The Ship: Remasted Delayed To Add Online Multiplayer

Oh, it’s breaking my heart. I can see you right now, by your screen with your steamer trunk packed and your little sailor hat atop your little head, waiting patiently for The Ship: Remasted [official site] to launch into Early Access. It should’ve been here at 2pm, shouldn’t it? Reader dear, I’m sorry but you’ll have to wait another week.

Developers Blazing Griffin have decided that launching the assassination FPS remake without online multiplayer would be silly, see. I entirely agree. I’m surprised they’d even considered it. The curse of The Ship can drive a man to do strange things…

The original plan, I hadn’t known, was to launch onto Early Access with only LAN support then later add online play. Which is daft. The Ship is a pretty niche game, as several attempts to commercialise the idea have proven, and launching Remasted (for the first time) in a state that’d make many potential players skip past it is an awful idea. So Blazing Griffin will instead release Remasted on Early Access next Monday, February 22nd, with… not full-on dedicated servers, but at least some form of built-in online multiplayer.

They explain in an update that it’ll support ‘relay servers’ through Unity Cloud Services, though bandwidth concerns will limit them to four players.

“Launching a game like this is a delicate process and we were also concerned about the impact of negative reviews will have on the future of the game. We did feel that on balance there were more benefits to launching today than later, but given the feedback from the community, we’ve moved to a more suitable solution.”

They plan to add proper dedicated server support “within a few weeks.” I can only imagine wild over-enthusiasm or tight finances as reasons for why they wouldn’t delay the launch for this.

The Ship, to be clear and to explain a little, is a wonderful idea for a game. It’s an FPS set aboard an NPC-filled cruise ship where each player is stealthily trying to bump off a target while following the demands of basic bodily needs and dodging whoever’s coming after them. It’s a great idea but has never achieved its potential, and attempts to realise that as a commercial game tend to go not-super-great. From the first commercial release of The Ship (it started as a free mod) through flopped spiritual sequel Bloody Good Time and a failed Kickstarter for a proper sequel, it’s clearly a hard sell. Not having proper multiplayer support at launch can’t help that.

Ah, don’t mind me. I’m just griping because I’d really like a Shiplike to be fantastic and become huge.

The Ship: Remasted will launch on Steam Early Access next Monday, February 22nd. Blazing Griffin expect it’ll take them two months to add all its features and content, but it’ll take them a little longer to work on optimisation and tweaking and all that. Here, this recent trailer has a few shots comparing a Remasted level with its predecessor:

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11 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    Tartrazine says:

    I have the original Steam version but never did get into it. It’s hard to tell from the vid, but apart from spiffing new graphics what’s supposed to have changed?

  2. Crimsoneer says:

    I am slightly bemused as to why the hell they thought releasing it without online multiplayer was in any way doable!

    • Pantalaimon says:

      Indeed, the fact they considered this is kind of worrying. It just makes me wonder why they’re bothering to do it, outside of making a quick buck. Let’s be honest – the ship has already had two remasters now, the movie-styled remake on consoles which I forget the name of, and the very good existing Steam version (a remastering of the original mod). There’s not really much incentive for anyone to buy the game again, but it is a Steam sales window darling and always attracts hundreds of new players during that time. So I’m kind of assuming they’re just doing it over for that market.

      It’s pretty hard to mess it up, netcode aside, so I have no real doubt it will be a fun version of the game, but still, buyer beware, know that you’re buying into a game which will almost certainly be a graveyard if the game isn’t on sale.

  3. Zankman says:

    … They considered to release it without Online?!?

  4. cptgone says:

    “I can see you right now, by your screen with your steamer trunk packed and your little sailor hat atop your little head, waiting patiently for The Ship: Remasted to launch”
    You paint such a beautiful picture, that I almost wish it was true.
    :tips little sailor hat:

  5. Premium User Badge

    Serrit says:

    Oh dear, my brain has always auto-corrected the spelling to “Remastered” – only now, at the end, have I realised the true brilliance of the post-colon-suffix. (You could say the meaning “sailed right past me”. Haha! Hur. Ahem.)

  6. susmitds says:

    As an alpha tester for the game, I definitely agree with the decision. As I recall, it was a group of testers who convinced them it was too early to release the game. In its current state, it can hardly be called a game but more of a digital ship exhibition. The ambiance and environment is down right awesome and the graphics would beat many a 2015 game, or even some 2016 games but gameplay is current incomplete.

    • haldolium says:

      “the graphics would beat many a 2015 game, or even some 2016 games”

      It truly wonder which spectrum of games getting “beaten” by The Ship Remastered since in the above video thats also on Steam I had to guess which version they were displaying most of the time.

  7. Nixitur says:

    So, wait, Remasted’s online multiplayer will only allow four players? That’s ridiculous! The best fun I’ve had with the Steam version of The Ship was being in a big ol’ ship with over a dozen people. I can’t imagine it being much fun with so few.

    • roseerblooming says:

      One of the neat-o things that the original Ship did was that it solved the DayZ problem of indiscriminate murder by having stiff penalties for killing someone who wasn’t either your mark or your hunter, along with the detection systems and so forth. Having only two people you could kill worked well to discourage that sort of behavior on a server of ~12 or so worked well, but having only 4 people per server means that you have a 66% chance that any one person you murder is “legit” – it becomes a game of trying to find out who you can’t kill versus hunting down your prey and being hunted.