Ahoy is an ambitious project which is attempting to faithfully recreate the living experience of the late 18th century. The game takes place in roughly 1780 and covers a period of great conflict, the rise of new powers, and the fall of older ones. The game aims to provide an immersive and authentic sailing experience that captures the essence of the period.
Players will have to manage their ships' crew, resources, and supplies as they sail from port to port in search of treasure and adventure. The game features a realistic sailing model that takes into account wind direction, weather patterns, and other factors that affect a ship's movement. Players will need to navigate carefully to avoid obstacles and hazards, such as rocks and shallow waters, as they make their way through the Caribbean.
Naval combat is an integral part of Ahoy, and players will engage in battles with other ships that roam the seas. Combat is strategic and requires players to maneuver their ship and use their weapons effectively to defeat enemy vessels. The game also features a damage model that simulates the effects of cannon fire and other types of damage to a ship, adding to the realism of the experience.
Exploration is another key aspect of Ahoy, and players will have the opportunity to discover hidden treasures and explore new islands and ports. The game features a variety of different locations, each with its own unique features and challenges. Players can trade goods, recruit new crew members, and upgrade their ship’s equipment as they progress through the game.
In addition to its engaging gameplay and historical accuracy, Ahoy offers players the opportunity to learn about a fascinating era in maritime history. Players will gain insight into the challenges faced by sailors during the Age of Sail. By immersing themselves in the world of Ahoy, players can develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of the history and culture of the Caribbean region during this period. Whether for educational or entertainment purposes, Ahoy is a unique and engaging video game experience that offers something for every type of player.
There are no current plans to allow an offline or “true” single player mode for Ahoy. Both the ‘Arena’ and ‘Persistent World’ will require some form of connectivity. Playing Ahoy by yourself is not the intended experience, however it may be possible to crew smaller ships by yourself with the assistance of a fully AI crew. This is yet to be decided and will be considered from a balancing perspective. The intended Ahoy experience will always be with other players, whether friends or players brought together through Ahoy itself.
Ahoy is playable in first person only. All experiences (sailing, combat, exploration, visiting towns, etc.) are made in first person only.
There are rare occasions where a 'third person perspective' might be used such as in cinematics or story content, as a way to inspect your own character during customisation, and possibly as part of a 'ship inspection' mechanic as well. However these latter uses will be limited to out of combat only to avoid influencing gameplay.
Ahoy takes place in 1780. However certain aspects of the game (such as ships, weapons, uniform) can be taken from the period between 1770 to 1785. The current plan for the Persistent World is that the year will progress over time allowing the introduction of new ships, tech and historical figures, however this is just a concept, and whether this remains the case is still to be decided.
Ahoy is being developed by Capstan Games. We are a newly formed company, made up of a mixture of talent from across the games and arts industries. Capstan Games was formed with the desire to focus on historically enriched game experiences that allow players to explore a particular time in history to a degree that we feel has been previously unmatched in its historical accuracy and attention to detail.
We can see a great pull towards these kinds of experiences in previous years, but many make significant factual sacrifices, and we believe this is an unnecessary step in the process of making an enjoyable game. Instead, we propose that history, among many other adjacent subjects, can be taught through the medium of video games, without the players really even being aware of the fact they are being educated.
With this comes a massive responsibility to ensure the information we are representing is, in as many ways as possible, factually correct. We have also made a commitment to highlight areas within our games that deviate from historical fact, and in some cases provide additional reading material (or external points of reference) for players to explore themselves and understand the topics even further.
We at Capstan Games have been drawn to the rich history and culture of the Caribbean during the Age of Sail as a compelling setting to tell stories.
The era was marked by exploration, conflict, hardships and discoveries, offering a wealth of opportunity for engaging gameplay mechanics and storytelling. Additionally, the setting allows for a unique and immersive experience, offering players the chance to step into the shoes of a captain and navigate the open seas while managing a ship and crew.
Overall, the development of Ahoy represents a desire to create an engaging and historically accurate video game experience for players who enjoy action-packed gameplay and learning about maritime history.
