Today Rare delivered the fourth Sea of Thieves trailer in a series that has been dubbed “Short Hauls,” or short developer diaries that describe aspects of the game’s experience. Rare sees fit to design philosophy and goals in these Short Hauls, hoping to give potential players some perspective on what kind of game Sea of Thieves is shaping up to be. “Visual Effects” is the topic of this latest Short Haul trailer, or how Rare’s focus on the details will better create a true pirate adventure.
Specific examples of visual effects cited within Sea of Thieves‘ trailer include cannon explosions and how cannon balls crash into ship hulls, as well as the spray of water as a ship parts the sea. Andreas Oberg, the VFX Lead at Rare, describes these effects in detail regarding how they’re used to create a more visceral and engaging experience for players. Andreas describes it thusly within the trailer:
“When we talk about visual effects in games, we normally mean particles. That’s what we’re using to create all of the cannon effects for example, like the different explosions. You want to give the player strong feelings when they’re playing the game… You should just feel like you’re really part of this beautiful world.”
Andreas goes on to describe how visual effects are all about bringing the entire experience together, a key facet of what will make Sea of Thieves more than a typical pirate game. As an online multiplayer game with a heavy reliance on character customization and progression, player investment in the character and world is an obvious priority.
Previous episodes in Sea of Thieves‘ Short Haul trailer series include “Creating Clouds,” “Aboard the Ship,” and “Instruments.” Each explores an example of how Sea of Thieves tries to bring the player closer to the world in which they’re playing. Instruments talks about how players can add their own soundtrack within the game through gameplay, but how it’s also influenced by social aspects of the game. Creating Clouds shows how Sea of Thieves is using an ever-present object in virtually every game — clouds — in a new way to add depth to the experience. It’s unexplored territory, which pirates would appreciate.
Rare’s Short Haul trailers are just one way the developer is continuing to communicate with its audience, whether they’re excited for Sea of Thieves or not. There are several other short video series that are ongoing, like the Inn-side Stories series or one-offs created for special events, like Talk Like a Pirate Day. Perhaps this extensive amount of developer-to-player communication is another strategy to help bring players closer to the experience that Sea of Thieves will provide. Perhaps in knowing Rare, players will better know their games.
Sea of Thieves is tentatively planned for release in 2017 for the PC and Xbox One.