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  • Writer's pictureFar From Home

Forever Skies - Developer Ask Me Anything [AMA]

Updated: Sep 15, 2023

Greetings scientists!


A few weeks ago, we sent out a request for your AMA questions. And to say you guys delivered is a massive understatement! So much so, that we have decided that we simply need to do another round to answer as many questions as possible!



So for now we have a bunch of your questions from Steam, Discord, Reddit & Twitter answered below by Gameplay Lead, Andrzej Blumenfeld [AB ] and Creative Director, Tomek Wlazlo [TW ].


So let's begin!


What kind of updates should we expect in terms of size/scope and frequency when it comes to content?

From: Alexander Lorular [Discord]


[TW]

As we stated on our Flight Map (Road Map) we plan to add larger updates every 3-4 months. With smaller Patches and Hotfixes in between. We've added our flight map below for reference.




Is there a yearly quarter we can look forward to coop support?

From: iAmCursed [Discord]


[AB] We do not have a set date because we want to do it right and have it work properly with other features we have in place and planned for later. Co-op is a priority feature so it's a matter of when, but we won't rush it out till we're happy with it.


Will the airship garden be indoor/outdoor or both? What kind of plants can we grow and will we be able to get the plant's seeds for growing?

From: MedicalRider [Discord]


[TW] We're still working on this so we don't want to give away too much till we settle on the final ideas. What I can tell you is that the first iteration of gardening was purely indoors but this system has shown so much potential that we would love to develop much further. It's possible that we'll be adding new types of plants, devices, planters etc even after the gardening update.


How do POI (point of interest) spawns work? Are you guaranteed a chance to collect all the related collectibles?

From: NettlesomeCodger [Discord]


[TW] There are spots on the map where a POI can be generated using a procedurally generated tile system. The Generator chooses POI's randomly so it spawns in a different order and in a different location for each player. But the items won't stop spawning until the player collects the related objects, so don't worry!


Will there be different types of arrows for the crossbow?

From: MedicalRider [Discord]


[AB] We would love to add more types of bolts - we even have some ideas and prototypes for them so stay tuned.


When multiplayer is released, will each player have their own airship or will everyone share the same airship?

From: Tr3ntzilla [Discord]


[AB] Our plan from day one has always been one airship, shared between four players. One Captain (server host) with three crew members. The world and mechanics of Forever Skies have been designed around this core concept. However, we're also aware of the communities desire to have more than one airship. We're unable to make any promises right here and now only to have our plans change. It's not as easy as simply adding more airships. There are a lot of moving parts to these systems. But we're listening to you and its certainly something that requires further testing in the studio.


Will there be more biomes and locations in the future for above and below the dust?

From: Bagmann [Discord]


[TW]There will be more location types that's certain. As it comes to the biomes there are possibilities for that - the world of FS is vast, and we have a lot of cool ideas in the studio we want to explore here.


When can we pet the bug?

From: ewoudje [Discord]


[TW]

As soon as possible! No set date yet, but don't worry, we're working on it!


Will there be a reason to descend into the dust with your airship, despite the damage the dust causes?

From: Entirago [Discord]


[AB] Yes! We really love the idea of a location or a location variant that is super close to the top of the dust layer. The oxygen timer would be a cool mechanic that could also be at play here. Hopefully this is something we might add in the future!


Hi, love the game. I was wondering if there is planned support for resolutions above 1080p?

From: ian boy [Discord]


[TW] Yes, we do plan to support past 1080p. No current timeframes to share at the minute though but it is on the "to-do" list as a priority.


How happy is the team with how the game functions currently, and how likely are we to see reworks of things in the game?

From: Bagmann [Discord]


[TW]

As a developer you are never really happy with the results. You could tweak and improve things for an infinite amount of time and never be fully satisfied. But overall we see the game plays really well. We've already done some tweaks in balance and the survival system based on feedback, and we're adding more threats, content, and systems as we speak. We are also not against totally changing the way something works if we see the majority of the community want it so. The most important part for us is your feedback - this game is for you after all.


