Hey, I’m Don Schmocker, co-founder and lead artist at Okomotive and today I’m really excited to announce that FAR: Changing Tides is coming to PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 on March 1. FAR: Changing Tides is an atmospheric vehicular adventure that follows the story of a boy who must journey across a flooded, post-apocalyptic landscape at the helm of a unique ship.
Following the release of our debut game, FAR: Lone Sails, we had a lot of feedback from fans that spoke to how the meditative, reflective nature of the game resonated with them. For FAR: Changing Tides, we wanted to ensure that we captured that same familiar, meditative atmosphere whilst offering players a fresh, thought-provoking experience. We’ve expanded on the setting seen in Lone Sails but instead of sun-scorched, dusty plains, players will face stormy waters and submerged cities. We hope that this new environment combined with new puzzles and ship mechanics will bring an exciting experience to fans of the series and new players alike.
Like FAR: Lone Sails, the narrative of FAR: Changing Tides isn’t told but instead must be found. Players will discover sunken items, images, and buildings – victims of the floods – all of them relics to the past, all of them telling a story. This environmental storytelling presents a very different type of game design, but we feel it helps to build a close bond between the world and the players, as they choose how much of the story to seek and engage with. With Lone Sails, we found ourselves defining and building elements of the story throughout development, which became increasingly difficult. For Changing Tides we wrote the majority of the story and world-building during pre-production, this gave us better direction and allowed us to plan and design the environments together with the story.
One of the key differences in FAR: Changing Tides is the verticality added by the flooded landscape and how that adds a whole level of exploration for players. The earth has been covered with water and so it makes sense that there’s a whole other world to traverse below the surface. This new landscape required a change to one of the key game mechanics – the vehicle. The vehicle is one of the most important elements in a FAR game, we almost think of it as a second protagonist! In Lone Sails, although the vehicle had a sail, it was entirely land-based, which suited the dusty, desolate plains. In FAR: Changing Tides, the player’s journey takes place almost entirely on the water, both above and below the waves, and we wanted to create a vehicle that could stay with them for all of that. The sails and oars are perfect for navigating the world above the surface, and these can be retracted and the engine engaged for exploration beneath the waves. As the player progresses through the game, they will see a relationship develop between the protagonist, Toe, and the ship. The relationship is a symbiotic one, the ship won’t sail without Toe to control the sails or oars, and Toe can’t overcome certain obstacles without the ship.
We hope that everyone is as excited about this next installment in the FAR series as we are and we look forward to hearing everyone’s feedback when the game launches on PS4 and PS5 on March 1!