Orbcreation's upcoming game is the "ultimate" sailing simulator, which makes it sound like quite the sailing simulator. So what makes a sailing simulator that isn't called Sailing Simulator (its title is Sailaway) the "ultimate" one?
A fine attention to accuracy turns out to be answer, and I guess it's something that has to be taken into account the most when it comes to simulating something. In Sailaway, many elements that you'll find in the game are accurate, or realistic. Making a trip across the Pacific takes months, as in real life with a real boat. Changing weather conditions utilize real-time data from the National Oceanice and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The world map is detailed. Tweak your settings and your boat wiil continue to sail when you're offline. Okay, that last one doesn't quite fit in this accuracy list, but it makes the months-long virtual Pacific trip sound more bearable.
The game contains a persistent online world, and you can be updated on your unmanned boat's self-sailing progress via email updates. Said boat can be one of three "ultra-detailed" types - a 38' Cruiser, a Mini-Transat or a 45' Classic Yacht. Oh, and apparently I'm not done with the list of accurate features yet. So, the boats are accurately modelled and come with comprehensive controls, the waves are accurately modelled, water colour and waves is based on location (and thus are accurate), and the day and night sky are accurately modelled as well. There's a whole lot of accuracy in here, basically. If it sounds too daunting, the game will have various difficulty settings to cater to both novice players and those who're up for the ultimate sailing experience.
Aside from such attentive accuracy there's a multiplayer aspect to the game, which isn't surprising considering the persistent online world. Global, local and group chat aside, you can invite other players onto your boat to sail together, and there are also race options for something competitive, as well as online leaderboards.
And impressively, Sailaway is the result of a "one-man development force", Richard Knol. “Sailaway started as an experiment to see if it would be feasible to create a sailboat that responds to sail trim changes” he said, “but it soon transformed into a full time passion project, in which every aspect of sailing was being implemented in the most comprehensive way possible.”
Sailaway is due for release this spring for PC and Mac. It'll be priced at £29.99 / $39.99 / €36.99, or RM177.55.