- Get a deep dive into one of the key features of the new vehicle at the center of Far: Changing Tides, the sails.
- Understanding and moving the sail in a position to optimally capture wind is a key skill in sailing in Far: Changing Tides.
- Far: Changing Tides is available to play day one with Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass.
We at Okomotive are proud and excited to launch Far: Changing Tides, the second title in the Far Universe, is available today launching day one with Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass. To celebrate we wanted to give you a deep dive into one of the key features of the new vehicle at the centre of Far: Changing Tides, the sails.
Hoisting the Okomotive’s mast to sail through the barren landscape in the background is an iconic experience of Far: Lone Sails. It was clear for us that we wanted to build upon the feature in Changing Tides. One of our goals for Far: Changing Tides was to create a longer journey without making the game feel less dense or engaging compared to its companion game. To keep you on your toes we needed to add more depth and a stronger sense of game mastery to the core gameplay, manoeuvring the vehicle.
In the case of the sail that meant two things. First, we separated the raising of the mast and sail into two distinct actions. The ship’s mast can be erected by pushing a large button with your character, like the one you may know from Far: Lone Sails used to throttle the engine. The masts incline is directly related to the button’s position, giving you a tactile sense of control over its elevation. The idea of seizing a sail and jumping down to deck, slowed down by the sail resistance is as old as seafarer tales. So, we wanted players to experience that in our game too.
Secondly, understanding and moving the sail in a position to optimally capture wind is a key skill in sailing. Bringing this part of the experience to Far: Changing Tides was one of our goals. The sails rotation can be changed by moving a lever, if you rotate the sail perpendicular to the wind, you will capture the wind optimally. If you manage to keep the sail in an ideal position long enough, two additional side sails which capture even more wind will unfold, granting you an additional burst of speed. Players who appreciate the relaxing break they get from setting the sail and enjoying the beautiful scenery can still do so, but players who really dig the mechanic will be rewarded for engaging more intensely with it.
Next to depth of gameplay, the relationship between you and your vehicle is a central point of the series. We designed the Okomotive in Lone Sails to feel like a safe, warm home in a grey and dangerous world. The ship in Far: Changing Tides should feel more like a trapped animal that you free and bond with over time. Although it still serves as a vehicle and shelter, it was important to us that it felt more mysterious and beast-like. Our lead artist, Don did an amazing job of pushing the sail into a very organic shape. By designing a structure made of separate parts, the sail can now spread out or fold just like a bird’s wing or the fins of a fish.
In the last step, I added sound to the sail. I focused on making raising the mast, lifting and using the sail as rewarding as possible while also capturing the sail’s weight and organic qualities. When the mast is closed, the dangling of cord against the mast and the movement of canvas signals that there might be an opportunity to use your sails. As you push in the button to heave up the heavy mast, you can hear gears turn and the friction of joints as you do so. As you pull down the rope to hoist the sail, you can hear the ropes tension and the friction involved in the process. Rotating the heavy mast and sail sends an audible rumbling through the ship’s hull. And then, as the sail finally catches wind, a sound of tightening cloth, rope and satisfied murmur lets you know that you successfully set sail.
We hope our combined efforts have created a sailing experience that will feel great, challenge, and most importantly, excite you. After a long time since our last release, our team can’t wait to see you hoisting your sail (again) for the very first time.
FAR: Changing Tides