Withwind Devlog #1 – The vision

Ahoy, and welcome to the first devlog for Withwind!

A Topsail Schooner sails beam reach (perpendicular to the wind) through treacherous waters.

Firstly I’d like to thank everyone who watched the announcement teaser and shared their feedback and enthusiasm for the game, this was a great motivational boon, and it’s great to hear there are others out there who are interested in such a game.

In this entry I hope to offer an overview of Withwind. What it is and why i’m making it.

So what is Withwind?

Withwind is an Age-of-Sail sandbox management sim that sets you as captain of a vessel and her crew within a procedurally generated world.

I realise this description is rather vague, so I’ll elaborate.

Many Age-of-Sail games focus on ‘being a pirate’ or ‘being a naval officer’, which is fine and can be fun. But I want to make something different.

Fundamentally, Withwind is a sandbox game. It makes no assumptions if the player wants to be a pirate, explorer, merchantman, fisherman or any of the other planned careers. In Withwind players start with a small vessel and a few doubloons in their chest. A nobody. Similar to Mount & Blade, Kenshi & Dwarf Fortress. The player will be given opportunities to become more prominent in the world, but that’s down to them. The various factions and NPC captains will go about their business all the same.

Additionally, Withwind focuses on realisitc sailing and navigation. There are many games where boats drive like cars on the ocean, and have pin-point GPS positions. Which again, can be fun. But to me this detracts from that feeling of being at sea, alone, at mercy to the elements. This is why I have implemented features like the ship’s helm, the sextant for celestial navigation and the various sailing rigs. A voyage should feel like a challenge. The player should feel relieved to finally hear “Land Ahoy!”.

Ultimately, Withwind is glued together as a management sim. The player should feel like a captain. The crew will have a hierarchy, schedules, skills, ration/sleep needs, expectations of pay/promotion. They will be performing all the tasks that make a sailing ship ‘go’. It’s a balancing act to create an efficient operation with the supplies you have, whilst avoiding a mutnity. What do you do if your food perishes at sea, who gets to eat first, do you turn back, would the wind allow it? Crew are not sworn to their captain, and may leave if they’re not happy.

That concludes a high-level look at Withind. Of course, I’ll be going more in-depth about these systems in the coming weeks and months. Please do comment below any questions and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

Thanks for reading, seadogs!

2 thoughts on “Withwind Devlog #1 – The vision

    1. Hey! Last week was rather chaotic for me (new member of the family!), leaving me out of time. It’s great to hear the enthusiasim and updates will absolutely continue (touch-wood) starting this Friday! Cheers – Tom

      Like

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