Early Access Roadmap – Post Launch

In this blog post we’ll discuss our plans for immediately after we launch, and some of the things we’re thinking about for the longer-term.
Everything included here is with the goal of making the game as brilliant as it can be, and working towards an eventual full release, or Version 1.0!

 

Abandon Ship, Now

We’ve launched the game with an 8-10 hour (average playtest time) story that encapsulates exploration, combat and upgrading your ship. There is also a short side-story (more on that format later) which is separate from the main game and focused on combat.
We’ve tried to ensure the release is as stable and polished as we can, and ultimately we wanted to make sure that for people that play now, they can get several hours of fun, with high-quality production values.
This was really important to us. We know that Early Access can have a bad reputation for buggy, clearly work-in-progress titles. We didn’t want to fall in that category, we wanted to fit into the “squint and it’s almost a finished game” category!
But that doesn’t mean we think we’re nearly done. There is so much more that can be added and refined to turn Abandon Ship into the best it can be. These include new content and systems, as well as improvements to what is already there.

 

Post Launch

Launching a game is an especially busy period. Even once we have released there will be a few weeks where we are fixing high priority bugs and implementing in-demand quality-of-life features.
While this is going on, we will be collating and assessing all of the player feedback and updating our plans. We have a good idea of what we’d like to do, comprised of our own plans plus reports from our pre-release playtesters, but we expect to refine these plans when the full community have access to the game.
Naturally, once this plan has taken shape we’ll keep the community updated with what we’re working towards.

 

Areas of Attention

Here are some of the things that we’re planning to tackle during Early Access. This comes with the usual caveats – development is a moving target and we may re-arrange priorities as we need to.
This is a non-exhaustive list in no particular order, so consider it a heads up of areas we want to work on:
Cannibals would paddle out from their native islands to attack both ships in combat.
– Expanding the gameplay of exploration mode. This is a big, on-going task that requires many new features and content.
– Making some of the player choices feed back into the game, so their decisions may come back to haunt (or help) them.
– Vast quantities of incidental events with varied gameplay
– Involved Side-Quests
– Unlocking more regions once those have sufficient unique islands, quests and gameplay modifiers implemented
– Improve boarding gameplay in combat
– AI improvements, including getting the AI to ram and board the player
– More weapons and upgrades. The Ship Section Upgrades in particular will receive a lot of expansion.
– More ship classes and more ship variety
– Offer the player more choice in how they can avert the negative-spiral that can occur when things go from bad to worse.
– Increase crew numbers, particularly on the larger ships.
– Improve Lifeboat and Stranded gameplay loop
Concept art for an upcoming new ship class. The Cruiser sits between the Galleon and Warship in terms of durability and power.
– Saving & Loading Options. Permadeath will always be the primary way to play Abandon Ship, but we’ll offer saving systems that compliment this, as well as options for players that want greater flexibility in how they progress through the game.
– The rest of the main story
– Greater customisation options
– Steam Achievements, looking into Cloud Saves.
– More options for graphical settings and control key bindings.
– Balancing everything, but particularly ensuring that long-range combat is just as viable a tactic as close-quarters fighting.
– An on-going mission to bug fix, improve readability and add quality-of-life features across the entire game.
– Translations
I’ll be posting in more detail about some of the above in the Steam forums after release, so we can collate everyone’s thoughts.

 

Update Styles

There are a lot of Regions we’ll unlock through Early Access, and they need to be stuffed with unique islands, gameplay modifiers and quests.
Some updates will come in a hot-fix style. They’ll be updated directly onto the main version of the game. These will be released on an ad-hoc basis, and could involve one fix (if it’s important enough to get out there immediately) or multiple small changes.
We’ll hold back the big stuff for larger updates, the frequency of which we’ll talk about once we’ve done our planning. Because these will contain new content that will be seeded into the world, they will break your existing saves – but we’ll publicise when these are coming so you’ll have prior notice. You’ll also be able to hold off updating or go back to a previous version if you’re in the middle of a save game you’d like to finish.
These big updates will most likely be available prior to their official release in a separate branch of the game. This will effectively be the “bleeding edge” of the game where people can test the latest features, but will be a bit more unstable and rough round the edges until player feedback has helped us fix all of the issues that arise. For those that like to get involved with the development, this is where you’ll be able to make the biggest difference!

 

Abandon Ship Stories

One aspect we’d really like to try during Early Access is the concept of “Abandon Ship Stories” – we’ve already created a small-scale version of this with the Combat Campaign. This is a standalone game mode that focuses on combat and upgrading gameplay that takes about 30-45 minutes to play through. The story in this is separate from the main game.
We’d love to really expand on this concept with future large updates as it provides many benefits, both creatively and logistically.
Take, for example an update that unlocks a new region. This region could include the dreaded Spider Island, and have environmental modifiers that affect combat, and side-quests associated with this ominous place.
Some players will happily play through the main game to explore it, whereas the majority will likely want to jump in and immediately experience this new content.
That’s where an “Abandon Ship Story” would come in. We’d launch the update with a unique, standalone story accessible from the main menu that takes a couple of hours to play through and showcases all of the new features, so existing players can dive right in and get to the juicy new stuff.
We can have some fun with this format, too. Perhaps one story could have you as a Cultist rising up the ranks, getting a chance to control the Haliphron? Or how about unlocking the region called “The Haunted Seas” on the run up to Halloween?
We feel this is a good way to make being part of the Abandon Ship community continuously fun and exciting, as opposed to a traditional, dry “here is an update” format.

