Rising Tides, the debut effort from Bad Rhino Games, is an upcoming historical fantasy RPG in which players will journey across the seas in an experience that aims to fuse gameplay and narrative.

Speaking to our friends at Gameumentary, the project’s lead designer, Ryan Manning, said that the core gameplay will resemble that found in Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, though the storyline will not necessarily be a driving force. Instead, the narrative is designed to “direct and guide players” while leaving them free to explore sidequests and other diversions.

Despite the prioritisation of gameplay, narrative and world-building are both key pillars of the title. Rising Tides is set in a fantastical version of the early modern period of history, spanning from the 1600s to the 1800s, although a physical setting has not yet been revealed.

Players will step into the role of a sailor searching for clues about a lost family member, and will get drawn into a larger mystery involving the Dead Fleet, “a cursed race of sailors, merchants, and former living persons.”

The game is being developed with Unreal Engine 4, though Bad Rhino has teamed up with Nvidia in order to utilise the WaveWorks technology in order to be able to create a more realistic ocean simulation than Epic’s solution offers.

As Rising Tides is in early development, the team at Bad Rhino Games are not ready to share specific gameplay details or in-progress media, but expect to reveal the first concrete details in another six months. Furthermore, Manning and his team are undecided about the possibility of a crowdfunding campaign, as they believe that unscrupulous developers have tainted the reputation of Kickstarter, Early Access, and similar platforms.

Rising Tides does not yet have a planned release date or intended platforms. You can find out more about the project at its official website.

Damien Lawardorn
Damien Lawardorn is an aspiring novelist, journalist, and essayist. His goal in writing is to inspire readers to engage and think, rather than simply consume and enjoy. With broad interests ranging from literature and video games to fringe science and social movements, his work tends to touch on the unexpected. Damien is the former Editor-in-Chief of OnlySP. More of his work can be found at https://open.abc.net.au/people/21767

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