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Wayward Tide: Starbound developer Chucklefish’s next game is a co-op swashbuckler

Wayward Tide

Starbound is great. I have described it, in groups of serious adults, as “dead brilliant,” like I was an excited child. Do people even say “dead brilliant” anymore? Well I do. But very rarely. That’s why it’s in our list of the 15 best sandbox games on PC. But developer Chucklefish isn’t resting on its laurels, no. 

Four members of the studio are now at working making a co-operative, somewhat competitive pirate action adventure game: Wayward Tide. Swashbuckling adventures are dead brilliant. 

Pirates make most things better. Take Assassin’s Creed, for instance. Assassin’s Creed III, which had no real piratical antics? Rubbish. Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, which was all about pirates? A delight from start to finish. Proof, ladies and gentlemen.

Wayward Tide lets you join up with three of your most skullduggerous chums on an adventure across five islands in search of riches. Puzzles, traps and enemies will, of course, block your way.

But pirates are not to be trusted. It’s a cooperative game, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a bit of backstabbing.

“One of the key features we’re focusing on is the nature of the puzzles and traps, which will introduce a competitive edge to the co-op experience,” the developer explains. “For instance, you and your friends might find yourself dealing with a pressure plate trap.

“The solution would involve everyone stepping off at the same time. Stepping off too early will unhelpfully drop a boulder on your friend. We’re currently planning on a way to resurrect co-op players from time to time, so it’s not game over if a few of you get killed along the way.”

If the whole group perishes, death is not the end. Everyone will wash ashore near the starting town, and all the treasure gathered will persist. But the next attempt at navigating the islands will be different, thanks to random generation.

Not surprisingly, given how mod-friendly Starbound is, Wayward Tide will similarly welcome modders. “We’re still very early in development, and there are a lot of decisions yet to be made,” says Chucklefish. “The vibrant community of Starbound has been a great success, and that’s partly due to the modding scene. We want to encourage the same with this game, so the current plan is to make our development toolset available shortly after the game is released.”