Hello, everyone and welcome to our weekly development updates feed! I am Nikita Veselov, Game Director of Maritime Law and every Friday I am going to devote some of my time to keep you informed about our game development news.
This week we are going to talk about where we are at the moment. For the last couple of months, we have been working on figuring out how to make the navigation and ship movement right. There have been couple prototypes, redesigns and finally, we are at the point when we are happy with the current design.
The navigation for us is one of the fundamental gameplay things in this game. Most of the old and modern naval games are focused around ship combat, while the player controls the ship just like the car in a racing game, with just some extra momentum. What we hope to achieve is for navigation to be the exciting problem-solving task when you take into account different factors such as wind, currents and tides. We aim to prevent the player from setting a course from port A to port B just as a set of straight lines avoiding the islands in the way. The idea behind it is to make the player understand that the shortest route by distance isn’t always the fastest way to get there.
But enough talking about ideology. So what are we actually showing on this screenshot? Well, we have a map for you with ocean and islands. And it looks like...Cuba, right? Well, I hope that it looks at least a bit like it. The dark arrows on the side represent a mighty Gulf Stream, which will help you get much faster to the destination (as long as your destination is in the same way). The little white lines represent the wind direction. Moving against it is close to staying on the spot in this game, so better respect and follow it! It’s a great time to remind you, my friends, that most of this art is a placeholder and we’ll do our best to come up with a much greater one.
Well, let’s get back to our game. My navigator, Henry, came up with a route for my ship that leads us to some bay of Cuba, where according to the rumours I overheard in the tavern of Port-au-Prince, is hosting one of the Spanish merchant ships that are trying to repair after suffering a severe storm 7 days ago. Sounds like an easy booty!
Laying down the route in Maritime Law is absolutely a pleasure, especially because you can go anywhere on the map. You may rest in small bays, sail through the open ocean and pick any route you want (just make sure you stock up with enough supplies to afford it). The GUI shows me the distance this commute is going to take, while the colour of the line indicates how fast my ship is going to sail, from green (indicating that I am just amazing at this) to red (showing that probably I should do something different). Well, it looks like Henry did a great job as I don’t see any red lines on the map. It’s time we set sail towards adventure!