Will Forever Skies get mod support with workshop?

From: katz9997 [Steam]


[AB]

We want to say yes, but the question of how is still something we are looking into, so right now it's a maybe. We love the idea of mods as it gives players the ability to flex their creativity beyond the constraints of what we created. It also gives people a reason to keep coming back to our game, so there is very little downside in our eyes. We just need time to figure this out better, so watch this space.


Will Forever Skies support VR?

From: csfMaddin [Steam]


[TW]

We have no current plans for VR, but we're open to the idea and have even done some of our own minor internal tests out of sheer curiosity. The main thing here is that if we are going to do a VR version, we have to do it right either by ourselves or with a trusted VR partner. And to do that we'd need to have the game feature complete as we can't have a VR version of the game impacting what we want to create for the PC and console version.


Will changes be made regarding diseases? If so, do you care to share what those will be?

From: NukeAJS [Steam]


[AB]

Yes! There will be more diseases and they will play a much more significant role in the game. There will be new sources of viruses, new devices, new ways of treating them, and even some changes in the way our health system works. Stay tuned - it's coming really soon!


Will there be a system put in place in the future to further augment our character? What I mean is we have a slot to put in better oxygen tanks, but what about extra slots for things like body armor, leg and arm augments

From: suikodudeman007 [Steam]


[TW]

We love this idea and it's certainly possible! It was a cool addition in Subnautica having special suits for specific areas/biomes. We have a few ideas knocking around at the minute, but no promises just yet. It's all about time and prioritizing what the game needs most.


Will we be able to build on the landing zones (ie. windmills, surface elevators)? I love the idea of making outposts and things and having places to come back to.

From: AgentSrell777 [Steam]


[AB]

This is highly unlikely to happen. Due to the world of Forever Skies being procedurally generated, locations currently despawn once you fly a set distance away from them, meaning anything you hypothetically built would be lost. So to implement an idea like this would require us to first strip out a fundamental tech solution we have in place that works in tandem with other big features.


Are there going to be a larger variation of airship building parts so it can look less boxy and have a greater possibility for creative builds?

From: Dersh [Steam]


[TW]

Yes, there are plans for more custom parts, similar to the Glass Corner modules that look more sleek.


Is this game's danger level going to remain the same or will we have more threats?

From: Crucible [Steam]


[AB]

There will be more threats added both above and below the dust. Some are coming very soon too.


Plans for future flying threats?

From: DeltaTwoZero [Steam]


[TW]

Yes! Among many, we're prototyping a floating plant colony that will damage the airship and infect the player. Here is a sneak peak!



We currently have rotate, do you plan to add Flip & Invert for object placement? I want an upside down Cockpit like we saw in pre-alpha

From: DeLindsay [Steam]


[TW]

Flipping and inverting every object could break the game in so many places so for the sake of our QA team's sanity, we are likely not going to add this. But we do plan to add additional airship parts, including the Inverted Cockpit


I know it's a long shot, but can you give us some insight into how combat is expected to be introduced and what it will look like?

From: K.C.Wiley [Twitter]


[AB]

Combat will be kept simple. After all, it's not a game about fighting, we're scientists, so killing will be a last resort. The Crossbow and Knife will be the tools you use as weapons, but players can use boosters to help themselves with tough situations too. Basically, we don't want players to expect to go "fully Rambo" in Forever Skies. Above that, we have no specifics ready to share with you about how combat will be introduced just yet as we ourselves are still testing out a few ideas.


When will console players get to enjoy the skies?

From: Luke Reich [Twitter]


[AB]

We know console players are excited about Forever Skies, which is great! We have no set dates yet. But we will come to current-gen consoles after Early Access and we plan to be in Early Access at least for another 12 months.