 

 

Anything Else?

Naturally we have other, crazier ideas that are larger in scope. For those that have been following every post, every forum comment you will be aware of some things the Dev Team have mentioned that would fall into this category. Attempting those would largely depend on how successful we were during Early Access.

 

Even though we have a strong idea where Abandon Ship is heading, that doesn’t mean we don’t want to hear your ideas! The point is (and this applies from the most granular feedback to the wildest idea) we are listening 🙂

 

 

 

17 Comments

  • Josh Reply

    Just watched the trailer, went to the feedback forum on steam which was locked, and lead me here.

    Was really excited for this game until I got to the part in the trailer that said “You can Pause the game” this is a major flaw in this style of gameplay.

    Because it causes 1 of 2 issues.

    Issue 1: Since you can pause, it will become a requirement for min/max to push further into more difficult content early, for anyone looking to progress faster or face difficult content, it’ll require them to play a very boring pause, click, play version of the game.

    Issue 2: If Issue 1 does not apply, it’s because you do not have the option to face difficult content and/or the speed of your actions and your skill as a player aren’t required in the game. which is equally bad or worse.

    Love everything else about the game, and what is shown in the trailer… I really hope majority agree’s and the pause option is removed, because this looks really fun otherwise :D!!

  • gburchell Reply

    Thanks for the comment – I’d be interested to see what you think after playing, from what I’ve seen from playtesters it looks like the pausing is influenced by their personal preference. Some like to pause frequently, others barely use it.

  • The Madrummer Reply

    Aw…I was really hoping to see “Workshop Integration” on that roadmap list!!
    Guess I’ll never be modeling my own ships, buddies, or enemies to insert into the fray 😛
    Well, downloading now to give it a trial run! The promise of 6 hours of initial content is pretty darn enticing, though, so I may just have to stick with it!

  • Alexander Kanioglou Reply

    i bought it the first minutes it got out. i enjoyed it although i think that the story telling with just plain text (not even some hand drawn pictures ) is a small minus

    • kepalaslt Reply

      how far did u go ? iam stuck after the first 4 continets…

  • Rotary Fun Reply

    The games is well polished for a early access.
    It’s still early days but different types of ship roll would add more immersion I have yet to play more but first impressions are very good.
    Well done

  • Andrew Santom Reply

    I would like to see more ships moving around on the map. The stationary pirate ship is odd. Also for future update, port combat. Like the see the ship take on a fortress maybe to be able to get into a port. Also NPC crew members, say you rescue a governors daughter, she is on the deck for any combat and can be killed or re-captured, you get a reward for returning her to a port. Or she may decide a pirates life for her and join the crew!

  • Rafaela Silva Reply

    Not sure if this is already a feature or not, but adding a shortcut to each of the ship’s crew (1-6) during combat would make chaos much less chaotic.

    I would also add port attacks where you fight a stationary target that does a lot of damage to the players but you could have special maneuvers for those, such as hard to port quick turns to avoid cannon fire, and also the ability to play as a pirate and have a pirate lair that you could collect trophies from all the ships you’ve killed.

    Just my 2 cents 😀 love the game by the way! I hope it gets big, I’ve told everyone I know and I’ve streamed the game for 3 days now and I had more than 50 viewers one of those day which really made my day! Thank you for making such a fun game!

  • Steve Reply

    Got as far as boarding the ship after releasing your crew from prison in the “story” mode. My screen then goes black and nothing else happens. Is there a fix for this?

  • kepalaslt Reply

    sooo i did everything in frozen wastes cult islands the great founding and the cold sea. and i cant travel to other continents ? or em i just slow :D:D

    • gburchell Reply

      The other regions will be unlocked as part of major updates throughout Early Access. There is the Combat Campaign to play if you haven’t done that yet 🙂

  • Adam Reply

    Love the game. Only issue I had was shortly before fighting the kraken. Went to a cult event, fought one ship and won. Gave me the option to fight the second ship. When I picked that option my screen went black, and had to exit out of the game. When I loaded it back up I had lost all characters but my main character. It was hard to escape and costly to replace all guys but in the end not a major issue. Hope to see this game flourish.

    • gburchell Reply

      Thanks – don’t forget to leave a Steam review! A couple of other people have had a similar issue, but it’s hard to reproduce. If it happens again, please shut the game down and send us the “output_log.txt” which can be found here: \Steam\steamapps\common\Abandon Ship\AbandonShip_Data
      You’ll need to do this before you launch the game again, because that file is overwritten each time you start a new game. Please email it to support@firebladesoftware.com

  • Fuzzy Bunny Reply

    Hi! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the sail to the end of the current campaign and look forward to more content, can hardly wait! I do recommend an update be posted on Steam on at least a bi-weekly (every 2 weeks) basis, not necessarily for content updates (although, that would be awesome: case in point being, Slay the Spire, where updates are being added almost on a weekly basis), in order to keep everyone’s interest on the progress of the game to remain in earnest. Keep up the great work! Cheers!

    • gburchell Reply

      Thanks, and don’t forget to leave a Steam review! We’ve done a couple of minor updates already and are working on a major update now. We’re going to be rolling this out in stages via a branched version of the game, starting from next week. The details of this will be posted on our community forums on Steam 🙂

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