Sunless Sea sails out to Kickstarter in search of rescue

Phil Savage at

The sea is a terrible place. It's deadly, angry, and is basically filled with aliens. Why you'd want to go there is an absolute mystery. At least space is only passively trying to kill you. Its many collected horrors do make it a suitably atmospheric setting for a game, though. Sunless Sea takes the briny jerk, and uses it as the basis for exploratory adventure and survival. It's being made by the team behind Fallen London, and is now on Kickstarter looking for backers.

The team cite roguelikes like FTL, and exploration sandboxes like Elite as influences. Judging from the choosable story elements, I'd say comparisons to Zafehouse Diaries wouldn't be too wide of the mark, either, although the top-down means the player is in direct control of their vessel. Survival will be a major focus, with supplies and fuel both in need of replenishing.

"Once you get beyond the trade lanes, the Sunless Sea is unexplored, and the map will change every time you play," the team write, explaining the procedural generation. "One time you might encounter a corsair's village in a forest of stalagmites, another you might come face to face with the vicious war trimarans of the New Khanate or the golden agents of the Dawn Machine."

Failbetter are looking for £60,000 to fund the game, and already they've raised over £20,000, despite only having been live for just over a day. Stretch goals, naturally, have also been planned.

Should it be funded, Sunless Sea is planned for May 2014.