We have various methods of contributing towards the Ahoy project financially. Please see our “Contribute” page, or read the additional FAQ section relating to contributions.
At this time, we have no plans to create a more significant crowd-sourced campaign. Our efforts are entirely focused on developing the project, and we feel that providing a significantly more involved “Pledge and Reward” structure would ultimately only serve to distract the team from development, and create additional costs for the project to fulfill these complex reward tiers. As such, we are keeping contributions as simple as possible to maximize the funds being spent towards development.
Absolutely! There are a number of ways you can assist the project.
Firstly, getting involved with the community via Discord, or sharing our community posts on social media can greatly improve our reach and allow for us to open new conversations within the industry, as well as with various research bodies. It will of course increase the size of the community as well which comes with its own benefits.
Secondly, you could consider contributing towards the project financially. Making a donation towards the project will help to secure our finances as an indie developer. Donations are used towards development of Ahoy, and can make a huge difference day-to-day.
Thirdly, you could act as a community ambassador. While not an official title, the support of particular members of the community in answering the questions of new members, directing them to this FAQ, and assisting in developing a welcoming, friendly atmosphere in our community is greatly appreciated.
Finally, if you feel that you could assist the development of Ahoy more directly, as part of the team, please feel free to contact us (via the Capstan Games website) and show us some examples of your past experience in game development. It is important however, to understand that at this time Ahoy is a volunteer effort.
The "Arena" portion of Ahoy is a self-hosted (with official servers), server-browser based experience that focuses almost entirely on the Naval Combat gameplay of the game. This mode is a separate and early iteration of the later "Persistent World" experience. In contrast, the Arena mode is focused solely on naval combat and boarding action, providing a fast-paced and action-packed experience for players who enjoy ship-to-ship combat.
In the Arena mode, players can crew their own ship with friends and engage in battles with other players. Arena may also feature a matchmaking system that pairs players with others of similar skill levels, ensuring that battles are challenging and competitive. The gameplay is similar to that of the full game, with realistic sailing mechanics and cannon fire, but with a greater focus on combat and less on exploration, diplomacy, economy or management.
Arena also provides a way for players to engage with the game in a more casual or competitive manner, without committing to the longer-term gameplay of the Persistent World mode.
Arena represents a distilled representation of the full Ahoy experience. Naval combat and sailing are at the heart of the game, and the Arena allows us to focus development on these key features, while working towards an achievable release goal.
The Persistent World is where our hearts want to be, but ultimately the effort (and finances) required to achieve that vision will necessitate the success of Arena first.
The Arena will initially include the three playable ships (and any others that are developed before its release) and allow for players to enter into pre-designed battles, wherein teams are made up of a certain number of ships, and the battle area is chosen from a list of locations (such as open sea, coastal, etc.)
Arena will also include the full boarding action experience and much of the ship management that you can expect in the Persistent World.
Additionally, other modifiers such as weather and time of day will add more variety to each battle.
Future updates might see the introduction of other battle types as we explore the future combat mechanics of the Persistent World.
The monetisation route for both Arena and the Persistent World have not yet been decided. It is likely, however, that the two aspects of the game will require some additional purchase. Arena will be a buy-to-play release. While the Persistent World is more open to community feedback, as well as the requirements to keep the persistent world online.
For example, it is possible that purchasing Arena will gain you access to Persistent World initially, but that a recurring subscription model would be required after the first month of access. In this case, the Persistent World would be free to download, but require a subscription to play.
Alternative, we might decide that the Persistent World constitutes enough of a 'separate' game experience that it requires a one time purchase, but remains free to play after it's release.
Ultimately, these are all hypothetical ideas at this stage. We will listen to the community and make an informed decision about what best fits the player base at each point of Ahoy's release.
We have every intention of maintaining the Arena mode after the Persistent World has released. Its longevity will be determined by how active the player base is, and whether the team can continue to maintain both aspects of the game at the same time.
The most likely outcome is that Arena will continue and self-hosted servers will maintain the core of the playerbase, while the official Capstan servers and additional content updates might fade over time. This is of course only in the case where the active player base is lower than can support the costs of development.
