The problem with having your first game be a success is that ‘difficult second album’ thing; making a follow up that grabs new people without alienating your existing fanbase You can’t just make the same game again, but a bit more. Nor can you make something unrecognizable. So more meaningful, familiar but new, bigger and better but not bloated. No pressure.
Far: Lone Sails began as a university project that, over several years, ended up being a beautiful and meditative experience that built our studio. We couldn’t be more proud of the look, feel and sound of the game, its wonderful handcrafted appeal which has always helped us stand out in a crowd, drawing players in with the painterly style and dynamic soundtrack. Far: Changing Tides is another atmospheric vehicle adventure, as we like to call it, so the DNA is the same but we’re expanding in new directions.
Lone Sails had arid vistas, a sun scorched plane filled with ash storms and sand covered wrecks. Changing Tides swaps these for drowned continents tidal waves and the fear of what’s beneath the glassy surface. We wanted to tell a story that would be fresh but instantly recognizable, and it’s again teased out over the course of the game. Our protagonist, Toe, wakes to find their hometown flooded and an abandoned ship becomes your lifeline and new home.
The journey from submerged cities to open water will tease the wider world and its inhabitants through environmental storytelling, and it was important for us to stay true to the relaxing experience players had with Lone Sails, that gives you time to stop and take in the breath-taking scenery, or appreciate the dynamic soundtrack. Beauty in the face of destruction. Hope where there’s only despair. At the same time it’s fun to see when players have a completely different approach and enjoy the game how they want to.
For now, it’s early days so you’ve only seen a small reveal of a much larger game. We’ll be back to explore far more ahead of the game’s release later this year.
Author: Don Schmocker, Co-Founder and Lead Designer, Okomotive
This post originally appeared on Xbox Wire