Studio Head Rare Ltd, @gamerboss
Larry Hryb: Hi, it's Larry Hryb, Xbox Live's Major Nelson. Welcome to the podcast. We're ... Jeff, what show is this?
Jeff Rubenstein: The episode number at the beep will be 6-1-5, boop.
Larry Hryb: Nobody knows what that reference is, but that's fine, we'll-
Jeff Rubenstein: You used to have to call up a number to find what time it was when the power went out at your house.
Larry Hryb: And sitting across from you is ... is not Laura.
Jeff Rubenstein: Oh, hi.
Larry Hryb: Laura's not here.
Craig Duncan: Hi.
Larry Hryb: But instead we have-
Craig Duncan: I'm really excited right now. I'm like a fan.
Larry Hryb: Craig, I gotta tell you-
Craig Duncan: In my moment. This is awesome. This it's just so-
Larry Hryb: Don't even. Don't ... Go on. No please, go on.
Craig Duncan: I'm normally in my car, listening to you guys, and Laura.
Larry Hryb: I'm here with Craig Duncan. He is the head of Rare.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah, [crosstalk 00:00:49]
Larry Hryb: It's weird is ... I was out in Rare last week. That's why we didn't have a show, 'cause Craig and his team were hosting. We'll talk about Sea of Thieves, we'll talk about that in a minute, and while we're sitting in his beautiful conference room on the Rare campus, which is stunning, he's like, “Oh, okay, so we're going to get together next week to do the podcast.” I'm like, we're here. Anyway, so here we are.
Jeff Rubenstein: You came back to tell me, in person, all about your visit.
Larry Hryb: So I was over there last week. Craig, you're here this week. Why are you here this week? You've got some business meetings, right?
Craig Duncan: Yeah, a ton of business meetings, and I'm up to San Fran to do some more press tomorrow.
Larry Hryb: Oh, that's right, that's right. For Sea of Thieves.
Craig Duncan: For Sea of Thieves.
Larry Hryb: Well, I gotta tell you, you guys had your ... was it your closed beta last ... or a couple weeks ago?
Craig Duncan: Yeah. Everything's kind of a blurry bubble at the moment, so if it involves Rare and pirates, I know what's going on. If it involves anything else in the world-
Larry Hryb: Forget it.
Craig Duncan: ... I have no idea what's going on right now. Yeah, we did our -
Larry Hryb: Now that you're in the US, don't look at politics over here.
Craig Duncan: Yeah, I try to avoid that at all costs. We had a closed beta, ton of load-ins. Got more people, people play for longer, gave us loads of great feedback, and now we've sort of consolidated. Now, we've announced we're gonna do some more scale testing.
Jeff Rubenstein: So what does that mean?
Craig Duncan: A scale test is, we kind of, our game ... I mean, the fun part of our game is the art, and the creativity, and how beautiful it is, and how much fun people have, but, the nuts and bolts and the plumbing behind it-
Larry Hryb: It's making sure people can do that.
Craig Duncan: Yeah, we have a lot of complicated servers that do some really interesting stuff around matchmaking, and things like entitlement and purchasing of voyages and rewards and all those things. Just imagine like tens and hundreds of thousands of players all hitting those things at the same time.
Larry Hryb: Scale testing, yeah.
Craig Duncan: It's exactly what we can't simulate in the studio. We can do technical sort of synthetic versions of that, but actually having a ton of real players play in-
Larry Hryb: Real matches.
Craig Duncan: ... real matches in a condensed period of time like really just show us, and it's all about just proving and hardening the game for launch. That's what we're trying to do.
Jeff Rubenstein: If people are listening to you speak right now, like when this podcast first hits, which you know February 16th, it's going on right now, but this is a much more sort of concise burst type of test.
Craig Duncan: Yeah, I mean, we learned a lot in the closed beta. We know some people have some entitlement issues and we fixed that. We got that fixed in a couple of days. We extended the closed beta by two days, so we ended up running seven days and I think we've seen-
Larry Hryb: But you had a lot of great data you collected, right?
Craig Duncan: Huge amount of great data and we seen sort of day on day growth across that data. What we're trying to do with the scale test is really condense it down so it's like forty-eight hours. It's really about anyone that was in the beta's got access to it, anyone that is in the Xbox Insider programs got access to it, any of our Rare Sea of Thieves insiders. So we just really want everyone to just come and hit the game at the same time.
Larry Hryb: 'Cause we see this nowadays with, and we've seen this over the past 10 years. You've been in the games industry for a long time?
Craig Duncan: Yup.
Larry Hryb: You used to work at Codemasters and whatnot. But we've seen this over the past 10 or 12 years where as games obviously online becomes important, that first ... The game launches on Tuesday and people are jamming their A-button to join matchmaking, and they can't, and then the Wednesday comes and it gets a little better, Thursday comes ... Hopefully, by Friday, by the time the first weekend hits things are fine 'cause it is difficult to do that scale testing.
Craig Duncan: Yeah, and you're trying to replicate what's gonna happen day one, before day one. I know it might seem odd to say “Hey, come in and play Sea of Thieves," and it's not the message, and there's a really great blog post the team's written on SeaofThieves.com, which [crosstalk 00:04:25]-
Jeff Rubenstein: We'll link to that, yeah.
Craig Duncan: It's been amplified through all the Xbox channels. I think Larry tweeted it.
Larry Hryb: Yeah, absolutely.
Craig Duncan: That explains what we're trying to do, and it's really the support we get from people just helping us out to do this. It's so helpful to us, but the public service announcement is like, “Hey, it might go down and we might have some issues, and matchmaking like might fall over." It's kind of that's what we're trying to do.
Larry Hryb: That's what a beta is, or [beata 00:04:55] as you guys like to say.
Craig Duncan: We're trying to break the game with the scale tests, 'cause if we know where it breaks, we know what-
Larry Hryb: We know what to fix!
Craig Duncan: We've got to harden up for launch.
Larry Hryb: You know it's a fix.
Craig Duncan: Yeah, that's it.
Jeff Rubenstein: So if you were in the previous, the closed beta, or you're an Xbox Insider-
Craig Duncan: Yep, you can download the game and play-
Jeff Rubenstein: And you should do so now because it's only for forty-eight hours, or less at this point.
Craig Duncan: [crosstalk 00:05:16].
Larry Hryb: Now if I have, just for those of you just to help you out, if you participated before, and you've already got those bits on your hard drive, they'll update?
