Forever Skies Interview – Early Access Learnings, 1.0 Plans, and More

Far From Home COO Wojciech Liwanowski speaks with GamingBolt about the studio's first-person post-apocalyptic survival game.

Posted By | On 10th, Apr. 2024

Forever Skies Interview – Early Access Learnings, 1.0 Plans, and More

Survival games have enjoyed a significant boost in popularity in recent years, and in that crowded space, one that’s garnered quite a bit of attention is Forever Skies. Far From Home’s first-person post-apocalyptic game launched for Steam in early access in June last year, and reception from those who’ve played it since then has been glowing. Recently, the developer announced plans for a 1.0 launch later this year, accompanied by a PS5 port, and among the game’s community, the excitement is continuing to climb.

Hoping to learn more about how Forever Skies’ early access period has helped development, what its post-launch plans will look like, and more, we recently shot across some of our questions about the game to its developers. Below, you can read our interview with Far From Home COO Wojciech Liwanowski.

forever skies

"Based on what we’ve seen, our setting of Earth after a massive ecological disaster and the fact you are building and piloting an airship is what seems to immediately grab people when they see Forever Skies. It’s a concept that is unique but at the same time very easy to warp your head around and decide if that is something that sounds like your kind of game."

Forever Skies has been in early access for a while now. What are the biggest improvements you’ve made to the game based on feedback from players during the early access period?

To list everything would take forever since we’ve been very actively listening and adapting the game based on player feedback. We’re also now looking into tools that can help our players collectively suggest features too. But in terms of the top 3 major improvements so far, I’d say:

  1. The first is a slew of tools and equipment that players felt were needed and aligned well with our scientist exploring an ecologically ruined earth setting. So things like automatic resource extractors and filters, freezers to keep food from spoiling, recycling station etc. This also then branched out into various airship building modules and decoration items as players really got invested in creating and customizing their airships. This was always something we were going to keep adding to, but the feedback we got showed us we needed to prioritize these items a bit more and try to have more with each subsequent update. One thing we are changing is the airship – more modules will be added and their cold sci-fi vibe will move into more organic and almost dragonfly silhouette. Some may even see a slight Dune inspiration there and we would love these comparisons.
  2. Then we had a lot of design / system changes that we did thanks to community feedback. Things like massive overhauls of our inventory system and inventory management. Changes to how our procedural generation system worked with our locations which then allowed us to add more variety to existing locations. We also initially wanted to add the bulk of our story at the end of Early Access, but a lot of players got sucked in with what we had added at the start and were clamoring to get more. So we shifted our workflow and now the story gets added in chapters with each big update. Part of the above change is expanding our survival mechanics – with release of Airship Gardening Update we will offer player new ways of obtaining food and various resources.
  3. Also, something the community feels is a massive win is the inclusion of little pet that you can find and place in your airship. So many people wanted some sort of buddy onboard while they explored the toxic wasteland that we simply had to add the little guy. Don’t want to spoil it too much for those who don’t know, but it’s something that happens as you progress through the current story.

As for future updates that we know will also refine a lot with our community is co-op. This is one of the biggest additions we are planning to introduce. We have been talking about it from the very start and it was highlighted by the community as one of the most wanted features. We are going to add a 4-player and the game will introduce mechanics that will boost the fun of cooperation in building the airship, surviving and exploring the harsh world.

And then combat. We heard our community in that regard and more threats are on the way to the game. We have already created some expectations with the mantis-like predators visible in our game and on the Steam page. We can’t wait for players to feel the excitement coming from facing these creatures. It is possible that we won’t stop there but the details of additional upcoming hostile creatures will be released at a later date.

The survival genre has seen a significant surge in popularity in recent years, which in turn means it’s also become much more crowded. How important has it been during Forever Skies’ development to ensure that it can carve out a unique space for itself, and what are the key ways you’ve chosen to do that?

Based on what we’ve seen, our setting of Earth after a massive ecological disaster and the fact you are building and piloting an airship is what seems to immediately grab people when they see Forever Skies. It’s a concept that is unique but at the same time very easy to warp your head around and decide if that is something that sounds like your kind of game.

