Improving Exploration: TEKTITE

By Haley Uyrus, December 20, 2017 · Sunless Skies

With the recent revamp of the proc gen system becoming available within the game to all, our focus this week has been to add some finishing touches to exploration in the Reach. Final touches and testing are being completed for Discoveries & Spectacles, which we hope to bring into the game soon. Additionally, the update to Terror’s visual effects and music are being finished as well.



Our first overhaul to exploration within the game came with the new proc gen system which has allowed us to really define and curate the environments within the Reach. To build on top of that we’ve been working on Discoveries & Spectacles.

Discoveries are points of interest in the High Wilderness. It could be something as simple as a floating crate of munitions, or the (hopefully) empty wreck of some terrible locomotive crash. These will provide resources and stories for bold explorers to find.


Tobias has been busy bringing our writers’ content to life for many different Discoveries for both the Reach and upcoming Albion. On your way through the Reach you may stumble across Hives or even a Well.




Currently, Discoveries won’t be detectable by your Scout, and instead will have to be encountered up close and in the moment.

Tobias has also been working within the new proc gen system to design different segments for Albion. One of the ports he’s been working into the segment design is the Kickstarter social goal we achieved: The Royal Society.

The once-moribund Royal Society of inventors, explorers, and scientists has received a generous grant from Her Enduring Majesty and a renewed mandate: to unravel the mysteries of the High Wilderness! Were they eager to be at the forefront of new discovery? Or were they keen to be further from the Empire’s control?  



As Tobias works to visualise the Discoveries, Chris and Olivia have been busy crafting the messages that show up on screen as each Discovery is encountered.

James’ focus this sprint has been more towards Albion. He’s started the content for the Albion wealth ambition, as well as working on the content for The Royal Society. He’s also been writing the content for the Wreck of the Parzifal, mentioned in our Kickstarter!

The Parzifal was Her Majesty’s pride, the first locomotive constructed at the Avid Horizon. But despite the pomp surrounding her launch, she never returned from her maiden voyage. What grim fate did she meet?

Excitingly, both Chris and James have also been working closely with our three Kickstarter backers who are designing a port with us. These ports are currently evolving and coming into shape. Two of these ports will be discoverable in Eleutheria, and one within the Blue Kingdom.



Alongside Discoveries, we’ve also been working to finish up Spectacles, which have a more mechanical effect on players and their crew.

Spectacles are awe-inspiring locations in the High Wilderness. Most will strike terror into the hearts of your crew, while others may bring them comfort. A wise skyfarer will learn routes that will keep their people’s dread at bay.

In the Reach, you may stumble across the Regent’s Grave spectacle in Traitor’s Wood, or the Apoidean Garden Wonder near the Nature Reserve.


Since Spectacles affect a player’s Terror level, we’ve also been continuing our work on the visual and audio effects of Terror. Along with the on-screen visual effects, we’ll also soon be implementing terror music made by Maribeth, that will make the atmosphere more and more tense and unbearable as their Terror level and Condition increases.

Mac has also updated the Bank UI so that the Bank inventory and the player’s hold show up in one screen, as well as making sure the bottom nav-bar refreshes correctly. Also to the joy of everyone, Sovereigns will now be visible in Shops and the Bazaar


He’s also been working to implement the Officer HUD (or where you see your Officer information on-screen). Your Captain’s experience bar will also be moving from where it previously was on the bottom nav-bar to a more logical place within the Officer HUD on the top right of the screen.


Once the work above makes its way into the live build on Steam and GOG, we hope that everyone will feel the Reach will have a lot of depth to explore! Moving on, our next sprint will focus on tweaking the atmosphere, to adjust how exploration in the High Wilderness makes players feel.


As the holidays approach the Failbetter offices will be winding down until the new year. This will be the last development blog until 17th January. The next FBG Podcast will be on 5th January at 16:00 GMT with Paul, our Creative Director!

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