Feral Blue — Devblog #1

May 10, 2018  |  Blood & Gold, Feral Blue

Hi everyone,

Today we’re sharing our first development diary about Feral Blue — our first game based on Unreal Engine 4.

Let’s start with the general overview of the project — what it’s all about. We’ll describe the game’s basic elements, but in a very short manner, so that it doesn’t turn into a design document. Feel free to ask any question in the comments, we’ll give an answer to everything.

Setting / Game’s world

Plane Earth turned into a water world, almost like in the movie of the same name (well worth watching by the way, Dennis Hopper play a villain in Waterworld masterfully). Games and films have taught us that an apocalypse, whether it’s climatic, nuclear or pandemic, can happen right now or in the future. Which is weird, because in the past people basically lived during post-apocalypse. We advice reading about Late Bronze Age collapse — it’s almost like Fallout, but in the age of pharaohs.

feralblue_2

But we decided no to go that far and have out catastrophe set in the era of Louis XIV and the Anglo-Dutch wars: that’s when the Second Flood happened. Versailles and London are the bottom of the sea, but the technological achievements helped survive a small part of European population. Mountain systems, such as the Himalayas, the Alps or Tibet, saves the inhabitants from eternal sailing, but put them in a state of eternal war with the less fortunate people.

The ship

The player start as a ship’s captain. Let’s cut to the chase and explain this by some examples: this part of the game works similarly to Fallout Shelter with its caste society and a slight influence of Crusader Kings.

You have noblemen-sailors, who fight in sea battles, are responsible for weapon systems on the ships and busy being chivalrous. They don’t like dirty work and bad conditions, under bad treatment they can start rioting against you.

And you have plebeians — they clear the decks, cook food in the galley, repair the lining and perform all other necessary chores. They can’t fight at all and can be easily be sold into slavery.

feralblue_3

There’s also an intermediate link — let’s call them ‘cadets’. They can be used to clean toilets, but they are capable of swinging a saber in the boarding fight, if needed.

Distributing your resources between these three castes of your crew, you will be trying to build a harmonious society. Otherwise, that crew will kill you one day — and then the game can be continued as a New Captain (with another set of talents).

The ship can receive new upgrades with a better hull. For example, you can choose between sails, paddles or even a steam engine. Although, the oarsmen would need food and water, the steam engine requires fuel, and the sails are useless when the sea is calm — decisions, decisions…

Sea battles

The idea here is pretty simple — we’ll try to add a bit of realism to the system seen in Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag. Firstly, we want to reduce the movement speed of ships, Secondly, the price of each shot (and each hit) will increase. Thirdly, no good old exploits like ‘shoot them with grape shots, dodge, then board an empty ship’.

sea_battle

The setting dictates its rules — gunpowder (coal + saltpeter + sulfur) will be at deficit, so many it makes sense to switch to the classics in some cases, such as catapults and ballistas.

The main challenge for us here is how to make the aiming interesting. In Blood & Gold it was a bit too obvious and and the only requirement for the player was to get very close to the enemy. In Feral Blue we want to try a more complex system, so that each successful hit would be rare and would give more satisfaction.

We’ll continue next week with more info on boarding fights, economic system and politics — stay tuned!