In Abandon Ship you take command of a ship and her crew, exploring a diverse, procedurally generated world and engaging enemy vessels in tactical combat. The game focuses on “Age of Sail” ships in a Fantasy setting, framed in an Art Style inspired by classic Naval Oil Paintings.
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Release Date:
Early 2018

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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“Abandon Ship is already a lot of fun and offers several hours of polished gameplay.

With the support of the community, the Early Access process can turn it into something truly special.

The game is advanced enough for it to be representative of the final vision, but there is still plenty of space to help shape important factors. We'd love you to be a part of that process.

Basically, if you want to dive in and have an awesome time, you can do that now. Or if you want to suggest ideas, give feedback and provide us with bugs, you can do that too :)”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“At this stage, it will most likely be around 9-12 months.

That estimate is so dependent on the feedback during Early Access, it may end up being longer - we have no guarantee of what will come up in the future.

As long as there is something cool to add or a way we can make an aspect of the game better, we'll work hard to do it.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“As a systems-driven strategy game, we have a lot of scope for new systems to add even more variety.

The initial release version will include several hours of the main story. This takes the game to a point where the world is open to explore.

The world is split into several regions, and these will be unlocked when they are filled with unique locations, fun modifiers to gameplay and side-quests.

You can also expect more ships, weapons and customization options.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“The pre-release build that beta testers are playing has one region unlocked taking anywhere between 2 and 5 hours to complete (depending on how thoroughly you explore).

This includes all biomes, weather conditions, 5 classes of ship (with variants on top of that), dozens of weapons and upgrades and several unique locations.

It includes a tutorial and main story culminating in a boss fight against a Kraken.

We will update this upon release with the cool things we add in the meantime!”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“The game will be cheaper during Early Acces than in its final form.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“We can't wait for you to play the game and tell us your thoughts.

Primarily, this will be managed through the Steam Community Forums.

This will initially be split into three areas:

1) Balancing
2) Suggestions
3) Bug reporting

Plus as we approach final release and add new languages, a fourth will be added:

4) Translations Feedback

All are critical in making the game the best it can be.

Our updates will be split into different formats. They could be quick-fixes for urgent issues through to large releases that unlock new regions and hours of extra content. We will communicate this clearly to the community.

If you wish to remain on the bleeding edge, you can sync to a new branch of the game. Once we are happy that the new changes are stable and well-received, this will be migrated to the main game.”
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Available: Early 2018


Recent updates View all (8)

December 21, 2017

Man the Cannons!

In this post, we’re going to take a look at some of the weapons you can get in Abandon Ship.

These fit into three categories:
  • Cannons
  • Mortars
  • Swivel Guns

-- You can purchase and equip weapons from Port --

Cannons appear in batteries on the port and starboard sides of the ship. Most vessels have room for two batteries on each side, but the larger the ship, the more cannons will fit.

Cannons can only fire broadsides, meaning they must be facing the enemy to be able to hit their target.

These weapons fire into the air, arcing down onto the enemy ship. The benefit to this is they can fire on the enemy no matter which side of your ship is facing them.

Some ships can only hold one mortar, whereas the larger ones can accommodate two.
Swivel Guns
Swivel guns are mounted on the rails of the Sick Bay and Helm sections. They are specialist weapons, geared towards either damaging the Masts and Sails (like the Chain Shot or Bar Shot) or taking out the crew on deck.

-- The Bar Shot Swivel Gun can temporarily freeze enemy ship movement --

Manning the Guns
Weapons cannot be fired or reloaded unless manned by one of your crew.

A weapon will reload faster when manned by a crewman with a higher reload skill. Remember, all crew gain experience from performing actions, so you may want to make sure everyone gets some practice in – just in case something should happen to your main gunners.

All weapon reload performance is affected by the health of the Section they are in. If the section is damaged (in the yellow) the weapon’s reload time will be twice as long. If the section is in the red (critical), the weapon won’t reload or fire until that section is repaired out of critical condition.

