Full Steam Ahead – Sequel To The Ship Inbound
The fact that this – a sequel to 2006′s The Ship – is actually on the way is quite flabbergasting. Talk about a phoenix rising from the beaten and bloodied ashes! We should be concerned with a different mythical creature though, as it is Edinburgh-based Blazing Griffin, credited as the publishers of The Ship, who are to be delivering this sequel entitled Full Steam Ahead.
First, let’s make sure you’re all up to speed with the story, nay, the tragedy that surrounds Outerlight – the now defunct developers of The Ship. Outerlight raised the development funds for The Ship themselves and due largely to adopting the Source Engine, Valve ensured that the game was distributed on Steam. Things seemed to be going really well and most of those who played the game found it to be of an impressive calibre. The Ship is a multiplayer “murder party” game, you see. Essentially, each player joins the game, which is set on a large ocean liner, and is assigned a particular target to kill. You’ll have to remain covert as you track them down across the ship, cutting your eyes at any suspicious activity, unable to decipher which oddly dressed character is a human player and which is an NPC. As you do this, you are fully aware that there is someone else on board whose assignment it is to track you down and murder you – this leads to some great tension and a really different multiplayer experience.
Now, you may be thinking that this whole scenario actually sounds quite familiar. Oh, it reminds you of the multiplayer mode in 2010′s Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, does it? Yes, let’s just talk about that for a minute. Ubisoft had noted the genius present at Outerlight and offered to work with them as a publisher for their next title. Having had spent upwards of £600,000 on The Ship across a two year stint, mainly on pitch materials and demos chasing publishing deals, Outerlight thought the opportunity rare and went forward with it. As you’ve probably guessed, this is when things started to go downhill rather fast.
As outlined in this interview with BigDownload, Outerlight started to work on their spiritual successor to The Ship, Bloody Good Time. You may have heard of it. Basically, Bloody Good Time refined the mechanics found in The Ship and operated in mostly the same way, though it was probably a little more wacky somehow. While Outerlight were working hard to ensure their game was the best it could be, Ubisoft were hanging over their shoulder like the class numpty who purposely sits next to the nerds (which he constantly bullies) during an exam so he can copy their answers. You know what happened – Ubisoft practically mimicked all of Outerlight’s work and implemented it into Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, which went on to receive critical praise and make them lots of money. It must have hurt when Ubisoft were being credited for coming up with such an “innovative” multiplayer mode.
What hurt more was the utter lack of promotion Ubisoft did for Bloody Good Time, pretty much leaving it to fester in a pit while the small community that gathered around the game’s launch fell away and Outerlight was consequently dissolved. The company had its throat cut and was left to bleed out its final hours in the dark.
So now we’re all up to date, you may also realise the uplifting sense of justice that we felt when hearing that Blazing Griffin were going to be launching a Kickstarter for Full Steam Ahead on October 25th. They made the announcement just a couple of days ago, just before The Ship went on a 75% discount on their official site – that promotion has ended now but we encourage you to purchase the game if you haven’t got it already.
We’ve reached out for details on Full Steam Ahead and will update if we hear anything back. Otherwise, it seems that we’ll all have to wait until October 25th for the full scoop on the nature of the game, at which point we’ll all be able to throw our money at it too.