In the midst of his ongoing series of tweets covering the development of Sea of Thieves (full roundup here), Rare designer Gregg Mayles also starting a top ten list of sh*t ideas the team came up with that ultimately didn’t make it to the game.
Sometimes you have to fully test an idea in context to get a real handle on how good/fun/worthwhile it is – so don’t view these too harshly. Hindsight is 20/20, after all.
1. Magic Monkey’s Wonder Window
Some ideas we tried were hilariously bad. Setting sail with #1 is ‘Magic Monkey’s Wonder Window’, which allowed players to retrieve items when they were temporary. Prototyped as a chest, never got to the monkey.
2. The Poking Stick
Primarily used to push beached ships back in the water, but also capable of dishing out black eyes that impaired vision, much to @residentveg’s delight. Here’s @ChrisMarlow666 with a slightly overpowered version.
3. Time-based Progression
We trialled a time-based progression system, with an aim of giving players complete freedom to do anything they wanted as a pirate. Or doing nothing as it turned out. Just imagine what it would have been like!
4. The Repair Hammer
Before repairs were logically done with wood, they were illogically carried out by hitting things with a hammer. Here’s an early version that upset the ship’s physics slightly.
We tried a ‘tiredness’ bar alongside your health, which depleted as you stayed awake. The only way to fight fatigue was to go to sleep. “Has everyone had a nap before we go onto this island?” didn’t feel very pirate-like.
6. Shop Opening Hours
Shops once had opening and closing times, with an aim of creating realism and excitement around timing your visit right. What actually happened was a lot of swearing when you saw the shop shut just as you arrived at the outpost.
When items were temporary, you could protect them against theft and loss by enchanting them for 50% of their cost. It was just as bad as having to insure things in real life.
Melto was an NPC who melted your treasures down into a currency called ‘Melt’. You could then spend Melt to make new treasures. Specific treasures were needed for upgrades. Convoluted madness!
The Pirate Lord was the recipient of numerous rubbish ideas for Sea Of Thieves. As well as his ill-fated ‘pay gold to level up’ calamity, his gossip system is #9 of the TOP 10 SH*T IDEAS. It had two ‘slight’ faults – everyone lied and no-one cared! Still funny though…
10. Your own room and a crew room
This start game flow was both terrible and awesome. Your personal room (with a safe for your items that you could choose to take with you), led to a crew room and then to the tavern… Pre-dating the warp to ship, your crew could leave the tavern and sail without you, leaving you stranded! The licence showing and bottle pouring were great, though.
It seems Gregg saved the least sh*t ideas for last… who wouldn’t want to pour their ship out of a bottle!?!?