Craig Duncan: Yes, we pushed an update out literally this morning, UK time.
Larry Hryb: Right, so as we record this ... I mean, I'm sure you guys will tweet this out “Hey, as a reminder go update it." But you should be all set. Now what's great is, and I wanna point this out, is you guys are Xbox Play Anywhere.
Craig Duncan: We are, which-
Larry Hryb: So that means if you wanna play on PC, you can do that, and I did that when I was over there!
Craig Duncan: Yeah, and the magic of Xbox Play Anywhere is once you have that game entitlement, like I was playing on my Surface Book here with people playing back in the studio on console. So if I'm at home in my living room, I can fire it up on my X. If I'm traveling, I can go play it on my Surface Book. It's really how you want to play when you want to play, and with your friends on any platform.
Larry Hryb: And this game, if you didn't know, I mean, you've probably read a lot, this week the press embargo ... you hosted the press a few weeks ago when the press embargo lifted this week. So, a lot of people have been talking about it. But the game is beautiful. Talk about some of the press and what you saw and do some recap for folks that maybe missed or just weren't paying attention.
Craig Duncan: Yeah, it was great to wake up yesterday morning, Seattle time, and just wake up to ... I think the press all hit at kind of, I guess, mid-afternoon UK time, I think maybe 6:00 a.m. US time. Generally what was awesome to read was ... We invited a ton of press into the studio, they played the game, so the first thing is just reading their stories. I know you both played. I watched you in the stream.
Jeff Rubenstein: Sorry about that.
Craig Duncan: Sea of Thieves, at its heart, is you having these awesome adventures every time you play the game, and listening to press recount the stories that they had in the studio when they played is the first moment. Then really the second thing for me were those articles that really, really got it, and just said like, “Hey, this is a completely different type of multiplayer game. You're gonna feel things when playing Sea of Thieves that you've not experienced in any other game."
Jeff Rubenstein: Like sea sickness! But like in a good way. So I'm actually reading one of those articles right now from the Verge, “Sea of Thieves is huge fun and just what the Xbox One needs.” Tom Warren, [gooner 00:07:38], says it. He calls them like he sees them, so it was great to see that. Actually speaking of football, you know you're missing Liverpool right now?
Craig Duncan: I am.
Jeff Rubenstein: So you really do ... They're up 2-nil.
Craig Duncan: Oh, okay.
Jeff Rubenstein: Just throwing it out there [inaudible 00:07:51]. Sorry Larry. It's a bigger sacrifice than Larry, I think, really realizes-
Larry Hryb: I appreciate it.
Jeff Rubenstein: ... that he's missing his match. For those who didn't see these articles, and I'll link out to a couple of them in the show notes, what did you show the press?
Craig Duncan: Yeah, so we, and the very short version of that, so we have our closed beta, which is a build we put out that most people played, and we've seen millions of hours of people streaming, and-
Larry Hryb: And to be clear, if you played that, it was nowhere near feature-complete.
Craig Duncan: Yeah, we were very intentionally saying, “Hey, we want people to come in and play so we can test scale,” and we wanted to find issues. So it wasn't really about showing new features that weren't ready yet, and we have a pioneer kind of what some studios call 'public test realm.' So we have a number of pioneers, which are from our community, that we do flight features that aren't quite done yet-
Larry Hryb: That aren't announced?
Craig Duncan: That aren't announced yet, and that's all under NDA, we do that to do some scale testing, although not as big as we'd do in a beta. Then, within our studio, we've got our live development build, which will have things toggled on and off that we're making. So, we showed the press some of the stuff that was in that build. So things like skeleton forts, things like some of the merchant quests, some of the bounty quests, so stuff that people haven't played-
Jeff Rubenstein: Did they have a kraken?
Craig Duncan: We showed a video of the kraken.
Larry Hryb: Have you seen this video?
Jeff Rubenstein: No, I haven't!
Craig Duncan: I can show you the kraken video.
Jeff Rubenstein: I would like to see this.
Larry Hryb: Oh my lord, it's impressive.
Craig Duncan: And what's interesting about that is if you take something specifically, like the kraken, and we show concept art and stuff from very early on and we've always talked about it being a part of Sea of Thieves, like we're not sure how we're gonna release that to players, yet. Do we put it in a launch trailer? Do we run a feature in the studio about krakens and the development of it? Or do we just launch the game, and let players experience it in the world in the way we want it to be as an emergent threat? This is always the interesting thing, that we've had a very open, transparent development approach where we've been talking about the things we're working on and what we're trying to do, and really the vision of Sea of Thieves. But it's about just layering on features, getting people to understand the game, adding things to it, and then really trying to build that crescendo to launch.
To your point, Larry, the closed beta had one of three trading companies. Each of those three trading companies is a different way to play Sea of Thieves. You can be ferrying cargo for the merchants, which means you've got to protect the cargo and it's a very sort of protective exploratory-
Larry Hryb: It's a different way to play the game?
Craig Duncan: Absolutely-
Larry Hryb: You're not digging treasure up. That's another way to play the game!
Craig Duncan: What you see the pirate fantasy of like, “Hey, I'm gonna go and explore and solve riddles,” or you've got the Order of Souls, which is this magical force that are trying to harness power of dead skeleton ex-pirates. So you're going out and doing these bounty quests to defeat these skeletons to bring their skulls back, to gain you reputation for the Order of Souls. So, really it's about progressing with all of those trading companies and these different ways to play to become a pirate legend. So we showed the press and some of the assets for the first time came out in those stories about, “What does it mean to become a pirate legend?” You get access to a pirate hideout, and what is ... and we've not told anyone where that is-
Larry Hryb: Right. It's mysterious.
Craig Duncan: ... or how you access it, but -
Larry Hryb: I don't even know-
Craig Duncan: ... that's your goal as a player is to become that pirate legend.
Jeff Rubenstein: Nice.
Larry Hryb: Now there's some things I've noticed. I was playing in a build this week that I guess have been announced? You just added a bunch of wildlife.
Craig Duncan: Yeah.
Larry Hryb: Which really, Jeff, I know you probably-
Jeff Rubenstein: No, I haven't gotten to see this.
Larry Hryb: I love booting it up 'cause I'll be on my Surface or my home PC, and I'll boot it up and all of sudden there's fish. Hey, there's a parrot. Hey, there's seagulls, there's snake. There's just all this ... it's just all of a sudden the world comes alive, it's just fascinating!
