Community Spotlight - Gatas

Quiet on set! In this Spotlight: the star of a fabulous Sea of Thieves France fan film…

The Sea of Thieves Affiliate Alliance is comprised of communities from all around the world, each with their own unique stories to tell. One such community is Sea of Thieves France, who have dazzled us with their original creations and utter devotion to the pirate’s life. In this latest Spotlight, we catch up with a key member of SoT France and star of their recent fan film, Gatas, to learn more about him and this bustling community who sail under the Tricolore!

[Q]: Can you tell us a little about what got you into gaming?

[A]: We are all adventurous types, we just have to go out and discover new, virtual horizons! We are all from the 1990s to the early 2000s, so we grew up with games, watching the first playthroughs on YouTube… we were kind of born into it. For some of us, it started with watching games over our big brother’s shoulder or going to a friend’s house who had the latest console. At that time, there was a lot of controller sharing. Then online multiplayer games came in, and we all fell into a whole new world. Memories!

[Q]: Were you Rare fans before Sea of Thieves? Do you have any favourite Rare games?

[A]: In the team we have fans of Banjo-Kazooie, Kameo, Conker and GoldenEye, of course! But it was only years later, after getting to know the video game industry, that we realised these awesome games were all from Rare. It was only after (re)discovering the studio through Sea of Thieves that we noticed Rare had, from long ago, played a special part in our video game journey.

[Q]: What other games are you currently playing? Any favourites?

[A]: We are crazy about multiplayer games, and as a group we often launch ourselves into the unknown in new games. We have a definite culprit in the team, we won’t say their name – Oxy – who puts pressure on us to try new games regularly… too regularly!

Currently, some of us are getting lost in New World. Our favourite games are usually the ones where we can viciously betray our mates like Project Winter, First Class Trouble… not sure what it says about our team dynamic! Phasmophobia is also one we like to play together. If the game makes us scream and saturate our mics, it’s a good one.

[Q]: What brought you over to Sea of Thieves and its community?

[A]: We are, for the majority, first-day players of the game. Some played the Beta and can’t shut up about their Vanguard Sails, and others discovered the game at its launch only when seeing streamers going on their first adventure. When remembering the first time seeing Sea of Thieves gameplay, it’s always the water rendering which struck us first and told us “you have to try this game, it looks like a lot of fun”.

We all had the same journey towards discovering the community. For a lot of us, we were the only ones trying out the game among our different groups of friends. So after a few solitary sea dog moments, we found our need to belong in a crew growing. We then discovered Sea of Thieves France, and it got us stuck right into the game with the core French-speaking community.

Meet the SoT France crew – what a veritable galerie de rogue!

[Q]: The short film ‘Gatas, the Untold Tale’ was incredibly well put together and blew us away. How difficult are these films to coordinate and how long do they take?

[A]: We are so glad you liked it! We have Valdaghan to thank for the ‘Port Nowhere’ series as he is truly the showrunner. ‘Gatas, the Untold Tale’ was a six-month project. From the first filming night to its release on YouTube, it took a lot of time to put together. When we had the first idea of the script, characters and scenery, we started planning filming sessions with different members of the cast. Each character in the story is an actual pirate from someone in the team, so we did a bit of recasting for the purposes of the story and character background.

Since it’s all done in our free time, it takes a long time to produce this type of content. Filming sessions last for hours, redoing scenes because of the ever-changing lighting, ever-spawning skeletons… sometimes it’s like the game is just against us! After finding the right shot, at the right time, with the right lighting and everyone in position, Flameheart’s head might decide to appear in the sky… or the Ashen Lords’ tornado, or a storm coming in. Aaaaand then it’s sunset.

Still, doing these short films is definitely a lot of fun! We spend a lot of time on them, but seeing the positive reactions at the end makes it worth it. It’s a spotlight on what our community does within the game, but it’s also a spotlight on the potential this game has for content creation.

[Q]: What was it like being the main character in a short film as well as part of the creative team?

[A]: When you are in the Infinite Pirate Generator, and only looking for the special pirate you want to have amazing adventures with, you would never expect your avatar to eventually inspire stories. This was weird at first, but obviously in a good way! Gatas being featured in a community-made story is just mind-blowing. It also gives me so much joy seeing people relate, or just being charmed by what he represents.

We never intended to put him in as a main character. But we realised that the more our viewers played ‘The Legend of Port Nowhere’ story, the more they were connecting with him. He was originally written to be more of a sidekick – this new player you meet on the Sea of Thieves, one you want to help and be friends with. With ‘Gatas, the Untold Tale’ we wanted to feature a pirate having his own journey while being an actor in a bigger adventure.

With these short films, there is nothing more exciting than sharing ideas, listening to people’s propositions and making them achievable in the game. Brainstorming about how we could link this story to ‘The Legend of Port Nowhere’ and add Easter eggs and cameos. I did not personally direct the shooting or video editing, but I was there all along the way to make sure we were making good use of Gatas’ core spirit. I think we ended up with an ‘Untold Tale’ that shares one of the most important message of the Sea of Thieves community: let the game take you because “the greatest adventures are the ones you don't expect”!

A ‘Port Nowhere’ series spin-off, made entirely on Sea of Thieves custom servers.

[Q]: What advice would you give to people who want to make a fan film/project of their own?

[A]: First, you need to have a strong idea of where you want to go. The main advice I could give is no matter the story, quality or difficulty, if you want to express yourself, you should do it no matter what. Sea of Thieves is the perfect place to let your imagination and passion flourish. This community loves creativity, whether it comes from pictures, drawings, songs, videos... don't be afraid of not being good enough.

