SAIL THE STARS. BETRAY YOUR QUEEN. MURDER A SUN. Set a course for the heavens in your steam locomotive! Lose yourself in a changing universe where even time can be bought. A Victorian Gothic adventure for PC, Mac and Linux.
All Reviews:
Very Positive (80) - 82% of the 80 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date:
Aug 30, 2017
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Early Access Game

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Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“The feedback we received in Early Access for Sunless Sea was pivotal to its development, and we would like to work with players once again to shape Sunless Skies.

Opening the game to players in Early Access will provide us with crucial feedback to help us create a game that's delicious, delightful, and dangerous. With Sunless Sea, you helped us discover what type of combat worked, what accessibility features were necessary and how much cannibalism truly meant to you.

We still feel there’s plenty of lessons to learn, and hope you’re excited to help us craft the most exhilarating way to propel through space in a locomotive, kill a sun and much much more. Though to be absolutely clear, we’re looking for those people who don’t mind playing a game at an early state to help us sort out bugs and mechanics. If you’re looking for a fully polished, bug-free game, we wholly recommend you wait until our full release.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“We currently expect to release a finished version in September 2018.

To see how Early Access feedback from players has improved the game and impacted our delivery window, take a look back through our development updates.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“Our initial version for the Early Access release will only include one of the four game regions: the Reach. As development continues, other regions will be added to the game. Regions consists of a host of new places to explore, including a large number of new stories, art, music, enemies and mechanics.

Gameplay-wise, a basic, though broad, mechanical basis for the final game will be available from the start of Early Access: a lot of our design will be in, though there will be much to iterate on. You’ll be able to explore the skies, dock at ports, interact with stories, fight and die.

Throughout development we will release updates that add polish and add more complexity to the mechanics you see at launch. We’ll also of course be adding more locomotives, ports, sky-beasts, loot, equipment, discoveries, wrecks, characters, and stories.

We also expect to add more accessibility features as we get closer to the final release.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“Players currently have access to the two biggest regions of the game: Albion and the Reach, which make up a little over half of the finished game. Two further regions, Eleutheria and the Blue Kingdom, will come later.

Players can experience a variety of base mechanics they’d expect to find in a Failbetter Game, such as Hunger, Terror, character creation, combat, exploration, trade, a legacy system and many, many stories. As we continue to develop the game these systems will be added to and improved upon. As the game is in Early Access it’s possible releases will contain bugs, although we QA each build thoroughly and the game is in a good state.”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“Our current plan is to keep the price the same for both Early Access and full-release.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“We cannot wait to let you loose amongst the stars! The feedback we received during the Early Access period of Sunless Sea absolutely made the game what it is today and we look forward to hearing your thoughts on Sunless Skies. Through development we will be looking for your feedback on all aspects of the game.

We have a dedicated Sunless Skies bug report/feedback email (skies@failbettergames.com) and will of course be listening to players on our Steam forum, GOG forum, our own Failbetter forum, and all our other social channels (Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and Tumblr). We’ll also be continuing to share our progress through development blogs and our FBG podcasts on Twitch.”
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Recent updates View all (47)

July 25

ELEUTHERIA and Extension to Early Access



Eleutheria is the third region to enter Sunless Skies. We’re looking to create a feeling of dread throughout the game, and Eleutheria itself is the main harbinger: it’s the darkest region, with the most unnerving enemies, the most oppressive atmosphere and the most threat. We’ll expect your postcards!

How to find Eleutheria

To access Eleutheria you will need to travel through the Reach-Eleutheria Transit Relay located in the Hybras segment. Go prepared and be warned; you may not be able to come back via the same route through which you enter. Permits are not cheap, they will set you back 800 Sovereigns and once purchased you’ll need Savage Secrets or Caddies of Dried Tea to gain entry.



What’s new in the release?

