Like Pentonville after economic cut-backs, there's more than a couple of screws loose here.
Prison Break? Yeah, the first series was good, but after that… oh. Oh, crap.
There’s a political side to Prison Architect, the greatest misery simulator since Cyan released Riven: The Sequel To Myst. It’s hard not to see it. The human suffering. The waste of potential. A stain upon humanity itself. And Prison Architect can be quite bleak too. But what if we avoided the heavily right-wing leanings of its characters – though not so much its actual designers, I should note – and tried a softer approach to rehabilitation?
Welcome to Liberal Acres. Liberace for short. (No relation)
The Pirate-Poet, the Merciless Modiste, and a return to one of the Neath's strangest islands...
It’s all about the Art, as the serial killer said to their victim.
What’s that splashing sound? That’s a great big dollup of new content being added to Sunless Sea. Hurray! It’s written by me! Sorry! But hopefully you’ll enjoy it anyway! (I don’t think there are any puns!)
In order of my typing then. First up – the rodents of Pigmote Isle need your help again. This one builds on Amal’s awesome rodent war by letting you return and help the rats and cavies decide what to do next. You’re the Hairless Adviser, leading them through their tricky foundations and trying to get them ready for the rest of the zee to notice them… or alternatively to abuse their trust for your own purposes. Mwah, ha, and indeed, ha.
Then, it’s time to play with two more characters. Backers who supported the game at Corsair level and above can match their strength with the legendary Pirate-Poet, roaming the zee with her powerful Alcaeus ship. She was originally promised as a straight enemy, but I wanted to experiment with something a little different. I’ve always liked the idea of the worthy opponent in fiction, and the idea of friendship behind fighting. Sunless Sea doesn’t have much scope for that in the naval battles though because you just tend to be against ‘pirates’ or ‘Unfinished Men’ and so on. Having a specific character as an enemy allowed me to experiment with a relationship forged through battles… though as ever, it’s your choice what form it takes.
And finally – she’s here. After getting bored of her latest exile/cruise, the Merciless Modiste has turned her eyes to the zee in search of a new captain worthy of her scandalous fashions and murderous hobbies. She’s one of our ‘backer’ characters, along with the likes of the Sigil-Ridden Navigator and Maybe’s Daughter, though based on an existing character rather than a person. She was a fun one to write – a cheery sociopath completely commited to art, and the philosophy that while great art demands great suffering, its obligation does not necessarily have to fall upon the artiste. Anyone can recruit her, though to finish her story, you do need the Pirate-Poet DLC. Let’s just say, their pasts and your future are connected, for better or worse.
(The DLC is currently backer-only, but will be available to all at some point)
Alternative name: One Must Fall (It'll Probably Be You)
Hmm. Do I spot just a little GLaDOS in Chel’s design?
Briefly, I knew the fantasy of being good at fighting games. It came from owning Street Fighter II on the SNES and none of my friends owning Street Fighter II on the SNES. It worked out pretty well. While they stumbled around and mashed buttons, I expertly broke through their defences and controlled their zones and sometimes even managed to pull off a fireball, like, five times in a row! They were glorious days. Oh, the excitement when one of the console mags covermounted a little piece of plastic that you could put on the d-pad and actually have a chance of pulling off Zangief’s spinning piledriver. Those halcyon days before games like Mortal Kombat decided that instead of simple codes like quarter-circle-punch, fighting was best done by memorising codes like some palette-swapped Bletchley Park researcher. Why were some of them in bikinis? Dunno. History is weird.
But the golden age couldn’t last. Now, looking at something like Street Fighter IV, I’m immediately turned off by things like super this and hyper wotsits (named because they’re very, very cheesy indeed) and I just don’t think my brain has space for so many moves and plays right now. Enter Rising Thunder, which wants to make things easy, without making them… how to put this tactfully? Ah, yes. Shit. The alpha just opened up to everyone, so I thought I’d take a quick look and see if my hard-earned button mashing skills would finally be recognised.