Hardspace: Shipbreaker

Hardspace: Shipbreaker

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76561199032389398  [developer] Jan 12 @ 9:34am
/// Next Update and Full Release
Important update from Game Director Elliot Hudson

Happy New Year, Shipbreakers! We hope all of you had a great, good, or at least tolerable December (and if not, that’s okay too). I have some big news for you!

The next stage in the journey we’ve shared with you is on the way; the next major update for Hardspace: Shipbreaker will include the Final Act of the Campaign, as well as the long-awaited Ship Save feature, and it will be the game’s official launch on PC, bringing the game out of Early Access. That’s right, version 1.0 is coming up next! I’ll talk about the update and what to expect after, but first I want to discuss the adventure we’ve been through together up to now, before we look ahead to the future.

Six years ago, Blackbird Interactive held an internal game-jam with the goal of creating brand-new games in brand-new worlds. We’ve since formalized that process into an annual event at the studio, where anyone can pitch their dream game. The ideas that fire up our collective imagination are then explored further and may go into full production. We call this process “Skunkworks”, after a similar idea-generating process[en.wikipedia.org] pioneered by Lockheed Martin. That very first game-jam spawned what would eventually become Hardspace: Shipbreaker.

Creating this game has involved many firsts for our small, scrappy team, and for Blackbird at large. It’s Blackbird’s first self-owned intellectual property that we’ve developed and launched. For most of us, it was our first time working on a first-person game, a non-strategy game, and a game heavily built on physics and simulation. The sense of awe, the scale of the ships, and the industrial sci-fi setting may have been a natural fit for us, but the game design was far outside our comfort zone. Which is a good thing! One of our goals as a studio is to grow in skills and experience, and we’ve been doing a lot of that in the last few years.

Long before the game was made public, Shipbreaker went through a complex and sometimes challenging creative process that ended up shaping much about how Blackbird thinks about developing new ideas – if you’re interested in that sort of thing, you can find out more in the talk Chief Creative Officer Rory McGuire and I gave in 2020.

It was also our studio’s first foray into Early Access, which is where you all joined the party. The experience has been so valuable in honing and evolving the game that Blackbird plans on Early Access for many of its future titles. We didn’t fully know how to make Shipbreaker before we started, but in game development, experience is the best teacher. The experience of creating Shipbreaker, and including all of you in that process, has taught us many valuable lessons. The voyage has kept us humble, thankful, and incredibly excited about the future.

So what can you look forward to?

It’s time to launch!

The next update takes the game all the way from 0.7.0 to 1.0, and will contain the following:
  • Campaign Act III - The conclusion of the game’s storyline. Rest assured that Shipbreakers will be able to continue shipbreaking and building their career even once the story has finished. Though it’s bittersweet to think that the story will soon find it’s conclusion, it’s going to be a satisfying and exciting end to the campaign.
  • Ship Saving - This has been one of the most requested features throughout Early Access, and has been in the works for over a year. Finally, you will be able to save a ship that is in progress and return to it the next time you boot up the game! We knew this feature was important to you and we’ve worked hard to make it happen.
  • Progression Tuning - We’ve been looking extensively at player records and are making several changes to smooth out progression so it’s less impacted by the randomized salvage value and composition of ships. It’s hard to describe all the levers that we’re pulling to find a good balance, but we feel it’s going to improve everyone’s play experience.
  • Steam Achievements
  • Tons and tons of bug fixes, optimizations and stability improvements.

When is the update?

We’re targeting Spring 2022. We’ll be more concrete about the date as it gets closer and will keep you updated if anything changes.

Will this update have a progression reset?

Yes, the 1.0 update will include a final complete progression reset. We know that these can be frustrating to existing Players, but it’s an unfortunate necessity when introducing new campaign content. As the full release adds Act III and revises some portions of Act I and II, as well as rebalancing progression, we needed to reset progress one final time.

We hear you, and we wish it could be avoided, but unfortunately it’s the nature of this particular beast. Progression resets are one of the topics where we’ve been doing a lot of learning and listening, and we hope that this process becomes smoother in future projects.

Will there be any more work on the game after Full Release?

As much as the full launch means to us here in Blackbird, we want to assure you that this isn’t where we stop working on the game!

The next step will be bringing the game to consoles. This work has already started, and will continue after full release. We’re still nailing down a target date, and will let you know as soon as we do!

Second, some of the team will continue to improve the PC version while we work toward our Console release. They’ll still be engaging with the community, analyzing data and gathering feedback in order to determine what areas to improve. In other words, the game will continue to get better, and all updates to the PC version will then be included in the Console release.