Another way we achieved our own space is by focusing a lot our survival and gameplay around the idea that you are a scientist using technology to progress and survive vs just brute force or your typical “wilderness expert” able to take on anything that you see in a lot of other survival games.

forever skies

"Right now, the focus is on adding everything we want into Early Access with the final story chapter and last bits of content being the last update when we go into 1.0. We absolutely will be adding to the game post-launch, but the exact “what” is going to be decided on mainly by the community feedback."

After you hit the 1.0 milestone, what do your post-launch plans for Forever Skies look like in terms of new content and future improvements?

Right now, the focus is on adding everything we want into Early Access with the final story chapter and last bits of content being the last update when we go into 1.0.

We absolutely will be adding to the game post-launch, but the exact “what” is going to be decided on mainly by the community feedback. We’re already using community to steer a lot of the development, but post 1.0 launch we’re going to be leaning towards them even more. Once our planned vision is done, the best we can do is keep asking players to talk to us and tell us what else they want in the game.

Additionally, we are planning to support the game after 1.0 – based on the community input we will be shaping co-op, airship modules and customizations and of course new story advancements. One tool that is going to help us here is UpVote – which we will introduce soon ad which will allow us to hear the voice of the community more clearly and loudly.

At the time of Forever Skies’ early access release, you said the game would launch in full about a year from that point. Is that still the plan right now?

We recently announced that we are planning to do the full release sometime in 2024. So while it’s not going to be an exact year since our Early Access launch in June 2023, we are on track to finish up this year. Part of this plan and our earlier communication is PS5 version and since we talked about it all is progressing well.

Far From Home’s team boasts impressive collective experience, with members who’ve worked on the likes of Dying Light and more. How has having that sort of know-how in your ranks helped Forever Skies’ development?

It has helped immensely. It means that everyone on the team is already used to advanced workflow methods that are required for more complex games. And since all these titles are different, they bring much broader experiences, so the team can try different approaches and adapt the best outcomes into our workflows as we have seen these work elsewhere. It also helps that a lot of us have known each other and worked together in the past on these projects. It means you come into the project with a lot of the team dynamics and mutual understanding already in place. This normally takes time to build, but with us a foundation was already there that we could just build on top of. Established relationships means it’s easier to communicate and also know each other’s strengths and weaknesses

From Larian our biggest learning was how impactful community can be during development. We wanted to go the same path with Forever Skies and build our first game with community feedback as backbone and we can confirm it works extremely well.

From Techland / Dying Light we came with a lot more since so many of us spent years working together there. Like organizing working pipelines and scaling them accordingly to the team size coupled with the knowledge of how to deal with certain technology aspects without the need to try so many wrong ways. The use of quick prototyping to prove or disprove a feature’s potential value and the ability to assess such a prototype in its infancy to know if it has potential or if it should go to the bin early is extremely valuable. Or looking for smart ways of saving time – be it by adapting existing tools or making our own.

forever skies

"From Larian our biggest learning was how impactful community can be during development. We wanted to go the same path with Forever Skies and build our first game with community feedback as backbone and we can confirm it works extremely well."

The PS5 features an incredibly fast SSD with 5.5GB/s raw bandwidth. How can developers take advantage of this?

How each developer takes advantage of this is entirely based on their project and needs so I can’t speak for them. In our case, one of the biggest uses we managed to get out of it was the ability to load-in the massive “Under the Dust” locations via gameplay and not have to throw up flow-breaking loading screens.

The overall power of the PS5 also comes in handy once players start building gigantic airships that take up a lot of the CPU and GPU power.  And then of course there is the matter of co-op. In order to have this feature we knew right from the start that we’d need to build the game around hardware that could handle something like this as our system will be peer-to-peer.

What frame rate and resolution will the game target on the PS5?

Since we are still quite deep in the development of new content and features, we can’t say yet. Throughout Early Access we keep adding stuff and also working on optimization side by side, so only once we are feature complete will we be able to focus on the final frame rate and resolution benchmarks.


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