Not in any meaningful way. Gameplay mechanics will be comparable between the two gameplay types, but ultimately they are intended to service two very different types of players.
Some progression in the Arena mode will provide cosmetics which can be worn by your Persistent World characters.
Players can expect to be sailing together in groups of 4-8 players per ship. The intention is to provide flexibility to enable multiple types of conflict. 4-8 players per ship would enable 2v2 ship battles (8+8 vs 8+8), or even up to 4v4 battles (4+4+4+4 vs 4+4+4+4), or any combination therein. Creating asymmetric Arena conflicts would also therefore be possible.
Arena is a server-browser based experience. While we may include certain automated matchmaking abilities, the intention is that you and your friends can agree to join the same server. However, this does not guarantee that it will be only yourself and your friends crewing a single ship. This depends entirely on the configuration of the server you connect to, and the capacity available.
Alternatively, you might decide to host your own friends-only server, which can be password protected and/or invite-only. However, this will mean that only people you know can join, and this might limit the variety of players and interaction you can expect from a single Arena server experience.
The Persistent World refers to the game's future persistently online multiplayer component of Ahoy. This aspect of the project is a future, expanded concept for what the world of Ahoy could become.
The Persistent World would be a place where players can interact with each other in a shared game world that exists even when they are not actively playing the game. In this mode, players can create their own captain and ship and compete or cooperate with other players for resources, territories, and prestige. The Persistent World of Ahoy is designed to simulate a living, breathing ecosystem, where players can influence and be influenced by the actions of others.
One of the defining features of the Persistent World is its dynamic economy. Players can buy and sell goods in different ports, with prices influenced by supply and demand. As players trade, the prices of goods will fluctuate accordingly, creating opportunities for profit and strategic decision-making. Additionally, the Persistent World mode introduces politics and diplomacy into the game, as player nations can form alliances, declare war, or negotiate treaties with each other. These interactions can have significant consequences, as players can gain or lose territory, resources, and reputation.
Another key aspect of the Persistent World of Ahoy is its progression system. As players engage in different activities, such as combat, trading, or exploration, they will gain reputation. Higher reputation will unlock new national perks and upgrades, allowing players to customize their character and ship to fit their playstyle. This progression system encourages players to keep exploring and engaging with the game world, as they work towards becoming the most successful and powerful captain in the Caribbean.
Overall, the Persistent World of Ahoy will become a complex and immersive online multiplayer mode that adds a new dimension of gameplay to the single-player experience. By creating a shared game world where players can interact and compete, the game offers a unique and engaging experience that keeps players coming back for more.
The Persistent World will eventually cover the entire Caribbean, the south-eastern coast of North America, the Gulf of Mexico, and the northern coastline of South America.
You can see a preview of this rough area and the outlined position of ports here. The map will develop over time, and the port locations may change.
Developing ports in 3D takes an enormous amount of time. All major ports (national capitals), along with significant historical ports, will be made in 3D based on real maps and architecture from the time.
All other ports will be temporarily given a UI representation which allows you to access the port to some degree, but not represented in 3D. Over time, more ports (including those which could be considered 'less significant' ports that still have historical data available) will be introduced and their UI representation will be removed.
Ports which did not yet exist in the time of Ahoy or lack enough historical data to correctly recreate will either be approximated with the best information we have available or become “wild ports”. Wild ports will eventually become the basis of “player-founded ports”, but this feature is far into the future of Ahoy.
The intention is to maintain realistic sailing speeds at all times. This however, is not possible on the grand scale of the Caribbean. Maintaining accurate travel speeds would mean that traveling across the map would take hundreds of hours.
While we’re sure some players would love this challenge the first few times, the reality is that for the majority of players this is immensely inaccessible. As such, traveling in the ‘open sea’ (a certain distance from any landmarks or land), will still feel the same speed, but the area it covers will be greatly reduced so that traveling across these open waters takes considerably less time.
Additionally, the whole map is scaled down significantly, while still preserving the overall layout and proportion of the landmasses. Ports are created at 1:1 scale with real life, so while the world is scaled down, the ports occupy a larger area on land than they otherwise would.
