When sailing is only a game: Sailaway the ultimate sailing simulator

Sailaway is a new sailing simulator that promise “to sail the distant ocean from the comfort of your home and PC”. The game is planned to be releases via Early Access in April 2017 by Irregular Corporation.

Featuring a realistic reproduction of ocean water and waves, coastline and and real-time weather conditions (based on NOAA data) and currents, Sailaway will require players to often check their course and trim the sails to make sure they are sailing efficiently or that they don’t run aground. The developers put extra effort in make sure that sun, moon, stars and other celestial bodies appear in the correct position according to boat coordinates and date and time, recreating the most realistically experience of sailing.

Sailaway put sailing at the center of the stage. A unique feature of this new game is the possibility for the user to just explore the World’s oceans without necessarily sail on a limited regatta course. The entire World becomes your own playground.  The game is available as cross-platform so players can still control the boat in different moments of their life, like coming home on a train or while in line for lunch. The long time dreamed Pacific crossing to Polynesia will take about as long as a real one and players can be in control of the different parts of the journey adjusting to the real weather conditions .

The Online Community will take away the solitude of a long ocean crossing and racing, buddy boating, Rallies or simple chat interaction will make sailing a shareable experience.

Not everybody has the opportunity to sail across oceans, due to economic restraint, life and work commitments or whatever reason may be. Nor everybody dare to brave the waves and coast lines of the World, preferring the comforts and commodity of their house.

Playing is a vital aspect of human life, and video games have become more and more important as technology is an omnipresent part in everyone’s life, not only for entertainment but as well as learning and working platform. This type of immersive experience and realistic virtual world will take a larger audience to a place where they not dare to go in real life, and activity that unfortunately only few people are able to engage in.

The oxymoron of a Virtual Reality for outdoor activity

While removing the fatigue and discomforts of an ocean journey this game will deprive you as well of the pleasures of sailing. The tranquility of a calm anchorage, the snorkeling through a coral reef, reading a book in the shade of your cockpit with the trade winds at your back, the excitement of hooking a mahi-mahi or a tuna on your fishing line and enjoying a fresh filet or a ceviche right away are hard to build in a virtual world.

With technological improvement in gaming and Virtual Reality it will be more and more difficult to draw a line between the two type of experiences. One thing for sure will be hard to replicate because it’s not very attractive: fatigue, discomfort, annoyances and pain while not desirable have a key role in establishing  accomplishment and boosting self-esteem.

For the experience of taking a boat on the water from point A to point B has no rivals yet.

2 thoughts on “When sailing is only a game: Sailaway the ultimate sailing simulator

  1. Ellen says:

    Very interesting. One more irreplaceable aspect of real sailing is, for me, the connection you have with the person you are sailing with. Being out on the water, even just for an hour, creates a different atmosphere for interacting with people and fosters a deeper connection and friendship.

    1. fabio says:

      This is a good point Ellen, thank you for bringing it here. Right now I am writing and thinking about the face to face relationship as important booster in learning how to sail. Even if self-teaching is possible and has been done, real world relationship are fundamental to improve sailing skills.

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