Welcome to the first weekly Weather Report! These updates are intended to give you a bit of an insight into what we’re doing right now and what to expect real soon. Early Access can be a daunting process for players to buy into, so we thought that transparency on our part would help build the confidence players have in us as a studio, and The Ship: Remasted as a product.
As you know, we delayed the launch of the game by a week. This was based on feedback from fans of The Ship who felt that launching as a LAN only product would hurt the game due to negative reviews. While we did feel (for many reasons), that launching this way would be suitable, we decided that the feedback from fans was too strong to ignore.
Part of the delay will allow us to roll out hosted relay games which uses Unity Cloud Services to host games. We had hoped this service would be a solid solution for the game, but it’s not quite there yet and bandwidth limitations mean that hosted games are limited to 4 players right now. We’re working internally and with Unity to resolve this problem to allow us to increase the number of players that can join each match.
We’re also working on standalone and dedicated servers, although this is a few weeks off just now. This will allow players to host servers, either from their own PC or through a rental service. Initial tests have been good and we’re currently working hard to get this to a state that it can be released to the test group.
While there may be stormy weather ahead as we leave dock, we’re confident that as we head into open water, it’ll be smooth sailing!
We’ve published a Development Roadmap – this will give you an idea of the status of key content and features – we’ll keep this up to date.
Bug Reporting & Player Feedback
A huge thanks to all of our test group for taking the time to give us feedback and report bugs. Our team have already resolved a number of these issues and the rest have been logged and being prioritised appropriately.
We’ve already had quite a high volume of feedback from players and would expect that volume to increase when we launch into Early Access. To help us more efficiently deal with that feedback, we’ve made a number of improvements to the forum setup and feedback process:
- Our QA team are maintaining a list of known issues on the forums. Gameplay Issues & Visual Issues
- We’ve created a number of sub-forums for bug reporting. Each bug report forum has a sticky topic with details of what information we need when you report a bug.
- The feedback forums are more for general discussions and suggestions. While we can’t promise we can action the points raised here, the team are reading the forums and we’ll also highlight some key discussions in our weekly Weather Reports.
- We’ve added a bunch of FAQs to the Welcome forum. You’ve read them right?
Each week, we’ll highlight some interesting topics from the Steam forums that might be of interest to you. Drop by the discussions and share your thoughts.
- Delaying Early Access. There have been several discussions about our Early Access launch. Read our announcement here.
- Doors. Noticed they’re all open and wondering why?
- What engine are we using? Lead Concept Artist, Paul Scott Canavan talks about why we’re using Unity.
- The Sleep / Sprint mechanic. What do you think?
What we’re working on just now…
Our Code team have been working on several projects in parallel to make online multiplayer available and stable. These include:
- Hosted Relay Games. Limited functionality has been rolled out to the test group. They are still constrained by bandwidth issues which we are hoping to resolve with Unity soon. These constraints mean matches are currently capped at 4 players, although we would expect that service improvements and performance optimisation will allow us to increase the player cap soon.
- Dedicated & Standalone Servers. Currently in internal testing and bug fixing in a basic form. We would expect to be able to roll this out to our test group within a few weeks.
- Client-side predictions. Work is ongoing to improve the performance of online matches.
- LAN. Live and functional. We would expect ongoing work to improve performance issues reported by some players.
Bots have reappeared and are currently being trained to play nicely in an Arcade Mode and in preparation to be released into the wider multiplayer experience. As of this week, bots have basic passenger functionality (they’ll wander around the ship and fulfil their needs) and the first iteration of Hunter-bots has been completed and in internal testing.
Audio is also set to get some much-needed loving over the next few weeks, as only basic implementation is currently live. Expect to see much smoother transitions from room to room and improved SFX.
Animations and VFX are also rolling out, with last week’s patch giving the NPCs some idle animations (rejoice – they now no longer look like statues and actually blink!) and improved on some weapon VFX (such as the detonator). Needs interactions (e.g. reading a book) still don’t display the item, but these are coming soon.
Some of the team have also been focusing on high priority bug fixing, alongside continued fixes for the following maps – Atalanta, Batavier, Andrea Doria, Krassin, Connemara, and Huronian.
The Ship: Remasted will be available on Steam Early Access on Monday 22nd February. All aboard!