Worlds Adrift developer reveals new gameplay footage

Worlds Adrift

Bossa Studios has released a brief bit of new gameplay footage taken from Worlds Adrift, the physics-based multiplayer game it announced late last year. It's still quite rough, as you'd expect at this early stage, but surprisingly beautiful too, and Bossa sounds far more deeply committed to the project now than it did back in December.

The video focuses primarily on the "atmosphere" in Worlds Adrift, generated by its distinctive visual style, soft dynamic lighting, and impressive-looking day/night cycle, and the multitool used to perform tasks including harvesting, repairing, and most crafting. It also shows off the craftable crossbow, which fires projectiles that behave like "real," physics-based objects.

Bossa's previous projects include Surgeon Simulator 2013 and I Am Bread, which may not make it the most obvious candidate for developing this kind of game. What makes the prospect both plausible and intriguing is its partnership with Improbable, a privately-funded technology company that seeks to "enable new experiences by unlocking the power of distributed, real-time, persistent simulations."

In an interview last year with GamesIndustry, CEO Herman Narula said Improbable "can take an online game, make it much cheaper, much better, open to a lot more users, and offer a whole new kind of experience." He described Bossa, its first game development partner, as "phenomenally talented," adding, "The only thing holding back [its] big ambition is technology. We're hoping we can solve that problem for them and just get out of their way and let them build the incredible game they want to build."

As a fully physics-based, open-world multiplayer game with extensive harvesting and crafting, Worlds Adrift is most definitely ambitious. But while the studio sounded somewhat iffy on the project when it was first revealed, asking followers to tell it "if you think it is worth [it] for us to continue working on this game or not," it now appears fully committed: There's now a Worlds Adrift YouTube channel, although Bossa hasn't yet moved any videos to it, and a "feedback wall" where fans can offer ideas and vote on development priorities.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.