In this blog post we’ll cover our plans for taking us through the next stage of our Early Access voyage.
So far, we have created three Major Updates which have significantly improved the game, and we intend to keep working on more to make Abandon Ship as good as possible before we enter full release.
As a recap, the things we have done are all covered in separate blog posts which you can read by clicking the images below:
At a high level, we’re going to continue creating Major Updates, but as per Major Update 3, we’ll unlock regions as well as add new systems.
Some of these new updates will advance the main story, and we’re planning on doing another one, possibly two standalone ‘Abandon Ship Stories’ before full release. Our current thinking is that the next one of these would be part of Major Update 5 and centre on the Cult.
As for our timeline, we originally estimated we would be in Early Access for 9-12 months, with the usual caveats of that being subject to change. Back then, we had no idea how successful Abandon Ship would be – we certainly didn’t expect to hit 4th in the world the night we launched! That success has enabled us to work on everything we’d love to put in the game, but of course with a team of three people, that takes time. Our current estimates put release some time in Summer 2019, but we will of course update you as we hone in on this.
Aside from the top-level goals described above, here are some of the things that we’re planning to tackle during the remainder of our time in Early Access. The usual caveats apply – development is a moving target and we may re-arrange priorities as we need to – some of these tasks may not happen if we deem them as something that doesn’t add appropriate player-value. It’s also a list that we’ll undoubtedly add to, and should be considered non-exhaustive.
– More Exploration Mode work. The ultimate goal here is for exploration mode to have more of a sense of life, variety and player choice. There are lots of things that feed into this, some are specific tasks we wish to try, others are design problems we will solve. This is a long-term target that will most likely last the duration of Early Access. Some examples include:
– A factions system
– A special island that once you perform an event there will clear the rest of the fog of war, aiding navigation.
– An upgrade that shows nearest points of interest under the fog of war, providing more of a sense of direction when exploring.
– A resource that ticks down as you move round exploration maps, which can be re-stocked at special islands and ports. Running out of this resource would negatively affect morale, and there would be some choice to make that will impact the expenditure of this resource, all providing more moment-to-moment choice.
– More sense of movement in the map from ships
– Coastal Defences
– Raided and blocked trade routes affecting the price in ports, encouraging you to make a choice as to whether you free the trade route, or pay the higher prices
– A new biome (we would merge the existing islands in the Sub Tropical Biome into the Tropical one as these are very similar). The new biome would be more of a Mediterranean vibe.
– Pickups for hull repair and morale increase
– A fishing mechanic to replenish supplies
– Every map containing a unique island, providing more of a sense of discovery.
– Every map containing a unique event/side-quest to complete, increasing variety.
– Making some of the player choices feed back into the game, so their decisions may come back to haunt (or help) them.
– More combat modifiers, particularly environmental ones or ones based on the region you are in.
– More weapons.
– Provide a bonus to having maximum morale.
– More character traits
– Getting the AI to ram and board
– Adjust boarding gameplay so that it is easier to parse, and you can make more meaningful tactical decisions during a boarding action
– More incidental events that provide gameplay differentiation from what already exists
– Involved Side-Quests
– Improve Lifeboat and Stranded gameplay loop
– Provide more positive reinforcement when you win a battle, with more visual variety upon enemy ship destruction
– More Kraken attacks
– Pick up on a few outstanding tutorial issues people struggle with
– Add more crew variety (Female Captain, older variants of crew)
– The rest of the main story
– Continue to propagate images across all monologues and message boxes that are over a black background
– A Freeplay mode that has a long-term goal.
– Translations. Russian and Brazilian Portuguese look like they will be ready first. Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Dutch, German and French languages are in-progress. These translations are done by our community, so there may be some time between major updates and the new text being completed.
– Steam Achievements, Cloud Saves support
– Mac and Linux ports
– On-going balancing, bug-fixing and polish
There are also a few other cool things we’re toying with that we’re not ready to talk about yet, although they are early ideas at this stage!
It was always our goal to be one of those games that treat Early Access in the right way by listening to player feedback, engaging with the community and making significant progress on the game. Thanks for all the comments and posts that show we’re on the right track. It’d be great to know your thoughts, and if you like what we’re doing, please let us know by leaving a Steam Review.