Lost Sea is a 3D action game that takes place inside a procedurally generated archipelago. It’s up to the player to form a ragtag crew of survivors and explore the surrounding islands as they hunt for the necessary resources to upgrade their ship and escape the Bermuda Triangle.
Aiden Price, a Game Designer at EastAsiaSoft, was kind enough to answer some questions for us recently about the game, but first, check out the Lost Sea debut trailer!
As always I like to get to know a bit about the company behind the game, can you tell us a bit about yourself and EastAsiasoft?
Sure! Originally I worked in the UK games industry on titles like Magic the Gathering and Brink before I moved out to Hong Kong. One of the first things I did when I arrived was organise a monthly meet up for local game developers as a way to get to know people and find about local studios, which is how I met the eastasiasoft guys. eastasiasoft have been around since 2007, but the development team for their earlier titles was based in Germany. They were looking to start a local development team out here, which really excited me since no one else in Hong Kong was interested in making PC / console games!
For the people that haven’t heard about Lost Sea, can you give us some information about your game?
Lost Sea is a procedurally generated action adventure game. The premise is that you have been stranded in the Bermuda Triangle, and it is up to you to explore the islands, rescuing crew and gathering the resources you need to be able to survive and escape.
Lost Sea is set inside the Bermuda triangle, what made you choose this location?
When we were researching settings for the game I stumbled across these posters for old b-movies, which was really the main inspiration for the game setting. The more we thought about it, the more it made sense as a setting for the game. It really allows you to combine alot of disparate elements, and does a really good job of justifying things within the game world. It’s also not something you see an awful lot of in games at the moment.
The Bermuda triangle is notoriously known for its mystery and even have stories on ships and planes ‘vanishing’, have you used any of this mystery in Lost Sea?
Haha, yeah. We definitely took advantage of that Bermuda Triangle trope to allow us to put lots of crashed and shipwrecked vessels in the game! It also helped sell the idea of how all these humans managed to end up trapped there. We also use it as the central premise for the game, how did I get here and how do I escape!?
Does the player have any customization options of their ship, player or the crew of survivors they they can recruit?
Yup! So at the beginning of the game the player can choose their character from a number of preset heroes. When you get into the game there are 2 main upgrade paths, player skills and ship upgrades. Ship upgrades enhance you ability to island hop through the Bermuda Triangle and player upgrades unlock a bunch of passive and active abilities you can use to help you as you explore the islands. On top of that the crew members that you recruit have their own skills so it is important to mix and match crew members to get the right set of skills.
We don’t reflect and of the ship or player upgrades graphically. It was something we initially looked into, but since alot of the ship upgrades we’re essentially located below deck it wasn’t very easy to reflect those changes by just adding props onto the exterior of the ship.
Watching the debut trailer the artwork is very unique to what we expect today, what inspired you to go for the more cartoony look and feel?
Right from the very start we knew we wanted to make a bright, cartoon-y game and were really inspired by titles we loved growing up like Crash Bandicoot and Banjo Kazooie. It also help us solve a bunch of production issues, since were such a small team we just don’t have the man power to throw and making super high detail bushes, and the bold outline helps make the action onscreen a bit more readable.
What kind of obstacles and enemies can we expect to see as we explore the Bermuda triangle?
We tried to get a good mix between stuff that could be feasible in the real world like extinct creatures that had some how survived in this environment and crazy b-movie inspired monsters. We have a number of different biomes as well, which will affect the types of critters you will see in those particular zones.
Can you let us into a few of the abilities and powers the player can expect to use in Lost Sea?
You start off with very basic combat options and evasion options like rolling, before unlock more powerful special moves. Alot of the passive abilities sort enable you support certain play styles, like making you better in combat or allowing you to find more items. Items are very powerful, but are single use and range from offensive weapons like guns and bombs to buff potions and lock picks.
Can we look forward to seeing any form of multilayer in Lost Sea? Whether it’s co-op or competitive at launch or in the future?
Not for launch. It’s actually some of the more common feedback we get, people seem to really want couch co-op! We always talked about how cool it would be but it adds so much extra complexity, even for something like just having another player running around on screen.
How does the crew fit into progressing in Lost Sea? As a bonus question I’ve heard that once you lose a member of your crew they are gone forever is this true?
Yeh, there is permadeath on both the player and the crew. Crew abilities basically augment the player in a number of ways – It’s up to you to decide who is the best fit for how you want to play. For example do you want a crew who buff you in combat or one that will help you access secret areas on the island.
Is there anything else you would like to add for the people reading this interview?
Keep an eye on the website lostseagame.com and @lostseagame on twitter. We’re getting close to the end now and plan to be doing alot more posts on the games development, streaming gameplay and announcing plans for getting preview builds out to people soon!
Lastly do you have a more narrow release date you are aiming for? Summer is a long season! Haha
Haha, Unfortunately because we are submitting the game to 3 platforms simultaneously (PS4, XB1 and PC) we can’t guarantee how long it will take them all to clear certification. It might be the case that one version gets held up which might delay the others which is why we shied away from an exact date!
Now for another cheeky bonus question, do you have any exclusive footage or screenshots you can share with the fans and Xbox Sector? Cheeky but I’ve learnt if you don’t ask you don’t get!
(Keep your eyes on Xbox Sector for that exclusive content, it’ll be appearing in a seporate article soon!)