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For the discussion of our next game, coming January 2019.

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Hannah Flynn
Hannah Flynn
Administrator
Posts: 364

2/7/2018
Hello gang. Please see the latest Kickstarter update for some news about FBG, Fallen London and Sunless Skies.

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Wields the news canon, aboard the hype train.
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Passionario
Passionario
Posts: 777

2/7/2018
Oh dear. Best of luck to you all.

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Passionario: Profile, Story, Ending
Passion: Profile
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Irym Ydell
Irym Ydell
Posts: 27

2/7/2018
Hi. Why not do a kickstarter for funds & offer up old rewards? Some of us were not hear for the rewards for Fallen London or Sunless Seas. Or maybe we'd like to add to our Sunless Skies experience. I know I would donate.
Or add new little things. Don't go crazy trying to make giant offers or rewards, I don't think any of us need anything crazy, but like Hipstamatic offers "vintage packs" every so often with old, limit items, is maybe something you guys could do?
Or like World of Warcraft, you can buy certain mounts or pets for real world dollars in their shop. Some of us have run out of fate stories & I am sure we'd love to buy some weird hats or companions or better clothes (the clothes are a bit lacking in game).
Just some ideas. I am broke as hell & I'd buy some stuff like that. Plus, we like our games, we like you. I imagine I'm not the only one who would love to have a way to help your studio. Would have liked to before people were let go.
You could also do one of those stupid hashtags events. Like "Post a screnshot or a favourite bit of story or something with hashtag #failbetter #fallenlondon #sunlessskies #sunlesssea & we'll randomly select one winner to get a devil spouse!" Or I dunno... I dunno how those kinds of things work, I just know, people will spam the heck out of friends for something they want in a beloved game.
I'm very much a FL person (I play all day long), so any perks for that, I'd jump on. I loved seas & skies, but my computer has a hard time running them for a long time & i can't do background projects at the same time. So, I adore FL.
Just some thoughts as I do not want to see your company struggle & I know we were all enjoying new artwork & new places to explore.

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-Irym-
It's only when you cannot hear the bats, that is when the bats are coming. This is the only advice I have to give.
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Kylestien
Kylestien
Posts: 719

2/7/2018
I am sorry to hear this, especially about the 4 losses to the crew. I wish them my best and I'm sure I'm not alone.

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I will accept all actions, though I hold the right to refuse for my own reasons. However, if you explain WHY you send me a harmful action like Loitering or Dantes,And I feel the reason good, I will consider it more. http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/Kylestien

Persuasive patron. You want a lesson, send me a message asking for one.
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genesis
genesis
Posts: 909

2/7/2018
This is unexpected and very sad. Very best, FBG. I'll be here, buying Fate!
edited by genesis on 2/7/2018

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http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/mikey_thinkin

Keeping track of incomplete content and loose ends in Fallen London
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Passionario
Passionario
Posts: 777

2/7/2018
Is there anything we can do to help?

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Passionario: Profile, Story, Ending
Passion: Profile
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a Nice Friend
a Nice Friend
Posts: 127

2/7/2018
Oof, this news hurts.
Failbetter is a strange, unique and very special little studio and I really do wish you the best.

Hopefully the full release will make a much bigger splash. Sunless Sea was highly regarded by reviewers and I feel like Skies will be very attractive and enticing to newcomers.

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Definitely a nice friend - http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/a%20nice%20friend
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Aberrant Eremite
Aberrant Eremite
Posts: 331

2/7/2018
I just saw this in my email, and checked, and sure enough there was already a forum thread about it. I don't have much to say that everyone else hasn't said, except that I'm just as glad that they're retiring the app. Well, and that this will help me rationalize spending too much Fate at the Feast of the Rose.

--
Hieronymus Drake: Gentleman scholar, big-game hunter, scar-faced aristocrat. Remarkably sane, all things considered.
Tanith Wyrmwood: Longshanks cat-burglar; Bohemian author; now, perhaps, something more. Bubbly, expressive, and affectionate. It’s not only still waters that run deep.
Telemachia Lee: Gentle lady by birth, brawling Docker by choice. Good company in the drunk tank.
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Barse
Barse
Posts: 675

2/7/2018
I'd just like to add my voice to the many who are sad to hear that things have not been going quite as hoped! <3

Best wishes to everyone affected and all at FBG. Skies is going from strength to strength and Fallen London has been steadily improving for a long while now, and I'm pretty upset to see that all this work hasn't been rewarded as it deserves. We're a relatively small community, but a fierce one, so if ever there's anything we can do I hope you'll ask!