Overall, we hope these changes remain relatively unnoticeable, but provide the best combination of an immersive, realistic world, and an enjoyable one.
The story of Ahoy takes place in the West Indies in the year 1780. Those familiar with the history will know that this is a time of ongoing revolution. The Americas have recently declared independence and the “American War” rages on with the British Empire. The French Enlightenment sees the introduction of new ideas and technologies. Spain works to recover from its relative decline in the 17th century. The British balance a war on multiple fronts, including the French, Spanish and Dutch.
The player-driven economy of Ahoy’s persistent world will be vital to all aspects of gameplay. Currently, this design is still in the works and we’re not ready to share details about these mechanics yet.
Crafting and professions will feature heavily in the future vision of the persistent world, however we’re not ready to share details about these mechanics yet.
Yes, that’s true. It’s an incredibly ambitious, forward-looking view of Ahoy. It is entirely possible that the project never reaches the full experience that we outline here, or even that we manage to push past the “Arena” stage of the project.
To be completely honest, this is entirely down to the success of Arena, and any possible chance of external funding that might be achieved after Arena is released.
As such, it is important to be aware of the risks of thinking too far ahead when talking about Ahoy. Often the community and developers will talk openly about how Persistent World mechanics might work, but this should be understood as a forward-looking projection of what we wish to create, and not an iron-clad promise of its future existence.
Ahoy will feature five playable nations: players can associate themselves with either the British, French, Spanish, Americans or Dutch. Each nation has both a Navy and Merchant Navy, as well as the ability to simply act as a civilian captain.
In the Arena, your association will change from battle to battle based on the server you have connected to, the available team spaces, and the ship you choose to join.
When creating a new character, you will be provided with the option of selecting both a character origin (anywhere in the world, as it was named in 1780), and an initial national association. Players will gain reputation with the nation they select during character creation faster than any other for a set period of time, making it most sensible to choose the nation you wish to ultimately associate with.
Players can, however, defect from one nation to another, or in fact disassociate entirely with all nations. Players who defect from a nation will be subject to an immense reputation penalty, both to their current reputation and future reputation gain. It is not a decision that is taken lightly.
Players can choose to defect after completing the introductory missions without the same penalty. This is the only time you get this privilege, which allows for players who wish to play away from the national influence to distance themselves initially without significant loss.
Players who do not associate a nation will be especially vulnerable to attack, especially if they also have a low reputation with said nations as well.
Reputation is a metric for intensifying your standing with particular nations, trading companies and other entities. Reputation decays over time and a fixed rate towards a middle zero. In other words, regardless of whether you have a terrible or excellent reputation with a particular nation, it will reduce towards a neutral reputation over time.
Reputation can be increased or decreased through your actions within the world. Attacking a nation repeatedly, and especially attacking merchant or civilian vessels will quickly plummet your reputation and open you up to retribution from players and AI captains of that nation.
Completing missions or coming to the aid of captains from a particular nation will improve your reputation with them. Therefore it may be necessary to repair previously broken relationships or open up new opportunities with a nation through trade tariffs, port access, and so on.
Players do not directly control nations, however in the full view of the Persistent World, players can be nominated to become Port Governors. Each region of the map contains a certain number of port Governors, and these players determine which proposals for new laws, trade policies, and war decisions are made open to a public vote. Once up for voting, all players of that nation can then cast a number of votes based on their reputation.
Governors can also independently call for votes about decisions within their own port. These votes are open to all players with a history within that port (players of any nation who have a history of positive contributions to this port can vote, but players of the same nation and higher reputation get a priority).
Nations that become too powerful through acquiring additional ports eventually become the possible target of an overextension war. Overextension wars can be declared by all other nations, regardless of previous diplomatic standing. The war goal of an overextension war is always to return a certain percentage of controlled ports back to their original owners.
Alliances between nations are formed through a dual-nation vote, where players of both nations can cast a vote on the outcome of the alliance. Once declared, an alliance ties the two nations together and if one nation is the recipient of a declaration of war, the other nation is immediately and automatically called into the war.
