I wrote about Blackwake when it first went into the alpha stage. The co-op pirate simulator designed to make you feel like part of a real crew recently started Alpha #3. In the past, the developers have encouraged alpha testers who asked to post videos of game play. This has continued with the latest installment with great success.
One of the weapons alpha players found most amusing was a gun with barrels arranged in a honeycomb shape that fires seven bullets at once. The only drawback is the very long time it takes to reload as seen throughout this video. Other favorites include “The Duckfoot” a pistol as ridiculous as it is deadly, with four barrels as seen here. Gameplay looks as fun as ever though there’s still the occasional odd glitch. Most noticeably, boats sometimes go completely under water. This looks like it’s tied to the rough/stormy seas. Ships occasionally becoming submarines aside, enthusiasm for the game hasn’t died down among YouTube users.
Not as many videos as I’d think are showing off customization, though a few mention it and it can be seen here. The new system in place has limited options but, with skin tone and hair color sliders, you should be able to tell your crew apart.
I wish the options included lady pirates (there actually were quite a few, historically) but given resource constraints it’s understandable. Maybe that will be an option in the final game. (Ed. Note: Blackwake’s developer has been kind enough to point out that there are going to be female pirates in the game.)
How popular are these videos? It depends largely on the channel, but most of the ones I watched had between 5,000 and 80,000 views. The comment sections of many of the videos are active and most of the videos have many times more likes than dislikes.
So what does all of this mean for Blackwake? In a nutshell, it means free marketing. Thousands of people see the new content every time the game gets updated and lets players put their crews together. Not only that, they discuss the game, comment on it and share it. Following a series of let’s play videos will keep the game in potential players’ minds much better than a commercial. There’s also something weirdly enjoyable about watching one pirate calmly drink tea while the others run around as their players freak out and their ship sinks. Everybody wins.
Many game developers may want to limit access to their work in progress. Still, Blackwake has shown the benefits of sharing what’s good and bad about the game so far. If you can’t wait for pirate shenanigans these YouTube channels (and more) have you covered.