Forever Skies

Platform(s): PC
Genre: Action/Adventure
Developer: Far From Home

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'Forever Skies' Expanding In Scope, Early Access Delayed Until 2023 - Screens & Trailer

by Rainier on Nov. 14, 2022 @ 8:00 a.m. PST

Forever Skies is a first-person action survival sci-fi game that takes place on a destroyed and deserted Earth in the wake of a massive ecological disaster.

Originally announced under the codename “Project Oxygen”, Forever Skies has been in the making for over two years from former AA and AAA devs who worked on titles such as Dying Light, Dying Light 2, Dead Island, The Medium, Chernobylite and the Divinity Original Sin Series.

You play as a lone scientist in Forever Skies, returning to Earth long after a global ecological catastrophe has left the planet uninhabitable to humans. Above the toxic clouds are the remnants of humanity's last stand. Build, expand and control a high-tech airship that will act as your transport, shelter, laboratory and workshop for researching mysterious substances and crafting tools for survival. Scavenge, find ways of obtaining food and resources, and explore the ruins above and below the thick, toxic dust layer which now shrouds the Earth’s surface. Why is the dust there? What is it exactly? And perhaps more importantly, what lies beneath it? 

Gameplay in Forever Skies will include exploration in your airship and on foot, crafting, base building, planting, combat, and scientific research in virology in search of a cure to help those few, who survive in orbit. 


Far from Home announced that Forever Skies will move its Early Access launch from Winter 2022 into the first half of 2023.

After 80000+ people played the Forever Skies demo in the span of a week, the team received a wave of positive and constructive feedback which they want to implement now before the launch of Early Access.

In summary,  five key areas are being expanded on top of additional features for Early Access.

  1. Fundamentals of under the dust gameplay
  2. Deeper location variety
  3. Fundamentals of airship damage and repair
  4. More airship customization
  5. The scientific approach to survival

“The scope of what we want the final game to be hasn’t changed much. But what we want to add now for the start of Early Access vs what we planned to add as later updates has shifted notably. We were floored by the level of praise and attention we received for our demo and so now we want to deliver more content right out the gate. The team collectively decided they want to create a stronger Early Access first impression but to do this comfortably, we need more time, " said Far From Home Gameplay Lead Andrzej Blumenfeld.

We know the first half 2023 is a little vague to some, but that is all we have agreed even amongst ourselves. Our development team will decide the exact date when they feel everyone is happy with what we have vs us putting out some arbitrary date that they would need to chase," added Far From Home Brand Manager Pawel Jawor.

A new extended Steam demo was added back to Steam with the team adding various features the players asked for along with an extended 40 timer on the open world exploration section.

WHAT FEEDBACK STEERED US TO THIS DECISION

To put it bluntly - we simply didn't expect so much positive attention and feedback from our demo and we’re immensely thankful for this. On the surface everything seemed great. 83% of respondents rated the demo as 8/10 or above. But when we looked deeper, we started seeing things that a lot of players said they missed.

We’re now looking at a much larger influx of players picking up the game during Early Access than originally predicted. So we want to lay down better foundations for more of our core mechanics so everyone can get a much clearer idea of what else to expect from the future of Forever Skies.

WHAT WE’RE EXPANDING

1. FUNDAMENTALS OF UNDER THE DUST

So far, we've only shown locations above the dust. Yet the world that has evolved under the toxic clouds is an equally substantial part of Forever Skies. This is still deep in development so the initial plan was to add this as one of the first major updates in Early Access. But the feedback and questions about what happens under the dust has shown us that we really should have some fundamentals of under the dust in place right from the start.

Under the dust is meant to be dangerous, so there are various risk/reward systems we want to put in place here along with notable progression systems. There will also be new mechanics, blueprints and viruses. Now the groundwork for all this will be in place earlier than we planned.
What’s more, after seeing how much valuable insight we gathered from our demo, we are now strongly considering publicly playtesting our under the dust gameplay before we add it in. Whether this happens as a public demo, with a closed group of players from our Discord community or in some other capacity is yet to be decided.

2. DEEPER LOCATION VARIETY

The derelict towers and locations that break through the toxic dust are part of the main exploration loop in Forever Skies. The way our system works is locations are created by our level designers and then put into a pool or database. A procedural generation system then looks at all the available locations and creates a custom map for each player. In the demo we only activated two locations and a lot of the feedback was that the game would benefit immensely with more. Our initial plan was always to have more locations at launch and to keep adding more through updates. This is still the route we will go but we have decided we need to ensure our existing locations has much more variety and reasons to explore them.

