We're huge fans of Failbetter Games. Their flagship title, Fallen London, ate the better part of a year. Then they did the game tie-in to the Kitschies-nominated Night Circus. PLUS, Alexis Kennedy, the company's Chief Narrative Officer (best title ever?) was one of our first - and still finest - interviews. Also, he's in Smoke. Basically, if we loved them any more, there'd be a restraining order.
Their latest scheme has been the creation of StoryNexus - a proprietary text-game creation platform that allows mad people like us to create complex, interactive, narrative worlds without any coding experience. StoryNexus is still in beta testing, but as of today, we can start playing new games on the platform.
Or, as the case may be, game. Set in the back alleys and private salons of 17th-century Paris, Cabinet Noir puts the player in the boots of an agent in Cardinal Richelieu’s secret intelligence service. We're a sucker for musketeer stories (tips floppy hat to Pierre Pevel), and this promises to take a very different, less Disney-fied approach to the backstabbery and skulduggery of the period.
“You will almost certainly end up doing some unsavoury things. But that’s the point," says writer Nigel Evans. "Cabinet Noir asks how far you’re prepared to go to advance an agenda that might not be your own.” Excellent...
Like the other Failbetter games, Cabinet Noir is free-to-play and runs in a browser. You don’t even need a social media account to play. Go buckle your swash and do nasty things.