Posts Tagged ‘fallen london’

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 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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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 return for a cut of profits. You know, it’s funding. Money stuff. Like Dragon’s Den but without the gits.

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London, Arise! Sunless Sea Is Released This Friday

'Gall-eyed', apparently

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 all being well we’ll be saying the same thing by the end of this year. I looked in on it a couple of weeks ago and all seemed well on course. We shall see, though: a question mark still hangs over the long game. While we all wring hands nervously, let’s enjoy the splendid typography and apocalyptic drum soundtrack of its launch trailer.
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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 Fallen London and the Story Nexus platform. I’ve been navigating its strange shores for the past few days.

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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 or to pause between play sessions.

Good news arrives in the form of Sunless Sea, a new showcase for Failbetter’s magnificent worldbuilding in the form of the most RPS-friendly game I’ve seen for some time. Steampunk ships undertake FTL-inspired voyages of “discovery, survival and loneliness”, while crews face down vast tentacled horrors, risking life, limb and sanity. Watch the first in-game footage below and keep an eye on the log at the bottom-left.

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