Writing a video game is nothing like penning a novel. But writing a never-ending, nonlinear, text-driven video game about a hellish alternate London stuffed with gothic intrigue and nearly a decade of backstory? That's a different beast altogether.
"Novels follow protagonists, but in Fallen London, the protagonist is the player, and they're a mystery to us," Failbetter Games narrative director Chris Gardiner says. "While we know some things about them -- mostly the decisions they've made in the game -- there's still a lot we can't assume. Novels have a plot; there's no spinal plot to Fallen London, no single story we're telling and will finish. We're exploring a setting, establishing its status quo, then letting the player kick bits of it over. Novels are complete, while Fallen London is a living game. We add new stories and events to it constantly."
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Welcome to the weekend. If you have an extra day off, then that may provide time to catch up on our new Tomorrow section, plus the latest Google Search feature and Apple's plan for AI.
When Nintendo announced Splatoon for the Wii U, gamers weren't quite sure what to make of it. The idea of a competitive shooter from Nintendo was so bizarre, it was kind of hard to assess from a distance -- so the company invited players to try the game early with a free, limited time multiplayer demo. This weekend, Nintendo is doing the same thing with Arms: serving up the game's telescoping pugilism in a free "Global Testpunch" demo over six one hour chunks. Don't have a Switch? You can join us on Facebook for the first session today at 5pm PT (8pm ET).