I’ve seen a lot of reviewers describe FL as steampunk, even though I distinctly remember reading a blog post in which the game was stated NOT to be steampunk, but gothic, instead. There are definitely some steampunk elements, though- the zubmarines come to mind, not to mention how widespread dirigibles and even possibly space travel seem to be.
What are your thoughts on the steampunk genre as a whole and whether or not Fallen London’s world fits into it? Are there any steampunk works that remind you of FL or do something interesting with the stereotypes of the genre?? And why is everyone so interested in the Victorians anyway???
My ranting about steampunk could fill a sousaphone, but, to sum up… steampunk uses the forms and fittings of history to make a point about the place of technology in contemporary society. Fallen London has the historical setting, yes, but its social commentary is A: not the primary concern of its narrative, and B: generally focussed elsewhere than the social ramifications of technology.
(Although I will grant that the Neath is one place where the popular fashion of wearing goggles over one’s hat is entirely justified - it would be a damn shame for one’s hat to have its eyes damaged!)
A) I love Steampunk. It is always fun to read.
B) Fallen London is not Steampunk, nor has it ever pretended to be so. People probably just call it that because they do not know how to classify it properly.
Yeah, people are pretty quick to call steampunk on anything Victorian. Or alternate-history. I feel like the genre and the aesthetic are starting to mean different things- the genre’s about, as Sir Frederick said, the social ramifications of technology, and the aesthetic’s a bunch of Victorians with guns.
I do demand that every article of clothing on this page be added to FL as equippable gear. Especially that miniskirt.
I’m not a big steampunk fan myself (although it can be a fun read now and then). It’s far too much a case of form over function for me (yes, goggles on hats!) I’ve never really thought of FL as being steampunk, but I guess I can see how some people might classify it that way if they’d not really immersed themselves in it.
I would say that Fallen London is definitely not Steampunk. It has some traditionally steampunk elements (The Zubmarines, some of the gear, ect.) but not enough to put it in the steampunk genre.
I’m a big steampunk fan, but I’m a fan of nearly every genre.
I would say it has some minor elements if you look hard enough, but steampunk is not part of the core Fallen London identity.
I agree with the majority here, that "steampunk" is not an adequate description of Fallen London. It’s a convenient shorthand for the unfamiliar, since both can be boiled down to "alternate history Victorian London." But while Fallen London, Dishonored and (ugh) even The Order: 1886 can be summed up as "steampunk," there’s a few things that make the best universes unique from others. What I love about the Neath is that it’s a cross-section of that age: Society ladies in lace and urchins covered in soot, Romantic poetry and early science fiction, with a dash of Lovecraftian cosmic horror.
Not to toot my own horn, but I once described Fallen London to a friend as "like Fallout, but Victorian London instead of Space Age America." Both universes use dark humor to explore the possible outcome of disastrous events occurring in the midst of iconic eras of world history. Even though the gameplay of both series are wildly different, I’m fairly certain most Fallout fans would enjoy Fallen London.
Thanks for the nice discussion, all! The last thread I was part of (Sixth City, in the Salons) ended with a lot of bickering, so I’m glad to see some mutual respect.