About this project
(We have been overwhelmed by the response - 200% funding in 48 hours ! Thank you all so much.)
We've posted information about stretch goals here.
First goal - the Town: Achieved! We will organise an online chat between backers and characters from The Silver Tree and Fallen London. Details will be released soon!
Second goal - the Courtyard: Achieved! Backers who have pledged $25 or more will receive access to the Sculptor’s Tale, an exclusive story in The Silver Tree!
Third goal - the Temple: Achieved! All backers will receive access to new exclusive areas in The Silver Tree and Fallen London. In The Silver Tree it will be the Place of Whispers, a secret market trading in impossible things. In Fallen London it will be the Temple Club, exclusive secret chambers in a ruined temple in the Forgotten Quarter.
The Silver Tree is a standalone prequel to our acclaimed browser role-playing game Fallen London. You do not need to have played Fallen London to enjoy it - The Silver Tree is a self-contained story with its own beginning, choices and endings. We believe in telling mature, powerful stories driven by the choices that you, the player, make.
It’s the 13th century, and the Mongol Empire covers half the world. Its capital is the city of Karakorum, at the heart of which stands the silver tree fountain - the envy of nations. But the incendiary relationships between the Khan, his ambitious daughter and a patriotic spy threaten to tear the city apart.
As an emissary to the Great Khan’s court, you will navigate a web of intrigue, love and betrayal. Choose your cause. Fight for what you believe. Spy. Investigate. Negotiate. Lie. Decide the fate of a city.
The Silver Tree will be designed and written by Yasmeen Khan - writer of many of Fallen London’s most beloved stories, including An Intimate of Devils and What the Thunder Said - and illustrated by Paul Arendt, our magnificent artist.
The Silver Tree is a non-linear RPG you can play in your web browser. It’s a modern take on classic text adventure games, using words and images to fuel the biggest special effects budget in the world: your imagination. We’ll build it using StoryNexus, our own platform for creating story-based games. StoryNexus is a souped-up, tricked-out version of the engine we used to build Fallen London and The Night Circus, both of which have won awards and received accolades for the quality of their writing. If this Kickstarter is successful, we would intend to release The Silver Tree in October 2012.
How do I play?
You have a deck of cards. Each card represents a chunk of story. The contents of your deck are determined by the choices you’ve made so far. Clicking on a deck fills your hand from it, showing the stories available to you. To give you an idea, here’s what Cabinet Noir, another game we’ve built on the same platform, looks like:
When you play a card from your hand, you’re presented with an event and the choices you can make in response. What you choose will shape your character, the world around you, and the direction of your story. Here’s how the story interface looks:
The Silver Tree will be a free-to-play game. While the core story can be played by everyone, additional stories can be purchased in-game, allowing you to delve into the world’s deepest secrets and interact with new characters who bring their own agendas and schemes to Karakorum. Our pledge rewards grant discounted access to these extra stories.
We like to tell sophisticated stories that stay with you— stories that unfold over time, that you can immerse yourself in. To support that, our games are played sporadically, in short, meaningful chunks. You have a pool of actions, and spend them to draw or play cards. You get an action back every 10 minutes or you can purchase action refreshes if you’d rather not wait. Our pledge rewards come bundled with heavily-discounted action refreshes to let you control the pace at which you play.
Failbetter make award-winning online games. We build strong worlds with real choices, not gimmicks. We make challenging, addictive stories which get into your dreams. The Night Circus and Fallen London showcase our storytelling skills. Give them a try or find out about our other projects here.
Our pledge rewards include access to purchasable stories and at a lower price than they’ll cost on release. They also include backer exclusive in-game items, pets and stories. Items and pets include a story card dedicated to them - so they’re not just for show! Fallen London content will include social actions allowing you to show off your special belongings to your friends!
Three high-quality, 10” by 8” prints of Paul Arendt’s concept art for the three key characters (aside from you!) in The Silver Tree: the Princess, the Khan and the Spy. You can see this concept art in our Kickstarter video. Paul will sign one of the three prints before we mail them to you, too!
The Opportunity deck consists of 40 high-quality, 400gsm, matte-finished cards with beautiful art from Paul Arendt and words inspired by settings, incidents, and characters from our games. Use them as inspiration! As a stylish prop! Build elaborate card-structures from them to amaze your friends! We can’t help you with the construction, but we can provide quality materials. Here’s a mock of the cards:
The Silver Tree Expansion Cards
Ten exclusive cards to supplement your Opportunity Deck with words and images drawn from The Silver Tree. Each expansion set includes a very special card signed by Yasmeen Khan - The Silver Tree’s lead designer and writer - and Paul Arendt, its artist.
If the Kickstarter is a success and we fund future projects this way, we hope to produce a new exclusive ten-card expansion as a reward for each game. So pledging on future projects would let you expand your deck!
Have you ever wanted to star in a game as the Rambunctious Librarian? Or the Silver-Tongued Writer? Or the Devilish Raconteur? Now’s your chance!
The Celebrated and Renowned Backer rewards allow you to appear as a character in either Fallen London or The Silver Tree. We’ll ask you for a brief description of yourself then send you three identities to choose from, tailored to the the description and the game. You tell us which is your favourite and we’ll write a story card featuring that character and their misadventures. This card will appear as a random encounter in the appropriate game, to be played by our tens of thousands of players!
Renowned backers will also send us a photograph of themselves, and once you’ve chosen your identity from the three we provide, our amazing artist, Paul, will create a character portrait inspired by the picture to appear on the card! See your face in Fallen London or lost Karakorum!
Hesperidean Cider may just be the secret to immortality, and it’s the most expensive item in Fallen London. Though it’s been in the game from the earliest days, no-one yet has a bottle.
This is the chance for one lucky soul to acquire a bottle of this miraculous drink. Your Fallen London character will acquire a bottle of Hesperidean cider. With it in your possession you need never fear Death again - waltz from the Boatman’s clutches and back to Fallen London in a single action! Are your friends suffering from wounds? Then invite them over for a tipple! See their injuries miraculously close!
Be the talk of the Fifth City. Be the first Hesperidean.
Our highest pledge levels allow us to write a unique story just for you. We’ll ask you to tell us what type of story you’d like (a romance, a mystery, an adventure?) and which aspect of the game you’d like it to explore (a tale of intrigue at the Khan’s palace? A tale of the Masters’ squabbles in Fallen London?). We’ll then go away and build it. Let our talented writers surprise and delight you!
The story will be about ten story-cards in length. You’ll be able to replay it as many times as you like, trying different approaches. Fallen London stories will include optional branches that let you involve your friends in certain sections, so they can catch glimpses of your exploits!
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