Craig Duncan: Yeah, in game development, we've been obviously building the game live with real players for a year, which has been great-
Larry Hryb: No, no, no, no, no. You guys have been building it for a long time 'cause Jeff and I remember when we played it for the first time when it was like stick figures.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah, years ago.
Craig Duncan: The super early prototype, and we'll release that video one day, 'cause that's awesome in itself, but, we've been running our tech alpha program for a year, so I think back in December last ... Where are we now? 2018. December 2016, we invited our first thousand people to come and play Sea of Thieves and then we've scaled it from there. But the awesome thing about that is you're kind of building and validating what we're doing as we're making the game. But you'll always get this moment close to launch, close to day one, which is all this nice kind of polished stuff comes together, like life in the world, like ambience, the audio team are tuning-
Larry Hryb: Those guys are geniuses.
Craig Duncan: ... and adding all like just those little touches and the art team are making the outposts feel more alive. All that kind of just polish. But then for us, that will continue beyond day one.
Larry Hryb: I wanna ask you about that, because you've made a lot of video games. Can you just go over some of top three or four that you've made?
Craig Duncan: Yeah, so I think I counted ... I've been doing this for 15 years now in games, and I ran some software companies before that. But yeah we did ... I was five years at Codemasters; we did a ton of stuff, Overlords-
Larry Hryb: The Overlord.
Craig Duncan: ... Jericho, the Dirt and Grid series, we did the-
Larry Hryb: But what I wanna talk about is you did all these games, and developing the game you're doing for Sea of Thieves, the way Rare and a lot of development houses are doing it now is very different now than those days, right? Because it's almost collaborative, isn't it?
Craig Duncan: It is, and the way I like to talk about it is I spent, before we started Sea of Thieves, I spent 12 years learning how to make video games and then when we started Sea of Thieves, I had to learn how to make video games all again, because the kind of game we're making, the way we're working with our players. Sea of Thieves, yes, it's a pirate game, but it's also a social game that's about you and your friends having adventures and things like soft skills and how players interact with each other, and voice, and multiplayer. We're doing so many new things in Sea of Thieves, as a game maker it's super inspiring and creative, but you're also learning everything again for the first time.
Larry Hryb: But it's about, like I say, in the old days of development, you guys would come up with the game, you'd develop, you get your assets, put it to a disk, you ship it, and you may do an update or a content update or DLC later on, but this is just miles ahead of the way you're ... behind the way you're doing it now, which is you guys are testing things a year before, two years before, and you're just tweaking, tweaking, tweaking, tweaking.
Craig Duncan: It's that difference between, I think, before and the way Rare always used to make games is they'd go squirrel away, they closed the gates, it'd be the secretive studio, they'd spend three years making something, two years [crosstalk 00:14:38]-
Larry Hryb: And surprise! Surprise and delight.
Craig Duncan: Yeah, surprise and delight, game comes out, maybe it's successful, maybe it's not, maybe people like it. But it's really the vision-holders version of whatever that game is.
Larry Hryb: Right.
Craig Duncan: Whereas now, I would imagine, if we had our community sitting here around this table, I'd imagine they feel as much a part and an owner of Sea of Thieves as I do, 'cause they've been along that journey with us. They've seen what we're trying to do, and they've helped us all the way along the journey.
Jeff Rubenstein: Something I've seen that you guys have done that I think is very interesting, very cool, is not just acknowledged that the community has helped build this, but actually putting some of the more influential people into the game, and one of the features that I saw, one of the little Easter eggs if you will, involved Griffin McElroy from Polygon.
So I don't know if you all know Griffin. Griffin's a great guy, writer for Polygon, does a lot of podcasting stuff, part of My Brother, My Brother and Me, and he latched onto, last year at E3, the way you gained health. Bananas are that power-up, but the way you eat it is ... I would love to know actually how that came about.
Craig Duncan: Yeah, and that took a like ... I mean, and like Griffin he's a hilarious guy, and I think this sort of showed through in the meme that won E3 that year, which was him eating a banana with the skin on.
Jeff Rubenstein: Stem first!
Craig Duncan: Stem first! I showed it in the all hands to the Rare team. I was like, “Look what we've done." And then there was just a load of hashtags about bananas, and eating the skin on bananas, and loads of fun stuff. But, yeah, the origin story of that was ... you'll notice in Sea of Thieves there's not a lot of UI, we try and just immerse you in that pirate experience.
Larry Hryb: By the way, thank god, because I can take amazing screenshots of this world. So thank you for that.
Craig Duncan: We don't wanna break the immersion of like, “Hey, I'm playing a game. I'm in this pirate world. I'm not just playing UI.” So we only ever pop a health bar when you're hurt. Then it's like okay-
Larry Hryb: When you need it! When you need to know what's going on. Otherwise, you're fine.
Craig Duncan: We want you to have a way of getting your health back, so we thought, “Oh, we'll just eat something in the world." So it used to be coconuts. So, the very first version of that was a coconut. Our audio team, Larry, who you spent some time with last week-
Larry Hryb: Oh, geniuses!
Craig Duncan: ... they put in a sound of someone eating a coconut, and it kinda sounded like someone eating a brick, or like eating something-
Larry Hryb: 'Cause what does that sound like?
Craig Duncan: ... that would kind of break all your teeth, and not be very good, and we're reviewing the game up to E3, and it's the first time we put the adventures in, and we're like, "Oh, that coconut thing's like a bit weird and it sounds bad, so let's switch out with a banana." And literally, like most game dev things this change goes in like a week and a half before E3, and it's just like, “Oh, okay. That's it, it gives you health back. Great."
Larry Hryb: Banana, great. Sounds good.
Craig Duncan: "We'll go fix that later.” Bananas in the world, there's been bananas in Rare games before-
Larry Hryb: Sure, made perfect sense.
Craig Duncan: Yeah, I think it was [Topher 00:17:41], our gameplay engineer, it was just like, “Okay, I've got it in. This'll work." It kinda used the same-
Larry Hryb: Here's an old banana asset from a Donkey Kong game. Let's use that.
Craig Duncan: Not quite that, but it was very much like, “Hey, let's get the sound right, let's use the asset, and then we'll go with it.” Then, obviously, Griffin just did the whole like, “Hey, this is what we ... of all the things we learned from Sea of Thieves,” which most of the press were going, “Hey, we played Sea of Thieves, it's awesome. Here's what we learned.” He literally just focused on that. “What I've learned from playing Sea of Thieves is this is how eat bananas,” and he recorded himself doing it live, which is hilarious.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah, I'll link out to that. It's worth watching.
