Sails of War is a fast paced, action heavy combat game giving you command of your own vessel. Dive into the waves of this golden age of large tall ships. Outmaneuver your enemies and sail to victory.

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After missing last months blog and quite some busy times I finally get to share my progress on the sloop! The model itself is done, the next and final step will be to finalize the texture and material process.

Sails of War - Sloop Clay Render

Please note that this image is not rendered real time and does also sport some fake solid water.

Last time I shared some props I had made and have since shared more over on Twitter. These props will be used (in parts) across the whole game and possibly the other ships. In case you missed some of my earlier posts here is them all in one place:

Sails of War - Ship details: Anchor

Sails of War - Ship Details: 6 Pounder GunSails of War - Ship details: Storage Boxes

Small details like that add a little extra to an otherwise flat and clean ships floor. As you can see in this comparison between the finished ship and a version without the detailing.

Sails of War - compare Detail

Please note that this image is not rendered real time and does also sport some fake solid water.

Let's talk about the sloop though. This ship isn't too heavily armed but does manage to build up a bit of speed. With 12 main guns, she is able to defend herself, but can't quite carry the same punch as a larger ship of the line.

While making this model I had some design decision to make which will now in future be set and hopefully speed up work.

Late last year I had done all the ship's rigging in flat planes. The idea was to save on polycount in a fear of performance issues. The loss of detail, however, was so large that I switched out all those flat planes and went with cubes. Cubes give the illusion of being round – thanks to some clever shading – and are overall way more interesting to look at.

Sails of War Sloop Render

Please note that this image is not rendered real time and does also sport some fake solid water.

Another large change to versions I had shown before is edges: This large model will work best when the sun glitters on them. You really get a feeling of water and salt when tiny white stars dance over everything – you know the ones only Sunshine and water produce.

To get the desired effect multiple options open up: You can add some detail in texture, have a material overlay some very shiny points or you make sure the model has edges for light the catch on. Best you do all three together!
So most my last month was spent finishing everything, and like in woodworking smoothing and rounding edges.

Sails of War Sloop Render

Please note that this image is not rendered real time and does also sport some fake solid water.

The next step is to establish a pool of materials and a workflow to add ship specific texture details. Just like the modeling process that workflow will remain and speed up work for the other ships.

I will also have to decide what the game should look like. Ships of old were actually really colorful and (certainly those build in peace-time) were richly decorated. I may, however, go with a more war-time look. Fewer colors.

Now you might say: “Hang on. Didn't you want to add more detail?” And the answer is a yes. But some texture testing before highlighted a problem with the colorful peace-time decorations: The image gets very, very busy. It then appears that those textures reach a point that might be historically correct but do not necessarily work in a videogame.

So keep an eye out for future blog posts talking about creative license and art direction!

Till then - Lukas

Inspired by History - DevBlog #3 - Sails of War

Inspired by History - DevBlog #3 - Sails of War


Learn how history actively inspires Sails of War and at the same time allows creative freedom.

It's all about the Water - DevBlog #2 - Sails of War

It's all about the Water - DevBlog #2 - Sails of War

News 2 comments

Sails of War Dev-Blog #2 talks about the current progress on the main water material. It also gives in inside into development as a hole and pulls back...

Introduction - DevBlog #1 - Sails of War

Introduction - DevBlog #1 - Sails of War

News 1 comment

In this first Development Blog I want to introduce myself, the game as well as workflows and general goals of the project. We are currently preparing...


Damn, ship games are the real focus of indie games lately. Not complaining, ships are my favorite thing to make :)

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Ich habe mich gerade durch die Bilder geklickt und die Infos gelesen. Einfach nur wow. Sieht schon jetzt verdammt gut aus. Bin schon echt gespannt, was weiter kommt ;-)

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Latest tweets from @sailsofwar

RT @StratmannLukas: Worked on the Sloop. Unique UV and dirt pass is done. Now onto tiling textures and finishing touches. Homestretch! #3D #UE4 @SailsOfWar

Feb 9 2018

New Blog - all about the Sloop #3D model:

Jan 17 2018

Double rations and 2 cups of Grog for everyone! Have a wonderful time. (Neither ship nor cannon to scale.)

Dec 24 2017

RT @StratmannLukas: No blog this month: To busy with pre xmas madness. Will hopefully have the ship done soon. Looking forward to finally sharing the result.

Dec 14 2017

RT @StratmannLukas: Anchors - small and large - make great detail props. @SailsOfWar ships won't have much use for them but they look c…

Dec 1 2017

Likely a bit early in development to ask you guys to vote for us. But head on over to @IndieDB and go vote for you…

Dec 1 2017

RT @StratmannLukas: Props and Details for Ships. 6-pounder gun. Needs to be put on a deck - not just tied to some poles!

Nov 14 2017

Short bit on how #history inspires Sails of War: #unreal #indiegame #ue4 #indie #indiedev

Nov 12 2017

RT @StratmannLukas: On-board #Ship details for @SailsOfWar. Crates and windswept, wet cloth. 800 polygons, the cloth gets most of that.…

Nov 5 2017

RT @StratmannLukas: Best part about GameDev? Getting into the setting by listening to period music. Shanties have been playing all night! #UE4 #Indie #Indiegame

Nov 3 2017

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