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For the discussion of our Sunless Skies, released January 2019.

Patch Notes - (31 Jan 2018) Messages in this topic - RSS

Posts: 247

Build Version: Exploration build.
Release Date: 31/01/2018

For bug reports and technical help, please see our Troubleshooting Guide.

What’s New


Spectacles have arrived! Some of these are existing assets that have been spruced up and had a Terror effect applied, others are new sights to discover. Some Spectacles will fill your crew with a sense of wonder and your Terror level will decrease whenever you’re basking in their beauty. The High Wilderness however is also filled with many horrors and a lot of Spectacles will increase your rate of Terror gain whenever you get too close.

Each wonder and horror spectacle has a charge which begins to dissipate and apply its Terror effect when you enter its immediate area. Once the charge has run out, your normal rate of Terror gain will resume. The time over which the Terror effect is applied varies from Spectacle to Spectacle, and while it eventually runs out they do recharge so plan your journeys carefully.


Our first batch of discoveries are in place. Scattered across the Reach you’ll find abandoned wrecks, homesteads, mineable sky-rocks and hives to mention just a few. Flotsam and jetsam litters the space between ports and you’ll be able to pick up a number of items from them on your travels. Some discoveries have accompanying storylets and while most will disappear after interaction or on leaving the segment, some are perpetual. Two permanent discoveries found in the Reach are Old Tom’s Well and Wreck of the Parzifal. Both have storylets though Old Tom’s Well also has a Spectacle-like terror effect when you approach it. You’ll understand why when you find it. Happy hunting!

Fog and Lighting

Fog has crept into the Reach helping to build the mood and sense of dread as you explore areas unknown. Unfortunately with this increase in atmosphere came a decrease in visibility, making it even harder to see what objects you could collide with.

To combat this we’ve introduced the long-awaited locomotive headlight. The headlight is purely to help with navigation, there are no mechanics (such as increased fuel consumption) applied to it and as such it cannot be turned off. This perpetual beam is there to help guide you through the Reach and see what you can and cannot crash into. Anything on the collidable level will stop the light passing over it, creating eerie shadows and beautiful scenes of dancing debris. Light will pass underneath bridges too making them much easier to distinguish.

Another benefit is the effect it has during combat. The headlight acts as a targeting reticle, helping you to see when your weapons are lined up and also when you are in your enemy's line of fire (for mechanical beasties as least).

New Docking System

There’s now an auto-docking system in place at all ports in the Reach. As your locomotive pulls into the entrance of a dock the docking system will take over and guide your ship into position, meaning fewer collisions and hull repairs! Turning and strafing will be disabled whilever you’re in dock too, helping you to maintain a shiney, damage-free engine.

More Terror Changes

Along with the new Survival HUD, November’s update saw the introduction of different rates of Terror gain. We reduced the ambient rate from approximately 1% per 7 seconds to 1% per 14 seconds and applied a Terror-free zone in and around ports. We also added a spooky camera effect that creeps in at the edges of the screen when your Terror rate doubles, owing to having less than half the amount of Crew that your locomotive can carry.

January’s update sees further additions to Terror in order to make it clearer when you are gaining or losing it. The Terror icon and bar is white when you are not gaining any Terror, but will pulse red when it starts to increase on leaving the safety of a port. If your rate of Terror gain increases (around Spectacles, when you have a low Crew count, or both), the pulsing quickens and you’ll see visible colour changes. When your Terror decreases however, the HUD will turn a soothing shade of blue. We’ve also added additional camera overlays to accompany these Terror effects. Now that there are more ways to increase and decrease Terror in game we’ve once again tweaked the ambient rate of Terror, this time to ~1% per 10 seconds.

New Officer HUD

We’ve implemented a new Officer HUD so you’ll be able to see who you have recruited at all times. It also incorporates your Profile avatar and the tooltip will display your name, level, experience and how many character points you have to spend (character points are gained each time you level up). Clicking on your avatar will open the character progression screen where you can spend your character points on new Facets.

Not all the functionality of the new Officer HUD is in place just yet however. You cannot yet click on the Officers to interact with them.

  • Sovereigns are now visible in the shop and Bazaar interfaces!
  • The Spatchcock’s cargo space has been raised to 12.
  • New items are available at New Winchester.
  • The Bank interface has been reworked so that it is one UI element.
  • New Title Screen, Terror and Death music.
  • All locomotives now have their own unique engine SFX.
  • Enemies now explode on death.

Bug Fixes
  • There is now a delay between the triggering of in-game messages around ports.
  • The camera overlay no longer persists after death.
  • The focus icon no longer overflows the storylet interface at Traitor's Wood.
  • Settlers can now be dropped off at Traitor’s Wood.
  • The Possessions, Officer and Profile interfaces now auto-update if they are open when you obtain new qualities, officers, port reports, affiliations or peculiarities.
  • When the Journal is open alongside a storylet it will now auto-update with quests when you start, advance or complete them.
  • The Hold now updates automatically if it is open when accepting and completing Prospects or when purchasing a Bargain.
  • Terror gain now stops correctly around all ports.
  • Interfaces now open and close correctly after other UI elements have overridden them.
  • Agents can no longer enter docks and then drop loot which cannot be collected.

edited by FailbetterFuzz on 1/31/2018
edited by FailbetterFuzz on 11/6/2018
edited by FailbetterFuzz on 9/19/2019
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Posts: 14

I love all the UX improvements in this build. I do want to say that it doesn't include my two most-wanted UX improvements, though:
- hotkeys for the buttons at the bottom (especially the chart, which I have to open a lot and it interrupts my flow)
- related to _why_ I'm opening the chart so much, I would love to be able to set a waypoint on the chart and then have it show up on the edge of the play screen to let me know where it was relative to me. As it is at the moment, I constantly need to open the chart to see where I need to go and it makes the game feel very stop/start at times.
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