World Of Watercraft: Freebooter

By Craig Pearson on July 2nd, 2013 at 3:00 pm.


I’m reclaiming the RPS ‘piracy‘ tag. Look at all those posts that have nothing to do with cannons or scurvy. We’re gamers! We should know all about balls and vitamin deficiency! I want happy stories about fun games, not sad stories about an industry trying to deal with people and the internet. I’d guess that part of the problem is that there aren’t many games about the life of a pirate, but Freebooter is hoping to change that. It’s a procedurally generated open-world pirate game that’s just popped up on the horizon Kickstarter. Pitch below.

Freebooter follows the Elite model of giving the player a starter ship and a world to explore, finding trade routes between the islands, dodging pirates, helping cities expand and contract via resources. Everything from islands and empires, to quests and weather will procedurally generated. I like the subtle details in the video: look closely at square swells of water pushing the boats up and down while the ships blast chunks from each other. Ah, the magical world of cubes. There’s talk of the art-style being changed, but I’d like to keep the tiled swells.

If you prefer your Kickstarter pitches without stilted developers staring directly into your souls, here’s one with nothing but the game.

There are plenty more videos of the game in action on the developer’s Youtube channel, and they’re slowly winning me over.

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37 Comments »

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Top comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    RedViv says:

    Man, always with the Kickstarters. Really feeling the pier pressure here!
  1. Velko says:

    Ah, the graphics… WHYYYYYY

    • Stuart Walton says:

      A: They’re not actually using voxels
      B: The art style is going to be changed

      • Premium User Badge

        Craig Pearson says:

        I was just updating the story to reflect those things.

      • Liudeius says:

        To be fair, A could be said about almost any “voxel” based game.
        (At least all that I’ve seen but Cube World and Voxatron.)

    • chiablo says:

      Because Minecraft is popular and because indie game developers lack originality. Cubes are the new pixel art. Embrace your new cuboid overlords!

      • neonordnance says:

        Indie game devs lack originality?

        Have you ever, erm, read this site? At all? Because there are plenty of examples of indie game devs showing amazing originality. Indeed, this originality is often the source for “original” AAA games like Portal.

        I’m sure the simple style has nothing to do with not having access to a 20-person art team, like a big studio. Or the desire to finish the game rapidly.

    • Tukuturi says:

      Because cubes are easy to make and easy for the end user to read. They provide clear information about 3 dimensional space without a lot of unnecessarily flashy curved surfaces. I like them.

  2. Tei says:

    I am playing a game that is just like this, but in space. You can build small fighers, frigates, huge capital ships :D
    I don’t think is going to be as popular as minecraft, or perhaps this, because science-fiction is more abstract for people than powder canons, blades, and that medieval stuff.

    The gameplay in a game like this is more like EVE online than EVE online itself.

    • Acehalo2 says:

      “I am playing a game that is just like this, but in space. You can build small fighers, frigates, huge capital ships :D […] The gameplay in a game like this is more like EVE online than EVE online itself.”

      And you don’t even drop the name of the game? Come on man, don’t be a tease! :P

      • Tei says:

        Don’t tell anyone, its called starmade :D

        • Shodex says:

          “You will not get extra registration codes if you purchase more than one.”
          Why is this a thing? I went to buy a copy for me and my mates as it’s only $3.

  3. Premium User Badge

    distantlurker says:

    I know all about balls and the great way to get to their vitaminy goodness!

    Just pop them in your mouth and suck gently! They don’t taste terribly nice but you soon get used to the flavour.

    Either colour is good, you shouldn’t be choosy, take those balls in hand every chance you get and you’ll never be short a quick squirt of vitaminy goodness.

    Lemons and Limes are your friends!

  4. onsamyj says:

    So, they teasing with Minecraft-like graphics, but gonna change style, and no crafting at all? It’s just me or anyone else find it stupid/fishy?

    • Bent Wooden Spoon says:

      Probably just you there chap.

    • Lagwolf says:

      What cause it looks like it was filmed in Minecraft? Yep nothing dodgy about that ;) I think we need to know more about this one.