Will there be more cutscenes like the one at the end of early access? It was fire.

From: Ettore Lignelli [Twitter]


[TW]

Yes there will be more of them, we're really glad you liked them!


Will there be a Freebuild or Creative Mode in the future?

From: DeLindsay [Reddit]


[AB]

Yes, we do plan to add a creative mode later in Early Access at some point. It's something a few people have asked for and it's very clear to us why. We just need the time to get this done.


Are there any dev tools you plan to make available to users? Functions like “hide GUI/HUD”, “fly (or detach camera)”, or maybe commands for weather manipulation?

From: lieutenatdan [Reddit]


[TW]

HUD removal is something we plan to add for sure so it's a matter of when. As for the other dev tools, it is possible but it's unlikely to happen until much later when we have all our systems wrapped and in place.


Will we see new types of towers added?

From: Plum [Discord]


[TW] Yes! We will absolutely add additional location types, and not just variants of the current types. These will be story locations and we look forward to sharing more of these with you in the future.


Will we get ranged weapons other than the crossbow? and what will they be?

From: Plonk [Discord]


[AB] We're planning to expand the use and need of the crossbow more before adding new stuff. New types of bolts, possibly an upgraded version, etc. So for now, we don't have any plans for other ranged weapons but this doesn't mean we won't add it in the future. If the gameplay warrants more ranged weapons, then we'll add them.


I've seen hammocks left from previous inhabitants on locations. Can we get these on our airship as an alternative to the bed please?

From: Mobin [Discord]


[TW] We understand some of you really want to feel like sky pirates so ok, we'll consider it. :)


Are there any plans for weekly or biweekly game development updates? something with bit of news, maybe showing off a screenshot or two of new models, technical challenges overcome, that kind of thing

From: Dingo [Discord]


[AB] Im glad you asked! Not weekly, but Greg our Community Manager will start a monthly round-up YouTube video. We plan to start it with the first large update planned for October. In the video we will cover whats happening in the studio, the community, any events happening and hopefully more! We also plan to post in Steam and on socials when the latest video goes up.


What's the next priority based on the items on the flight map? Can you share an anticipated timeline with us?

From: Entirago [Discord]


[TW] Next priority for us is "threats". That includes viruses, methods of dealing with threats and some enemies that will come somewhere around October. You can see a sneak peek in our latest Steam post.


What are we most looking forward to in terms of unreleased content?

From: Ematai {Discord}


[AB] Without a doubt, co-op. It is a tough nut to crack development-wise, but the reward of getting to push each other off the airship is what keeps driving us.


When can we expect Accessibility options such as increased text and icon sizes?

From: Marcus Perry [Steam]


[AB] We know that text on some of our windows is on the smaller side and we do plan to deal with is in the future, however we don't have a date set for it yet. We already tried to address this once but found out the biggest hurdle here is languages that use other alphabets as they react a lot differently to the the Latin alphabet. So we need to find a moment in our development plans where we can assign someone to this with more time to problem solve and test.


Any chance of getting a ship-wide energy system like solar panels for example?

From: Illuminia [Steam]


[TW] It is an idea that has been floated around a few times but actually works counter to other ideas we had, so for now it's not something we are thinking of.


Will the difficulty settings of the game expanded beyond hunger and thirst meters depletion rate?

From: [UA]Ramiel [Steam]


[TW] They already kind of do. Currently, the difficulty settings also impact the penalty for your character dying with the amount of resources you lose, and the viral infection effects. But overall, yes we do plan to expand that list when it makes sense once we continue adding more features into the game that can impact difficulty.


Would you be willing to give the public access to a Trello board in a similar fashion to what Unknown Worlds did while subnautica was in development. This would give us insight into things that are currently being worked on as well as future plans.

From: Diavel [Steam]


[TW] This is something we actually talked about internally for a while now and we're currently looking at some tools that will allow us to both share the roadmap as well as gather feedback from community about planned features. Unfortunately we don't have a timeline for when it would go live just yet.


