At Failbetter, we do our writing in-house. This is partly because writing is why I got into this business, and I don’t want anyone else to have all the fun (well, Chris gets to have a little bit of fun), and partly because the difficulties of continuity and balance make third-party writing on Fallen London all but impossible.
But! Sunless Sea is new territory. Each island can be radically different from the next, and probably should be. I’m doing all the writing at the moment, and I really wanted some variations in voice So I took the opportunity to get some folk in whose work I knew and liked, expose them to the game and give them an island each to work in. These folk included Emily Short, Meg Jayanth and Amal El-Mohtar.
Em has an enviable reputation as a world-class IF writer. Meg won our World of the Season competition, back when we were running those for StoryNexus, and has been working with Jon Ingold’s inkle on their 80 Days Around the World project. Amal is our wild card, best known for the Green Book, which I really enjoyed. Each of them now has an island ready to roll.
In fact Emily’s is already rolling – it’s Station III, which you may have seen in the Ruby update. Meg’s is the mirrored city of Varchas, on the Carnelian Coast, and will arrive in the Carnelian update. Amal’s is Pigmote Isle, where a certain cavy exodus found a home… it’ll be along in the Amethyst update. For more detail on the dates of these releases, check our Progress page.
This is an experiment. The style in each case is noticeably different from our house style: but for a voyage to distant lands, that feels appropriate. We hope you enjoy the guest islands, and we’ll be really interested to hear your responses.