-- Concepts for the Lobber and Flaming Cannon models --
Weapon Development
When creating new weapons, we start by thinking about interesting gameplay mechanics.

The Acid Bomb (shown below) was borne from the idea of an anti-personnel weapon that forces crew to move out of a location, incapacitating that area of the ship for a short duration. We thought this could provide some interesting choices to the player, such as aiming it at the Winch while the enemy is trying to man it to rescue a drowning comrade. It is essentially a weapon to grief the enemy, but we’ve found those weapons to be a lot of fun!

When it comes to giving the weapon an appropriate theme, our setting provides a lot of real world inspiration – however for the Acid Bomb we didn’t want to re-use fire as we already had flaming weapons, so we had to think of an alternative dressing (Editor’s Note: it is at this point I should admit that I originally wanted it to fire a bee’s nest. When it landed, it would explode, sending a swarm of angry bees that eventually dispersed. This wasn’t a popular direction, but I’ll get my “Bumble-Bee Gun” in the game one day!).

We ultimately settled on Acid, as this was an idea we felt players would naturally understand, i.e. acid hurts, get away from it. It also provided a nice big green splat visual effect, which was a colour we hadn’t really used in our other weapons.

Once those decisions are made, we create concept art for what the weapon model, plus muzzle flash, projectile and impact visual effects look like. The model silhouette should be easily identifiable, as should the different explosion effects. We then use these to create the assets that get hooked up in game.

-- Concept sketches of the Acid Bomb Mortar --

Damage Types
The damage weapons cause roughly fall into three categories:
  • Ship Damage
  • Crew Damage
  • Griefing/Crowd control
Not all weapons fit neatly into one category and some straddle multiple purposes.
Ship Damage
Ship damage can be to the hull (when the hull health is reduced to zero the ship will sink) or Sections (which affect ship performance).

Some weapons are specialised at causing hull cracks, which will fill the enemy’s water gauge unless the cracks are repaired. A full water gauge will sink the ship, so hull cracks are effective because they force the enemy crew to spend valuable time repairing them and pumping the water out, instead of returning fire.

There are several different types of ship damage weapons, a handful of examples include:
  • Double-Shot: extremely powerful weapon but short-ranged.
  • Lobber: More powerful the further away you are from the enemy.
  • Section Damager: Does very high damage to sections, but no hull damage. Useful for disabling the ship.
  • Chain Shot: Only targets the masts section, but does very high damage to it.
Crew Damage
The crew are the lifeblood of the ship. A reduced crew can greatly impact battle effectiveness, so an anti-personnel strategy can often be a rewarding one. If you kill all of the enemy crew and take the ship intact, you’ll also receive more gold and valuable survival supplies.

Some anti-personnel weapons are area-of-effect, like the Grapeshot. It’s short-ranged but can damage a lot of bunched up crew at once. Other weapons, such as the sniper rifle, only target individual crew but cause high damage, allowing you to focus on a key enemy crewman or one about to complete a very threatening action.

-- The Flamethrower in action, decimating enemy crew --

These are weapons that have twists on the standard damage (some may not even cause damage at all) but can really interfere with the enemy’s plans.

They can be particularly effective if used in combination with certain other weapons or strategies. Take the “Tackler” for example. This weapon is a bit like the Sniper rifle, only it doesn’t cause damage. It targets a single crew member and knocks them to the deck, stunning them. You could use this on the person manning the wheel, allowing you to catch up or close distance with their vessel.

If someone is running to the Sick Bay to heal, hit them with the Tackler to quickly stun them while you charge up another anti-personnel weapon to finish them off. A particularly nasty bonus of the Tackler is that it can knock crew overboard. Not only is that person at risk of drowning, another crew member will have to run to the winch to save them. Suddenly the enemy has two crew occupied, from a single shot.

-- As the projectile knocked crew down, we went for a bolas type weapon trail --
Your weapons should fit into your battle strategy and combined with your Ship Upgrades (which we’ll cover in a separate post) can mean the difference between a triumphant victory or calamitous defeat.