Your headlight affects your rate of Terror gain and in Eleutheria it will also affect the way agents behave towards you. Some cannot tolerate the light and will attack you when your beam shines over them, others will become wrathful when it’s off. Sleeping Grievers are a perfect example, shine your light on them if you dare. That said, even with your light off they can sense your presence in other ways. We recommend you keep your Terror low when entering their territories. It’s not a good idea to bump into them either.



When to use the headlight will become a fine balancing act since Eleutheria is so dark you’ll definitely need to use it to tell what terrain you can crash into. Even scouts have a difficult time seeing what’s in front of them. No matter whether they are Discerning or Oblivious scouts, they will mark all Eleutherian finds with a ‘something dark’ icon on your chart.




Just like with Albion we’re keen for you to explore Eleutheria yourselves and we don’t want to give too much away, but in brief Eleutheria contains:

  • Seven new Stations (normal ports) and three Platforms (smaller ports).
  • Three new agents; Dousers, Grievers and Empyrean Outriders
  • Two new Spectacles.
  • New transient Discoveries: Stacks, Blind Hermits, Extinguishments, Crossroads and Amber Chunks.
  • New persistent Discoveries: Well of Wonders and Wreck of the Berrenger (content for this wreck didn’t make the cut off for release so the model is in place and the content will follow in the next update).
  • A new locomotive; the Medea-Class Destroyer is available at the Pan engine yard.
  • The Altani-Class Outrider has returned and is available at Eagle’s Empyrean.
  • New locomotive equipment and weapons are available at Pan.
  • Eleutherian Prospects and Bargains.
  • Blemmigans! The Blemmigan Voyager joins the game! This chap was unlocked as part of the community goals during the Kickstarter. This completes all of the community Blemmigan content! Hooray!

(The Undeparted, seen in the trailer, didn’t quite make it into this release, so look out for them in the upcoming Combat II release.)

A note on performance

Some of our players have been experiencing performance issues in the last few builds. We made a bunch of fixes in the Roleplay update which addressed various exceptions caused by weather and wrath that lead to an eventual game freeze. However, we found that some rare weather exceptions remained.

We believe we’ve fixed the last of the weather issues now, but like peeling an onion, once we fixed those bugs we found other performance issues lurking underneath which had been hard to detect until the weather errors were out of the way.

We've spent the last week continuing to peel that performance ‘onion’ and we've made significant improvements. However we can see there is more for us to do to improve performance across the game, so this is not the end of the optimisations.

To help us out, you can report your performance issues and provide us with your output logs. Les has instructions on how to do that in the full Patch Notes post on the forums.


The Road to Full Launch

We’ve been considering our progress, your feedback and the time we have left before launch. We’ve decided, to ensure the game is the standard that you expect from us, that we’re going to move the launch release to January 2019.

There are two main reasons for this.

The first is that we want to do more work on a couple of areas of the game than we originally budgeted time for.

Since we worked on the Reach, we've gotten a lot better at designing and building regions. We're very happy with how Eleutheria has turned out, and we think it's important to bring the Reach up to the same standard, both in terms of atmosphere and the quality, variety and frequency of the experiences during exploration and traversal.

Although we anticipated we'd want to make some improvements to the Reach and had set aside some time for it, it’s significantly less time than we need for the full range of things we want to do. We think the Reach is a particularly important region to get right because of its position in the middle of the other three, and because it's where players are first introduced to the High Wilderness. We've decided it's worth taking the extra time to get it right.

Here's a preview of our work on The Reach

We also want to revisit some of the survival mechanics, which in their current form don't always shape the experience in the ways we’d like – especially Condition and Terror.

This won't add an extra four months of work. We considered launching in November or December, but those are very difficult months to release an indie game. This is partly because of the large number of sales events, and partly because so many AAA games concentrate their releases and marketing in the run up to Christmas.

We'll use the extra time in that four month period to make further improvements to the game, including to the UI and the reading experience. And of course, we’ll be sharing all this work as we go in regular Early Access releases.

We'll be releasing COMBAT II as planned, in the week of 30th August. The next major update after that will be out in early October, and will include the improvements to The Reach. We'll update our road map soon with further details.


