Sailing is the next main feature of our game. The entire sailing system is based on real world physics and mechanics. Together with our modular and customizable Raft Building system (which will be described later) it opens a brand new world in ocean based survival games. We have uploaded a short demonstration video to our channel on YouTube, check it out!
The below described system is used for sailing when the game is started in easy/medium difficulty settings and is utilizing basic sailing physics and mechanics. In case of hard settings the sailing will use more advanced physics and functionality which will be implemented and described later.
The sailing itself is about mastering the physics of the wind, the water and of the floating object. In our case the entire sailing mechanic can be simplified down so the basics can be understandable from the following pictures. The forces of drifting caused by wind or streams in easy/medium game settings are ignored.
The situation, when the wind is blowing mainly in the direction the player wants to travel is simple. After determining the correct situation based on the relative difference between the desired movement and the wind, the sail is needed to rotate to the indicated direction. The player should avoid the 'no-sail' zones, because the sails cannot give enough force to push the raft in desired direction.
Into the wind
Little trickier is sailing 'against' the wind. The player must sail 'zig-zag' and rotate the raft and the sails at turning points quickly.
Our sailing system is based on two mechanics: sail and rudder. The handling of them can seem difficult at first, but after some time the player will get used to it. Sailing can easily help the player to take long distance travels. Of course, if there is weather modifier 'Calm' or 'Windy' used, the sailing will become more challenging (at first, the problem is too mild or no wind at all; at second, the problem is too strong and stormy wind).
There are many Sail types in the game based on different materials. Each material has its unique parameters and wind catching capabilities. The sail material will be aging by time and it will need repairs from time to time. The force that the sail gives to the ship depends not only from the angle the sail is rotated against the wind, but also from the height the sail is pulled up.
In very stormy winds, it is advised to lower the sails a little or completely, otherwise the player can easily lost his hope to reach the island by seeing his sail is broken and is blown away. In our custom raft building system the player can place multiple sails at the same time. In that case the force given to the ship is calculated based on those multiple sails. Each sail can be operated independently from the others. In easy difficulty setting the sails will hold their rotation the player has set. In harder difficulty settings the sails will rotate with the ship rotating below them.
- The player can easily determine the direction the wind is blowing by observing the ocean waves, tree leaves and clouds, because all of them reacts to the general wind direction.
- The player must decide, whether to set sail to another island against the wind direction or rather will wait for wind to turn around. Or, if the player feels that he is a pro, he can try sail zig-zag against wind like in real world.
- The ocean waves also affects sailing, or rowing/paddling. The rising side of the wave tries to slow the boat/raft, the falling side will try to accelerate the boat/raft like in real world. So sailing/rafting in rough waters will need really good experience.
For steering the game system uses simple Rudders. The rudder will be aging also and it will be wise to have spare materials or complete rudder on board in case of emergency. If the player places multiple rudders, they will be linked together. Operating one of them will also operate the others.
Here are some example of different Sail and Rudder placements:
Speedy Gonzales: 2 Sails + 1 Rudder
Raft with cabin: 1 Sail + 1 Rudder
Yacht: 2 Sails + 1 Remote Rudder
Freighter: 3 Sails + 2 Rudders