Dec 02, 2020

London is for lovers, Failbetter Games reveals first of two projects with Mask of the Rose

From Press Release:

Failbetter Games are developing two new games, and today are announcing the first one: Mask of the Rose, a romantic visual novel set in the Fallen London universe.

Mask of the Rose follows the lodgers in a boarding house a few months after Victorian London has been transported underground. There’s no sunlight. Not all of your new neighbours are human. Parliament is underwater, and the mysterious Masters of the Bazaar are now in charge,” said Creative Director Emily Short.

“The story is about how you all adjust to a world that works differently from everything you’re used to – and the friendships and romances you form while there.”

The art of Mask of the Rose draws on Film Noir, Victorian photography and Blitz-era Britain.

Mask of the Rose is ‘Visual Novel meets The Neath’; an evolution of the Fallen London universe’s painterly art style, keeping the atmosphere of the original but deepening immersion with detailed characters and environments, background animations and new visual effects,” said Art Director Paul Arendt.

Mask of the Rose is a prequel to all of the other games set in the Fallen London universe, which include browser game Fallen London and literary RPGs Sunless Sea and Sunless Skies. In 11 years, Fallen London has grown from a handful of stories to a 2.5-million word epic with tens of thousands of monthly players and more than a million registered accounts. It was perhaps the first commercial RPG to include a third gender option. In Sunless Sea, the player navigates an underground ocean. In Sunless Skies the player takes a locomotive to the skies, in an alternative possible future for the events in Fallen London and Sunless Sea.

“For fans, Mask of the Rose offers a glimpse of events that we’ve never shown before, immediately after London fell. Players will get to spend more up-close and personal time with a few well-known characters and play through a story that’s more centered on individual relationships,” said Short.

“We’re building a story that doesn’t require any prior knowledge of the setting, but still has secrets that may surprise veterans.”

Failbetter Games are launching a Kickstarter campaign for Mask of the Rose in February The game is planned for release in 2022.

Most details for the second game are still under wraps.

“We can’t tell you much about the other game yet, but we can say that its game mechanicsare very different from our past work, and that it takes place in a new setting,” said CEO Adam Myers.

The Fallen London Universe: Information of Interest

  • Fallen London, the original browser game, contains 2.5 million words. You could comfortably fit the following notably lengthy works of literature within it: The Brothers Karamazov, Gone with the Wind, The Lord of the Rings, War and Peace, A Suitable Boy, Middlemarch and East of Eden.
  • Written by 30+ writers, including current writing team Bruno Dias, Chris Gardiner, Emily Short, Olivia Wood (BAFTA Breakthrough BRIT 2017) and James Chew.
  • There are more than a thousand icons in Fallen London, mostly drawn by Paul Arendt, Art Director, and Tobias Cook, Senior Artist.
  • Fallen London players collectively hold ~5 million Romantic Notions.
  • There are 300 player-to-player marriages.
  • Potential Fallen London spouses include a Ghostly Presence, a Restless Clay Man and An Impenitent Devil.