Wayward Tide, A Pirate Game By Starbound’s Chucklefish

Yarr! And so on.

Proving once again that it’s somehow possible for indie studios to work on two games at once (!), Starbound developers Chucklefish have announced Wayward Tide. The top-down piratical action-adventure is being put together by a separate new four-person team. They’re still in the very early stages of development, but the grand vision is a 2-4 player competitive-coop booty-hunter full of treachery.

To emulate the chaos and backstabbery of a pirate crew, Wayward Tide will tempt with opportunities to betray your friends to get ahead or survive. If everyone dies they’re all set back, but a single survivor would scoop all the booty. The devs give the example of a pressure plate trap that all players must step off at the same time, lest a boulder crush those still standing on it. Random generation is used every time a new area is entered, so treachery will need to be spontaneous and loot-hunting spirited.

Modding has really helped Starbound be successful, Chucklefish say, so they want to mirror that by making their “development toolset available shortly after the game is released.” In the same theme, they’ll be regularly taking input from the community to determine what direction to take the game in next. There’s already some going on, as lead/only coder Jack Palfrey has taken to the comments to talk about how to design the game for solo play as well. Plus, nuggets of wisdom like this.

No word of a release date yet, other than “many many moons” away, but Chucklefish’s history would suggest Early Access will be used. The rest of the company is hard at work on Starbound 1.0, the first full release, which they detailed in a blog post last week.



  1. aeromorte says:

    I already “invested” in Starbound so till i get the full version of it i wont be “buying” any more early access games. Still i like the art style of this one.

    • JFS says:

      Reminds me a lot of Hyper Light Drifter.

      • lordfrikk says:

        I think Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP might have been first.

        • JFS says:

          The general style, yes. I was thinking more about the perspective and (probable) gameplay.

        • Danley says:

          Seeing as it was the same artist/s who did both (the Nguyens), I think it’s fair to reference both.

          And yeah, it might be my favorite art style of any game in recent memory.

  2. frightlever says:

    “but the grand vision is a 2-4 player competitive-coop booty-hunter full of treachery”

    Which just about describes every game of AD&D our group played.

  3. Siimon says:

    Nice art style, nice idea. Local co-op will be a must for this game!

  4. history_denier says:

    Looks like you can still play the beta here. Haven’t looked at it in forever though.

  5. swampzero says:

    Maybe he should finish starbound first just a thought.

    • Bobka says:

      These are not the same people. It’s the same company, yes, but a different team. Check the “nugget of wisdom” linked to in the article to see a slightly more elaborate response.

    • rustybroomhandle says:

      Separate team. Separate team. Separate team. Separate team.

      I wish the “finish your other game first” crowd would just go away because they obviously have never tried to run their own development studio. Most small studios can’t go several years between releases and hope to survive since not every game can be Minecraft – so they have to do concurrent development. Managing multiple teams is not rocket surgery.

      And as was mentioned by the dev – throwing more people at a software project won’t make development go faster – quite the opposite.

      • Erithtotl says:

        I understand this. But I was considering buying Starbound a month ago and checked out their forums. I was shocked at what I read. Usually indie/early access game fans are extremely forgiving since they’ve chosen to support a small dev. But what I saw instead was nearly everyone felt like Starbound had been nearly abandoned by the developer, who they felt had used it as a cash grab to fund future games, maybe like this one.

        I don’t know the truth, but that was the overwhelming impression I got from those forums. I hope its wrong.

        • JFS says:

          I think it might be a little true, sadly. Starbound always promised more than anyone could hope for, though, so it doesn’t surprise me much.

          • Harlander says:

            A group who aren’t great at managing the expectations of others met a group of people who can’t manage their own expectations at all.

            Wait, that came across as harsher to the parent posters than I meant. What I’m trying to say is that Starbound’s progress has been most instructive in regard to how not to talk to people about the game you’re making.

        • Bent Wooden Spoon says:

          I bought into Starbound fairly early. What I played was entertaining enough for what I paid, and I put it to bed until it was done.

          So I feel justified in saying the “fans” of this game are some of the biggest dicks I’ve ever seen in 30 years of playing games.

          Every single thing CF has done has resulted in volumes of tired bitching. People complained when they released regular updates. Then they complained when they stopped. Then CF moved into an office and everything was on hold. I can get behind a certain amount of criticism for that, but I can also see why they had to do it. Since then they’ve released exceptionally frequent, detailed updates, but get complained at for being uncommunicative. I saw someone complaining he had to go to their site and the should post everything on the Steam forum. They release nightlies, but people complain they aren’t doing anything, or in some exceptionally dumb cases, bitch about the nightlies being bugged. They’ve been panned for spurious nonsense from a couple of months after the Kickstarter finished, they cannot win.

          They made the same screw up many rookie kickstarter’s made and got hugely ahead of themselves. Possibly still are. But there’s no doubt at all they’re working their arses off. I’m fairly sceptical as to how the final version will turn out, I get the feeling they rushed it due to the baying tides of idiocy becoming too overwhelming, but I’m also certain there’ll be a lot of post-release support.

          We’ll see. Might not be anywhere near as good as Terraria, and nowhere near justifying the amount of stupid hype it got, but the devs have deserved nothing close to the amount of vitriol they’ve had flung their way.

          • Danley says:

            You’re absolutely right. Not that they’re worse than other early access audiences, but such groups of people are represented by a lot of people that think feedback means criticism, and criticism means being a whiny ass.

            I enjoyed Starbound a lot for what it is. At the time, I was actually expecting it to become one of my favorite games, period (as I’m a sucker for the procedural stuff, Minecraft being the obvious gold standard). I haven’t played it for a long time, so that the content would be a substantial change when I did play it again. So maybe I’m just being a biased fanatic. But paying your $25 before the game is done does not make someone part of the team, and does not make their opinion worth a damn thing. If I’m ever in that position I’m just going to start offering refunds.

        • zentropy says:

          Starbound forums are insanely toxic, I would avoid them.

      • Geebs says:

        Extrapolating from Starbound’s Steam stats, I think it’s quite possible that they will actually have negative players by the time they release; which is certainly an achievement, I guess?

  6. antilope says:

    So all they have is a bunch of mockups and an art style copied from Hyper light Drifter?

    Sounds like Starbound 2.0 all over again.

  7. Jaker says:

    Oh boy, Chucklefish is feeding us another STEAMing load. I can’t wait for this game to come onto early access, buying it based on lies and mockups of non-existant content and soon after becoming vaporware while constantly being told “we’re working on it! :)” while being banned for daring to have an opinion.

    • Tekrunner says:

      Somehow I am not having a hard time at all imagining why or how you were banned. Bent Wooden Spoon’s comment above is pretty spot on.

      • Jaker says:

        I was banned because I said “thick and fast” a couple times in reference to what they had promised then they released the game.

        Forgive me for being reasonably pissed that the game I paid for is dead and the dev team are assholes.

  8. Felixader says:

    Let me tell you something. While i still am looking forward to the complete game i am not angry that it is going slow.
    After i bought the game practically on release i played 50 hours of it due to me beeing on holiday while everyone else had to work an despite it beeing “incomplete”.

    Even if it will never finished i already got from this cheaper purchase more time of fun that i get from many more expensive games. So i am not thet cranky about having to wait. It is also not like i have no other games.

  9. Uridine says:

    The moment you say Chucklefish, is the moment you get a crap ton of very angry customers. What surprises me though, not singling out CF either, is how places like Rock, Paper and Shotgun have not really sat down to look at the ‘indie early access’ problem. There is a problem, that’s obvious.