Live streams in the dark

We’re celebrating the release of Eleutheria with another guest stream! This time you’ll find us on the official Caffeine channel with Alex and Meeks. A number of Failbetters will be there throughout, including an in-depth look at writing some of the new ports with James Chew - please drop by and say hi!

As a double treat, artist Tobias Cook will be appearing on the Gamasutra twitch channel talking about how art and level design intersect in Eleutheria. Drop by today at 12pm PDT (8pm BST) to join in the chat.
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July 25

Patch Notes - 1.1.3.5.4d9e3cf71 (25th July 2018)

Build Version: 1.1.3.5.4d9e3cf71
Release Date: 25/07/2018
Known Issues


What’s New
Eleutheria has arrived. It’s dark, deadly and terrifyingly beautiful. Survival here is very hard. Good luck Captain, you’re really going to need it.

To access Eleutheria you will need to travel through the Reach-Eleutheria Transit Relay located in the Hybras segment. Go prepared and be warned; you may not be able to come back via the same route through which you enter. Permits are not cheap, they will set you back 800 Sovereigns and once purchased you’ll need Savage Secrets or Caddies of Dried Tea to gain entry.

The Eleutherian region has a different layout to the Reach and Albion. There is no inner and outer ring, just a central hub and one wide ring surrounding it, which is divided into four segments. Eleutheria also features a new type of port, mini ports known as Platforms. You’ll be able to dock at Platforms and access content in the same way you do at larger Stations, as they are now known.

In our previous update we introduced the ability to toggle your locomotive headlight on and off. Your headlight affects your rate of Terror gain and in Eleutheria it will also affect the way agents behave towards you. Some cannot tolerate the light and will attack you when your beam shines over them, others will become wrathful when it’s off. Sleeping Grievers are a perfect example, shine your light on them if you dare. That said, even with your light off they can sense your presence in other ways. We recommend you keep your Terror low when entering their territories. It’s not a good idea to bump into them either.

When to use the headlight will become a fine balancing act since Eleutheria is so dark you’ll definitely need to use it to tell what terrain you can crash into. Even scouts have a difficult time seeing what’s in front of them. No matter whether they are Discerning or Oblivious scouts, they will mark all Eleutherian finds with a ‘something dark’ icon on your chart.

Just like with Albion we’re keen for you to explore Eleutheria yourselves and we don’t want to give too much away, but in brief Eleutheria contains:

  • Seven new ports (Stations) and three Platforms.
  • Three new agents; Dousers, Grievers and Empyrean Outriders
  • Two new Spectacles.
  • New transient Discoveries: Stacks, Blind Hermits, Extinguishments, Crossroads and Amber Chunks.
  • New persistent Discoveries: Well of Wonders and Wreck of the Berrenger (content for this wreck didn’t make the cut off for release so the model is in place and the content will follow in the next update).
  • A new locomotive; the Medea-Class Destroyer is available at the Pan engine yard.
  • The Altani-Class Outrider has returned and is available at Eagle’s Empyrean.
  • New locomotive equipment and weapons are available at Pan.
  • Eleutherian Prospects and Bargains.
  • Blemmigans!


A note about performance
Some of our players have been experiencing performance issues in the last few builds. We made a bunch of fixes in the Roleplay update which addressed various exceptions caused by weather and wrath that lead to an eventual game freeze. However, we found that some rare weather exceptions remained.

We believe we’ve fixed the last of the weather issues now, but like peeling an onion, once we fixed those bugs we found other performance issues lurking underneath which had been hard to detect until the weather errors were out of the way.

We've spent the last week continuing to peel that performance ‘onion’ and we've made significant improvements. However we can see there is more for us to do to improve performance across the game, so this is not the end of the optimisations.

Players will still see brief dips in FPS in certain circumstances (docking/undocking, deploying scouts, just before crossing segment borders as the next segment loads), but they should not experience continued stuttering. Anyone that does needs to report this to us so we can diagnose the problem. Details of what we need you to send us are below.

