Recently we had the chance to chat with Rare studio head, Craig Duncan, about the upcoming swashbuckling adventure Sea of Thieves. From the emergent co-operative gameplay to setting aside Rare's secretive past for a more open community driven development cycle, we also touched briefly on the prospect of the Xbox One X and Sea of Thieves cross-platform play.
A snippet from our full in-depth discussion
AusGamers: For the very first time in Rare’s history you're using an external engine in Unreal 4. Can you talk about the jump from what you've been working on to what we'll get with Xbox One X?
Craig: Yeah, I mean, it's early days. All I can say is, we’ve had dev kits in the studio for a couple of months now.
AusGamers: Yeah, sure.
Craig: So we have the game running in 4K. If Ted, my PC lead was here, he'd wax lyrical about tetra size and screen resolution and stuff that I don't even begin to understand.
So we've had the game running on high-end PCs, and everything I've heard from my engine team and my tech team when they got Xbox One X dev kits, they were, like, "Wow, these things are awesome. We got the game up and running in, like, two days".
Craig: So for us, it's like, I'm a big fan of Phil [Spencer’s] vision, which is: we want people to play Sea of Thieves regardless of their device. For us, it's really about making sure it's amazing on Xbox One S, making sure it's amazing on Xbox One X, making sure it's amazing on PC -- whether you're a high-end PC gamer where things like FOV and all those things that matter, right down to, "Hey, I can run Sea of Thieves on my Surface. So I can go into Redmond -- and we’ve been play-testing weekly cross-play as well – and so last time I was in Redmond, I was playing on my Surface, with people playing on their Xbox One back in the UK.
AusGamers: How was your lag?
Craig: Again, we’re not a twitch-based game. We've built it to cope with low latency. It's really about... We want people to play together.
Rare's Sea of Thieves is currently on track for release in 2018 for Windows 10 and Xbox One.