Of Cartographical Import: Map Beta 2020

[color=#0066ff]In celebration of its 10th birthday, Fallen London is receiving a significant update in the form of a new map of the city! [/color]
[color=#0066ff]We’re looking for keen-eyed volunteers for our upcoming map beta, beginning on Monday 3rd February. [/color]
[color=#0066ff]Paul, Toby, Séamus, Henry and our producer Stuart have all been working extremely hard to give Fallen London a captivating new look and improved functionality, and our writers (Chris, James and Olivia) have been painstakingly knitting together stories with map locations.[/color]
[color=#0066ff]We need feedback about:[/color]

  • [color=#0066ff]Any technical difficulties with the map (loading, manoeuvring, bugs that stop it from functioning)[/color][/li][li][color=#0066ff]Any incongruence with stories - places not appearing where you’d expect, etc[/color][/li][li][color=#0066ff]Your thoughts about the look and feel of the map[/color][/li][li][color=#0066ff]Your overall thoughts about the experience of using the map[/color]

[color=rgb(0, 102, 255)]We’re looking for around 100 people to take part in the beta who use a variety of browsers and operating systems. We are particularly interested to hear from players who use a screen reader to access Fallen London, so if you know anyone who meets that description, please pass this on to them!

[color=#0066ff]We expect to add people to the beta in two or three batches in the coming fortnight, and to close it on 21st February. It’s quite possible that not everyone who applies will be able to take part, but we thank you all in advance for your enthusiasm![/color]
[color=#0066ff]How to register[/color]
[color=#0066ff]1. Create a new account [/color]
[color=#0066ff]The ideal way to experience the new map is with a new character, and we’re particularly keen for expert players to look at the early game map. The beta is taking place in the staging version of Fallen London, so you can play around freely. [/color]
[color=#0066ff]2. Apply via our form, giving the details of the account you’d like to test with.[/color]
[color=#0066ff]3. Await instructions on 3rd Feb! [/color]

I don’t think I will be signing up for the beta, but this looks magnificent delicious friend (is that st dunstiens next to the carnival?)
edited by the old man on 1/27/2020

In case people missed it, another portion of the new map was also previously teased on Twitter.

New sidebar snippets were also discovered following this Twitter teaser.
edited by silurica on 1/28/2020

[color=#0066ff]Invites have been sent out to the first 50 people who applied to the beta! We can’t wait to hear what you think.[/color]

Username: Den Blackwell
Browser: Google Chrome
Device: Computer and Android phone
Time / Time Zone: February 3, 2020, 9:45 AM PST

Feedback: There seems to be an issue with lag, as it takes a significant amount of time to log in with an account and to travel across the map when compared with the current version.

It also appears that in order to travel, you need to zoom in on the map and press on the place you want to go. A variety of places are now considered separate from each other: places like the Singing Mandrake, the Empress’s Court, Moloch Street, the Clay Quarters, and so on can now be traveled directly from the map. Curiously enough, I even see an option for routes such as Flute Street and the Temple Club in the mix.

In addition, it appears that all of the Lodgings options have been split into three different icons / sections at the bottom of the map: &quotYour Social Engagements&quot, &quotYour Activities&quot, and &quotLodgings.&quot I understand enough that the social engagements are explicitly for social actions for other players, but I am not sure what the activities and lodging sections are for. An interesting choice, to be sure.

I think it will take some time for older players to adjust to this format, but it is really fun to see all of the different areas of Fallen London in a new light. Keep up the good work!

does this mean I get to stop paying action tax to enter their that always bugged me and I don’t know why
edited by the old man on 2/3/2020

does this mean I get to stop paying action tax to enter their that always bugged me and I don’t know why
edited by the old man on 2/3/2020[/quote]

After checking, it seems that you still need an action - at least for the beta - to access the Empress’s Court, despite it being listed as a separate area on the map. It’s possible that with after the beta is finished, the need to spend an action may be removed.

I sent you an email last night, but compared to the posts on the forum, the email cannot be modified and added some new ideas, so I decided to post the same content here and add some new ideas.

Email address: 2879662356@qq.com
system: win10
My time zone: East Eighth
Time when writing this text: 1:09

I have to say that this is really an amazing new map, wow. This map is not only beautiful, it also feels novel in some details.
So let’s talk about some of my feelings,

Have these problems so far
These issues were discovered using &quotChrome 75.0.3770.142&quot

  1. When I use the &quotwin + ←&quot shortcut to shrink the new map webpage window that is displaying fallenlondon, the image on the map does not display properly, only the text and some things that may be shadow layers are displayed.
    I tried to resize the page back to its original full screen size, but the map still doesn’t display correctly.
    When I refresh the page, the map is displayed again
    I hope: After I zoom the webpage, I can continue to enjoy the map without refreshing the webpage

  2. The loading speed of the new map on the old device may not be good (presumably), I use a surfacepro3 with i7cup. Of course, it may also be due to network reasons, because I live in China and use the VPN service when visiting Fallenlondon.