--
The Scorched Sailor, up for most social actions and RP. Not as scary as he looks.
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Nanako
Nanako
Posts: 535

2/7/2018
A crosspost, I like this forum better

A lot could be said about what went wrong, but it's not worth dwelling on, look to the future.

My advice for your next steps:

1. The Albion update is your second chance for a first impression. A big explosion of content. Use it wisely, make sure everything's polished and ready for primetime. Hold a private beta to work out bugs if that'd help, i'll be happy to volunteer

2. Once that's out, work on a more frequent update schedule. An ideal would be a small content update every week.
It doesn't need to be much, one random storylet about something random happening in the skies, a new random result added to floating crates, etc. Just a little improvement helps to cultivate the feeling that the world is constantly growing, it creates a hopeful tone.

The biggest effect of regular updates though, is that it keeps the game fresh in everyone's minds. Constantly popping up in feeds and the downloads page, it cultivates discussion

3. Don't be afraid of hotfixes. I did make a post about this in the past and you guys did it, great work. Keep that up. Do major content patches on a monday morning - not near the weekend , so you have people on hand to quickly fix any bugs that crop up. Keep things in a polished, presentable, advertiseable and streamable state.

4. Be more liberal with keys. It's a basic principle of viral marketing. Anyone playing your game is free advertising. Their friends see them playing it, they ask about it, they buy it. Giving out one free key can result in multiple secondary sales. Think of it as stimulus for a stagnant market.
At all costs, get people playing your game, and keep them playing. The sales will follow naturally

A bad start isn't the end of the world. With diligence you can turn this around

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Sunless Skies needs engine and speed control mechanics. Have a look at my design proposal for implementing it

http://community.failbettergames.com/topic25687-a-design-for-engines.aspx
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Absalom Agenbite
Absalom Agenbite
Posts: 13

2/7/2018
This motivated me to finally put down the money for Sunless Skies. I agree that its rollout was odd compared to how Sunless Sea was handled but, as your post noted, that's been (unfortunately) magnified by the changed nature of the game market right now. I'm sad to see Cash DeCuir was one of the people to go. He wrote some of my favorite Exceptional Stories.

I understand the need to keep the site fresh and up-to-date but that screenshot looks too clean and similar to nearly every other recent site overhaul on the web. I hope that in the push to streamline the HUD doesn't lose too much of its character and Fallen Londonish charm.

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Absalom Agenbite: The Melancholy Midnighter With The Alliterative Appellation. Available for Orphanages, Extraordinary Mind Patronage, and Enigma Hints, in-character or not.
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Ragnar Degenhand
Ragnar Degenhand
Posts: 129

2/8/2018
Very sorry to hear this, especially about the loss of team members. I love to think of you all somewhere not far from the Lost Thames, working away.

Some of the ideas mentioned by Nanako and Irym Ydell upthread sound good to me. Well, especially the one about vintage packs...

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http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/Ragnar%Degenhand
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Skinnyman
Skinnyman
Posts: 1490

2/8/2018
Sorry to hear about your difficulties, but I do hope everything will get back on track!

To be honest, Fallen London itself made me spend more money than any other video
game/franchise and I regret nothing!

Even if it'll be mechanically better for me, I intend to throw some Fate down the well (meh, live with my decisions!) and even visit the Surface and hopefully get a weird consort. Some may argue, but you deserve it!

Keep up the good work!

--
I am accepting Plant battles, Neath's Mysteries card, Starveling Cats and boxed cats.
No suppers, no second chances gain and no need to cure my menaces!
Achievement list if you're feeling bored!
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Mr Sables
Mr Sables
Posts: 597

2/8/2018
I am curious how it was picked which people would leave, but - regardless of the how/whys, as well as personal feeling - four people appear to have lost their jobs and that is a terrible loss for them. I wish them well and hope they don't suffer too much for the redundancies.

FBG has always been an amazing company; I do love how you listen to player feedback, while some of the EF I've played have been amazing and my favourites stories, and you've crafted a real and immersive world. Thank you to all your hard work. I hope the game continues to run for years to come.
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Harry P.
Harry P.
Posts: 100

2/8/2018
Very sorry to hear about the problems FBG has been having. It's especially saddening to hear about the loss of team members. I may not have played Fallen London for long, but I have always enjoyed playing it. No matter what happens, Fallen London has and will always be a source of joy and comfort for me. I hope that 2018 will bring better news to bear. I am grateful for all that FBG has done for its community and for the amazing games they continue to put out.