Can we please be able to move a storage crate around without emptying it?

From: KGI [Steam]


[AB] We've heard this quite a few times and it's a feature on our internal to-do list. There are a lot of underlying systems that need to be reworked to get this functioning properly without breaking the game or opening up the possibility for resource glitches. So rest assured, we're on it, just give us some time to figure this beast out. Eventually, the nightmare of moving objects from one box to another will hopefully just be a distant memory.


Will the world change when you progress in the story? Like dust disappearing ect.

From: Konna84 [Steam]


[AB] Yes, we have plans to create world progression. The world will change in terms of environment and locations as you achieve certain points of progression. One thing worth noting and this is something we have said from the start - our story is not going to be about you saving the world and undoing the ecological collapse of the world. The fate of the world was sealed by humanity’s actions and inactions. So this won’t be some Hollywood-style, hero-saves-the-world deal. Your goal is to try find a cure for the remaining human population who as a last-ditch effort, fled into orbit but did so not knowing they were infected with something that evolved due to the highly polluted environment.


Will there be QoL features? for example, instead of crafting 1 of each material, can we get a crafting queue for fabricators etc?

From: DankMeme_sys [Steam]


[TW] Yes of course. We will be introducing multiple QoL improvements throughout the EA period. The main thing is rememeber is to talk to us. The more we see a certain request the more we know this needs to be looked at.


Would putting in a 3rd person camera for building be an option?

From: Alpha_pyxis [Steam]


[AB] We've seen this request a few times but as of right now, we have no immidiate plans for this. This may seem like a simple change but there is so much that this impacts and until we a re closer to being feature complete, I don't think we will be dealing with this.


I'm an absolute sucker for some good lore and secrets, will there be any expanding upon the scribbles Noah left on the walls? Will this connect to something greater that we can look forward to uncovering, or was this just some visual spice?

From: Kampko [Steam]


[AB] 100% more story and lore will be added as we progress with the development. We ourselves our fans of survival games with story and lore so Forever Skies was always going to have an overall story to keep driving the player. Actually, the next update will have a bit more story revealed in it, but we will likely finish the story at the end of Early Access.


In the early game, dealing with food and water is excessively time consuming and altogether too frequent. Do you have plans to adjust this or put settings in the game to allow players to adjust it?

From: Hydroculator [Steam]


[TW] We'll be balancing difficulty levels more for sure, but also we will giving you more ways to get food and water intake - like more efficient cooking devices for example. So the hunger and thirst will eventually become a challnge you beat through gameplay.


Could we get a lightning rod attachment and then have a station inside our airships to recharge depleted batteries?

From: SteelThunder [Steam]


[AB] We prototyped a lightning rod early on in production, so yes theres a chance it might see the light of day in the future, for sure!


Would you consider adding some more verticality of movement when on foot? Such as a grappling hook to ge to harder to reach areas

From: VENGEANCE [Steam]


[AB] No plans just yet but never say never. It's definitely possible in the future.


How will the current gameplay loop be affected by multiple players?

From: MoriartyAvalon [Reddit]


[TW] It's a bit too early for us to reveal any significant information about co-op. But because the game was always going to have co-op, every design decision we make at some point goes through the “Ok, but how will this work in co-op” gauntlet of discussions. So things at this stage are still changing and adapting based on these conversations and checks.


Coffee update when?

From: K.C.Wiley [Twitter - you won't catch us calling it "X"]


[TW] Unfortunately, you can't make coffee out of the coffee nut. Spoiler alert, that's actually the big reveal at the end of our story. The world ended because coffee couldn’t grow anymore so everyone just gave up :P EDIT: I have been told by The Fun Police some people in marketing I need to point out this is a joke.


Thank you again to our community for all of your questions. We will hold another AMA in the future!


Thats all for now, have a great weekend!

- The Far From Home Team

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