Romance in Sunless Sea, part 1: Loneliness

January 31, 2015 · Narrative Sunless Sea

Back in the very first video for the Kickstarter, we described Sunless Sea as a game of ‘exploration, survival and loneliness’. The first two themes are immediately evident in almost every aspect of the gameplay. The third is subtler, and we’ve spent a lot of the last two years thinking about how we can address it. […]

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Fallen London Sponsors the Kitschies

August 27, 2014 · Failbetter General Update Narrative

Fallen London, Sunless Sea and our other work are all fruits of the interactive fiction tree, or, possibly, beasts which have grown vast and hungry in the bosky nooks of the digital storytelling forest. But more than that, our debt to literature has always been deep – we’ve talked elsewhere about how much we owe to everyone from Jack Vance […]

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WH Auden on choice and consequence

August 14, 2014 · Narrative

“My subjective experience is living is one of having continually to make a choice between given alternatives, and it is this experience of doubt and temptation which seems more important and memorable to me then the actions I take when I have made my choice.”

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A Batch of Sunless Influences

June 6, 2014 · Narrative

[This post had been lingering in draft forever – I thought I’d get it out while I remember.] Here are a few of the things I’ve been reading while I write for Sunless Sea – or things that helped plant the seed.  One of the difficult things about Sunless Sea is that it’s so ahistorical – the Age […]

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Interactive Fiction meetup in North Greenwich

January 29, 2014 · Narrative

It’s always very hard to type ‘Emily Short’ without prepending ‘the legendary’. I nearly managed it this time. Anyway, Em is organising Oxford and London interactive fiction meetups. These are intended to be informal and friendly: “Meet to play and discuss interactive fiction of all kinds, from classic Zork-style text adventures to Twine games to interactive […]

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StoryNexus Developer Diary #1: ‘Worlds exist’

June 29, 2012 · Failbetter Narrative

[StoryNexus is currently in closed beta – we’ll be widening the beta soon. Sign up at] The first item in the StoryNexus spec, back when it was still codenamed ‘Falstaff’, was ‘worlds exist’. All content in StoryNexus exists in its own world: every world owner is the king of their own infinite space. Fallen […]

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