On a side note, while this may not be the most appropriate place to mention it, I want to mention that the redesign of the website makes me feel uncomfortable. I prefer our current 'parchment'y styled website a bit more. However, I will still continue to play Fallen London regardless of site design. It's just my opinion.

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Harry P.: http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/HarryP22h
A Magnanimous Gentleman Author with a tendency for melancholic monologues.
Elizabeth K. Broker: http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/Elizabeth%20K%20Broker
A Socially-Awkward Dueling Trickster with a thirst for vengeance and a soft spot for urchins.
If you are ever in need of any assistance, do not hesitate to ask either of them. The second one is still finicky, though.
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Emain Ablach
Emain Ablach
Posts: 316

2/8/2018
I am sorry to hear that. A friend of mine just told me about it because he knows that, even though I don't play Fallen London anymore (played every storylet available and got bored of waiting), I love your studio and your games.

I hope everything will settle, that these news will trigger a reaction from people (it did to me) and that you'll be able to launch your next projects as well as re-hire those four people you lost in the Storm (if all of you want to).

Best of luck, you are amazing !

--
Went NORTH. Got salted. Never came back. We won't remember him.

http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/Emain%20Ablach
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Yehochanan
Yehochanan
Posts: 17

2/8/2018
I am also very saddened by these news. Failbetter is probably my most favourite game developer and has positively influenced my life in many ways. I really hope that all of the staff that had to go already found some new place where they enjoy work or will find one soon.

I was also contemplating some ideas, of what could be done to improve the situation.

One thing that came to mind was this.
(I hope I got this lorewise right. Otherwise I will feel pretty silly.)
What if You made an update to Sunless Sea with some minor questline that would allow one to send a character through the gates and that would create some kind of safe file that Sunless Skies could read in and have some minor questline with that character. Maybe this would reach some of the players of Sunless Sea and encourage them to try out Sunless Skies.
(I seriously hope something like this has not yet been announced and I just missed it or I will feel even more silly wink )
I can however see, that this is rather unleikely, as it might bring a lot of design problems and a ___ ton of programming work, which might make it completetly unfeasible. Also I have no experience with marketing and don't know if something like that would work in any way.

Another thing is however what we as community can do.
I for one took this as a reason to actually write a steam review for once. An honest one. But a positive one, as I really enjoy Sunless Skies already in its current state. I don't know how much steam reviews actually do for sales, but I guess it can't hurt.
Maybe some visibility could be achieved if we as viewers of some streamers or let's players could recommend the games to be played.

Sorry for the rambling, but this post has really shaken me up somehow.
Here is to hoping for a better future. All shall be well and all manner of beings shall be well.

Btw. I really appreciate how open you are abput the problems. That is one of the reasons I have so much respect for you folks.

--
http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/Yochanan - a magnanimous seeker of knowledge, experiences and plasures.
Open to most social actions except loitering.
Happy to indulge in lethal sparring bouts, owns a majestic plant ready to weed out some competition.
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Bitty
Bitty
Posts: 220

2/8/2018
Sorry to hear about this, I may have only been playing for a short amount of time but these games have bought me so much joy

--
Main, Heathen(Nemesis)
Aten(Seeker)
Sook(Bag a Legend)


Open to all non-harmful social actions. Not into RP and will respond normally.
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Malcolm Harris
Malcolm Harris
Posts: 35

2/8/2018
Nanako wrote:

4. Be more liberal with keys. It's a basic principle of viral marketing. Anyone playing your game is free advertising. Their friends see them playing it, they ask about it, they buy it. Giving out one free key can result in multiple secondary sales. Think of it as stimulus for a stagnant market.
At all costs, get people playing your game, and keep them playing. The sales will follow naturally



I've thought for a while that YouTubers like NerdCubed giving these games a showcase would be a godsend. I think Failbetter is leaning a bit too hard on word of mouth.
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Hannah Flynn
Hannah Flynn
Administrator
Posts: 364

2/8/2018
I'll reply on the YouTuber and key thing because it's my job: being liberal with free keys has a different effect these days. We have already given 11,000 Steam keys to our backers, and none of the reviews from those players (our most dedicated) will count to our Steam review average. We will give keys to YouTubers when the game is almost ready to launch; having someone big cover it this early wouldn't help as much. We did this for Sunless Sea and secured some really huge YouTubers which made a big difference for us; we hope with some hard work from me and Haley that we'll get similar results this time. smile

--
Wields the news canon, aboard the hype train.
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