Alliances can also break down based on how often members of either nation commit transgressions against players of the other. Transgressions build over time and if not dealt with proactively, can end an alliance between two nations.
Both trading companies and piracy will be included in Ahoy’s persistent world. The best way to think about Piracy in Ahoy is that it is not an association like the five nations, but instead a way of life.
Piracy can be committed by any player, at any time. Players participating in piracy against the permission of their nation are likely to be heavily punished. Authorized piracy (privateering) is not punished, but instead rewarded by the nation authorizing it.
Players who do not belong to any nation are not immediately considered pirates either. It is simply a case of what those players choose to do. Players who are not associated with a nation are especially vulnerable, and so committing piracy is not advisable.
Trading companies will be included in Ahoy, but we are not ready to share information about this yet.
Currently we have three ships in development:
Nemesis will become the first playable ship in our prototype, with the other two to follow in future.
More ships will be added to the project over the course of development. Currently we do not have a theoretical maximum number of ships that will be included.
Players will have access to all playable ships in the Arena mode, based on which ships have been added to the current battle depending on the battle scenario that is currently active.
All players will start with a small vessel for personal transport. Acquiring other ships requires a committed effort in either naval combat, establishing wealth, or rising up the ranks of a particular nation’s Navy.
During naval combat, players can capture other players (and AI) ships. These ships carry on the existing service record of the previous owner. They become your ship once they have been registered and approved as a prize by the Admiralty Court. Until this moment, the ship is in limbo and if lost, you will not be able to have a replica built at a reduced cost.
Players who establish a significant wealth through trade or other sources can purchase ships from other players via the Auction House or order a new ship to be constructed at significant monetary and material cost. New ships are then registered, with a name of the player’s choice with the Admiralty and can either be sold on or operated by the player.
Players who advance through a nation’s Navy through completing Navy missions, receiving commendations, and maintaining a positive (and increasing) reputation with the associate nation will be provided with a ship and complement befitting the rank of the player. Players essentially own this ship in the same way as the other methods of acquisition, however with the caveat that if the player should choose to leave the nation or be disgraced, access to the ship and complement, along with any and all cargo would be revoked.
Currently there are three criteria for potentially introducing a new ship to the Ahoy fleet.
1) The ship must have seen action during the 1770 - 1785 period. Bonus points are given to ships that saw active service in this period within the West Indies.
2) Ships must not exceed 28 guns. This limitation is a technical one and will hopefully disappear later.
3) The ship in question must have a good amount of reference material freely available. Original plans, contemporary paintings, documentation about dimensions, etc.
If you feel that you have a suggestion for a particular ship which fits this criteria, please visit our Discord server where we have a #suggestions channel for this very purpose.
Ships which are playable can be fully explored on all complete decks. The ship’s hold is often visible; however it is rarely directly accessible due to its cramped nature.
Everything else; doors, windows, swivel and naval guns, the helm, the sails, anchors, and so forth, is fully modelled and interactive. (With exception for some highly specific or uncommonly used parts of the ship’s rigging).
Ship customisation is an ongoing area of development; however some areas of customisation are already known:
Exterior and interior paint:
Almost all surfaces can be given a new choice of paint colour based on the historically available pigments. Pigments are purchased in the Persistent World through the use of earnable in-game currency.
The ship’s name can be chosen when registered, and (for a cost) it can be modified at an Admiralty Court. The names are assembled from a list of thousands of approved words, meaning that all ship names are roleplaying-suitable.
Sails currently cannot be customized, however should we plan to introduce sail customisation, there will be the ability to hide this customisation for all ships if you prefer the historically correct, white sails.
All of the ship’s armament can be modified through the purchase of new equipment from other players or from port towns.
No! We believe that ships are too fundamental to the gameplay experience to allow for some of them to be hidden behind a paywall.
That being said, it might be possible that in the future we decide to sell purely cosmetic liveries ('skins') for ships. This would not grant the buyer access to a specific ship they didn’t already earn access to in-game.