I hope: maybe we should keep a button for switching between old and new maps, and provide it to users who have less than ideal network speed or computer equipment.

Some thoughts on the map (not important):
At first glance, Watchmaker’s Hill is not reminiscent of a mountain. I was poisoned by Google’s automatic translator! Hahaha, Google used to tell me that there was a mountain there. So when I saw it on the map of the original scale, my reaction was:? ? ? ? ? Such a flat place, you tell me this is a mountain!
This may be limited by scale and artistic style.
But when I reduced the scale, I saw a hill
Generally speaking, there is no problem, after all, it is just a hill.

There is more to explore, but I am going to bed, and I look forward to my new discoveries tomorrow.

In addition, I made a mistake. The email address I left when I applied for the test qualification is the most commonly used one. I hope to send a letter to this address so that I can receive the information in time. This mailbox is also the address of my character kacher, so it is not a new character but my old friend entered the new London.

Some thoughts on the map today (not important)
I thought &quotWilmot’s End&quot had a lot of statues. From the text description, I even thought of a cemetery with many broken statues. One of the statues had an institution will open the road to &quot the foreign office &quot. But I only saw a small garden and a chic small building on the map.
Of course, it is possible that I misunderstood the text description. Anyway, I ask this question.
edited by chiche on 2/4/2020

There are an awful lot of trees for an underground city.

What is with all these trees ? Ôo Isn’t Fallen London supposed to have mushrooms instead ?

I’ll point you to these new sidebar snippets again…

I’ll point you to these new sidebar snippets again…[/quote]
I can’t speak for anyone else, but when I read those new snippets I was expecting only a few still-living trees in London. To have so many living trees everywhere on the new map feels like a bit of a retcon when:
a. Just about all mentions of trees in previous storylets made a point of mentioning that they were dead husks.
b. Mutton island had been stated as being unusual for having trees that were still alive.

I don’t personally see sidebar snippets of all things as being proper justification for what is essentially retconning. Fallen London is a game that lives and dies by its extensive, detailed, and unique setting. Would it be that much trouble to just change them to mushrooms?

Hardly a retcon - there have always been trees. And bushes, and flowers. Some of them surface varieties, noticeably struggling. Some of them Neathy plants - usually causing struggles for others.

What affect do the sub-areas have on location-specific Opportunity Cards? Like, if I’m at Moloch Street instead of Ladybones proper, can I still draw that one card that nets me a Great Game favor for trading brass?

  • Your username

Alexander Venn

  • What you had just done, in as much detail as possible

I moved from Spite to newly acquired Lodgings

  • What you expected to happen differently (unless it’s obvious, like ‘not see an error message’)

The other locations in the city display my character portrait to indicate my presence in the region. The Lodgings and Calendar locations are displaying a random portrait. It is always the same incorrect portrait.

  • Browser and browser version you were using (e.g. &quotChrome 79&quot)


  • Time and time zone

5:23 pm EST

  • Hardware (e.g. PC, Linux, OSX, iPad Air 2, Samsung Galaxy S10, etc)


  • Operating System (e.g. Windows 10, Ubuntu 14.02, Catalina 10.15, iOS 13, Android 6.0, etc)

Windows 10

  • Please include a screengrab if you can.

I’ve only been playing the beta for a few days now. The performance on my laptop is good but it could be better optimized for my smartphone, though the worst I’ve encountered on my phone is input lag, high latency, and the occasional page crash, problems I believe Failbetter is already aware of. I just want to record my impressions and experiences with this map. My thoughts and suggestions will be divided into good, neutral, and bad.

The Good (what I like).

  • I love the overall aesthetic and amount of detail in this map overall. These things really help me visualize Fallen London and increase my immersion into the setting[/li][li]I like that the Brass Embassy has a vaguely 1920’s style to it, especially since it is consistent with devils having that 1920’s style fashion and rifles[/li][li]It’s subtle, but I appreciate the way the lighting is handled on the map. The colors and luminosity feel just right for an underground city illuminated only by candles, gas lamps, and phosphorescent false stars roughly a kilometer above the &quotsurface.&quot

The Neutral (I can take it or leave it)

  • the entrance to Flute Street is in front of the Bazaar Side Streets instead of at the carnival. I personally don’t mind this but I can almost guarantee that other players will be annoyed at this retcon, and I certainly sympathize with that, as you’ll see in my list of what’s bad.[/li][li]The Flit’s depiction is really cool. However, while I understand the Flit’s &quotinfrastructure&quot was always more concentrated just slightly north of Spite, I’m pretty sure most of London’s rooftops are supposed to have at least some ropes and bridges on top of them, with the amount of &quotinfrastructure&quot increasing based on how impoverished and crime-ridden the buildings and streets below are. I don’t see it as necessary, but it would be a nice touch to see some ropes and bridges on parts of London’s rooftops outside the Flit proper. Again, though, this is something I can live without.

