Here at Blazing Griffin we’ve been watching the developments surrounding Valve’s refund policy announcement with interest (as have most indie devs). While there have been concerns raised about the policy, we believe the spirit in which it is intended is ultimately good for the games industry.
With this in mind, we’ve decided for The Ship: Murder Party
that it is important that we re-iterate the state of the game and the wider franchise. We’ll keep this announcement up to date with new developments – the intention is that it contains the information you need to know before you decide whether to buy or not.
As a studio we are always open to suggestions and welcome any constructive criticism from our players.
Unfortunately there are a few technical issues with the game and these can’t be fixed in its current incarnation. The reason they can’t be fixed is when we acquired the rights to the game in 2011 it didn’t include a technical licence to make changes using the Source Engine (which the game is written in).
We’re open to suggestions from players about our games and happy to implement good ideas or even make simple fixes – not being able to do it is an incredibly frustrating situation for us as well!
There are summaries of the issues and fixes for them on the forums, but the key ones you might want to know about are:
- In-game server select doesn’t work. But this isn’t a problem because it’s still possible to connect to servers via the Steam client > View > Servers > The Ship. Here you can find and save servers as normal. You can still host LAN games and there are several other methods of adding servers manually posted on the forums.
- Game doesn’t run. For a very few players, the game doesn’t work at all (although some players have found workarounds for this). Our hope is that Valve’s refund policy will now give you the option to try it out and see how things work on your machine.
Again, if we possibly could resolve any of these issues we would, but the cost of the licence to even begin doing so is more than it would cost to rebuild the game from scratch. Being a small studio, it's just not a viable option for us.
You can see from Steam Charts[steamcharts.com]
how active the game is. There are usually a good number of active servers available and through busy periods such as the holidays and sales there are usually more people setting up new servers and posting the details on the forums.
There is a Ship SDK
available and support via Valve’s developer site
. You can make new maps for the game. No other modding options are supported.
There are a number of players working on new maps and have an interest in modding. This is something we’re keen to begin having a conversation about with players, and while we’re not making any promises about modding support, please drop by the discussion on the topic
and let us know what you think.
If there's enough interest there, we can certainly look at helping out.
The Ship: HD
Yes, you read it right.
You might be wondering why you’ve not heard anything about this yet? The reason for that is that this is the announcement!
We’ve begun work on The Ship: HD
(which as the name suggests will be a high definition version of The Ship: Murder Party
multiplayer game) and it is expected to be released early 2016. Even better, we’ll now have complete control over the code base so the issues with the existing game won’t affect the HD version and we’ll even be able to make the odd improvement or two.
We are fortunate to have been joined by two former employees of Outerlight (the developer of original HL2 mod, The Ship
and Bloody Good Time
) – Jason joined our team last year as Technical Director and Neil joined our team just this week as Lead Programmer. It’s fantastic to have their input on the project and we’re really excited about where we’re heading with it.
The reason we’re talking about this just now is that in the spirit of transparency, it might be information you need to make a decision about whether or not to buy The Ship: Murder Party
- some people may want to wait until the HD version comes out next year.
If you do – that’s fair enough. We hope you keep up to date with what we’re doing (check out our newsletter[www.blazinggriffin.com]
) and we’ll see you next year!
For everyone else, we hope you try out the original game – it’s a lot of fun! And what’s good for you, is definitely good for us! We’re a pretty small studio here and having just gone through a growth spurt to be able to take on The Ship: HD
project, we are reliant on the revenue generated by The Ship: Murder Party
to move forward with it.
All purchases contribute to funding the HD project and we are very appreciative of this support from players – we're sure many of you have waited a long time for more ship-related things to happen! So as a thank you for those supporting us with purchases of the existing game (now and historically), there will be a discount for existing players when we launch The Ship: HD
Over the next few months we'll be releasing more information about The Ship: HD
project - stay tuned! In the meantime, if you have anything to say about any of this, please drop by the forums
- we're happy to chat about it.
And here's the teaser trailer for The Ship: HD:
Thanks for taking the time to read this rather lengthy post!
- The Blazing Griffin Team