Do you want to stay at far range and hit the enemy hard? Upgraded Masts Sections, Hull Armour and long-range weapons will be your forte.

More of an up close and personal type? Harpoons, Ramming Spikes and anti-personnel weapons will be essential to you.

Like to control and cleverly manipulate the battle? Multiple Bar Shot Swivel Guns can hit the enemy one after the other, freezing their movement for a short duration, and letting you gain the momentum.

Want to maximise your ship for seriously heavy damage? Double-Shot Cannons and Hull Destroyer Mortars will ensure your shots land with the utmost destructive force.

Of course, every weapon can also be used by the enemy, so prepare to have the same things done to you.

You’re bound to eventually come across an enemy ship that just happens to be equipped in a fashion that is your Achilles Heel. While going all out for a particular strategy can be effective, it can put you more at risk of meeting an enemy that is perfect at exploiting your weakness.

Even then, with enough Gold, you can always spec out your ship to have a different loadout per side. If one strategy isn’t working, turn the ship around and try something different.

-- Flaming weapons have a chance of starting fires on the enemy deck --

We’ve only mentioned a small number of the weapons you can already acquire in Abandon Ship, and during Early Access we will be developing more.

We’re particularly looking forward to working with the community to come up with nasty new ways to inflict pain on the enemy!

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December 6, 2017

Meet the Crew

In this post, we’re going to take a look at the classes of crew you can recruit on your ship.

Here is the lineup:

-- Because Abandon Ship is a strategy game, we spent time establishing silhouettes from the game camera view first, so the crew were easily distinguishable at a glance. Once these were locked down we created the above concept art, so our artist could create the models --

From the left, we have:
  1. Male Player Captain
  2. Marine
  3. Gunner
  4. Navigator
  5. Sailor
  6. Surgeon
  7. Female Player Captain

Crew Experience
There are 5 skills that crew gain experience in:
  • Navigation: This affects the rate at which the Manoeuvre Bar increases.
  • Reloading: The speed with which weapons are reloaded.
  • Repairing: How quickly that crew member can repair section damage.
  • Melee: Effectiveness when engaged in hand-to-hand combat.
  • Healing: A Surgeon-only skill, this is the rate that the Surgeon can heal injured crew.

These map to the crew classes, so a Navigator is best at Navigation, a Gunner at Reloading, Sailor at Repairing, Marine with Melee and Surgeon with the Healing skill.

All crew start out with Level 1 experience in each skill, except in their specialist area, where they start out at Level 2.

The crew can gain experience by performing actions. For example, a Gunner that gets lots of practice at emergency repairs will quickly level up his ‘repair’ skill, pairing nicely with his existing specialisation in reloading.

Crew max out at Level 4, apart from in their area, where they can achieve Level 5 proficiency.

By making sure the right crew are doing the right jobs, you can squeeze extra efficiency out of your ship, which could mean the difference between victory and defeat.

Let's take a look at each class...

The Player Captain is the most important crew member, because it’s you!

Early on in development, we liked the idea that “As long as the Captain is alive, there is always hope”.

This was based around the concept that ship destruction is not the end, and that it would be interesting to follow the players journey after that point, whether it be on the lifeboat or stranded alone in the water.

We put safeguards in place so that the Captain can never unfairly be killed, prematurely ending the game. This is because we didn’t want a scenario in which you were doing fantastically well, had invested several hours in a playthrough, but a disastrous moment resulted in Captain death and a frustrating game over scenario.

Being knocked to zero health puts a Captain in an unconscious state (as opposed to crew, who can die if they’re not stabilised in time). This means that the Captain will either recover after a battle – if your ship survived – or will end up stranded if it was destroyed.

As you would expect, the Captain is adept at any standard task, and so starts at Level 2 for Melee, Navigation, Repair and Reloading skills. He can reach Level 5 in any of these. The only thing a Captain can’t do is heal other crew members.

