Online sim Sailaway sounds an interesting Tamayachtchi

I’m fascinated by the idea of OrbCreation’s online sailing sim Sailaway [official site], traversing life-size oceans on voyages which continue in real time even when you turn your computer off. The game’s weather will change following real meteorological data too, and apparently the game can e-mail you updates on your progress so you can hop aboard to make corrections. All of which makes it sound both a sailing simulator and a virtual pet. A Tamayachtchi.

The basics: Sailaway is an online-only sailing sim set in a persistent world. Players sail the oceans of the world in real time, at real speeds, whether they’re playing or not. The simulation is meant to be quite serious, based on a combination of historical and updating data, but it will have several difficulty settings to help out casual sailors. And along with free-roaming open-world sailing, it’ll have challenges and player-created races.

It has multiplayer, obviously, from sailing alongside folks to crewing the same ship. Perhaps it would be handy to have a few friends help babysit my boat because, as the devs say:

“In Sailaway, the oceans of the planet have been recreated with unparalleled accuracy; making a trip across the Pacific take months, just as it would on a real boat. With a persistent online world, adjust your settings and your boat will continue to sail even if you aren’t online. Receive updates via email as your boat continues its progress, but don’t forget to check in often – with real-time weather data pulled from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) conditions can change in just a few hours.”

Go on, just nip online and trim my boatbaby’s mainsail, won’t you?

Sailway is due to hit Steam Early Access for Windows and Mac in April, priced at £29.99/36,99€/$39.99. It’s expected to be in early access for six months while the devs gather feedback and add more boats, more tutorials, more events, and more challenges while improving the world detail and ocean heightmap data.

Oh, and of course:


  1. Jay Load says:

    All of which makes it sound both a sailing simulator and a virtual pet. A Tamayachtchi.

    Alice, noooooooooo…..*brain fractures*

    • Jekhar says:

      It took a while before i got the pun. I tried googling the phrase, only to find this rather sketchy website: link to
      What’s going on there?

      • syndrome says:

        For future reference:
        there is
        Tamagotchi [tam-uh-goch-ee], ok?
        and there are
        yachts [yots]


      • Premium User Badge

        kfix says:

        Er, that’s a bit dodgy isn’t it? Stealing Alice’s words AND making them purple, the fuckers.

      • Otterley says:

        WTF? Can somebody please initiate a lawsuit – stat?

  2. Squido says:

    Won’t be complete until there are little men being washed accross the deck by big waves and a button to press where your helm shouts “STAAAAARRRBOAARDDD”

  3. TheAngriestHobo says:

    This sounds appealing to the ETS2 junkie in me.

    At the same time, I hope they add something for you to actually do when you get to port. It would suck to spend months crossing the Pacific to just… bob around in the ocean outside Hong Kong.

    • ButteringSundays says:

      Well it’s a sailing simulator, what exactly would you expect to do when arrived at your destination?

      Have you used a flight simulator before?

      • TheAngriestHobo says:

        Not in the past 20 years.

        Besides, it’s 2017. Sports games have story modes now. RPGs feature twitch shooter elements. CCGs have been merged with arena brawlers. We’re well past the point where you can say that a game’s perceived genre is any sort of constraint on its gameplay.

        To answer your question, maybe you could dock, buy postcards which then appear on your ship, buy new parts, hire crew, take a stroll around a city block… there’s plenty of possibilities.

        • syndrome says:

          Yeah, some genres have merged in the past, but you’re missing the reasons why this is the case, and you seem to have noticed which genres merged in particular. But you’re forgetting to mention the people doing this, because these aren’t the guys who make games because they love what they do. Nooo.

          They cram as many features as they possibly can, spending millions in the process, just to give their gigantic business an edge for a year or two.

          Quite simply, the more people they cater to, the more they need to break the genre boundaries, but you know what? They never do a niche market thing — just for example, they never merge true simulations and vanity cosplay. It doesn’t do them any favors. In fact, they rarely do any simulations AT ALL. That’s costly, hard to fake, and mainstream market is vastly disinterested in having to learn anything, or having to wait too much between two explosions.

          In your head it’s all probably just the same, big budget corporation are competing with small indie studios on equal grounds. And we all lived in a merry-go-round world, happily ever after *clown music*

          It is highly unlikely that this game features anything else than what is already described.

  4. R. Totale says:

    “Fun” fact – I went to the same school as Enya’s niece. And that’s my one brush with fame.

  5. robodojo says:

    Only thing missing from this trailer is a Perfect Storm sized super wave at the end.

  6. trjp says:

    What appears to be a first-person camera with splashes of water on it?

    Eyes don’t work like that y’know ;0

  7. Zenicetus says:

    I don’t know if this game can be fun or not. Some things don’t translate well. I’ve owned small sailboats and been trained on larger ones, with coastal and a little blue water sailing. It’s so very *physical*. A game can’t recreate the feeling of finally getting everything trimmed out just right so the boat comes alive and leaps forward a few more knots. And then the wind shifts and you have to do it all over again.

    A Pacific crossing or venturing into the southern latitudes isn’t something you do on autopilot, checking in every few days like it’s a pet boat. But I’ll keep an eye on this and see how it develops.

    • ButteringSundays says:

      You could make the same argument for all vehicular simulation, to be fair. Not that you’re wrong.

      My bigger concern is with the controls.

      Driving with a FFB wheel, and to a slightly lesser extent flying with a yoke/rudder pedals makes a HUGE difference to the immersion and experience.

      A proper SIM played from behind a keyboard just falls flat on its face for me.

      You need some kind of rope and wheel combo for this i feel!

      • Save Me Grilled Cheesus says:

        If you wanted to be fair, you could make the same argument for all vehicular simulation, except for the fact that none of them ever created that I know of continue to play when you turn them off.
        This game confuses me. If it will play itself for long periods of time, why am I playing it.
        A WWII submarine sim “might” be able to work this way, but I would hate to have my mission ruined and ship sunk because it ran into something at 10am on a weekday when I couldn’t possibly log in to stop it.

  8. Shiloh says:

    I like a bit of sailing (albeit along the South Coast, not the Pacific) and I’ve done a real time Silent Hunter patrol, so I might have a look at this.

    Will I need to bring my sextant, just in case?

  9. Ejia says:

    My eyes watered at “Tamayachtchi” and I had to wonder “is it pronounced ‘tamaya-chi-chi?'” for a moment.

  10. Captain Narol says:

    Interesting, looks like a 3D version of Virtual Regatta. If you can race against other players in real competitions could be fun !