Yes, through placing an order at a shipwright in various port locations. However, the process of construction is automated and cannot be greatly influenced by the player beyond choosing some basic configuration at the point of ordering its construction. All ships are built based on the ships we are including in the game, so it is not possible to create some hybrid or wholly alternative ship unless the desired ship is introduced to the game by the development team.
Your ship will be built in stages, and require a large amount of resources and currency. Currently there are no plans to visually represent the process of contruction.
Crews are our collective term for groups of players and/or AI characters that operate ships. Crews are usually managed by players in the role of Captains and Officers, while in future releases some ships might be fully crewed by AI characters.
AI crew are non-playable characters that fulfill the commands given to them by the ship’s captain and officers. AI crew generally are there to fill the roles aboard ships which are deemed less exciting or too numerous for players to perform by themselves.
AI crew members will have various stats which can be managed and manipulated by the player’s actions. The primary stats to worry about are morale and loyalty. These impact the decision making and productivity of your AI crew and are often influenced by living conditions, access to fresh food and water, your reputation as a captain, and the frequency of combat encounters that you subject them to.
All ships have a certain amount of AI crew. Very small ships and boats might have as few as 5-10 AI crew, and the smallest boats generally don’t have a ‘crew’ at all, as they are temporary craft used for transporting goods and people.
The larger the ship, the more AI crew will be present and required to operate it. AI crew does not actually come with the ship itself. Captains must hire, capture or press crew members into service at some cost to themselves.
All players act as officers aboard ships, starting at the Midshipman (or equivalent) rank and progressing up to Captain. Captains can determine the naming structure of these ranks based on their own requirements, and each rank can be given unique permissions aboard the ship.
As officers, your role aboard ships will be down to the needs of the moment. While officers do not need to directly involve themselves with operating naval guns, rigging, anchors, etc, it is often useful to have players directing the action in this way and providing a morale and performance boost to nearby AI crew members that are performing the same tasks.
The simple answer is almost always no. All ships will require some level of cooperation, except in the case of the very smallest available ships. Ahoy is intended to be primarily a cooperative experience, rather than solely an individual or competitive one.
All players will have some access to smaller craft for personal travel, and it will be possible to sail ‘alone’ in the smallest of ships, but even at this point you would still require an AI crew to assist you.
Sailing in Ahoy is a multi-faceted gameplay mechanic, which requires some level of understanding of the real methods of sailing to be most effective.
Sails are individually operated through the use of specific ropes (sheets and halyards), which provides direct control to each sail and allows the ship to navigate in a multitude of ways depending on the local wind direction and speed.
In addition to trimming the sails, you’ll need to ensure proper operation of the rudder, anchors, and other equipment.
Finally, sea conditions, navigating via historical maps, and generally keeping an orderly ship and crew are a constant balance throughout any voyage.
Arena: Players will join an Arena server and be provided with the available teams and ships. Players are then able to pick which ship they wish to join based on which ships have room available.
Persistent World: Captains can invite friends aboard their ship through the in-game social features. Alternatively, it is possible to post voyage listings and accept applications from other players who are looking to join your crew. All player crew who are hired through voyage listings are promised a certain percentage of any earnings made during the voyage, whether that be from completing crew missions, delivering goods, or prize money from capturing ships and cargo.
Crew organization is a large part of the Captain experience. Each rank or player can be individually assigned tasks at will by those given the permissions to create new orders.
Ranks are assigned permissions based on the Captain’s preference. For example, a Midshipman might be given permission to overrule the AI gun crew captains during combat, or a Lieutenant might be given the permission to adjust the intended destination of a voyage. These permissions are all managed within the Ship’s Books by the Captain and any other players that have been given necessary permissions to manage players that are lower in rank.
All ships will have their own, unique player-count limit. Usually this limit is between 1-8 players, with larger ships reaching as many as 12-16 maximum players. The limit applies to players that are provided with "room and board". This includes players that join your crew through private or public invitation, voyage listings, and friend invites.
