Seasteader is a brand new city builder game currently in development by an equally brand new British studio named ‘Cosy Goat’.
The studio is currently made up of just two people working as hard as they can to bring us a great game and from what I’ve seen of Seasteader so far it looks like they’re doing a fantastic job! I’m personally very excited to get playing the game upon release and I encourage all of you to check it out if you’re a fan of city builder and management games.
I got in touch with the lovely Hannah from Cosy Goat to ask a few questions about the game and she was pleased to answer them.
Links to the game’s Kickstarter and a few other relevant places can be found at the end of the article so be sure to check them out!
Your studio is named Cosy Goat which I personally think is an adorable name, where did the name come from?
I’m glad you think it’s cute! Cosy Goat was actually my boyfriend’s nickname for me. When I set up my Twitter account, I put it down as a username because I thought it had good cadence. Now a few months down the line, it’s just sort of stuck!
Before you started work on Seasteader have you worked on any other games?
Nope, this is the first game for both of us. It was perhaps a bit too ambitious of a project, but we’re slowly nearing the end of it, so it’s all working out.
Is making games something you do full time or do you also work a day job?
I wish! For now we’re working day jobs until (hopefully) Seasteader takes off on its own. We’d definitely like to be able to make games for a living, but I suppose most game devs feel that way.
How many people do you have working on Seasteader?
It’s just the two of us for now! We’ve hired contractors in the past to fill in skill gaps (mostly art related). With a steady source of revenue, a full time artist would probably be the first position we’d recruit for, but for now, we’re happy with our little team!
The idea of starting your own settlement out at sea is one I’ve never seen before; how did you first come up with the idea?
Unfortunately, we can’t take credit for the seasteading concept! We came across it online one day and found the idea very intriguing as far as thought experiments go. Then we thought it’d make for an interesting setting for a game, since it hadn’t been done before. Combine that with our love for city building games, and that’s how Seasteader was born!
You mentioned in your Kickstarter video that the game plays a lot more like the Tycoon games rather than the likes of Sim city. Would you say Sim city, Capitalism 2 or similar games had any sort of influence on Seasteader?
Oh, definitely. The list of influences is too long to go through one by one. We both enjoyed playing games in the 90s and early 00s, and that era had a lot of city building and management strategy games with a level of depth that’s less prevalent now. Seasteader is in a way a love letter to those old games, while at the same time harnessing the technology we have today. Hopefully it makes for a good combination.
What is the overall in game goal of Seasteader?
It’s a balance more than anything, although the player can focus more on building and put as much or as little time into the management part as they want; it will still function “automatically” without the player’s input.
Seasteader is at its core a sandbox game, so there really is no end goal, but more production brings more income which gives you more money reserves which opens up more opportunities for new production chains, and it sort of goes on forever… or for as long as the player is having fun.
You’ve cited newer games like Banished and Tropico as well as older games like Pharaoh, Caesar III, and the Theme series as influences. What sets Seasteader apart from the rest of them?
We touched on this earlier, but our goal with Seasteader is to make it as complex as the player wants it and as simple as the player wants it. Too many games limit their audience by catering to either hardcore gamers or more casual gamers, whereas we want Seasteader to be played with whichever level of intensity the player desires. For instance, you can assign workers to production buildings based on their skill levels, but if you don’t do that, the workers will find jobs by themselves, so you don’t feel like the game is pressuring you to put in the work if you just want to have some easy fun.
Being more engaged does give the player an edge, but it’s not the only way to play the game. As a game that you can’t really “win”, the player can play it however they want. It can either be a challenge to maximise profits, a relaxing simulation, or anything in between.
What does the future hold for Seasteader after release? Are you hoping to release more content for the game in future and would you be likely to encourage modding of the game?
We’re in it for the long term! As long as people keep playing the game, we’ll keep supporting it and putting out new content. As far as modding goes, we’re moving as much of the game data as we can into TXT and PNG files so that players will be able to even further tailor their own gameplay experience, and hopefully share their mods with one another.
What are your plans after Seasteader?
We’ve got plenty of ideas for future games! It’s been hard to resist the temptation to start every new project we think of while development on Seasteader is ongoing, but once it’s complete, we can’t wait to start work on new games!
I’d like to thank Hannah for taking the time to speak with me! I really wish the best for Seasteader and the future of Cosy Goat.