Okomotive co-founders Don Schmocker and Goran Saric speak about the recent console release of their adventure title.
FAR: Lone Sails is a very curious game. Though it presents a bleak, desolate, post-apocalyptic wasteland through its stunning and vivid art style, it also injects a curiosity in the player to keep on moving forward to see more of its despairing landscapes. It’s an odd mix of serene and haunting, and it’s a bit sad that when it launched on PC last year, it escaped the attention of many. Recently, it launched on PS4 and Xbox One as well, paving the way for hopefully larger audiences. Not too long ago, we sent across our questions about the game and its console release to the developers at Okomotive. The following questions were answered by studio co-founders Don Schmocker and Goran Saric, who are FAR’s creative and tech leads respectively.
"It has been a long and adventurous journey until now. We started as students with a clear vision of what we want to create but we had to learn tons of new things as it was our first game. Because of that we had almost no idea how it will work out in the end and we’re very happy that it was a success."
Far: Lone Sails was received with great praise when it launched on PC last year, and now it’s expanding its audience even further with a console release- how as the journey been for you, from launch to now?
It has been a long and adventurous journey until now. We started as students with a clear vision of what we want to create but we had to learn tons of new things as it was our first game. Because of that we had almost no idea how it will work out in the end and we’re very happy that it was a success.
What was the drive behind creating a game with a “zombie-free post apocalypse”?
The game is about the journey with your own special vehicle. We wanted the player to enjoy this and not feel pressured by dangers all the time. Nonetheless the world should feel unwelcoming at times and has many situations to surprise the player. It’s exploration through progression in the game and the environment should show interesting things the player hasn’t seen before.
One of Far’s most distinctive features is its incredible aesthetic, which grabs attention even with a single screenshot- how much attention did you pay to getting that aspect of the experience just right during development?
The aesthetic and in particular the composition has been a strength of FAR since the early days and we tried to keep that and improve. In some cases we had to make changes in favor of usability and gameplay, e.g. the camera distance and the player character’s small size became a problem. To makes things more clear, even if they’re small, the interactive and important elements are colored red or orange with a nice contrast to the mostly grey environment.
"We wanted to bring the game on consoles from the beginning. It was initially planned to have a simultaneous release on all platforms but we decided against it as it was our first release and this was a big enough step at the time in itself."
Was it always the plan to eventually bring Far: Lone Sails over to consoles, or was it something you assessed and decided on post-launch?
We wanted to bring the game on consoles from the beginning. It was initially planned to have a simultaneous release on all platforms but we decided against it as it was our first release and this was a big enough step at the time in itself.
Does the console version of Far: Lone Sails include any extra content or features that we haven’t seen in the game till now?
We optimized the game a lot compared to the PC/Mac release version. Everything else is the same on all platforms.
Do you have plans for more content coming to the game in the near future?
We were and still are busy with the console porting and working on our next project. So we haven’t decided yet to create additional content for FAR: Lone Sails.
Do you have any plans to launch on Switch?
Yes, we’re working on the port, but we have no release date yet. Some time this year.
Will the game will feature Xbox One X and PS4 Pro specific enhancements? What can players expect if they are playing the game on those systems? Is 4K/60fps on the cards?
No, the game runs on all Xbox One and PS4 platforms with 1080p/60fps.
"We’re working on the Switch port, but we have no release date yet. Some time this year."
The PS5 specs were recently revealed in an interview with Wired. What are your thoughts on that?
Looks quite amazing. I’m wondering what the price point will be.
The PS5 will have a Zen 2 CPU processor which is a major leap over the Jaguar found in the PS4. How will this help in games development?
It will definitely bring console performances closer to PC / Desktop settings which means less optimizations for ports.
What is your take on Sony’s reluctant policy on cross-play with Xbox and Nintendo?
I guess they are protecting their business. Of course it’s not cool from a gamer’s perspective, but that is the sad truth how capitalism works.