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: