See what those now-familiar islands looked like as low-poly placeholders.

In October 2017 Michael Barclay, from Naughty Dog, started the Twitter hashtag #Blocktober with the goal of showcasing the rarely seen stages of game development where rough versions of objects and mechanics are put into action, giving devs an idea of how those systems play together.

Luckily for Sea of Thieves watchers, Design Director, Mike (Chappers) Chapman, joined in the festivities by sharing some screenshots and information from early in the development of the game. Read on to sea Snake Island like you’ve never seen it before!

Mike Chapman:

Time to get involved with ! Here’s one the first islands that we designed for that later became the basis for Thieves Haven and Crook’s Hollow. Our process started with a high level ‘story’ about the island, followed by a block out and playtesting

We used this first island as a proving ground for what would make an interesting space to explore but also serve as a stage for different kinds of gameplay. Ultimately, we decided that more focused, less sprawling designs were right for the game.

Following this, we set our sights on designing the first ten islands that would serve as a guide for future island design. Each of these islands had their own ‘story’ related to the kinds of player scenarios we wanted to see.

You can see more from the early development of Sea of Thieves in the credits for the game. And the Behind The Scenes videos shared by Rare often show blocking of new features.


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