Will the price change?

Yes. In order to prepare for full release, the game will go to its launch price of $34.99 USD sometime between now and the release of 1.0.

Any other questions?

If you have a question that I haven’t covered here, comment below and we’ll try to address it. We are also going to be holding an AMA on the official Hardspace: Shipbreaker Discord[discord.gg] on Feb 2nd, 1pm PST.

Thank you

When we started this endeavor, we weren’t sure how long we’d be in Early Access. We originally planned for a single year. In the end, the ability to test features and gain player feedback and data in realtime proved so valuable to development, and so rewarding as developers, that we decided to extend our time in Early Access to just under two years.

Ending a journey this exciting can lead to complicated feelings. We’re proud of what we’ve created, we’ve learned many valuable lessons for future projects, and we think this is the best time to put a bow on the game and move onto the next stage of our shared adventure. We can’t wait to share what’s next with all of you, whether it’s more Shipbreaker or another brand-new world!

From the Shipbreaker team and everyone at Blackbird, a huge thank you to everyone in our Early Access community who has helped make the game what it is!


Elliot Hudson
Game Director
Last edited by BBI Tina; Jan 12 @ 9:40am
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Showing 1-15 of 133 comments
Modding tools for making custom ships is either planned, or you are furiously scribbling it down now, right?
Originally posted by arcturus.mengsk:
Modding tools for making custom ships is either planned, or you are furiously scribbling it down now, right?

Most recent AMA stated that the current mod tools are all we're going to get. Was planned, got cut.
pyroMain Jan 12 @ 9:50am 
Honestly the resets make me come back to the game once I get to the final stages of progression. Not everyone thinks like that, but I wanna assure you that some don't mind the resets.
FlexEast Jan 12 @ 9:50am 
You guys have done great so far, I'm very excited to see the rest of the story!
Yay can't wait! Congrats on your successful early access period!
Absolutely love the game! My only wishlist feature, and I know it's a monster, is for coop play - the ability to collectively crack a ship with a couple of friends could be so much fun... but I realise that even imagining this is probably making devs start crying, given the potentially huge number of particles to track and interact with while then transmitting and syncing that over a network, even before people start trying to grapple the same part!
Koriar Jan 12 @ 9:56am 
I don't mind the progression reset, because with the current system where you can't select lower hazard levels, and with higher hazard levels having no atmospheric regulators, that means the only way for me to have fun with the game would be to keep resetting my campaign. (or RACE mode)
Last edited by Koriar; Jan 12 @ 9:56am
Originally posted by TakovacsPlays:
Originally posted by arcturus.mengsk:
Modding tools for making custom ships is either planned, or you are furiously scribbling it down now, right?

Most recent AMA stated that the current mod tools are all we're going to get. Was planned, got cut.

Which is what, Vortex mod manager, and that's it, right? Shame. This game could really get crazy with a proper ship editor. Shame, for the effort it would to release a ship maker, they'd extend the lifetime of the game immensely.
Mad Mav Jan 12 @ 10:20am 

Can't say I'm THRILLED about the game being "DONE" this spring, buuuuut, that's only because so many things are still so broken. But,:BL3Shrug: who knows? Hopefully skeptic me is wrong this time and ALL the fiddly stuff is getting nailed down good & proper come 1.0.

Here's hoping!:mgsthumbsup:
sel Jan 12 @ 1:05pm 
you've been had folks, all you get is more dialogue for the "story" and NO NEW SHIPS, then the game is out the door and no more content updates, just localization and maybe bug fixes. The game is done, let it be a lesson to avoid early access.
Yeah $35 for 40 hours of content was a legit scam. These absolute moneygrabbing madlads are the pox on us superior Game Players of the industry.
A bit concerning there is almost no mention of modding support for a ship editor so the game can at least be supplied by modders for new ship times to break.
menace Jan 12 @ 7:10pm 
its sad to see there will only be 4 ships and only 3 tools when the tool selection has 4 slots also i guess the ship modding steam workshop that was on the road map got cut out at this point i agree with the story people you put most of your dev team on story instead of gameplay sad to see my fav game be killed
Is there a way to skip the cutscenes, or is one planned for the future?
Notoshy Jan 12 @ 10:19pm 
" it’s going to be a satisfying and exciting end to the campaign."
If i cant personally push Hal into the Furnace or spice him with some Demo. charges, its hard to believe, that it will be "Satisfying" ;D
But iam interested how you wrote the 3. Act.
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Date Posted: Jan 12 @ 9:34am
Posts: 133