Early Access Build Guide

This page will explain what is available in the Early Access Release of Abandon Ship. While it contains major spoilers, it is included in case you wish to use it in order to help plan your Streams / Video Recordings. You may also find some of the images here helpful with your thumbnail previews. There are more images in the Press Kit (link for this is in the top-right).

Tutorial vs No Tutorial

If you play with the tutorial on, the game will explain everything to you in the first 30-45 minutes.
It is recommended if you haven’t played the game before to play with the tutorial on.
If however, you have already played the game (particularly for previous coverage) then the only thing you wouldn’t have come across before is the Exploration tutorial, which is simple enough to understand, but the basics are:

– Either click to move, or hold the mouse button down for your ship to move to wherever your cursor is
– There is a button in the top left to manage your ship – you can choose what default position to move to in a battle, which is your preferred facing and saving of crew positions
– Map gates are opened by completing events. In the first map, you can only exit out of the bottom gate.

WARNING: SPOILERS FOLLOW

Part 1 – Escape


In the first 30-45 minutes, you will:

– Escape a Cult Fortress, rescuing some prisoners along the way who become your crew
– Move to the second map, which culminates with the Kraken attacking you. At this point, all you can do is fight it off and flee.
– Reach a third map, and what the character believes is safety.
– Have to flee again, due to the Cult attacking.
 
As this is the opening portion of the game, it is more linear than the rest.

Part 2 – Landfall


Between 30 and 45 minutes.
 
The player makes their way to a specific map called Landfall. They are free to choose their path to reach this goal. Depending on what is generated, there could be weather modifiers in these maps that affect combat.
Port of Landfall

Part 3 – Devilrock

 
Between 30 and 45 minutes.
 
The player makes their way to a specific map called Devilrock, where they will acquire the tools to fight the Kraken.
 
As you gradually move north, the maps become colder environments.

Part 4 – Kraken Boss Fight

 

Between 30 and 45 minutes.
 
Reach Pullman’s Cove, a place where you can trap the Kraken and fight it to the death.
 
Ensure you have lots of cannons and at least one mortar!

Part 5 – Take the fight to the Cult

 
Between 1 and 2 hours. Fast Travel unlocked. Fast travel is accessible by going to the Tavern in a port.
 
What you thought was a mortal blow against the Cult has only accelerated their plans. In order to gain more information, you attempt to flush out their leaders by thwarting their operations. This means destroying Haliphron Nests, freeing slaves and liberating ports under Cult control.
 
A new region is unlocked for you to explore and choose how and where you attack the Cult.
 
If you travel due west from Landfall, the first map in the new region you will reach is a volcanic one. Any combat in this map will have a constant flow of volcanic rocks raining down. Things can deteriorate very quickly in combat in this map.

 

Part 6 – Cult Command Vessels & the journey North

 
Between 30 and 45 minutes.
 
Once 8 Cult missions have been successfully completed, several high-level Cult vessels are spawned in the world. Capturing one without sinking it is your objective.
 
This reveals information about the Cult focusing their efforts on a particular area in the far north. When you go there, you are faced with an impenetrable ice sheet.

Part 7 – Attain an Icebreaker

 
Around 1 hour.
 
After returning to Landfall, a new region is unlocked. This is an Arctic region where, once you have found a port, you will be able to purchase an Icebreaker.
 
Every map in this new region is filled with icebergs. That means you’ll receive damage in combat from collisions with them. Icebreakers prevent frontal damage, but not side damage when changing distance, so you want battles finished quickly with the minimum of distance changing!

Part 8 – Venture into the Unknown

 
Around 30 minutes.
 
Equipped with the Icebreaker, you can now venture into the Ice Sheet. Be prepared with plenty of supplies and a happy crew before attempting this. Events will happen to you as you forge your way across.
 
Once you breach the Ice Sheet, you will learn that the Kraken you killed was but one of many.
 
Beyond that, you will finally get to meet the voice in your head.
 
Once you have fled, you reach the end of the story that is in the version of the game that is launched on 21st February.

Death & Survival

 
If your ship is destroyed, and you have a lifeboat and manage to escape to it, you and any crew will have to survive until you are eventually rescued. As supplies dwindle and morale drops the situation can become desperate.
 
If you go down with the ship, or all of your crew are killed, you will be stranded, alone in the water. This is a very bad situation to be in, although there is still a chance of being rescued.
 
If you die in Stranded, it is game over. If you die in the boss battle, it is game over. When game over occurs, your save will be automatically deleted.

Combat Campaign

 
Between 30 and 45 minutes.
 
There is a Combat Campaign off the main menu. This is a short tale that is nothing to do with the main story, that focuses on rescuing your kidnapped sister.
 
It is 10 sequential combats of increasing difficulty, with up to 5 port visits in between for the player to repair and upgrade their ship. The battles involve many of the environmental modifiers in the game, and is a shorter, more intense snapshot of the combat in Abandon Ship.

Future Updates

 
Of course, all of this is just our first release for Early Access. We plan a lot more, both in terms of refining what is already there, and adding a lot more content and systems.
 
In short, some of the things we are planning are:
 
– Lots of new systems in exploration mode and supporting content to make it feel more like a living world to interact with.
– Unlocking more regions with unique islands
– Side quests
– Making some of the player choices feed back into the game, so their decisions may come back to haunt (or help) them
– More environmental modifiers for combat
– AI improvements, including ramming and boarding the player
– More weapons, upgrades and sections
– More ships
– The second half of the main story
– Seasonal events (looking forward to exploring the Haunted Isles in October…)
– “Abandon Ship Stories” – a little like the Combat Campaign, these would be one-off stories separate from the main game that showcase new content in an easily accessible, standalone format. This is a format we can have some fun with; perhaps one story you will be a Cultist climbing the ranks, getting to control the Haliphron.
– Plus a whole host of polish, bug-fixes, quality-of-life changes and other improvements
 
We will publicly talk about these in more detail closer to our release.