official site] is developer Harry Tuffs’ expansive story-weaving game where you roam a mysterious parasite dimension creating memories and pursuing stories. It’s a curious, beautiful thing which I both loved and grew frustrated by as I scuttled from room to room. Here’s Wot I Think: Read the rest of this entry »

Sunless Skies launches Kickstarter, talks combat improvements, spacefaring Victorians, warm cardigans

Sunless Skies

Since Failbetter previewed it yesterday I’ve been poking around the Kickstarter campaign for Sunless Skies. I only had a basic idea of the game (Sunless Sea/Fallen London in space with a certain amount of “stars being murdered”), although I know there have been a few blogs and chats and things which covered the game in more depth. I think I was waiting for Failbetter to nail their ideas down a bit before I started spoilering myself.

Anyway, here’s a summary of the Kickstarter stuff because it’s nice to know more about their thinking for the sequel of a game I really love: Read the rest of this entry »

Sunless Sea’s Pirate-Poet, Cladery Heir free to all players

Sunless Sea

All Sunless Sea [official site] players get access to the formerly Kickstarter-exclusive Pirate Poet and Cladery Heir content thanks to an update to the game today. Failbetter consulted with Kickstarter backers to see if they backed the move and the consensus was apparently “the more, the merrier”, or words to that effect.

I assume the timing is very much related to Sunless Skies (the Sunless Sea sequel*) starting its own Kickstarter campaign on 1 Feb so the more people are eyeballing Failbetter’s games, the better its chances of success. Read the rest of this entry »

Do not look directly at these snippets of Sunless Skies’ cosmic horror

As we continue to turn the one known human-friendly planet against us, the rich and hopeful look to space. Mate, we’re purpose-built for Earth yet couldn’t make this work; do you expect we’ll fare better with what – and who – awaits us up there? Sunless Skies [official site, Failbetter’s follow-up the the oceanic horror of Sunless Sea, will let us explore that possibility. Announcing that their Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign will launch on February 1st, Failbetter have shared a few flavourful snippets of their cosmic horror. Would you believe they’ve managed to make black holes even worse? Read the rest of this entry »

Sunless Skies: less crawling back home, more exploring

Sunless Skies

Failbetter have been looking at Sunless Sea in order to inform what they do in Sunless Skies [official site], their Sunless Sea sequel set in a kind of Victorian/Fallen London version of space where the stars are being murdered. It looks like one of the lessons is about making the return journey part of exploration a bit shorter/less punishing. Obviously Sunless Skies is still in early development but the blog made for interesting reading from a design problem/solution point of view and I’ve been thinking about what I’d change myself for a while as a result. Read the rest of this entry »

The Right Stuff: Astronaut – The Best

Astronaut: The Best [official site] is a game about training a bunch of people who definitely do not seem to have “the right stuff”, in preparation for a trip into space. There are four days left in its Kickstarter campaign and it’s only half way to its $26,000 goal. There’s still enough time to make up the difference, I reckon, even if the odds are against developers Universal Happymaker. Astronaut: The Best, you may remember, is one of the first titles to be backed by Fundbetter. That means Failbetter, the studio behind Sunless Sea, will match the $26k if the Kickstarter succeeds.

If the description “King of Dragon Pass meets Look Around You” isn’t convincing enough, there is a demo available.

Read the rest of this entry »

Sunless Sea: How Zubmariner Lured Me In

I’ve just jettisoned a wounded zailor while underwater. It was to free up a last gasp of oxygen for the rest of my crew as I frantically try to ascend from the depths of the Zee in Sunless Sea’s [official site] Zubmariner update. As the screen fades to black (to resurface, not to die horribly) I wonder whether to imagine the departed comrade as being the same zailor I pulled from a wreckage on the zeebed moments ago and thus add a rather tragic tale of fleeting hope and cutthroat practicality to my expedition.

My other option is to imagine that the wreck survivor is safe aboard while some loyal minion with a few cuts and bruises has been consigned to the abyss like in that episode of Ru Paul’s Drag Race where Trixie Mattel gets to rejoin the competition after being eliminated once already and Jaidynn Diore Fierce must sashay away despite having survived far longer in the process. Read the rest of this entry »

Avast! Sunless Sea Gets Free New Quests Today Too

Sunless Sea [official site] will adventure under the Unterzee when the Zubmariner expansion launches in a few hours – we’ll tell you later today about our time with it – but developers Failbetter haven’t forgotten about the surface. New quests for the supernatural naval roguelikelike’s base game are arriving in a free update alongside Zubmariner, perhaps teasing what’s under the waves but not requiring you to buy the add-on. Here, come read about the new quests.

Read the rest of this entry »

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 then taking off into space.
Read the rest of this entry »

Sunless Sea Adds Text Scaling; Devs Tease New Game

Here’s a twofer: 1) A new update for awfully nice and nicely awful adventure Sunless Sea [official site] has added text and UI scaling to finally improve how the game renders its many words; 2) Developers Failbetter will announce their next game on Saturday. The UI improvement means no more squinting, and the announcement will mean… oh dang, a new Failbetter game!

Read the rest of this entry »

Failbetter Founder Alexis Kennedy Writing For BioWare

Artist's impression of Kennedy at work

It was a sad day, for me, when Alexis Kennedy left Failbetter. The creators of Fallen London and Sunless Sea built their games on some of the strongest and most idiosyncratic writing games have ever been host to, and I hoped we’d see more of Kennedy’s words sooner rather than later. The good news is that Failbetter’s foundations seem sturdy enough that Kennedy’s absence may be felt but won’t leave an enormous gap, and we’re already seeing him work on some exciting projects.

First, there was Stellaris, and now Kennedy has announced that he’ll be the “first ever guest writer” at BioWare working alongside Mike Laidlaw and Patrick Weekes.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Have You Played… Sunless Sea?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

Most roguelikes or lites or whatever you prefer to call this newer generation of permadeath roleplaying games, I play to win. Or, at least, to try to win: with the intention of victory, even if the actuality of it is unlikely. In Sunless Sea, I always play as if doomed.

Read the rest of this entry »

State of the Art: Sunless Sea and the world of Zubmariner

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!

Read the rest of this entry »