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Rare: There’s No Other Game Like Sea of Thieves; We Embraced Powerlevelling and Might Add Painting Canvas


Rare is currently putting the finishing touches for the launch day of their pirate themed shared world adventure, Sea of Thieves, due on March 20th for Windows 10 PC and Xbox One and included with the Xbox Game Pass subscription.

With the game now less than twenty days away, the Twycross-based studio received a visit from EDGE to be featured in their latest magazine (April 2018, issue 317), available today digitally.

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While several key developers were quoted in the interview, Design Director Mike Chapman had the most interesting things to say this time around, starting with Sea of Thieves being truly unique.

I'm biased, but I actually don't think there's another game like Sea of Thieves. Even though Rare has never really made such a multiplayer-focused game before, I think the type of multiplayer game it is is so different anyway. I don't think any of us have ever made a game like this before. But I think it means we've looked at it with fresh eyes.

Chapman then talked about Sea of Thieves embracing power-leveling, in Rare's own way.

The idea is that players share voyages. Power-levelling is, I guess, a bad thing in other games. It’s the best thing in Sea Of Thieves, and we’ve fully embraced it. You want to play with people in your crew at a different level of promotion. You want to have that feeling of, ‘They’ve got something I don’t yet have access to’. And by forging those connections with others, it’s that whole story of, ‘Jack Sparrow’s got the map to Fountain of Youth – but he needs a crew to go and get it.

People want to be friends with a Pirate Legend. They can’t get access to the hideout or Legendary Voyages unless they’re with you. This is kind of the endgame for Sea Of Thieves at launch. It’s going to be fascinating to see. Do Legends play with Legends? Do they play with people who’ve just started, and shepherd other people into the game?

Finally, the Design Director teased one intriguing feature that's been playtested and might be added to the game in a future update: painting canvas.

One of the things we prototyped early on, which we loved, was a painting canvas. And as part of our service, and the game growing and evolving, there's something really interesting we want to do with that. It's possibly my favorite thing we'll ever do in Sea of Thieves - at least of what's on the mid-term roadmap.

Would you like to see this implemented in the game?