Craig Duncan: Yeah, and it just became a thing. Again, Sea of Thieves is a game that doesn't take itself too seriously. We want players to have fun. You can fire yourself out of a cannon, you can duel with a shark underwater, you can ... We liberally play with, “It's a video game.” And we want players to-
Larry Hryb: Lean into it!
Craig Duncan: Yeah.
Jeff Rubenstein: The entire pirate life, minus the scurvy.
Craig Duncan: It's the romantic, most fun, fantastical pirate life you can imagine. Then, once the banana thing became a thing, we just left it in, and that's it forever.
Jeff Rubenstein: So now there's this, and I'll link out to this. This was noticed, which is Griffin, a skeleton that's found eating a banana, labeled Griffin somewhere in the world.
Craig Duncan: Someone's etched 'Griffin' onto a rock.
Larry Hryb: Now, I've played a lot of the game, I have not found the Major Nelson reference yet.
Craig Duncan: Right, okay.
Larry Hryb: Okay, I was just ...
Craig Duncan: One of the things really early on-
Larry Hryb: Mystery.
Craig Duncan: .. we've been really passionate about, is Sea of Thieves is a fantastical world. It's a canvas for players to put a mark on the world.
Larry Hryb: Right.
Craig Duncan: So my answer to that question would be like when you put a mark on the world, we'll recognize that.
Larry Hryb: I see. I see.
Craig Duncan: It's really about ... like we don't have a Blackbeard, or we don't have a Black Pearl, but we do want players' deeds to influence the world, like in real life. So we can have a tavern named after a legendary pirate, or we can have an area of the world named after a crew-
Larry Hryb: If it fits the narrative-
Craig Duncan: Yeah, and a service basically, and that's the kind of thing we can keep adding to.
Larry Hryb: Now, I'm gonna give this ... I was out there at Rare last week, and as I said earlier, it was the most beautiful campus I've ever been on. I have been to game developers around the world-
Jeff Rubenstein: Told you! I told you.
Larry Hryb: You told me, but I mean, I have been to game developers in office parks in Southern California, and they don't come any ... I mean they're fine and they do great work down there, but yours is like ... it's a magical fairy land out there. It's crazy.
Craig Duncan: Yeah, it's a beautiful campus. Our facilities team doing an amazing job there, and Rare's just this creative, land-locked, campus in the middle of the English countryside that has no water nearby, which is kind of ironic.
Larry Hryb: There's a little pond, there's a little bubbler in the back. Now I would like to point something out, Jeff, and I don't think you know this, and the listeners certainly know this, but we were out at Rare last week working on some videos for launch, and ... I don't know. Jeff, you and I were talking in the production room there, and you made it very clear to the staff and everybody, there's no “Arrr.” There is no pirate, “Arrr.” You can't like say that around the studio because it's too much of a trope.
Craig Duncan: Yeah.
Larry Hryb: Right, people expect that and you guys ... And that's true. It's a fresh take on pirating from what I've seen.
Craig Duncan: I've told the origin story of Sea of Thieves before and gone on record, so I won't repeat that, but when you think of pirates, you can be anywhere from Black Sails, which I love and would advise everyone to go watch Black Sails, super dark, super violent; Sea of Thieves isn't that. And it's not ... we have a term in the UK, we'll see if this carries, called like party bag pirates, so if-
Larry Hryb: Party bag pirates?
Craig Duncan: Yeah, so if you think about a kid's party, you might have a seven year old kid, and he'd invite all his friends around, and in the UK when kids have parties, you give them a bag. You can buy these bags from shops and they-
Larry Hryb: And what's in the bag?
Craig Duncan: Like sweets, maybe a yo-yos, doubloons. Just stuff.
Larry Hryb: I see. I see.
Jeff Rubenstein: That's like party favors, I think is what we would call them here.
Larry Hryb: Party bag pirate. That's my new gamertag.
Craig Duncan: But pirates is a popular theme, particularly for young kids.
Larry Hryb: Of course.
Craig Duncan: You've all seen those pirates, sort of like Jolly Roger type pirate, cartoon. So you've got that on one end, and then you've got hyper violent pirates where murder, and keelhauling-
Larry Hryb: Anything goes, all that stuff, yeah.
Craig Duncan: Yeah. And then various things in the middle, Disney and Pirates of the Caribbean, and Monkey Island, and Goonies, and all this, Treasure Island, all this awesome stuff. Trying to have a Sea of Thieves specific flavor on that, but the voicing is kind of interesting, because when you get Talk Like a Pirate Day, or you see adverts of pirates selling product, like they always do this kind of "Arrr," like just sort of fake pirate voice thing. We just didn't ... that to us was going too party bag.
Larry Hryb: Party bag pirates. Got it.
Craig Duncan: If it was a pirate turning up at a kid's party-
Larry Hryb: That's what they would do.
Craig Duncan: That's what they do.
Larry Hryb: And you're not that?
Craig Duncan: We're not that, but what was awesome when everyone was streaming in the closed beta was actually the amount of people that were dressed up-
Jeff Rubenstein: Totally doing that, yeah.
Craig Duncan: ... role-playing as pirates, was amazing. So, we want players to express themselves the way they want to, but you won't see an "Arrr" pirate in the game come up and chat to you as player.
Jeff Rubenstein: I'm very curious to see ... this is gonna be the first game where I'm glad that there's proximity chat. One, because you're going to be playing with strangers and you have to communicate. It's absolutely central to how you play the game. Like you are the UI. You were mentioning there's no UI in the game, it's like your mini map is the person that's downstairs looking at the map, and if you're not communicating, then it's gonna be a hard time. But I'm curious. I'm expecting to run into some people that are in character for their pirating.
Craig Duncan: Yeah, and we've seen it, and we always kinda knew. It's back to what I said before, which is like, I think Sea of Thieves is a great canvas for you to have these pirate adventures with your friends, and it's really how creative, and how much of your sense of fun and childhood play do you want to give out, and how creative you wanna be in that.
Jeff Rubenstein: I think that's why it was so popular on streaming services, like Mixer and Twitch, during the closed beta is because people were ... one, it didn't ... the game doesn't, I mean, obviously this is not the final version of the game, but it didn't hold your hand, and watching as people for the first time discover that they can launch themselves out of a cannon, or they could ... any of the things they could do. It was just like ... there was like childlike glee, is I guess how it was [crosstalk 00:24:11].