Any player who has experienced the stuttering in previous builds should take the following steps after today's update:
  1. Go to C:\Users\[YourUserName]\AppData\LocalLow\Failbetter Games\Sunless Skies\storage\
  2. Delete the data folder
  3. Launch the game to regenerate the data folder
  4. Play as you normally would
If after taking these steps you experience further persistent performance issues, please dock at the port in the segment where you experience any stuttering and send an email to skies@failbettergames.com with your save files and your output log so we can look into individual cases.


Updates
  • We’ve revamped the controls menu.
  • Controllers are now remembered between playthroughs once activated.
  • Hotkeys are now in place for the navigation bar interfaces (H = Hold, O = Officers, etc) - see their tooltips for details.
  • A whole bunch of new SFX are in place including Scout deployment jingles and Agent wrath sounds (we dare you to go antagonise an Enduring Dreadnought)
  • We’ve introduced an Ambient SFX slider on the audio menu but we've not finished separating out all the SFX from the environmental sounds
  • New Officer ambient messages for circumstances like opening the last barrel of fuel
  • Additional scout messages
  • Replaced the loading percentage with a circular icon


Bug Fixes
  • We fixed an issue on Wefts of Unraveled time which reset the in-game date, causing time related stories to become locked
  • We've fixed more exceptions with the weather functionality which was causing errors to be spammed to the output log and an eventual game freeze.
  • The equipment and weapon stats at Portsmouth Arsenal, the Inscribed Tinkerer’s Workshop and Mr Menageries Stall for Delicious Scouts have now been updated.
  • We’ve fixed an issue with the Rochester Races which stopped players claiming victory.
  • The Amenable Host’s quests now reset correctly when you pass on a legacy to a new Captain.
  • You can now progress fully through the quest at Perdurance.
  • The directions token for the Bombazine prospect to the Mausoleum now works correctly.
  • Items are now removed from the Repentant Devil when asking him about his possible enemies.
  • We’ve removed references to Muses Marks and replaced them with Moments of Inspiration at Traitor’s Wood.
  • Players will no longer become trapped in a Must Event at Traitor’s Wood.
  • The Repentant Devil storyline can no longer be farmed for XP.
  • The Altani once again has three auxiliary slots.
  • The chart icons on the legend are no longer stretched.
  • The Officer's chat interface can no longer be opened over the top of Navigation interfaces.
  • The Fatalistic Signalman's ambient message for Magdalene's is no longer firing at Polmear & Plenty's.
  • You can now once again only accept a maximum of four prospects.
  • We've fixed all the typos in the Officer's ambient messages.
  • Headlights now toggle correctly when purchasing a new locomotive with the headlight off.
  • The chart now focuses on the player when it is opened in Albion for the first time.
  • The Guest’s projectiles now despawn correctly and their SFX can no longer be heard after death.
  • We fixed an inconsistency with a Leadbetter & Stainrod Nature Reserve storyline at Traitor’s Wood.
  • The election can no longer be held at Brabazon after winning.
  • You can now speed up the credits using controllers.
  • The headlight can now be turned on and off with a controller.
  • The Incognito Princess is no longer referred to as Signaller


Known Issues
Below is a list of known issues for this build. For a full list of known game issues see our Known Issues page.
  • The Spatchcock has lost its engine SFX.
  • A few assets in Eleutheria do not have collision damage applied to them.
  • Ambient messages and the player locomotive can appear underneath Amber Chucks assets
  • Em dashes are not working in ambient messages - this will be seen as a large gap
  • Headlight toggle SFX is not in place on non-Spatchcock locomotives
  • No docking SFX on some Stations and Platforms in Eleutheria
  • Large locomotives like the Bedivere can be shunted to the side when leaving Platforms in the Pan segment
  • The loading icon will stop cycling making it appear as if the game is frozen during loading

As always, if you find a bug that's not on the Known Issues page then send us a quick Bug Report.
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Reviews

