“Sea of Thieves” Designer Talks Issues

It turns out Microsoft and Rare’s new tentpole game “Sea of Thieves” has had to face more than some server issues. The Xbox and Windows exclusive has received a not so great 71/100 on Metacritic with many reviews indicating the game won’t have much longevity.

While the game’s beta went over well, the multiplayer game has now been released in full and people have begun to clock in serious hours on it. As a result the repetitiveness of the gameplay and lack of variety, combined with those launch connectivity issues, has yielded some… interesting reaction.

Now, Stevivor reports that developer Rare was apparently aware of the lack of depth in the gameplay during the development process with a former artist on the game, Rob Beddall, taking to Reddit to address some of the concerns that players have had. Beddall says:

“I worked on this game for over two years. A lot of internal people voiced their concerns that the game was insanely repetitive and shallow. This was about a year a go before I left . I guess nothing has changed. I’ve been waiting a year for this day and the sh– storm that would hit once everyone realised they had been sold half a game.

All I can say is that the plans and ideas for the game were bigger than what was released but there were never any solid plans on extra game mechanics. For instance, there were originally 7 different zones I think but that was cut down to 3… My worry would be that it has taken [Rare] 4 years or so to produce what’s there. Which isn’t a lot in terms of variety.

The main pirate ship was constantly being worked on the whole time I was there. That’s 2 years for 1 asset. It became a bit of a joke among us. Personally I think they need to be a bit more relaxed and not be so anal about perfection if they’re going to release DLC. Otherwise, there’s just not going to be enough content.

I absolutely believe that they had all the best intentions of making a truly awesome game. I personally just feel that they spent too much time on the tiny details rather than adding content. I’m not sure if they made it into the final game but in the prototype you could steal other players ships, and you could set ships on fire … often accidentally by trying to cook food. It was a blast.”

He also revealed the original idea was the game was more of a Goonies-esque buddy adventure with four friends pulled out of their ordinary life and go on a wild adventure. It was also originally planned to contain microtransactions for things like anchors and sniper scopes.

However, design wise there were issues with simple things like said anchors: “I was one of the artists who built the ship and questioned this design decision many times but just got shut down. It always seemed really odd to me that no-one had even looked at how an anchor works on a ship, in a game about pirate ships.”