E3 2015 – Bossa Studios takes a stab at MMOs with Worlds Adrift

Worlds Adrift is a big departure from Bossa Studios’ recent works. Instead of comedy and unwieldy controls, Worlds Adrift is about exploration. Set in a world where floating islands dot the skies, you play as a nomad wandering the remnants of the world trying to figure out what happened that transformed the world into this shattered state.

Worlds Adrift is an MMO of simpler variety. It’s purely about exploration of the world and your interactions with it and other players. You traipse about the skies in an airship of your own creation, exploring islands in search of resources and discovering remnants of lost technology, as well as engaging in combat against other explorers or the creatures who rule the skies. Airship maintenance is key, as you need to make sure it’s strong enough to handle whatever’s out there and still able to fly.

Ground exploration is aided by a grappling hook that can connect onto any surface. In the video I was shown, a person was seen swinging around the side of an island to reach other patches of earth. Exploration primarily seems necessary for scavenging, but glimpses at what looked like ancient ruins and caverns suggest there’s more to it.

The hook lies in its persistent world. Everything you do has permanence. Ship wreckage from battles remain long after the skirmish ends, any damage sustained to islands forever reflected. It lends weight to your actions, as nothing occurs in a vacuum. It allows the player to shape the world and create meaning just as much as the developers themselves. Lead Designer Luke Williams said the idea was for players to create their own narrative, and it’s easy to imagine the myriad ways they can do that.

Worlds Adrift is still a ways off, but the glimpse I was shown was definitely fascinating. It’s an ambitious project, to be sure, one I’m very curious to see how it comes together.

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