Fire! Splashes! Bubbles!
This month’s Inn-side Story features a chat with Andreas and Natalie from Rare’s visual effects team. Seeing how they pulled real life photo and video captures into the game in a way that retains the Sea of Thieves visual style is fascinating. Check it out, then pay careful attention to the world around you on your next adventure to see their handiwork in action!
Settling into a more stable release schedule.
Cool stuff from Joe in this one. The last two releases have felt much more robust, and with the amount of content that’s been released into the game since launch, it does make sense to completely remove the intermediary weekly updates where there’s no significant changes being added to the game. Notes of interest: Cargo Runs are out! Joe’s interested to see how stories emerge from Cargo Runs, and also to get a perspective of how Cargo Runs effect Merchant Alliance (tacit admission that Merchants are the least activated voyage type). Forsaken Shores has been a good test of taking…
Week one of Forsaken Shores was smooth sailing…
Not a lot of info in this one, folks. To be honest, it’s nice that the launch of a major new expansion went smoothly and there’s not a lot to cover off. The only notes of interest are: Using Pioneers to get feedback and stability metrics for the launch of Forsaken Shores, which was “pretty uneventful”, was great! Joe loves the rowboat. Rare are looking at difficulty-balancing and feedback from The Devil’s Roar. It’s supposed to be a difficult, perilous place where the rewards are greater. They’ll continue to monitor feedback and telemetry over time. Keep giving feedback! They’re seen…
The offical video with all the deets.
Things are heating up in Sea of Thieves as this free content update cracks open a volcanic region of the world! Will you risk the wrath of The Devil’s Roar in search of new challenges and the truth behind a terrible tale?
EGX panel with Shelley, Mike, Joe, John and Craig from Rare.
Some of the team from Rare sat down at EGX to discuss what it’s been like to build Sea of Thieves, then take questions from the audience. It’s worth watching the whole thing above if you’re interested – but, if you don’t have time, here’s some notes of interest: Forsaken Shores: Geysers destroy skeletons. Forsaken Shores: During Cargo Runs, carrying plants partially obscures your view making them difficult to handle. Tease: Shelley mentioned they’re currently “cooking up some new stuff for the future”. Six ships per server was always based more on the experiential aspect rather than performance. It’s something…
Run, don’t walk. Actually, sometimes walk.
Cargo Runs, a new Merchant Alliance voyage, are coming in Forsaken Shores. In this video the team from Rare give us some insight into how these voyages will work, and a few other spicy tidbits. The basic premise of cargo runs is that a character in the world will commission you to take some cargo (plants, cloth, or rum) and deliver it to another character in the world. The cargo each contain different properties, meaning they can take damage – obviously, pristine stock will garner a much higher payout than if your bottles are smashed to bits. Notes of interest:…
A land left unexplored.
Things are heating up in Sea of Thieves as this free content update cracks open a volcanic region of the world! Will you risk the wrath of The Devil’s Roar in search of new challenges and the truth behind a terrible tale? Find your way to Forsaken Shores on September 19th.
It’s been a weird week.
Notes of interest: Rare have realised that because of their passion for getting content out and into the hands of players, they’ve not been leaving enough time for testing – both new features (eg: barrel system) and validation (bugs). Key issues introduced last week have been fixed. Different types of food & ammunition are coming into the game an expanded inventory system was needed – however it came together late, meaning not enough time to implement feedback from Pioneers. Barrel tweaks this week: you’ll be able to see if a barrel is empty, resource quantity in barrels is increased. Take-all/give-all…
Gently down the stream.
Rowboats are coming to the Sea of Thieves. This video is a look behind the development of the rowboat, and Shelly gives answers to a few common questions. Notes of interest from the video: Rowboats were prototyped early and always planned for the game You can store resources (wood, cannon balls, bananas) in a locker on the rowboat Every ship can have a rowboat You don’t spawn with a rowboat, they’re discovered in the world Rowboats are temporary, they can be damaged, lost or left behind Four pirates can fit in a rowboat
Battle Royale? Battle Royale???
Notes of interest from the Q&A section: Q: If you square your sails into the wind you sail faster. Mike: I think we should look into that… Q: Why is there a brig on the sloop? Mike: The reason why the brig is there… it may we have a function on the sloop in the future. In terms of level design we needed to earmark space on the sloop. Other reasons to brig players in the future we may be considering as well. Q: Have you thought about implementing a bounty system? Mike: Yes, quite a lot actually, we even prototyped…
A glowing red skull and smokey cannons.
Our first look at The Reaper’s Mark, and the limited weapons cosmetics from the Wailing Barnacle set.
With apologies to Three Sheets Neate.
A short montage of the game footage from Inside Xbox, without the Gamescom chatter in the background. Read up about the all the information from the live stream here.
Behind the scenes of building the Skeleton Ships.
Interesting notes: Skelly ships were first prototyped in ~2014/2015. Performance was a consideration in 2 areas: client performance (your local game app), then as more players and ships were brought into the equation this resulted in server performance issues (latency). Original internal play-testing started at about 10fps 😦 The difficulty was rebalanced quite often during internal feedback sessions. There’s a sneaky rowboat tease about 35 seconds in 😉 I love these behind the scenes looks at how the game is developed. They give an interesting insight into the challenges, constraints and solutions that are handled every time a major game…
[Insert balls joke here].
Notes: Venom, Snooze and Rigging cursed cannonballs added to the battles this week. Controller sensitivity values have been expanded (probably triggered by this discussion). Update: this change is actually coming in the next Bilge Rat update (week of August 27). Ancient Isles fleet commendation has been fixed – due to this, the Cursed Sails event is being extended by 1 week. Due to feedback on Cursed Sails there will be no time-specific requirements in Forsaken Shores. The first stage of having Skeleton Ships in the world will be having them appear as emergent battles, with an indicator similar to Forts….
Week 2 of Cursed Sails.
As we sail into week two of the Cursed Sails campaign, Executive Producer Joe Neate talks about refinements to the experience and some players’ unique approaches to tackling those fearsome skeleton ships. Some notes: Rare have learned from the timed nature of Cursed Sails and will take that feedback on board for planning future events. This week: New battles with new skelly crews, new cursed cannonballs, varied skeleton ‘forms’. Forts are back! Work continues on re-enabling the Kraken. The Cursed Sails team is now preparing the Skelly Ships’ emergence back into the world beyond the campaign.