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What is Sunless Sea?
Sunless Sea is a game of exploration as you travel on your steamship in the Unterzee, manage your supplies, and hire crew. Your actions determine whether you succeed in battle and return rich, or shipwreck and lose your lives to monsters. Getting to know your officers and the things you say to them changes the story and your destiny.
Thirty years ago, London was stolen. Now it rests on the shore of the Unterzee, that old dark ocean under the world. Hell is close, immortality is cheap, and the screaming has largely stopped. Steamships ply all the wild black zee, between the Iron Republic and the Elder Continent, between Hunter’s Keep and the Travertine Spiral and the Dawn Machine. Welcome. Delicious friend.
Why should you support Sunless Sea?
You may know Failbetter Games from the Fallen London browser game, and Sunless Sea takes place in the same universe. Fallen London is a story-based game with each choice affecting everything else that happens, and Sunless Sea is the same way. People remember what you say, and it will take “dozens of games to explore all the sub-plots, grand arcs, alternatives, mysteries, relationships and romances in the game.” Being remembered is something that’s often missing in other role-playing games, where you can do amazing feats or say horrible things, and no one remembers you or knows who you are. The Fallen London stories were always interesting and memorable with intriguing characters, and there’s little doubt that it will be the same.
The use of light and shadow is also intriguing since it’s perpetually dark in the cavern you call home. Therefore, you’ll have to use light carefully as you explore since not only does it use your limited fuel, but it also attracts monsters and other ships. Light also has its place in battle; if you illuminate the enemy they’re easier to attack, but so are you. There are items that cloak you in darkness and others that light up your enemy. Flares light up an area without using fuel, and you can install additional lighting options on your ship, if you’re willing to give up a weapon slot.
There’s also the survival elements where you have to maintain your supplies and your crew’s sanity as you explore the unknown. You’ll need enough fuel to explore and power your lights, you’ll need food to eat, and you’ll have to repair your ship so it keeps on floating. You also have to keep your crew from going insane by giving them time to go ashore and limiting the bad things they see in the night. If your crew gets too hungry and too crazy, they may argue, mutiny, turn to cannibalism, or worse.
Since supplies and fuel cost money, you’ll have to earn a profit; how you decide to do that is up to you. You can be a privateer and merchant or an explorer and scientist. You can take deliver items, recover riches such mushroom-brandy and drowning-pearls, or discover knowledge like charts and journal entries. It’s all up to you, and every game is different based on the decisions you make.
Where can I find out more about Sunless Sea?
Sunless Sea will be available for OS X and Windows. Learn more about the game at their Kickstarter page, and donate if you like what you see. Even though the currency is in English Pounds, you can use other currencies to donate. You can also vote at Steam Greenlight Concepts to help it get on Steam when it’s finished.