Ahoy there, Zee Captains! Sunless Skies, Failbetter Games’ successor to the critically-acclaimed and joyously-bizarre Sunless Sea, is now seeking funding over on Kickstarter.
Like its predecessor, Sunless Skies will be set in the same Gothic steampunk universe as Fallen London, but this time ditching the gloomy mysteries and Lovecraftian horrors of the Unterzee for the wonders of space. Yes, Victorian London has taken to the stars where a revitalised British Empire, led by Queen Victoria herself, has begun to colonise The High Wilderness. But this is not space as we know it:
The stars are alive. They are the Judgements: vast intelligences that govern all things. But they are dying. One by one, something is snuffing them out, leaving their thrones empty. An opportunistic Victorian Empire is colonising the domains they leave behind, painting its industrial vision upon the fabric of the heavens. Despite the deaths of stars, the Wilderness is not dark or empty. It is harried by strange winds, coiled with mists, and traversed by improbable beasts.
As with Sunless Sea, it’ll feature RPG elements, exploration, quests, trading, ferrying passengers and news, naval combat, and those wonderfully-quirky and sumptuously-worded emergent stories. Once again you’ll create your own captain, with a background and ambition of your choosing, and recruit a crew from a “gallery of unpredicatable characters”. Only this time around you’ll be venturing out into the heavens in a distant and more sophisticated relative of the steam-powered locomotive.
The crowdfunding is going pretty darn well. At the time of writing, it’s only hours into the campaign and Sunless Skies is already at 70% of its £100,000 goal, making around £1,000 per minute! Backer rewards include things like the soundtrack and digital lore book, naming things in the game, becoming an NPC and even designing a location. Failbetter reckon they’ve got some plans for stretch goals but will announce them later in the campaign. Although they may need to get working on that sooner than they think.
[update: the Sunless Skies Kickstarter campaign was fully funded in just four hours!]