Larry Hryb: And there's a lot of stuff, I mean, I'm not gonna say anything, but you and I were talking when I was out at your studio, there's a lot of things that are coming up in the game that you're gonna be able to do with some of the wildlife to help you protect your treasure. You were telling me about that.
Craig Duncan: Yeah. Yeah.
Larry Hryb: Which is, again, it's stuff that you don't think about, or you just wanna let people ... you want that serendipitous discovery.
Craig Duncan: Yeah, sense of discovery was really important from that very, very first early prototype we had, which was, like you say, it was kind of very program raw, like it was very just block-out design-
Larry Hryb: Figure it out, yeah.
Craig Duncan: ... but it was like, "Can we make sailing a ship fun?" Then everything we've done in the game like, "Can we make it fun socially?"
Larry Hryb: I remember when I played that, I don't know if you remember Jeff and I coming up to that conference and we played it for the first time, and I said, "Wouldn't it be great if you had sharks in here?" There was so many ... Do you remember?
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah, I remember one of us, and I wanna say it was me that ... you wanted to captain it. It's a Larry thing.
Larry Hryb: Hey, hey, hey.
Jeff Rubenstein: And then I went up to the crow's nest, 'cause if you're captaining, yes you get to hold the wheel; no, you cannot see where you're going, 'cause there's sails in the way and you need the rest of your team. So I was up there and I somehow jumped off and I fell into the water, and then that's when we saw, and there was a shark chasing me. It was quite frightening. I got to confront my nightmares.
Larry Hryb: So there's a funny shark story. I don't know if I told you this. There were a lot of sharks in the closed beta. It felt like every time I got in the water I was getting chomped on.
Jeff Rubenstein: You're giving a look like, "We can push that shark slider way up if we need to."
Craig Duncan: Yeah.
Larry Hryb: But anyway, we were playing, it was me, and I don't think you were with us Jeffery, but we were playing with Brian Jarrard from 343. Do you know Brian?
Craig Duncan: Okay, yeah, yeah. Yep.
Larry Hryb: You know Brian?
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah.
Larry Hryb: And he's a great guy. He's @ske7ch on Twitter. Let's put a link in there, because we were playing and he hadn't played, so we were showing him how to play, and we're going through the thing. We got the first quest, we got the first mission. We had to pull up to this island, and we had to jump in. Whoever was up in the crow's nest says, "Oh, there's some sharks down there!" You heard Brian, over the headset, go "What?" Long story short, he has a massive shark-phobia, and wouldn't get in the water. Even with video game sharks, he would not get off the ship to swim to the ... So I finally showed him, I said, "We can shoot you over there." He was like, "Yeah, but I've gotta swim back." I said, "Yeah, you do." So it was just this funny, funny moment where I didn't realize he had a shark-phobia.
Craig Duncan: Again, it's all those social moments. I mean, the fact that the game's first person, the fact that someone else ... like when you're being chased by a shark, someone else is going, "Larry! Larry! There's a shark behind you."
Larry Hryb: And they're trying to snipe them, or shoot them, or take care of [inaudible 00:26:40]
Craig Duncan: Or when you're at the wheel, someone having to be at the prow of the ship or up on the crow's nest kind of saying, "Hey, there's reefs" or "There's islands" or just all of those reasons to socially communicate. I was having this conversation earlier, actually with Matt Booty, and I think you could almost put some kind of teamwork or leadership simulator in Sea of Thieves, 'cause if people can operate as a good crew, chances are they'd probably be a pretty effective team at whatever they go into.
Larry Hryb: Fair point.
Jeff Rubenstein: You've got a side gig here, which is Sea of Thieves, the team building off sight for-
Larry Hryb: Actually, I'm sure the team over at Office is ... "We're gonna build it into the Outlook." It's gonna ...
Craig Duncan: I think it's just this notion of people need to work together, and communicate, and help each other, and look out for each other, and all these inherently human values, like how you communicate, how you watch each other's backs, how you work together, and doing that, will result in you achieving things as a team.
Jeff Rubenstein: Where, I think, Sea of Thieves is different and more collaborative in that way is a lot of games, they encourage you, I would say, to operate as a team 'cause you get rewards, you level up faster, whatever it might be by not being a terrible person, but it doesn't really work that way. There's no benefit, really, to lone-wolfing it or to ... it's more fun, and you're gonna be more successful, if you all sort of play these roles, I feel like.
Craig Duncan: Yeah, and you can do the lone-wolf thing, you can take a ship out on your own, but it's actually interesting where, I think like you mentioned, proximity chat ... then sneaking onto a ship, listening to a crew outline their plans, and then deciding what to do. I think, again, it's just a very different, different way of playing.
Jeff Rubenstein: But there's no incentive to leave your teammates behind, or anything like that, 'cause you gonna split the treasure. I really love the dynamics that we've had. I'm a real cartographer. I'm getting to live out my inner cartography.
Craig Duncan: You do see people kind of just adopt certain roles and I like, again, what it says to me a personality, like I'll quite happily go down in the bottom of the ship, and repair, and bail water, and like, "Hey, I'll keep this thing afloat." Like that's what I'll do while someone else will be like, "No, no. I'm on the cannons. I'm all over the [crosstalk 00:28:55]."
Larry Hryb: Yeah, I wanna shoot things and drive places. Yeah, it's, again, it's about part of being a team. Now we do need to have you ... we'd love to have part of our team when we stream again, correct.
Craig Duncan: Okay.
Larry Hryb: We just gotta figure this out.
Craig Duncan: Yeah, absolutely.
Larry Hryb: Now, I don't wanna take too much of your time, 'cause I know you have a busy time over here, but I would let you know you talked about the stress test that's happening this weekend. If you participate ... if you're listening to this show after, and you participated, thank you.
Craig Duncan: Absolutely.
Larry Hryb: If you're listening to it now, then that would be ... or if you listen to it before, then we'd love to have you participate, but another part of Sea of Thieves is you're part of the Game Pass program.
Craig Duncan: We are.
Larry Hryb: That's exciting.
Craig Duncan: It is, and Sea of Thieves' done a lot of firsts, and I'd like as a game creator and as a person in Microsoft Studios, that's what we do. We do new things. We do kind of bold and interesting things, and for us, Sea of Thieves ... like the more people that play Sea of Thieves, that is awesome. Like the more people we can have play Sea of Thieves-
Larry Hryb: And have those moments.