Then, never forget to be open-minded. These projects can go to a whole different level when you involve other people, viewpoints and skillsets. Also, being surrounded gives you many inspiring sources, and is a major motivational factor in pursuing the project to completion.

Of course, if you want to create something like ‘Gatas, the Untold Tale’ you need to get prepared! Scouting out the best shooting sets, writing the script, rewriting it, finding the perfect staging, the actors, the voice actors, the costumes... these things usually take weeks. But you don't have to go through all this to put together a story that people will enjoy watching. It doesn't have to be big to be great. Start small!

Be sure that all the time and love you put in will be worth it in the end when you get people's feedback. Plus you can count on me to be your first fan and support you along the way!

[Q]: What’s your favourite event that SoT France have put together so far?

[A]: We’ve been doing community events since the game’s launch, so we have quite a few in mind now. One of our favorite events would be Skullball. Our first ever Skullball event was organized for the launch of the Affiliate Alliance. We as organizers had a blast creating the Skullball universe, based on real-life sports adapted to piracy. It is a fun game mode, and easy to understand for participants and viewers. This is why we think Skullball has a lot of potential. And we do have ambition with it, so we might have something special to present in the future!

Another major event we did as Sea of Thieves France was a charity one. We raised over €5000 for Secours Populaire and students in need during COVID-19 over one weekend. With plenty of other streamers, we raised a total of €135k as we had the chance to all play Sea of Thieves together. This event, indeed, has a special place in our hearts as it convinced us we are part of a very generous community.

SoT France have plenty more ventures planned, and a new Skullball tease is among them!

[Q]: Thinking back, are there any standout moments for you in Sea of Thieves since you started playing?

[A]: Any ‘firsts’ in the game. The first time you get drunk and play music, it’s a great laugh with your crew. The first time you meet the Kraken is an epic moment and epic panic too!

The nostalgia is also very strong for the first time we summoned the Megalodon in The Hungering Deep. We were gathered around Merrick, with every other crew of the server, playing his shanty and carrying it along to the summoning location... that first time you see the beast emerging out of the depths while your tattoos are glowing… whoa! Definitely a memorable moment.

[Q]: What are your favourite additions to Sea of Thieves over the past year?

[A]: My favorite addition ever in Sea of Thieves is ‘The Art of The Trickster’ Tall Tale. This one was so difficult the first time, when it just came out. I had a weird love/hate situation with figuring out how to solve the riddles and get through the traps. But most importantly, I just became a fan of the Trapmaker! Such an enigmatic character and I hope we get to know her story better in the future. Though I’m loving how these traps are starting to appear in a lot of places in Season Five, and I hope this means we might hear about her again sometime soon. Also, fireworks. I mean… FIREWORKS!

[Q]: What are your greatest achievements in a game, Sea of Thieves or otherwise?

[A]: This is an easy one: creating and nurturing a community such as Sea of Thieves France is one of our biggest achievements as gamers, and as a team. We are just so proud to be part of this. We are all volunteers, doing it for fun in our own free time. We started small and we never thought we’d be here to talk about it, about what we do. Since we put our heart into it, in moderating, creating short films or events, it is genuinely humbling to see people actively taking part and being attached to the group as a whole. The sense of community wasn’t always there, and it was one of the first things we truly worked on.

The group was just a place where people would look for mates and that would be it. Now people get to enjoy content in their language, share their stories, play together... it became obvious to everyone that we are all part of a community. This, right there, may be our biggest achievement!

Another memorable moment in a scene from ‘The Legend of Port Nowhere’.

[Q]: If you had to choose a pirate and ship name, what would they be?

[A]: My pirate’s name would be La Buse, from the legendary pirate Olivier Levasseur who is known for their treasure which is yet to be found. “Find my treasure, the one who may understand it!” he exclaimed before dying, while throwing a cryptogram at the crowd. Imagine doing this in Sea of Thieves, daring people to find your treasure trove!

As a ship name, we would go for La Belle Poule, in honor of our own community Easter eggs and lore!

[Q]: What kind of other hobbies do you enjoy outside of gaming?

[A]: I am definitely an outdoors person and I just enjoy spending time in nature surrounded by beautiful landscapes. I am fully aware how cheesy this sounds, but it really is true! I think one of the most amazing places I have got to see was Yellowstone National Park in the United States. I have also recently discovered running as one of my hobbies, and I think this goes well with spending time outside.

We are all very different in the team. Linksyx likes programming when he is not bug tracking in the game. Honestly, we think he is playing with the game more than actually playing it. Setz loves music, whether playing piano to relax, or listening to lo-fi, US rap and electro. Sayuta of course is crazy about drawing stuff. Does she do other stuff? We are not sure. Cheshire is writing a book as a personal project. Rex is a comedian so theatre and movies are a big deal to him, he is also passionate about food. Then we have Aidan! This stays between us, but he likes listening to weird music and also being Swiss... that’s a hobby, right?

[Q]: Share a fun fact about yourself. Anything is fair game!

[A]: I am a foodie – surprising, right? I love to cook and eat basically anything. I enjoy discovering another country’s culture, mostly through its cuisine! Any time I have a chance to bring some food back home, I do, and it usually involves buying an additional suitcase.

That concludes our latest Community Spotlight! Thank you to Gatas and the entire Sea of Thieves France team for giving us their time. We’re constantly charmed by the wonderful events and original content created by this and other communities, and can’t wait to see what comes next. Keep up the good work!

If you’re eager to hear more from our players, check out some of our previous Community Spotlights and our dedicated Community Hub. Until next time!