Sunless Skies: COMMANDER

By Failbetter, December 19, 2018 · Sunless Skies

The Failbetter office is slowly winding down for the holidays—our last little revitalising break before LAUNCH(!)—but before we snarf many a minced pie here’s our exciting COMMANDER update!

This release features:

  • a huge new UI update
  • all remaining player weapons
  • updated docking mechanics

IMPORTANT NOTE: Please remember to we’re no longer supporting save files older than the SURVIVAL build so please check this info thread for instructions

You’ll also notice we’ve upgraded the SUNLESS SKIES branding with a fancy new logo and delicious hero art! This has been an industrious journey and on the part of Paul, Tobias, John, Haley and Hannah who combined their art, design and marketing powers on this one.


SUNLESS SKIES will launch on 31 JANUARY 2019. We’re almost there! Thank you in advance to all our amazing backers and community members who’ve helped us along the way. In this final stretch we really appreciate any shares or word of mouth recommendations. Wishlisting the game will help us on this last push to launch!

And if you’re looking to be part of all our launch activities, your best bet is to join our Discord, where we’ll be sharing plenty of tantalisingly secret things on the run up to the big day.

Improved UI


After our revamp of the Character Creation screens, the Reach update and throughout the evolution of the game’s branding, we felt that the UI within the game no longer matched SUNLESS SKIES’ general aesthetic. And we wanted to improve the experience of reading our stories, which is after all a core part of the game experience.


Our artist Tobias is behind this beautiful update to our user interface and HUD. If you’re keen to learn more about our sources for inspiration, Tobias is writing up a design blog all about his UI work! After designing an entire new framework he worked closely with our programmers Barry and Liam to implement it in the game.


It’s no small feat to get the new UI working for the mouse and keyboard controls, and syncing it up to work with game controllers added an extra layer of difficulty. We’ll be continuing to tweak and finesse the control functionality through till launch, so if you experience any weirdness, please check out our How to Report a Bug page.


If you’re interested in a little tour of the new UI, check out our stream from last week.

All Remaining Player Weapons

There are two new types of player weapon available in shops: mines and rockets. Mines detonate when anything—player included, so watch out—enters their proximity zone. Rockets can be detonated remotely by a second press of the fire button.


There are two versions of each new weapon type. The rockets are the Portsmouth House ‘Albertine Candle’ and the Portsmouth House ‘Her Renewed Majesty’s Jubilee,’ while the mines are the Wit & Vinegar ‘Sneeze-Lurker’, Wit & Vinegar ‘Zounderkite’.

There are also several powerful new exotic weapons hidden within the game. We can’t wait until you find them…

Updated Docking

As much as we enjoy watching all the dastardly ways players attempt to dock, we’ve added some improved functionality.

You’ll now need to use the ‘R’ command to officially dock at a port. This will then steer your locomotive into the appropriate position and open the port’s info panel.

New Content

Our writers have been simultaneously working on Blue Kingdom content as well as weaving together and finalising stories across all four regions of the High Wilderness.

Included in that was quite a bit of officer work including the Clay Conductor and two upcoming Blue Kingdom officers; the Forged Companion and Felined Eccentric.

The Wealth ambition received some final adjustments and you can now retire in Eleutheria! Our Narrative Director Chris Gardiner has been furiously typing away at the last ambition, entitled The Stars are Dying—which will be available at launch.


We’re sure a few of you have been waiting very earnestly for this one! This was one of our stretch goals on the Kickstarter for SUNLESS SKIES and we’re excited to offer MORE opportunities for nefarious deeds in the High Wilderness.

Those wishing to earn a bit of extra cash will have to season their captains first, as Smuggling won’t be available until mid-game. To begin a dangerous pirate lifestyle, keep your eye out for the Gloomy Middleman in London. Beginning this quest will lead you to a familiar face who’ll be more than happy to teach you the ropes.

If your captain has Villainy 3+ or Veils 40+, you maybe be approached by the Gloomy Middleman directly. Or, if you’ve found and turned in contraband, you can look into smuggling yourself.


Once unlocked, items considered Contraband will appear in one shop per region across the Reach, Albion and Eleutheria, and will require you to pay attention to Prospects to make a profit.

With Smuggling comes a new type of equipment for your locomotive—Hidden Compartments. Use these to stow away any unsavory Contraband in case Customs comes sniffing around.



Tonight at 16:00 GMT FuzzyFreaks will be diving into the High Wilderness to explore the COMMANDER build! Join her for chats with a few of our developers like Tobias and Barry, as well as general hijinx and shenanigans.


We’ve also announced our SUNLESS SKIES 10K STREAM CHALLENGE, a charity event for streamers and their communities.

We’re going to donate £1 to gamer charity SpecialEffect per minute of SUNLESS SKIES streamed in the first 24 hours after launch!

The maximum donation will be £10,000 – hence the 10k challenge! That’s about 166 hours of streamed content packed into a day… think we can do it?

Streamers who’d like to get involved can check out the streamer pack, which is full instructions and all of the information and resources you’ll need to take part.

We hope you’ll join in, help us get the word out about SUNLESS SKIES and support an incredible charity at the same time!

Festive Fallen London

This time of year our free browser game, Fallen London, is full of festive (and not at all frightening) cheer. Rejoice in a special Advent reward each day until Christmas, send Christmas cards to friends or enemies, or uncover what all this bloody lacre is all about this holiday season.

And on this very day, a new festive premium story by Cass Khaw will become available for purchase in Fallen London. The Ceremony is a festive tale of rubbery romance.

Winter Sales


Our games are made for long winter nights. This winterval enjoy Sunless Sea and Sunless Skies, which will be on sale across all our platforms!

Sunless Sea: Zubmariner Edition is currently 40% off in North America.

And both Sunless Sea, Zubmariner and Sunless Skies are currently on sale on GOG.

Stay tuned for more sales as the holidays approach, and we’ll see you in January!


Fervent wishes for festive joy to you and all of yours,

Your friends,

Failbetter Games


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