Craig Duncan: Yeah. What I love about Game Pass is it's, A, it's super value. You can't question the value of it, but I love the idea that someone that signed up to Game Pass that maybe Sea of Thieves isn't on their radar-
Larry Hryb: They're gonna download it and try it.
Craig Duncan: And we'll go, "Hey, here's Sea of Thieves." And they'll try it, and that's where our belief in our game is like people will try it, they'll enjoy it, they'll have a great time, maybe they'll make some friends, and maybe that'll encourage people to play more.
Larry Hryb: Yeah.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah.
Craig Duncan: I think that's great for ... it's great for Sea of Thieves and it's great for gamers. As you mentioned before, the Xbox Play Anywhere, if you subscribe to Game Pass, you can download and play the PC version as well, [crosstalk 00:30:31].
Larry Hryb: I love firing up the PC version, going ... I've got my gaming rig at home, and I just sit there. I came in, and my wife walked into my office. She's like, "What are you playing? Sea of Thieves?" And she's a big fan of the game. She doesn't play games, but she wanted me to show her the water, and I was [inaudible 00:30:43]. By the way, I'm really bummed when I came over I didn't get to meet whoever your hydro artists are, your water artists, 'cause those people are geniuses.
Craig Duncan: It's a combined effort of a lot of people across tech art, our rendering-
Larry Hryb: You do know that it has the best water I've ever seen, that most people have ever seen in a video game?
Craig Duncan: And we keep it ... and it's lovely to hear that. I think what's also awesome about it, just to pile kudos onto the team that do it and amazing work, like it's also synchronized over the severs and the clients, as well, so if you think about the complexity of you guys are on a ship, I'm on a ship, where those ships are relative to each other in terms of water height, like you remembered we showed in the E3 video, there was a great big ship riding the waves, the lightning you could see it. Like that's the water and the weather and everything all acting, A, dynamic and realistic, but-
Larry Hryb: But in concert.
Craig Duncan: In concert with everything else that's going on in that game, because-
Larry Hryb: Yeah, you can do that in a single player experience, and it's certainly a wonderful moment, but when you and I and maybe two other boats are having the same experience at the same time, that's significantly more complicated.
Craig Duncan: Yeah, absolutely, and it's just making sure that where ... like if you're in the water, or your ship's at a certain point in the wave, like where everything is in the world, because if you shot a cannon and the ship wasn't really there-
Jeff Rubenstein: Right, right.
Craig Duncan: ... and the water wasn't really at that height, like it would break the illusion really quickly.
Larry Hryb: Right, right.
Craig Duncan: So the complexity ... like the water's almost a character in the game.
Jeff Rubenstein: I was just about to say that, yeah. I mean, you can be in the same place multiple times, and sometimes it's clear and easy to see, and it's almost like relaxing.
Larry Hryb: Well, that's relative to your ... I didn't realize it. It's relative to where you are on the map. The more northern you're on the map, the water is cloudier and more like northern Atlantic or northern Pacific-
Craig Duncan: Yeah, we've got an area called The Wilds which is very kind of craggy and the water's darker, and should feel like-
Larry Hryb: Cold, dangerous.
Craig Duncan: It should feel like an area that's dangerous.
Larry Hryb: Right.
Craig Duncan: And whereas the Blue Sea of Plenty, which is around, I think, we've got an outpost called Golden Sands Outpost, which sounds like a holiday resort, and you can sit in there, and that's the way it feels. It's just getting that variety in there, whereas if you're out in the deep, and you get a storm come in, [pwwf 00:32:58], look out.
Larry Hryb: Yeah, and then there's the other one, which is ... If you haven't done this, I recommend it ... kind of go to the edge of the map. See what happens there.
Jeff Rubenstein: I wonder what [Kyrie Irving 00:33:09] has to say about this.
Larry Hryb: If you go to the edge of the map, and you'll see that ... Yes, we'll just leave it at that.
Craig Duncan: Yeah.
Jeff Rubenstein: Okay.
Craig Duncan: And even Robin showed you one of the instruments we use to do one of our sound effects for the edge of the map.
Larry Hryb: That's right. That's right. I got to play with one. You'll have to see the video, and I'll let you know when it's out. That's one of the only instruments I could ever play. I'm not a musical person.
Jeff Rubenstein: The hurdy-gurdy?
Larry Hryb: Nope, nope. It's not even that.
Jeff Rubenstein: All right.
Larry Hryb: So we'll stay tuned for that, anyway.
Well, Craig, I don't know if you can stay on for a little bit. We got a little bit of news headlines to go through.
Craig Duncan: Yeah.
Larry Hryb: You're welcome to sit around, and Jeff's gonna do that.
Craig Duncan: I'd be honored.
Larry Hryb: We'll sprinkle in some more Sea of Thieves action. What are you playing otherwise? You really haven't played much, right?
Craig Duncan: No, actually I've been traveling a bit, and just trying to support the studio as much. I powered up the Switch before I came over, and downloaded Mario Rabbids, which I've played through.
Jeff Rubenstein: One of my absolute favorite games of the last year.
Craig Duncan: It's great. It's kind of like mini XCOM, but with charm and delight, so that was fun. I downloaded FIFA 18 and playing that on the Switch.
Larry Hryb: Did you finish Mario Odyssey or play it?
Craig Duncan: No, I'm on the icy level, so-
Larry Hryb: That's before New Donk City, right?
Craig Duncan: No, I've done New Donk City.
Larry Hryb: Okay. Enough said after that, right?
Craig Duncan: Yeah, I've done the water one. I think I've just rocked up at an ice level.
Larry Hryb: Okay.
Craig Duncan: I think if I've ... I've not picked it up for a while.
Larry Hryb: Yeah.
Craig Duncan: Yeah, so I'm playing the Switch a bit. What else have we been playing? Lot of Sea of Thieves.
Larry Hryb: Yeah, well, of course.
Craig Duncan: Tons of Sea of Thieves.
Larry Hryb: Anyway, so Jeff, why don't you go over the headlines, and we'll wrap things up here. As I said, Laura's out so we don't have Name the Game. We'll get to that whenever she decides to return. Which is always a mystery.
Jeff Rubenstein: So first news bit, in the 55th minute, Liverpool is now up 3-nil at Porto.
