“I will answer one question about the lore of any game I’ve worked on, including this one, as long as it’s not NDA-protected. The question must be asked on or before March 21st, 2021.”
Thirty-seven backers have pledged at this level or higher. Here are the guidelines I sent them this morning:
“GIFTS. If you want to pass your question on to someone else, feel free! I’ll need a mail from your original backer address to confirm.
DOMAINS. I can talk about Fallen London, Sunless Sea, Cultist Simulator, Noon, the Horizon Signal DLC, and some very limited snippets about Zubmariner and Sunless Skies (see below). I can talk about Dragon Age, but only to clarify my understanding of information already in the public domain, or about The Last Court. I can talk about minor or cancelled or hypothetical other projects, like Black Crown (though I didn’t write it) or Dandelion (which almost no-one knows about), or even Sunlight and Shadow, if you really want. 🙂
ERAS. I can’t speak to anything that came out of Failbetter after June 2016, when I left. I wrote the original outline and port list for Zubmariner, so I can talk about that, but none of the actual content. I wrote a brief pitch for what became Sunless Skies back in 2015, so I guess I could talk about that original pitch, but the folks have taken it in several different directions, and I have no information about the current state of the game. Remember that things change in fictional worlds, and Failbetter will have clarified or amended or improved on my original intentions in Fallen London in some places.
THE MANNER OF ASKING. This has to be a straightforward question, not an essay or a FOI query. I can answer a question like ‘Why did the Bazaar choose this spot to set up shop?’ or ‘How many Gods-from-Nowhere are there?’ I can’t answer a question like ‘What is the Bazaar’s nature, purpose, origin and agenda?’ or ‘What are the names of all the Hours?’ If you find yourself phrasing the question as if you were trying to outwit a wish-granting demon, you’ll probably want to narrow it down.
REASSURANCES. If the question’s one I can’t answer (because of NDA, or phrasing, or because I don’t know, or because it was years ago and I don’t actually remember) I’ll ping it back to you to come up with one I can answer. In the extreme and unlikely event we can’t agree after seven attempts, I’ll offer a refund. Once I’ve answered, the answer is final.
ORACLES. There’s a wiki page here where people are suggesting questions, and backers talking about questions they might ask themselves. All Prophets should feel free to browse or ignore this page. I’ll publish this info on the subreddit, too, in case anyone wants to discuss there. Again, feel free to browse or ignore.
TRANSPARENCY. I’ll check whether you’d like your answer public. If you say yes, I’ll put it on my site here. In rare cases I might request you to keep your answer private, for the sake of mystery in the world. This is ultimately up to you, though.
SEASONS. There’s no hurry! Questions must be asked before March 21st, 2021. I may take up to a month to answer a question (though I would usually expect to answer much more quickly).
SEASONING. This is fiction and poetry and fun nerd stuff, not an encyclopaedia. Questions about Salt, for instance, will necessarily have more allusive answers than some other questions. But I won’t be needlessly obscure.”