The Bad (and how I would fix it)

  • There are far too many living trees. When I first saw those new sidebar snippets about the trees and the Department of Parks and Game, I was expecting only a handful of living trees, maintained perhaps at the shuttered palace with great effort and difficulty. I was quite surprised to see so many green trees all over the city. This is rather incongruent with what I previously understood about Fallen London. Forgive me if I am misremembering, but I remember every mention of London’s flora, parks, and gardens stating that the photosynthetic plants were either already long dead since the fall, or just beginning to wilt because they had been imported from the surface recently. Whenever parks and gardens were described, they were described as having been planted with fungi and moss. I also remember Mutton Island being described as being unusual (in both Fallen London and Sunless Sea) for having trees that were somehow still alive.[/li][li]Some of the more prominent buildings are portrayed inaccurately.[/li][li]The university is depicted as being one large building. Not only is this inaccurate to its real life counterpart, it is also inconsistent with its depiction in the currently-used map. Benthic and Summerset college are both supposed to have their own separate halls and quads, with Benthic further north and Summerset down south closer to the river. (Side Note: I also noticed that the university, in its current state, bears a strange resemblance to Luna Nova Magical Academy from Little Witch Academia. This resemblance isn’t a criticism, I just found it interesting).[/li][li]The Royal Bethlehem Hotel has two issue. The first (and, in my view, less important) issue is that it is too tall, standing at roughly four or five stories whereas its real life counterpart, the Bethlem Royal Hospital, only has two or three floors. The more egregious issue is that the building lacks the cantilevered glass suites on its roof, the five-card tier lodgings that players can obtain.[/li][li]The Brass Embassy is an entirely fictional building, so there isn’t as much to criticize, but I do have some suggestions for changes to the building’s appearance. While we never got a fully detailed look at the building until now, we were given some silhouettes of the building, and these silhouettes have some details that are missing from the new map. Previous depictions of the Brass Embassy seem to include some exterior pipes and what appear to be protrusions that I can only assume are either gargoyles or features meant to serve the same function as gargoyles have. If I had to describe my mental picture of the Brass Embassy, it would best be described as &quotdemonic art-deco.&quot While the new Brass Embassy seems to have the art-deco aspect, the demonic angle needs to be emphasized more. A good visual inspiration for the Brass Embassy would be Tim Burton’s depiction of Gotham City, with more reds and oranges, of course.[/li][li]The Thames River has completely lost its iconic shape. This has an additional consequence of virtually erasing the Isle of Dogs. This problem, and perhaps a few others seems to be a mixture of two design decisions.[/li][li]Firstly, by looking closely at the river and how it only bends in 90 degree angles, one may realize that the map was clearly designed and assembled in a sort of grid. This alone is not a problem. Rather, it exacerbates the real, and perhaps biggest, problem with the new map.[/li][li]The map is far too small relative to its level of detail. As a quick disclaimer, I am not asking for a 1:1 scale map of London with this same level of detail, that would be unreasonable and I’m sure it would introduce a number of issues related to player experience and system requirements. Nonetheless, I believe that the new map can and should be larger.

Advantages to increasing the map’s size.

  • London would retain its iconic shape. Details like the Isle of Dogs would be more faithfully represented and the &quotgaminess&quot of the river’s 90 degree bends would be reduced.[/li][li]Certain landmarks could be included where there would otherwise be insufficient room for them. A few of many examples would include Winewound Heath, the Parthenaeum Club, Saint Nathanael’s Hospital, Blythenhale, the entrance to the Cave of the Nadir, Southwark Cathedral, All Christs’ Church, Old Newgate, the Palace of Westminster, the various lodgings outside of the four- and five-card ones, and many more.[/li][li]Currently represented locations could have more detail and size. For example, Prickfinger Wastes and Bugsby Marshes are absolutely tiny in this new map, my cul-de-sac feels bigger than these areas currently look. Wilmot’s End could also accommodate more of those various diplomatic gifts it’s supposed to have, and the Forgotten Quarter could have more than three buildings. The Shuttered Palace and the University could have an appropriate amount of distance between them (as opposed to being almost literally across the street from one another as they are now).

To summarize my feelings on the new map, I think it’s wonderful that Failbetter is making a more detailed map, but the map absolutely needs to be bigger in order to accommodate this increased level of detail. This new map has tremendous potential and I would be delighted to see it fully realized.
edited by SGTLemon on 2/12/2020

[color=#0066ff]We’ve been finessing the new map for Fallen London, and can now announce that it’ll arrive on Wednesday the 4th of March! [/color]
[color=#0066ff]Fallen London will be down from 1000 to 1200 GMT on the 4th while we make the change.[/color]
[color=#0066ff]Thanks to the fearless cartographers who took part in the beta![/color]

Tomorrow’s the big day!

And can we be sure that the Masters won’t be moving things around during the downtime?