Craig Duncan: Oh, awesome. I'm so glad I came now.
Jeff Rubenstein: No. Sadio Mane with a second goal.
So, something interesting for racing fans, for Forza fans specifically, who think they're really good, is the team has just announced at Turn 10, the Forza Racing Championship 2018.
Larry Hryb: They call it the RC, right?
Jeff Rubenstein: They do. All the Forza [crosstalk 00:35:10].
Larry Hryb: And I get disappointed every time I see that, because I want it to be Forza radio controlled.
Jeff Rubenstein: Forza RC pro am?
Larry Hryb: Yeah, exactly.
Jeff Rubenstein: We have the Rare guy in the room. Let's not start. Let's not start any rumor here.
But yeah, so basically, if you think you're good, you're gonna be able to sign up for this. You can do that at ForzaRC.com. I will go ahead and link out to that. But the regular season's going to be kicking off in April, and there is money to be won.
Larry Hryb: Real money?
Jeff Rubenstein: Real cash money. Enough to afford maybe even some of the cars in the game.
Larry Hryb: That's right.
Jeff Rubenstein: Although, maybe not that Lamborghini Huracan, because that thing is like ... that's crazy.
So this was a game that looked really exciting, really interesting during E3 last year, which is almost here, which is Deep Rock Galactic. This was sort of, if you can remember-
Larry Hryb: Oh, that's the mining game, right?
Jeff Rubenstein: It was the mining game with the dwarves-
Craig Duncan: I was just gonna say dwarfs.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah, and so they're mining, and they're underground. There's like danger. This is actually also an Xbox Play Anywhere game, so you'll be able to play on PC, on Windows 10, or on Xbox One, and that is going to be arriving as part of Xbox Game Preview later this month, so looking forward to that one.
It's Valentine's Day, by the way.
Larry Hryb: Yes, it is. This week.
Jeff Rubenstein: You're wearing red. I'm wearing a little bit of red. Oh, look at that. Oh, I just-
Craig Duncan: I have a Sea of Thieves Valentine's t-shirt.
Jeff Rubenstein: That is a great shirt.
Larry Hryb: You gave me one of those, and I forgot to wear it, and I feel terrible.
Jeff Rubenstein: Geez. [inaudible 00:36:30]. Not wearing any red.
Larry Hryb: I know, I know. Well, we don't celebrate Valentine's Day in my family.
Jeff Rubenstein: Oh, that's very romantic.
Craig Duncan: Well, I'm here in Seattle for Valentine's Day.
Larry Hryb: Yeah, that's right, so you [inaudible 00:36:40].
Craig Duncan: We should probably cut that [inaudible 00:36:42].
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah.
Craig Duncan: Yeah.
Larry Hryb: Anyway.
Jeff Rubenstein: For when you get back, something that we tend to talk about during Valentine's Day is great co-op, couch co-op games, games that you can play with your loved ones, and so there's actually a sale on many of those games. Do you have a favorite couch co-op game that's great for this time?
Craig Duncan: I hope Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime is in that sale.
Jeff Rubenstein: That is my favorite one. And it is. It is on sale. Definitely worth getting. It's 50% off right now. Definitely have a good time with that. Up to four people, but you can be with as few as two.
Overcooked, which if you wanna get in an argument with your loved one, I highly recommend Overcooked.
Craig Duncan: Yep.
Larry Hryb: Yeah.
Jeff Rubenstein: I didn't realize what a kitchen nightmare I was until I started playing that, but a number of other games that are great, or involve love as a storyline in some way, like Firewatch, Guacamelee! Oh, Guacamelee! was so good. Gone Home, Castle Crashers is a great one. So, anyways, I'll link out. There's quite a few of these games, and I realize you're not hearing this on Valentine's Day, but the sale goes on until the 19th, so you should be in that safe zone-
Larry Hryb: So you can pick up a few games before you head out into the oceans for Sea of Thieves.
Jeff Rubenstein: Exactly, 'cause you need something to keep yourself [inaudible 00:37:55]-
Larry Hryb: Is there a name of the ocean that's there? Like the map of the world, do you have a name for it?
Craig Duncan: Yeah, so we have three zones. One's called The Wilds, one's called the Blue Sea of Plenty, and the other, I think our dev version, I'm gonna get this wrong now, is called like the White Sea or the Wild Sea, or-
Larry Hryb: Okay, something.
Craig Duncan: Yeah, it's a third kind of biome is a way to think about it, like different islands patterns. It's a bit more jungle-y.
Larry Hryb: Okay.
Craig Duncan: So think of like Caribbean, craggy out rock, kind of bit more oppressed, and then a more jungle, deep forest, dense sort of forest area.
Larry Hryb: Okay, and they are like latitudinal stacked on top of each other? Or are they just sprinkled around?
Craig Duncan: They're kind of like the maps in sort of thirds.
Larry Hryb: I see.
Craig Duncan: So if you can imagine sort of drawing a line across-
Larry Hryb: Top third, middle third, lower third.
Craig Duncan: Yeah, I'm moving my hands now, which I realize is completely useless on a podcast, but yeah, sort of the one's in the top, one's in the bottom left, one's in the bottom right.
Larry Hryb: I see.
Craig Duncan: So as you cross the boundaries-
Larry Hryb: There you go.
Craig Duncan: And some of the more advanced voyages, like voyages in the game will have you traversing different, like much longer voyage.
Larry Hryb: Multiple days.
Craig Duncan: Multiple day voyages, yeah.
Larry Hryb: Multiple days. I love that. Anyway, sorry, sorry. Didn't mean to-
Jeff Rubenstein: No, no. This is why you're here.
Larry Hryb: Well, to try to keep things going.
Jeff Rubenstein: And just last thing I wanted to cover. Quite a few, again, we're in that last month and change before Sea of Thieves hits it, we got to keep ourselves busy with something, and a couple of games hit. In fact, one that I think will keep you busy almost up until March 20th, and that would be Kingdom Come: Deliverance. This looked pretty interesting. It's a realistic RPG.
Larry Hryb: So when you say that title, all I can see in my mind's eye is a royal version of Dueling Banjos.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yes. Probably not a tie in with the Deliverance movie from the '70s, which I don't recommend unless you never wanna forget it.
Larry Hryb: Yeah, it's [inaudible 00:39:47].
Jeff Rubenstein: So anyway, this game, I've been hearing that it's like pretty intense, and very ... I think it takes places in Bohemia, which is now like modern day Czech Republic area, something like that. But it's a first person view point, and so, I guess realistic Skyrim might be a way of looking at it.
