{High Seas}

Game Concept

Thesis:
Forge your ship, build your crew of trusted thieves and brigands, man your battlestations and set sail on the {High Seas}! Embarking from the same coast, equalized in power and resource, every crew will have the opportunities to explore the grand oceanscapes in search of treasure islands. Battle for control of these isles, defend your accumulated hoard there, hold out for as long as you can. But never give up – for the greatest treasures are always just over the horizon… 3rd-person pirate action adventure sim – rogue-like arena spanning hundreds of islands within a procedurally-generated ocean map.

Setting:
Starting island of shipbuilders and nascent pirate-era crews hungry for adventure | Vast oceanscape interspersed with islands of random, procedurally-generated make + content + treasure | Sailing alongside other ships seeking the same sources of income, fighting or teaming to the ends of attaining control of islands or attacking those that are already fortified.

Character & Story:
Play as a pirate inhabiting an ensemble crew seeking fortune. Create your character, man your squad, and embark on a custom, cooperatively designed ship for speed, combat, or some mix of both and embark onto the high seas in search of land… or other ships to commandeer. The objective of a pirate is to seek fortune and fight for it.

Play as 1) Pilot ~ lead navigator charged with manning the wheel of the ship | skills: superior direction-sense, expert-class maneuvering, can read & write and thus engage in communications and diplomacy with other ships across the seas
2) Brigand ~ marksman and gunslingers, the top killing force within a crew | skills: accuracy with personal firearms and ship cannons, steady nerves and killer instincts
3) Swashbuckler ~ swordsman, the flashy, finessing sword-battling troubadours within the crew | skills: swordplay, dodging & rolling, fancy footwork and top notch insults
4) Surveyman ~ eagle-eyed veteran treasure-seekers tasked with finding noteworthy isles with valuable resources or defensible positions to hoard the ship’s treasures | skills: superior eyesight, treasure-perception, island identification along the horizons
5) Builder ~ engineer & ship-builder, they are tasked with repairing the ship when it is damaged and building makeshift fortresses on islands selected for fortification | skills: fast-build & repair of ships or structures, blueprinting and design of island fortresses, commands the crew in efforts toward building your pirate fortress.

Any player archetype can be selected as captain, either at the start of the crew’s journey or over its harrowing course along the high seas…

~ art by DongJun Seo

Gameplay:
{High Seas} is a 3rd-person massively-multiplayer exploration and action game, in which 5-man pirate crews explore an ocean full of islands for treasure and glory.

Ready, set, go ~ In the base conditions for a campaign, 100 ships embark onto the map – an oceanscape populated with 33 procedurally-generated islands of differing sizes, full of random terrain, beasts, and potential past treasures to be found and pirated onto your ship. Pirate crews fight for control of these isles as they sail into their waters, battling to land, explore, and then either stay and defend their findings – or set sail again for better lands. When a ship is destroyed or all members of a crew have been slain, then the crew and ship respawn at the start of the same map, with base stats and zero treasure, and can prepare to set sail again. The game continues, with ships battling one another and accumulating treasure – until a 1) a set total wealth amount is reached and the game ends / 2) a player discovers the rareified Treasure Isle – the grandest hoard within its coasts… Once found, a beam from the heavens shines down upon this island, alerting every remaining pirate on the seas of its location and the fact that a pirate has made it. Those nearby can challenge for control of it. The first pirate and their crew to make contact with the portal on the island will be transported to a realm of absolute treasure, and will win the campaign for their crew. | The # of ships at the start, the size of the overmap, and respawns on/off can all be customized at the start of a campaign. The # of islands will always be set with @ approx. 1/3 of the arena’s total participant size (100 players | 33 islands), so as to motivate the battling for the scarce resources of the isles before the treasure-hungry crews…

Sailing ~ Players control their character from the third-person view, until they take command of the ship from main wheel, in which they take on a view of the ship from a wider third-person perspective. The Pilot is charged with navigating and piloting the ship across the sea, with ancillary help from other crew members to draw or redirect the sails, or drop anchor. The command and feel of sailing is fast and free-flowing – easy to cross the ocean but difficult to balance alongside combat with other ships or the sieging of an island’s shore. Cannons are always ready to fired from the sides towards their targets, with faint red trajectory lines visible to the cannoneers and the Pilot alike.

Fighting ~ Pirates engage in gunplay and swordplay from third-person, with zooming available. Players can fire while moving, though the aiming reticle with reflect the decreased accuracy. Every crew member wields either blunderbuss pistol + cutlass or rifle + looking glass. Depending on your class archetype, gun accuracy and sword strength will have bonuses or not. Pirate life also varies based on archetype – with Swashbucklers and Pilots having the most endurance. After being shot or slashed, a pirate can recover their health if they take cover for a few moments {Pirate life spans in combat is much closer to Halo than Call of Duty}. Direct cannon-fire will typically kill any pirate instantly; swords kill faster than personal guns, but is more difficult to get into close range unimpeded.

Pirate crews battling other ships can try to sink them with cannonfire, or board them with rope swings onto their deck. Every pirate killed, unto the last, will respawn momentarily within the deck of their own ship, or in the confines of their latest island fortress. Once an entire crew has been killed, then their ship or island fortress can be commandeered – and they will either be respawned at the starting point within the campaign, or their crew’s campaign will be ended…

Assassin’s Creed Black Flag combat

Exploring ~ Pirate ships, once anchored near an island, can be exited for the crew to explore the new land. Islands can be explored in a relatively short period of time, depending on their size and what the Surveyman can detect in terms of potential hidden treasures. Once explored, or fought for against other landing pirate crews, the crew must decide whether to stay and defend what they have gained, or carry a fraction of the hoard on their ship and keep going to sea in search of bigger finds…

The Final Run ~ Once the Treasure Isle has been identified – revealed to all pirates across the map – the final run to reach its portal to a realm of absolute wealth begins. No matter to the wealth accumulated up to that point in the game, a new style of win can be achieved within the island’s inner mystery – where the random portal to the wealth realm is generated. Thus, every pirate crew sets sail once more from their islands or from the start and races toward the isle – battling one another the whole way there and then once on its shores. The spawn rate of the Treasure Isle can be edited before the campaign begins. Additionally, though the crew that reaches the portal on the island technically wins the campaign – the pirate crew with the most total gold is also received a secondary victory status. Both styles of victory are represented on the {High Seas} multiplayer leaderboards.

Inspired by ~

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag

ATLAS

Sea of Thieves

Endgame:
Assemble your ensemble of pirates and begin your voyage into the great unknown beyond the horizon! On the {High Seas}, venture to your destined plunder with your squad. Race against the world of pirates to secure your opportunity to cross over into a paradiso golden world of impossible fortunes. And as in all great endeavors, fortune favors the bold!