3.  FUNDAMENTALS OF AIRSHIP DAMAGE AND REPAIR

This brings us to another complex system which we left out of the demo entirely: the airship damage and repair systems. Our toxic ravaged Earth is meant to be a substantial threat to both the player and their airship, yet what we have developed right now still needs work, so we opted to leave it out of the demo entirely. And a lot of players noted this was a crucial element they wanted. However, we don’t want this system to feel like some chore that needs to be dealt with in order to keep playing. Your ship will take damage, that is inevitable. But what we want is to have a system where it allows you to weigh the options. Do I deal with this now or can it wait? Do I prioritise problem A or problem B? This is without a doubt a system that will continue to evolve throughout Early Access, but again, we see that deeper, more solid foundations need to be in place at least from the start.

4. MORE AIRSHIP CUSTOMIZATION

The previous point ties in quite a bit with another key element we want fleshed out more - airship customization. This covers quite a few things from the building mechanic as a whole right through to the modules you can build to customise your ship, the various tools you can craft for gameplay purposes, the accessories you can create to personalise your airship and so forth. We want to expand on this list now and add will of course continue to do so throughout Early Access.

5. THE SCIENTIFIC APPROACH TO SURVIVAL

Forever Skies is being designed around the idea of “a scientific approach to survival” and our demo only hinted at this. While there are a few elements to this design, our virus research mechanic is the main pillar for this. The final vision is a variety of viruses that are contracted from various sources, impacting your character in various ways. So naturally there will be a need to discover various cures and remedies. On top of that, we plan to add an entire system where you can further research and alter these viruses to give you new abilities and boosts. Some will be tied to enhancing your character while others will be tied to mission progress. This system is also something that will develop and evolve throughout Early Access, so it’s important to have a notable foundation in place from day one.

CORE FEATURES COMING DURING EARLY ACCESS:

We also want to quickly highlight the features we’ve already announced that will be added later during Early Access.

The first big one is co-op, up to 4 players. Everything we design takes into account that at some point 4 players will be playing. This isn’t a feature we’re just adding in after the fact. That said, the game keeps evolving and the co-op system we have at this point is very basic. So we know co-op is going to be something we work on for a notable part of our time in Early Access.

A compelling story about how Earth fell into such a state and what our scientists are doing there was also always a big part of the plan for Forever Skies. We just need the time to have enough of our game mechanics locked in place so we can build our story around gameplay. Therefore, the plan is to finish and fully implement the story towards the tail end of Early Access. Underlying elements of our story will be made present at the start while how we roll out the full story is still to be decided (chapters vs one major update)
There are also quite a few more features we have in the prototype phase so expect more along with ideas that emerge from player feedback.

NEW RELEASE WINDOW

So, with all of that in mind the team has decided to move the Early Access launch of Forever Skies into the first half of 2023. This way we can launch the Early Access for Forever Skies with a much better foundation which will allow us and our community to better shape the next phases of the game right from the start.

We are saying the first half of 2023 because that is exactly what we have set within the team. We ourselves do not have an exact day picked yet so we’re telling everyone exactly what we know. Once we feel we are comfortable and ready, we will announce the PC Early Access release date to everyone.

FINAL WORDS

We want to thank everyone again for their support and help to get us to this point. And we hope our transparent explanation of everything going on lets you better understand why we have chosen to move our Early Access launch by a few months.
Please do keep talking to us, be it here or Discord which you can join using the button below. We will be doing another AMA at the end of November 2022 and will be collecting questions for it throughout the month.
And in case you missed the news, we also added back our Steam demo after making some quality of life adjustments players asked for that we saw we could implement now along with extending the timer on the open world exploration.
Speak soon

-Team Far From Home

Key Features:

  • Return To Earth - Take on the role of a scientist returning to Earth devastated by a global ecological disaster. This event caused the surface of the planet to be covered in a colossal layer of toxic dust, forcing humanity to build massive towers to try to survive.
  • Build & Control Your Advanced Airship - Build and customize a high-tech airship. It will be your home, workshop, laboratory. Extract and gather resources to improve it to make it fit your gaming tactics.
  • Utilize Science To Survive - Analyze scanned items and reverse engineer lost technology. Research new ways of obtaining food, resources, new tools and more.
  • Scavenge Ruined Skies - Explore and discover the remains of our civilization. Extract resources from the ruins that were built up high to escape the dust. Find out what happened and how we lost Earth.
  • Descend Below The Dust - Discover a strange new world that changed with the absence of humanity. Hunt for viral pathogens, use them as weapons or better yourself with viral boosts.
  • Fight for Your Life - Below the dust lies a totally new ecosystem so expect a fight against evolved and dangerous creatures.

Forever Skies is coming to PC (Steam) and yet unspecified consoles.


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