The Ship: Remasted Sailing To Early Access In February

Okay, so where's the mast?

For those who’ve not heard of The Ship and have romantic visions of sailing the seven seas, I’ll quickly state that it’s a game about murder. To expand a little, it’s a multiplayer FPS about passengers aboard a cruise ship trying to have a pleasant holiday and stealthily off their target – perhaps catching them unaware while they have a waz. I asked you for murdertales a few months back, and enjoyed all the deathtales you told me.

Now we’re up to speed: hey, the ‘HD’ revamp The Ship: Remasted [official site] will launch on Steam Early Access in February.

“One of the challenges of remastering an old game is striking a balance between replicating old features that players have fond memories of, and improving them,” developers Blazing Griffin explained in an announcement today.

“This is why we’re taking an iterative approach to releasing the game, starting with a few maps at launch in February and releasing the remaining content and features over the next few months.”

They’re hoping to pick up plenty of feedback to shape the direction of development, including responses to things they’ve changed, “like the UI, the layout of security and the values of the needs system.” They say, “These are relatively small tweaks, but we’d like to know from fans… does it still feel like The Ship?”

Blazing Griffin, who you might remember from the FTL-ish Distant Star: Revenant Fleet, didn’t work on The Ship’s earlier incarnations but they have scooped up a few folks who did. The Scottish studio had hoped to crowdfund a full-on sequel, but the Kickstarter didn’t go through so they scaled plans back down to a revamp-o-remake.

The Ship: Remasted is due on February 15th, priced at $20 (£14-ish?). Folks who already own The Ship on Steam will receive a 25% discount. Here’s an old teaser trailer:

From this site

19 Comments

  1. Marblecake says:

    Instabuy.

  2. Kraizk says:

    I want to love this and will for sure give it a shot, I have some great memories of The Ship. Unfortunately most of my memories are of people killing everyone for no reason because there was no real penalty for killing someone who was not your target

    • Synesthesia says:

      Yeah, this was my experience as well. I wish there were harsher punishments for a botched kill, maybe like spy party? When is that one coming out anyways?

    • PseudoKnight says:

      If you wanted to win the main mode Hunt, you didn’t want to kill bystanders. There’s a cash penalty set by the server, and even a cash amount that will cause the server to kick you if you fall below it. Either you didn’t care about cash, didn’t notice, or the server had it set to 0. In Elimination mode the cash matters less too.

      • Kitsunin says:

        Yeah, I don’t remember random killings being a problem myself.

  3. jonesthealiencat says:

    Will definitely try this out. It’s a neat idea that may have not been completely successful last time but it is nevertheless still fun to play. Think I have an old copy so should qualify for the discount.

  4. kwyjibo says:

    The Ship was fantastic, it was a really good laugh on LAN. But it’s got the problem that every multiplayer game has, how can they get an audience?

    • Sin Vega says:

      Quickly followed by the second problem: “how can they get rid of the half of their audience that’s comprised of total dickheads?”

      • Cinek says:

        The only result I ever seen from having this problem solved was that 75% of people played worse than the worst NPCs.

        Oh, the lovely multiplayer gaming world…

  5. Jalan says:

    I was going to pick nits at the discount percentage being really no better than a launch discount but I feel like I must say that the effort spent on remastering this probably could’ve been better focused elsewhere. As to where elsewhere is, I couldn’t say, but like kwyjibo mentions, I get the strong inclination that this is going to suffer the same problem that its non-remastered counterpart did.

    • Kitsunin says:

      There’s really nothing like The Ship, wrinkles and all, and to have a better version of it would be absolutely brilliant. Even if it does wind up being good for little more than groups of friends.

      But, iirc, The Ship did really well playerbase wise. I can’t really remember when it started losing its population, but it is an almost 10 year old game now. Even now, it still averages over 150 max concurrent users daily. There are two servers which are nearly full right now!

      • Baines says:

        It felt like the game was effectively free at times. I don’t know how many copies of The Ship I ended up with, and I’d never purposefully bought the game. It just happened to be included in bundles that I’d wanted, and even those copies came with extra copies.

        I probably still have unredeemed keys for it, forgotten somewhere.

      • Jalan says:

        I wonder if the Cult of the Wind devs thought the same thing. Look where that got them.

        New coat of paint or not, I just don’t see that big an inflow of new players (or players of the old who acknowledged that the previous incarnation was on life support) to go along with those who have refused to let the older version sail its final voyage.

        • Kitsunin says:

          Well, unlike Cult of the Wind, which is kind of a weird vehicular shooty thing with, frankly, extremely little replayability, The Ship is a thing with little to no analogues. It won’t be likely to sell like gangbusters, but this whole hidden assailant deathmatch thing is something about everyone can dig, and certain people put hundreds of hours into. As competition they’ve got…Trouble in Terrorist Town, pretty much.

  6. Oranje says:

    Was just thinking about this game the other day, very glad to see it given another chance! Seemed massively under appreciated for what was such a unique concept.

  7. roseerblooming says:

    One thing I would appreciate is more systemically interesting ways to handle targets – one of my favorite things to do in the first game was to intentionally get myself arrested so I could find a shank among the bookshelves and kill my mark in prison. It was a neat, tense moment that relied upon the broader systems of detection and imprisonment in the game – things tended to get more boring when it was just you and your fire axe.

    Also, NPC passengers that roam around amongst the players to make it easier to blend in would be neato as well.

    • Premium User Badge

      Harlander says:

      I’m pretty sure there were roaming NPCs in the existing version of The Ship. You’d set a minimum number of players, IIRC, and the number would be padded out with bots.

    • sysdefect says:

      “things tended to get more boring when it was just you and your fire axe.”

      Don’t forget that if you were playing to win, keeping a fire axe on you would only be good for self defense, as once a bounty had been reaped on a specific weapon, the value per kill would reset to 100 or so. Thus it was important to vary your murder diet.

      I wish more maps had the shiv in prison option but I don’t think it spawned on every map. It would be neat to see more map based deaths too, like the trap the person in the sauna murder. I forget how much money those would net you but I imagine it was part of that economy.