Zarpar: Lanzamiento de Skull and Bones

por Intel Gaming |

Pirates have never not been cool. One of the most awaited games of recent years, Skull and Bones, is ready to set sail and prove the point yet again. The game’s co-op, open-world pirate action RPG experience takes the player on a journey from shipwrecked survivor to the most infamous pirate kingpin on the Indian Ocean, and don’t pretend you’re not into it. Intel Gaming Access spoke with Neven Dravinski, Senior Producer, and Jussi Markkanen, Technical Director on Skull and Bones at Ubisoft Singapore to find out what’s been going on below decks to bring the epic experience to life.

Skull and Bones is inspired by the tumultuous “Golden Age” of piracy, which spanned the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Players enter a chaotic and barbarous era of ruthless, warring factions and powerful megacorporations vying for power on the lawless seas of the Indian Ocean. “We’ve taken inspiration from the legends and myths of the time, from monstrous sea monsters to chilling ghost ships,” says Neven. “The game’s atmosphere and visual direction reflects this cruel reality by taking a much grittier approach.” 

In the game, you explore an expansive world, with unique biomes and characters who will either aid or hinder your progress depending on how you play. At the start, raise your infamy by taking on contracts, engaging in naval combat, hunting treasure, plundering forts, and more. Climb the ranks and gain access to blueprints that let you craft better ships, weapons, armors, and furniture using gathered resources, with the ultimate goal of establishing your own fearsome smuggling empire. 

Skull and Bones invites players to explore parts of the world they likely haven’t had the chance to check out before. “The game is inspired by the Indian Ocean, a region that spans a variety of rich cultures. While creating it, we had the opportunity to explore the distinct cultures and settings that make this region so unique,” says Neven. “For example, players can expect to environments inspired by real-world locations in South-east Asia, East Asia, Africa, and so much more.” 

“The game’s setting is a great opportunity to celebrate the diversity of the world we live in, and in particular, a region that is not typically represented in mainstream media,” continues Neven. “We partnered with researchers, academics, and others who had the knowledge to ensure our approach was respectful to the different historical cultures that lived in the Indian Ocean region during this time.”

In addition to the help of experts, the game had the invaluable input of players along the way. “We’ve always worked closely with our community through live-testing initiatives like the Insider Program, and regular user tests,” says Neven. “The feedback from these sessions has helped us improve the game in many different areas such as naval combat, co-op, and gameplay variety. Being a new IP meant that we didn’t have a lot of player data to begin with, so the community feedback has helped us tremendously.” 

The game is designed to be a living world which evolves over time to keep players fed with everything a growing pirate needs. “Skull and Bones is built for years to come, with plans for new gameplay features and exciting new game modes to be introduced each season, all available for free,” says Neven. “This includes new contracts, weapons, ships, armors, and furniture, alongside legendary pirate adversaries, mythical creatures and much more.”

With a comprehensive content plan already in place, post-launch is going to be just as action-packed for the team as pre-launch. “Our seasonal content format allows us to provide regular, coherent updates to expand on the Skull and Bones experience, while allowing us flexibility in adapting and incorporating community feedback,” says Neven. “There are tons of new gameplay features, game modes, events, quality of life improvements, and so much more being developed behind the scenes. Players can expect exciting new content coming their way throughout the seasons.”

On the technical side, Jussi and the team have thrown everything they’ve got at Skull and Bones to deliver performance to satisfy the demands of PC players. “We’ve always aimed to have the highest visual quality we can while maintaining a constant frame-rate to ensure players have an immersive and smooth experience sailing the high seas,” says Jussi. “On Skull and Bones, our main PC features include uncapped FPS, multi-monitor and widescreen support, in-game benchmark, HDR and SDR with image calibration, advanced input settings, DLSS/FSR, and ray-tracing support.”

As part of its ongoing developer program, Intel spliced the technical mainbrace with Ubisoft throughout development to ensure gamers get the best experience possible. “Intel has been a long-time partner for Ubisoft, with a history of collaboration across multiple IPs,” says Jussi. “On Skull and Bones, our awesome co-development team at Ubisoft Kyiv worked really closely with the Intel team to optimize the game for Intel hardware.”

“All that being said, the best way for PC gamers to play Skull and Bones is with friends!” Jussi says. “While it can be played solo, the entire game can also be played in co-op, with plenty of social opportunities for players to meet, group up, and interact, at sea or on land. Co-op is a differentiating factor in our game, and we encourage our players to explore the world with others on our servers, which can hold up to 20 player pirates.”

As the launch of Skull and Bones approaches, and the years of hard work come to fruition, Neven is understandably amped up, but also keen to reflect on what it took to get here. “I want to take this moment to express just how proud I am of the team,” he says. “Creating and delivering a brand new AAA IP is one of the most challenging things to accomplish in the video game industry, and this team has succeeded in doing just that. I’m incredibly excited to keep pushing boundaries as we head into launch and beyond. We can’t wait for you to set sail on February 16th—we’ll be seeing you on the high seas!”

Pre-order Skull and Bones on the Ubisoft Store