Has anyone else been told there's no support?

I have an issue with Sunless Sea not running on my backup laptop (my good laptop has been in the shop for months).

I reported an issue with the game and sent the error log. There was some to-ing and fro-ing over the exact formatting of the log but it was eventually straightened out. Then the person who responded to my issue told me he wouldn’t troubleshoot my problem and suggested I pester the community for help. After even more back-and-forth, I was referred to someone else who told me that there’s no one-on-one support at Failbetter.

I find it baffling that a software company wouldn’t address any individual support issues at all, no matter how small the team is.

I have a handful of games that were developed by one person, and when I reported issues that single dev was able to provide me with some minimal assistance. Has anyone else been told by staff that Failbetter doesn’t do any troubleshooting for the game?

I’ve never heard of something like this before, FB’s support is usually exceptional.

Would you mind telling us what exactly the issue with your game is?

Even more importantly, what reason did they state for not helping you with it?
edited by phryne on 7/7/2017

I get a black screen on launch.

The reason given for not supporting it is that they’re a small company and can’t take staff off other areas to provide one-on-one troubleshooting.

Are you launching with Steam or Gog or something else? Have you opened the installation package and completed the process? What OS is your backup laptop running? And have you tried turning it on and off again? (just joking with that last one; the first three were serious, though)

Anyway, while I can’t speak for Failbetter, I’d think this is to keep the floodgates shut. On the one hand, they’re developing Sunless Skies, mainly using funds from Kickstarter, and so it’s best to remain efficient. There’s a lot they have to get done, and any time they’re devoting to answering individual support questions is time not spent improving the game. Likewise, there’s Fallen London, which requires continual updates over the year for the festivals. They’ve also promised specific content updates by the end of summer and more by the end of the year, along with the need to develop and write Exceptional Stories by the end of each month. Suffice to say, they have a lot on their plates, and I think they want to minimize the risk of spending a lot of time on individual support.

Back in the day, they said their priorities were Safety, Fun, and Profit, in that order. If you were to help one person with individual support, what justification can you give for not helping another? You can’t predict how many people at any given time will ask for individual support, and so by redirecting you to the forums, where there’s an experienced and (usually) polite user base, they’re staying on the safe side.

With the election introducing so many new things all at once, and Sunless Skies in closed alpha, some rearrangement of Failbetter’s technical support team would make sense. Strange that they’d not be more upfront about it.

Regardless, on to your problem in particular. Try removing all of the save files from the game directory, storing them elsewhere if you want to keep any of them, and launching the game without any extant save files. If it loads up, then there’s something wrong with one of the save files. Put the save files back into the game directory one at a time to isolate the faulty save, and then delete the thing. If your game doesn’t load up without any saves, then it’s something in the other game files, so deleting and reinstalling the game could do the trick.