Larry Hryb: Nice, very nice.
Jeff Rubenstein: But I hear it's pretty detailed, and a lot of the reviews they're like, "I can't give a review score, because I'm only halfway through." So if you're looking for ... This looks like a good value, and something I'm hoping I have time to get into.
Also, Dynasty Warriors 9 hit this week.
Larry Hryb: Yep.
Jeff Rubenstein: Monster Energy Supercross, the official video game hit this week, and a number of other indie games, and I will just link out to you a place where you can find all of those things-
Larry Hryb: MajorNelson.com.
Jeff Rubenstein: ... in one easy place.
Larry Hryb: Yes.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah.
Larry Hryb: Delightful.
Jeff Rubenstein: That's it for the news.
Craig Duncan: So many games to play.
Larry Hryb: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Jeff Rubenstein: Time is the-
Larry Hryb: Quiet you. You got a game to ship. You'll get nothing and like it.
Jeff Rubenstein: You can play on the plane, and that's it.
Craig Duncan: And what's awesome, as well, is even when we ship Sea of Thieves, we're still going to be adding things into [crosstalk 00:40:49]-
Larry Hryb: Yeah, that's what I'm saying. The game is just ... I mean all the hipsters are calling games as a service, right.
Craig Duncan: It's just awesome that you can keep adding and making things to your game when you've got real people playing.
Larry Hryb: Right.
Craig Duncan: Like it's great.
Jeff Rubenstein: Have you had a chance to play anything recently?
Larry Hryb: Well, we played a little bit of Overwatch.
Jeff Rubenstein: Not as well we would've liked.
Larry Hryb: No. Jeff and I streamed Overwatch yesterday. It's the lunar new year. It's the year of the dog.
Jeff Rubenstein: It is, or it will be this weekend.
Larry Hryb: By the way, while we're ... I need to look up what I was thinking about.
Jeff Rubenstein: Oh yeah. You should look that up. So for those who didn't watch us, and consider yourself fortunate if you didn't, 'cause we ran a strong O and four.
Larry Hryb: Stunk up the place.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah, but they have, like they did last year, a capture the flag mode for Overwatch, and they had a new map called ... I won't even try to pronounce it. But it's pretty well done. It's pretty fun. They actually have a competitive version this year for those who are significantly better than we are. But that will be going on until I think March 9th, give or take.
Larry Hryb: Yep.
Jeff Rubenstein: And as usual, they added a lot of really cool skins, and I haven't pulled any of them out of a box. None of them.
Larry Hryb: Oh, I ended up buying the Pharah skin yesterday.
Jeff Rubenstein: Oh, did you?
Larry Hryb: Yeah, I needed that one.
Jeff Rubenstein: So the Pharah one is very cool.
Larry Hryb: I needed that one.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah.
Craig Duncan: As a [inaudible 00:42:01] won't play Overwatch at Rare. I'm just not good enough. Whenever I try and play it, I just ...
Jeff Rubenstein: You have to find the right character, 'cause I feel like I'm not the person who does 360 no scopes, but I definitely hold my own in Overwatch, because I find characters that sort of work where I can be more strategic and not more hair trigger. Like Widowmaker, forget about it. I'm not sniping anyone from across the map, but Lucio, I can strategically drop the shields, or whatever I need to do. So, once your game ships-
Craig Duncan: We should [inaudible 00:42:34]-
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah. I am not the type of person to play a game for close to two years straight, but that is a game where I feel like we can always go back to.
Did you figure out where you are yet?
Larry Hryb: I can't seem to find it.
Jeff Rubenstein: Do you know what Chinese Zodiac or Lunar zodiac you are? What animal?
I'm the year of the snake, for whatever that's worth.
Craig Duncan: I was just gonna say, like I think, I've just had a flashback to being 11 at school and we did Chinese calendar. I think it's snake.
Jeff Rubenstein: Well, then we're-
Craig Duncan: '77?
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Larry Hryb: I may be the tiger.
Jeff Rubenstein: You could be the tiger.
Larry Hryb: I may be the tiger.
Jeff Rubenstein: That sounds good.
Larry Hryb: Anyway, I'll-
Jeff Rubenstein: Year of the snake, we're good looking people, very personable, charming, I think. There's probably some other stuff in there, too, but, you know.
Craig Duncan: Right. Yeah.
Jeff Rubenstein: I think it's good.
Craig Duncan: '77, mate.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah, all right. Yeah.
Larry Hryb: All right.
Craig Duncan: Good.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah.
Larry Hryb: Well, I know you've gotta go.
Craig Duncan: I do.
Larry Hryb: We got wrap this show-
Jeff Rubenstein: He's got to slither on out of here.
Larry Hryb: Yeah, the [ssss 00:43:28].
Craig Duncan: I'm not really sure I like being a snake.
Larry Hryb: By the way, all of these, we just talked about the year of the snake and the year of the pig, all of these things should be in Sea of Thieves.
Craig Duncan: There are snakes and pigs in Sea of Thieves. I can confirm that.
Larry Hryb: Hold on. So the years are-
Jeff Rubenstein: You can have tigers, dragons, and-
Larry Hryb: ... snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, pig, rat, ox, tiger, rabbit.
Jeff Rubenstein: Was rat last year?
Larry Hryb: I think so.
Jeff Rubenstein: No, that was older.
Craig Duncan: Some of those things are in Sea of Thieves. Not all of them. Sharks.
Jeff Rubenstein: Very good.
Larry Hryb: Shark. Shark.
Jeff Rubenstein: Year of the shark.
Craig Duncan: Year of the shark.
Larry Hryb: Land shark. All right. We'll let you go, man. Thank you, Craig. Congratulations on everything you guys have been doing. Maybe we'll have you on again when the game officially launches next month.
Craig Duncan: Would love to, and thanks to both of you guys for all the support and coming out to the studio.
Jeff Rubenstein: Of course.
Craig Duncan: And helping us get the message out there is super important.
Larry Hryb: It's always our pleasure. Jeff, maybe we'll this again next week, or whenever we can get together.
Jeff Rubenstein: I'll be around.
Larry Hryb: And on behalf of Laura and myself, thanks for listening, and we'll talk to you next time. Buh-bye everybody!
Jeff Rubenstein: Bye.
Craig Duncan: Bye-bye.