-- We wanted to distinguish the Enemy Captain from the Player one, so there is a unique model for him --

Marines are hired swords. They are professional fighters who pride themselves on combat prowess, and continually practice their swordsmanship to ensure peak, lethal performance when called upon.

If you like to board the enemy, or need to repel boarders, your Marine should always be where the fighting is thickest.

A Gunner is a well-oiled machine when it comes to weapon reloading, although it can be morbid work. Life seems cheap when you continually see the explosive effects of your skills on an enemy crew.

With their proficiency in reloading, you want your Gunner manning a weapon at all times

-- Under that muzzle-flash is a Gunner, performing his duty admirably --

It is easy to dismiss the Sailor as a generic crew member, but their excellence in ship maintenance is a valuable asset.

When part of the ship is damaged, making sure it’s your Sailor who repairs it will get you fighting fit again at the fastest possible rate.

Although Navigators tend to be the more studious members of a crew, they are well respected. The entire crew’s life is in a Navigator’s hands when piloting through treacherous waters or a sudden storm.

Manning the wheel means the Manoeuvre Bar is recharged at a faster rate, which means you can ram, flee or turn the ship around sooner.

-- The Navigator, doing what he does best --

Surgeons are used to making tough decisions, fast. If they need to take a man’s limb to save their life, they will do so without hesitation, remorse, and often without even a rope for them to bite down on.

Because Surgeons are the only class able to heal crew outside of the Sick Bay, other crew members can carry on with their duties in the meantime. This means the Gunner can still reload and get off that vital shot without having to run off to the Sick Bay to heal themselves.

Each crew member comes with a randomly generated skin colour, bio and name. The name is either generated from the default list or the newsletter subscribers (more on that on a future post!)

You can rename crew if you wish. We know some people like to rename them after friends and then tell them how they triumphed, or the noble/embarrassing sacrifice they made.

We plan to add extra customisation options in an update during Early Access, so that you can choose things like your Captains skin colour and gender (at the moment, only a male captain is available).

Recruiting Crew
While you can gain crew as a reward from quests or events, you will predominantly recruit them from a Tavern when you visit port.

Sometimes, you will come across crew that have extra skills above the default values, often in their non-specialist area. Naturally, these veterans of the sea are more expensive to hire than their rookie colleagues.


We hope you enjoyed this look at the Crew. Interesting strategies can arise from both your own crew selection (like going in for lots of Marines if you like to board) and the make-up of the enemy crew (facing a ship with multiple surgeons makes your anti-personnel ship setup a lot harder). We look forward to hearing the tales of your own crew’s glorious victories and desperate defeats!
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About This Game

Be the Captain. Survive on the Edge in a World with Consequences.

In Abandon Ship you take command of a ship and her crew, exploring a diverse, procedurally generated world, taking on quests and dealing with random events. Frequently, you will end up engaging other ships in combat, the player having to employ their best tactics in order to out-manoeuvre and out-gun the enemy.

The game focuses on “Age of Sail” ships in a Fantasy setting, framed in an Art Style inspired by classic Naval Oil Paintings.

Ship Destruction is not the End.

Life in the world of Abandon Ship can be brutal. Death is permanent. But the game doesn’t end if your vessel is destroyed. You are the Captain, and as long as the Captain is alive, there is always hope. By escaping to a Lifeboat, or even being stranded, alone in the water, there is still a chance to survive and fight your way back to the top.

Snatch Victory from the Jaws of Defeat.

Combat is tactical and savage. Each battle is hard-fought, always on the edge of defeat. Your only chance of overcoming the odds is to employ every advantage you can and utilise all the tools at your disposal.

Reap What You Sow.

Explore a fantasy world that reacts to your actions. Quests may drastically change the environment. Make decisions that create friends or enemies that may later come back to help or hinder you.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows 7
    • Processor: Intel Q9450 Processor or equivalent
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia 560Ti Graphics or equivalent
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Storage: 5 GB available space
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