The player-count limit does not include players who are attacking your ship (in naval combat / boarding action), or players who are simply visiting your ship momentarily. These players will be counted separately from your "room and board" crew.
Players who are not provided room and board will be unable to respawn on your ship at any time, and will likely suffer other penalties if remaining aboard your ship for prolonged periods of time. More details surrounding "stowaways" will be introduced at a later date.
Naval combat, as a whole, is an extremely complex and broad area of the gameplay experience. Primarily, it can be broken down into ranged combat (using naval guns as a primary form of dealing damage to the target) or boarding action (engaging in close quarters melee and small arms combat across two or more ships).
Ranged naval combat focuses on the management and operation of the ship’s armament. Naval guns are operated by AI gun crews, however player officers can get directly involved with the operation of these guns, which will potentially boost the morale, accuracy or general performance of nearby AI gun crews through essentially providing additional guidance on how they should perform based on the player officers own performance.
Separately to this, the captain and others charged with the movement of the vessel will need to contend with competing requirements between operating naval guns, managing the ship’s rigging, and forming and enacting manoeuvre strategies.
All naval combat, as with the rest of the Ahoy experience, is played in first person.
At this time, there are no definite plans to include port sieges. While we understand that they are essential in completing the final vision of Ahoy’s persistent world. It is outside of our current development scope, and is therefore shelved until a time when it makes sense to include it.
We may explore the concepts surrounding sieges and blockades within the Arena at a future time before the Persistent World releases.
Ship damage is segmented into parts of the ship. These parts each have a certain stability score which depletes as damage is taken from outside sources.
As an area of the ship reduces in stability below certain thresholds, there are specific events which can happen. For example, if masts receive a certain amount of damage, the ship might experience a dismasting event, which will see a significant portion of the rigging permanently disabled. Additionally, events such as this might cause additional damage to other areas of the ship when they occur, or of course, injure or kill nearby crew.
Other such planned damage events include the loss of the rudder or steering mechanisms. The loss of the anchor(s), the starting of fires on the deck, and in extremely rare occasions the ignition or detonation of the powder battery (and thus the devastation of the ship, its crew and potentially nearby ships and crew also).
Sinking ships in Ahoy will take significant and intentional effort. Historically, this simply wasn’t a desirable outcome in most situations. As such, ships can be sunk through immense and consistent damage applied to the hull, however there is not much to be gained by the attacks from doing so.
PVP is not something you can specifically disable at all times. Certain areas of the world map will be protected (specifically, the areas around ports which are well defended, and always home ports).
There are other planned systems to discourage mindless violence against peaceful players. Ultimately, the punishment for engaging in combat without the correct procedures in place, or consistently targeting smaller, merchant or civilian vessels will result in devastating reputation punishments from most nations, not just the one you are actively attacking.
We hope that with these systems, and a general community-wide intention to maintain a sense of roleplay and historical accuracy, there will be no need for a blanket ‘No PVP’ flag, or a separate server for PVE-only players.
Boarding action is still an area of the design that is under constant review. However, the current iteration of this design is that boarding action is not a defined event that needs to be triggered by one or both ships. Instead, boarding action can occur at any time during naval combat, so long as the ships are within a certain distance of each other.
In this way, boarding action doesn’t need to be declared or agreed upon by both captains. Instead, either captain can give the necessary orders to their crew to carry out the boarding action on the specified target. It is however worth noting that these actions are almost impossible to reverse or back out of once ordered. There is an incredibly small window provided to captains to reverse the boarding action orders, and after this point the crew will carry out the orders as instructed.
Specific boarding strategies can be employed by the captain. For example, there are strategies focused on defensive and offensive stances. These are usually employed automatically based on who is the original aggressor during boarding, however they can be overruled.
Additionally, within these two areas of strategy, there are other ‘focuses’ that can be applied. For example: focusing on the capture of a particular part of the ship, focusing on the officers specifically, and so on. This variety of strategies are in play to avoid the need for captains to micro-manage boarding action, which is already planned to be an immensely chaotic experience to begin with.
Future plans might see strategies being assignable to various subsets of your crew, allowing more nuance during boarding action.
