Sunless Sea - Kickstarted! From the creators of Fallen London


I…havent found it yet?


I haven’t played much and I’ve liked what I’ve played so far but it’s stuff like this that kills me. What does the game mean by “close to home waters”? I don’t think people’s hands need to be held but if you are going to use off hand directions like “close” and “far” with a random map generator than an internal sense of familiarity needs to be developed that I find lacking in Sunless Sea. There are a number of times a location needs to be visited to complete a quest but I have no idea if the location is in a port that I need to visit (or have already visited) or if it’s part of the larger world map. It just seems like the developers have a very finely tuned internal sense of their world but that they struggle to convey that to new entrants.

I love the world building and atmosphere of the game so the initial vagueness that is presented to the player isn’t going to stop my enjoyment.


There’s probably a dozen places that are always located in the same place every game. Like the Tomb Colonies (Venderbight) are always just north of London. The Cumaean Canal Zone is always just South of London. Hunter Island and Mutton Island the home of Rubbery Lumps are both always in the same location. I think the other fixed locations are Wither, Codex and the Iron Republic. There might be more fixed locations in the south. For some reason I always go north first, so although I’ve probably played a dozen times over the various betas, I know the northern seas much better than the southern ones – maybe it’s because when I first started playing south of London wasn’t completed yet.

A lot of other locations always show up roughly in the same area. For example there are some places that are always going to show up along the northern map border due to story reasons (they’re supposed to be found in the cold northern latitudes). There’s no telling where they are along that border, but they’ll be up there somewhere.


You can generously interpret the ship navigation as a parodic metaphor for the ultimate emptiness of freemium gaming. It’s just another deliciously ironic self-loathing anti-game that will help us expiate our sins as ex-gamers!

I am not that down on it though. Sometimes it works. When you’re low on whatever resource and cutting along through the darkness trying to dodge baddies it can get cool. When you’re pushing along the southern coast for the first time excited for what you’ll find and vaguely worried that you’ll go too far and not make it back, it’s perfect. The valence with Jules Verne/Jack London/Arthur Conan Doyle/Herman Melville is there. But I agree with all of phero’s points. Once you really dig in, the flawed mechanics just kill the magic.


I’ve found “close by London” to be not particularly close. I think it might be within 1/3rd of the overall width of the map.


They just did an update. They seem to be listening. The price of the corvette just dropped to 3000 echoes (it used to be 5000). 3000 echoes does sound fairly doable. I’m sitting on 900 echoes right now, although I was hoping to do use it to buy a townhouse and then setup a will.

It would be nicer to have a better ship though. My voyages to the far corners of the sea have gotten quite tense, since the beasties the further out you get are quite dangerous for the starting Tramp Steamer. I also figured if I had a better ship with both guns and maybe harpoons, I could take out the beasties for supplies, which would make the food situation better, right now I’m only comfortable taking on bats and the small crabs for food, and they’re only found close to London.


11 of the 36 quadrants are in fixed locations - the left hand column and the bottom row.


What does the game mean by “close to home waters”?

Um, near your starting location, ie London? What else would it mean?

There are a number of times a location needs to be visited to complete a quest but I have no idea if the location is in a port that I need to visit (or have already visited) or if it’s part of the larger world map.

I don’t quite understand what you’re getting at here. If you need to visit a location, it’s a port (it may be referenced by the island name or the town). You can tell if you’ve already visited it because it will be visible on the chart. The one confusing one I can think of is the Shepherd’s Wash referenced above, but it didn’t exactly take much lateral thinking to try the Shepherds Isles.


That’s my favorite part too. Although the stories are a bit too Alice in Wonderland for me. Whereas I would have preferred more of a Verne/London/Conan Doyle/Lovecraft feel.


For example, in one quest it references having to go to a particular university but is that the university in London or is that a university at another port that I haven’t found? Now there may only be one university, but I’m new to this world and have no idea how much of stuff there is nor have I memorized the proper names of locations to easily recall what the game is referencing. If there are multiple universities wouldn’t it just show that I’ve been to the port the university is in and not necessarily visited that particular part of the port?


OK. I’m going to assume you have an item you’re supposed to turn in to the Alarming Scholar at The University, because a) as far as I know that’s the only university in the game, b) it’s called The University, and c) it’s a basic mechanic of the game that you encounter fairly early on. If not, go to 6.

  1. Like I say, this is a basic mechanic of the game. You do it over and over again every single incarnation.

  2. The University is in London. The place you start in and end up in, on every single journey. You literally cannot miss it, because you’ll die if you don’t go back to London.

  3. It’s called The University. You have a quest to go to The University. Where do you think you should go?

  4. In London, there’s an action called “Visit the University”. It’s not exactly obscure.

  5. You have journal, it tells you your standing with the Alarming Scholar, the guy you’re supposed to turn the thing into. You’ve clearly been there before, because it tell you so. It also tells you to turn in your object at the University. You know, the one in your home town called the University.

  6. If this isn’t actually the University in question, you’ll find out when you try to turn it in, so just explore until you find it. It’s a game about exploration.

I mean, I get that not all of the game is as obvious as it might be, but this is a location that’s in your home port labelled as literally as it could be. I honestly don’t understand how this could be confusing.


I may try editing the config file as mentioned earlier in the thread to reduce the usage of fuel and supplies. I love the setting and the writing, but as-is, the frustration level is just a little too high for me.


Warning, there is a vent ahead:

I was enjoying this game and doing really well with my third captain until my computer crashed in-game, and now it says that my save file is corrupted. It can’t load the game, I can’t find a prior game state to load or backup save anywhere (seriously, no backup save?). What kind of merciless dev would create a rogue-like autosave system and then only have one file, with no backups, that is prone to corruption. I won’t just lose this captain’s run, but the first two captain’s stuff too.

Makes me want to stop playing, honestly.


Yikes - thanks for the heads up. Sounds like a game that we need to do an “archive” with in order to avoid that mess.


The salt lions is the early answer. First priority is to find the salt lions and make as many runs as you can. Gets your captain on his feet financially. When that goes dry, explore the western coast.

Then you can take some risks and do some exploring for the bruiser, the admiralty or the gadfly, but you have some officers, a better weapon and a financial cushion to ease your mistakes.

Sometimes the bruiser means do this mission right now and sometimes he means do it when you get around to it. Anybody know how to tell the difference?


I kind of just wish the FailBetter writer(s) would publish a collection of short stories so I can enjoy their fantastic writing and worldbuilding without having to waste time grinding in a game tied to my PC.



Does anyone know what affects fuel consumption? Can you conserve fuel by going half speed? How about the light? Obviously I’m guessing different engines.


You can also hire Engineers that reduce fuel consumption by a set amount, e.g. 10%. I don’t think half speed reduces fuel usage, you still end up using the same amount to go the same distance, it just takes longer.


From videos I’ve watched the light does increase fuel usage so turning it off whenever you won’t accumulate stress from doing so is a good idea.


Can you conserve fuel by going half speed?

I think, though I may well be wrong, that normal speed doesn’t affect fuel consumption, but the boost does. Half speed obviously uses more supplies (though I guess you can mitigate this to a certain extent with bats/crabs)