“As a general sense of Sunless Skies, the game feels like it's on the right track. The developers have clearly learned from Sunless Sea feedback and adjusted the core loops without losing what was magical about the Fallen London universe.”
PC Gamer

“Considering that it's an Early Access game, Sunless Skies performs remarkably well. The experience is smooth, bugs are nearly non-existent, and the music and sound come through crisply and without issue. The fact that Sunless Skies is more polished than many other current titles and hasn't even released fully yet is to be commended.”
Windows Central

“Visually, Sunless Skies is excellent, but verbally, it is already a masterpiece.”
Twinfinite

About This Game



Set a course for the heavens in your steam locomotive! Lose yourself in a changing universe where even time can be bought.

It is the dawn of the 20th century, and the British Empire has taken to the stars! As the captain of a spacefaring locomotive you'll behold wonders and battle cosmic abominations in the heavens.

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.

Unfettered by trivial things like gravity, the Empire’s ambition is savage. They have built a new Sun. The Empress reigns from the Throne of Hours, which gives her control over time.

Your Captain and crew must carve out a life between the stars. Will you support her majesty and the establishment, or the working class rebels who yearn for freedom from the Workworlds?

Learn who you are, in the dark. Die, and leave the world the way you want it for your successor...

KEY FEATURES
  • Explore space as you’ve never seen it before in a giant steam-powered locomotive engine.
  • Use a bat to navigate. Survive celestial horrors and your Inconvenient Aunt.
  • A world where cricket, tea and London exist at the wild edges of Victorian space colonisation. Quail in the face of the Clockwork Sun. Master the blistering language of the stars. Lead a revolution, or uphold the edicts of Queen Victoria. Trade in barrels of time, violently fertile seeds, or human souls.
  • It is not safe in the skies. Defend yourself against pirates, scorn-flukes, the Cyst of Faces, and worse.
  • Bathe your eyes in lush 2D art: giant fungal consciousnesses, creaking steam-driven cities, icy wastes and dizzying starfields.
  • Your every foray into space is as precarious as a Polar expedition. You’ll need to balance your resources carefully and keep an eye on your crew’s Terror to avoid an exciting array of deaths.
  • Build a lineage of space captains - roguish, honest, selfish, revolutionary, upstanding, cowardly - and let their actions shape the stories you discover. Die, and pass on some of your resources to your next captain.
  • Make terrible decisions. Live with their outcomes. Will you run guns for the Independents? Or spies for the Empire? Choose wisely – your decisions will affect the fate of the region; not just for yourself, but for your future captains as well.
  • Collect a crew of officers, each with their own stories, dreams and wants.
  • Choose your captain’s term of address and customise their appearance - your character’s gender is your business.
  • Unlock mascots and scouts for your vessel: bats, birds, squid, owls.
  • Customisable settings enable you to tweak your locomotive’s movement and refine combat difficulty to find the level of challenge you require.
  • Delight in the most delicious prose in all of gaming, from the award-winning team behind cult browser game Fallen London, indie hit Sunless Sea and Dragon Age: The Last Court
  • Featuring writing by Meg Jayanth, Cassandra Khaw, Harry Tuffs, Richard Cobbett and Emily Short.
  • Sunless Skies is set in the Fallen London Universe: a deep, dark and marvellous world that we’ve been creating for eight years. In our games, hand-crafted narrative and emergent gameplay create compelling stories for your character.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP SP2+
    • Processor: SSE2 instruction set support
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: DX9 (shader model 3.0) or DX11 with feature level 9.3 capabilities
    • Storage: 700 MB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible
    Minimum:
    • OS: Mac OS X 10.9+
    • Processor: SSE2 instruction set support
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: DX9 (shader model 3.0) or DX11 with feature level 9.3 capabilities
    • Storage: 700 MB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible
    Minimum:
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04+, SteamOS+
    • Processor: SSE2 instruction set support
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: DX9 (shader model 3.0) or DX11 with feature level 9.3 capabilities
    • Storage: 700 MB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible

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