      • Shodex says:

        I wonder how far an “indie dev” could go trying to pass off some modded Minecraft footage as a whole new game.

    • onsamyj says:

      On kinda similar note, spot the difference: one and two.

  5. mike2R says:

    Can’t watch the videos at work, but this sounds like a procedurally generated Sid Meier’s Pirates…. Which would be a very good thing.

  6. solidsquid says:

    What, no “Limey” tag for this one?

  7. Premium User Badge

    RedViv says:

    Man, always with the Kickstarters. Really feeling the pier pressure here!

    • Premium User Badge

      tomeoftom says:

      Ugh, you’re always complaing. Stow it.

    • Ergates_Antius says:

      No point in making waves, that’s just the way things arrrrr.

    • The Random One says:

      It’s OK if you don’t want to ship in be-fore you know if the game is good. Wait to sea what people sink of it first, mate.

    • Shodex says:

      It looks like it could be a bit of fun, but these games aren’t usually to my taste.
      I’ll probably just pirate it when it comes out.

  8. Premium User Badge

    Screwie says:

    Even though they are changing the graphics I would be very happy if they kept the grid-like ocean waves… those are lovely.

  9. Zekiel says:

    Craig, I do appreciate your love for the tag system.

    What on earth is going on with the Top Comments system now? For me it has repeated every single comment. So I can now read every comment twice.

    I have to say, it’s very egalitarian. No-one’s feelings are hurt. (Except mine, if this comment doesn’t appear in Top Comments *Edit* Phew, it did. Self esteem preserved.)

  10. brulleks says:

    @RedViv
    Just bow to the pressure before the stern looks begin.

    (Reply button fail)

  11. Superpat says:

    Great, now I gotta install Pirates! again.. Are there any other pirate games that exist?

    • Fiatil says:

      This is going to sound weird, but the 2003 Pirates of the Caribbean game. Yes, it’s an x-box port with a tragic history of being bought mid-development by Disney and rebranded. Luckily, the pirate fanboy community is insane and they made a gigantic awesome mod for it that completely redesigns the game and makes it the coolest third person open world pirate game ever. The mod’s hosted on Pirates Ahoy if you’re crazy enough to give it a shot; it’s called The Build Mod and/or New Horizons.

      • Superpat says:

        Thanks I’ll check it out! Cant wait for someone to do a proper sequel to Pirates! though, even if it is only spiritual in nature.
        Edit: Finding a copy of the base game is a pain though

        • TWChristine says:

          Just going to second that PotC is actually a lot of fun! I never tried the mod Fiatil mentioned, but looking it up right now it looks like it added the one feature I wanted the most which was the ability to sail from place to place in 3d on your ship as opposed to having to use the map. There’s also Age of Pirates 1 and 2 whi h are essentially the successors to PotC (which was originally going to be Sea Dogs 2). I have the first AoP and really its essentially theexact same thing as PotC except you can choose between two characters and some other minor questing changes.

          • Fiatil says:

            Yes! It’s not super well documented, but the mod sets it up so you never use the world map. Direct Sail is the coolest; it took me a bit to figure out, and it has its bugginess (sort of to be expected with such an ambitious feature), but it’s definitely worth it in the end.

          • Superpat says:

            I like what I see in Age of Pirates 2, especially with that gentleman of fortune mod which seems to be pretty big, I might just buy it!

          • TWChristine says:

            I thought I should probably also add that I’ve found ( for me at least) Age of Pirates 1 has a tendency to freeze quite often. There’s also several patches..but they won’t apply unless you have the right version..which I can’t get because they won’t let me patch to it! Apparently I’m also not the only one with these issues, so just keep that in mind. :)

    • andytt66 says:

      Pirates of Black Cove is a thing that exists. I’m not sure it’s worthy of actual “recommendation”, but it’s a pirate game.

  12. Frank says:

    Ack, your headline made me think this was an MMO. Very glad to find that it isn’t…

  13. Rumpel says:

    i wish they went for 150k instead of 50k and made it multiplayer. i’d really like to be able to harass the traderoutes of my trade oriented friends :(