Hi, I’m Tomas Sala, the sole creator and developer of The Falconeer, a third-person aerial combat game, which hits PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 on August 5th.
As an individual / solo creator, what really excites me is that the power of the PS5 removed so many constraints that would have made a game like The Falconeer impossible just a few years ago. I’m here today to give you a little insight into that, as well as how the features of the PS5 and the DualSense Wireless Controller have given me the freedom to create a deeply immersive and unique gaming world.
So, first of all, what is is The Falconer?
Imagine riding on top of a giant bird of prey, flying among the clouds, drifting and climbing gracefully as a golden sun rises over the horizon. Now imagine the opposite of that, a dream of a dark ocean, of bottomless depths that won’t let you go anywhere but to their dark expanses.
This basic contrast is at the heart of The Falconeer, and at the heart of the world I designed for this game, a dark and harsh ocean world. It is a place of haunting beauty, from which you, an airborne Falconeer warrior, you soar above. Yet nowhere is safe in a world where the rich ride airships, mighty tame dragons, and even humble sailing captains arm their ships to the teeth against the monsters of the deep, as well as those of the sky.
It’s a pure pleasure to explore the vast open world of The Falconeer on PlayStation and the advanced haptic feedback of the DualSense controller gives the intuitive air combat mechanics an incredibly tactile and fluid feel. I also used the adaptive triggers to mimic the feeling of gun recoil and force feedback. One thing that can perhaps be overlooked is the impact that the DualSense controller speaker can have. This results in powerful audio signals which, combined with haptics and triggers, provide even greater immersion and “feel” to the gameplay. In The Falconeer, I used the speaker specifically for NPC radio voices.
The Falconeer is a very personal game for me, and it’s a game that explores the themes of escape and freedom, but also at its core, it’s a tribute to the classic air combat and air combat games. which I played growing up. If you play the Falconeer you will recognize that it is not a typical shooter game, even if you are riding a mythical giant warbird the gameplay will still require you to develop your classic air combat skills, to get behind a enemy, to deflect the shots, but now ride a giant bird that can perform stunts like no plane could ever attempt.
The game is created with an artistic style that forgoes textures entirely, with many of its effects and visuals being created through mostly mathematical expressions, which was unthinkable in the past. The vivid colors, mathematical gradients and crisp, dramatic edges of The Falconeer come into their own with the PS5’s 4K resolution and 60 FPS capabilities.
And it’s not just the visuals and art that ‘pop’ on PlayStation. The Complete Warrior Edition, the definitive version of the game, for the first time matches the vision I had all those years ago. With a world more filled with unique adventures, from helping the brew masters of Castellus against pirates riding giant tortoises, joining those same pirates as a raid criminal, flying on top of drakes and pterosaurs or to visit some of the exotic places previously mentioned before. Thanks to the PS5, the world of The Falconeer is now more alive, vibrant and immersive than ever.
I actually came across the world of Ursee and the early days of the game while working on TrackLab, which was an exclusive PS VR music creation experience released by Sony Interactive Entertainment in 2018. In a sense, this opportunity to working on such terrain – breaking the hardware and the console would first open my mind to creating a world and a game on my own, rather than as part of a team or a studio. production.
And now, many years later, here we are. The Falconeer, a game I’ve created over the past five years, is slated for release on PS4 and PS5 on August 5, and in a very tangible sense, its journey has come full circle. Thanks for the reading. Hope you enjoy playing The Falconeer and experiencing the enhanced immersion made possible by the PS5.