Failbetter Games, the indie studio behind Fallen London , is bringing its own twist to the classic dungeon delve.
BELOW, which launches on Kickstarter today, is an RPG card game you can play in your web browser. It combines the old-school delights of exploration, looting and subterranean peril with Failbetter’s acclaimed prose storytelling techniques.
For inspiration, BELOW draws on those rich narrative sources that have inspired dungeons in gaming and role play; from the grim halls of Moria, to Beowulf’s grisly battle in Grendel’s lair, to Theseus daring the Minotaur in the Labyrinth at Knossos, to Ursula Le Guin's Tombs of Atuan.
BELOW will be playable from the earliest stages, and Kickstarter backers will have access to a “living beta”; a developing version of the game that will respond to their feedback.
“This is a slightly scary thing for us to do,” says Failbetter CEO Alexis Kennedy, “like changing the engine in a car while it's running, in front of an audience - but it's open, transparent and rapid.”
BELOW is Failbetter’s second Kickstarted game. The first, Tales of Fallen London: The Silver Tree achieved more than four times its funding target. The finished game and all Kickstarter pledges were delivered earlier this month.
Both games were built using Failbetter’s own StoryNexus technology - an open web platform that allows anyone to create their own storygames with no coding experience.
Check out BELOW here.
Notes for editors
Who are Failbetter Games?
Alexis Kennedy and Paul Arendt formed Failbetter Games in 2009 to create story-driven social games and explore interactive digital storytelling. Their first game, Fallen London, was named Browser Game of the Year by the Escapist. More recently, Failbetter created The Night Circus, a highly acclaimed online narrative based on the bestselling novel, for Random House publishing. They have also carried out narrative consultancy work for BioWare. The company is based in North Greenwich.
What is StoryNexus?
StoryNexus is an online platform for playing and creating texty games like Fallen London, The Night Circus and Cabinet Noir. StoryNexus allows anybody to write and edit interactive story games and earn money from their creations. It requires no downloads and no programming experience.