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Ahoy Mateys!

Aaaaaaaarrrr you here to find out about the Waterways domain?

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Arrr, ye be interested in the master plan! That be a fine thing to investigate.

The Waterways Master Plan has three main phases aimed at bringing a comprehensive and involved piracy and trading system to the game.

Phase One

Phase one will enter playtesting Any Day Now, and focusses on the infrastructure of the sailing system. Phase one involves buying ships (yes, you'll actually own the things), sailing ships (yes, you'll actually sail them), and dressing ships (yes, you get to put ship furniture in them). Ships (or at least, most of them) are complex, multi-room environments. Each room defines a number of commands used to manipulate the state of the ship - aside from Gruper's Vile Dinghies, most ships need multiple people to sail them - or at least, one sailor who really knows what he or she is doing.

Phase Two

Where there is ship travel, there is trade - and phase two is focussed on developing the infrastructure for peritting sea-based trade of commodities. This involves loading your ship full of goods at one port, sailing to another port, and selling the items at a port (or smuggling them ashore to avoid tax or import restrictions), hopefully for a profit. The price of goods varies according to many complicated factors, such as your own ability to haggle with merchants[1], the availability of the good in that port and related ports, and other factors. This ties into a clacks system that allows you to check the price of goods at far away ports and plan your journey accordingly. Don't wait too long though, or all the profit will be gone...

Phase Three

Where there is trade, there is PIRACY. Phase three involves the combat system of ships, from fitting them full of exciting weapons (barking dogs for the foolhardy, for example), to boarding an enemy ship and hacking the crew with your cutlasses. Everything from swinging across to an enemy ship from the rigging, to sliding down the sail with your dagger in it, will be part of this system. Also, importantly, you'll be able to sell the proceeds of your piracy!

The Future

Oh, we've no end of ideas. After the core system is in, expect to find sea monsters, buried treasure, pirate islands, and a thousand elephants! Feel free to email me if you have ideas for what you'd like to see.

[1] Won't haggle? What do you mean, 'won't haggle'?