Ships are captured in a number of ways. Firstly, and most obviously, is during a successful boarding action. A ship can be captured when all of its key areas are under the control of the attackers. At this point, under order of the attacking captain (or other players with the capability to make this decision) can ‘strike the colours’ of the captured ship. At this point, if successful, the captain or another designated to do so, can interact with the ship’s log and claim the ship as their own.
This also means that ships which have struck their own colours in act of surrender can have their ship taken from them by the attacker or, after a period of time left alone, another third party could claim the ship. Striking the colours of your own ship is an irreversible action and is only something the captain of that ship can do.
Captured ships are captured along with their service history and ship reputation. The original captain can have a replica ship built at a significantly reduced cost, however this new replica will not carry the same record of prior achievements or reputation. In this way, particularly special ships, due to their service history, are particularly valuable.
Every ship past a certain size requires an “AI” / NPC crew to operate. AI crew are an area of management that captains and other officers have control over.
AI crew are there to perform the regular duties of seamen during sailing, but they will also be the main force during a boarding action. Due to the limited number of players present on each ship, the expected crew numbers are additionally made up of AI crew that can be recruited at ports, captured from other ships, or otherwise pressed into service.
Crew loyalty and morale play a key factor in their performance during boarding action. You will provide the crew with certain orders during an engagement and they will carry out these orders to the best of their ability unless their morale or loyalty is low enough to decide to defect or surrender without your express order to do so.
AI crew are also 'permadeath', or, in other words: if one of your AI crew dies, they are gone forever. Managing and maintaining a crew throughout multiple conflicts, and dealing with the tragic realities of naval warfare are a necessary process in maintaining superiority during naval engagements, and by extension, boarding actions.
Players will be able to equip a variety of swords, dirks (daggers), polearms, and blunt weapons. Additionally, the range of firearms includes pistols, muskets, blunderbusses, and other experimental weapons of the 1780s.
Player health is one of the player ‘vitals’ which determine a player’s ability in combat and other strenuous tasks or activities. Health is a value which can be depleted over time based on the number of open wounds. Each body part can be wounded or bruised, and a wounded body part contributes to a bleeding effect which will drain your health over time. Bruised body parts will often impact your total stamina and health pools, but do not actively drain your health.
When a player dies, they will either instantly respawn on their ship (during peacetime) or experience a delayed respawn on their ship during naval combat. During boarding action, respawns are further limited based on the performance of your crew during the engagement.
Additionally, in the Persistent World, respawning can also optionally transport you to the nearest port, or your home port. However, there will be some negative effects to this to dissuade its use as a method of fast travel.
Gore will not be completely removable; however we do plan to provide settings to reduce the intensity of gore and other distressing elements of gameplay.
When it’s ready™.
More seriously, we do not have a solid release date at this time. Both the Arena and Persistent World aspects of the project require significant development time to reach a release we would be happy with. We will of course keep you posted with any updates to our release schedule via social media, the official Discord server, and our store pages.
Yes. Our current intention is that both aspects of the game are accessible from a single game client. This will hopefully allow players to switch between each gameplay type quickly, and we can see some other cosmetic crossovers between the two modes as well.
Ahoy is being developed primarily for Windows PC. It is possible that we will look to expand the platform support to Mac OS and Linux in the future.
Console support is unlikely at this time; however we would be open to explore this avenue in the future if the necessary demand and platform support was there.
It is likely that we will introduce paid DLC at some time in Ahoy's future. However, there are some commitments we are willing to make regarding paid DLC.
Firstly, and most importantly, paid DLC will never be "Pay To Win". All DLC will only ever add additional cosmetic or narrative content to your Ahoy experience, and will never influence your ability to beat other players
Secondly, we have no plans to release "Ship DLC". Ships will always be something you earn in-game. It might be possible that we introduce ship cosmetics, but never the actual ships themselves. Ship cosmetics might include particular figureheads, sail customisations, and other decorative-only additions.
We would love to have you involved in the alpha/beta testing of Ahoy. At this time, playable releases are not available. Please keep an eye on our social media and Discord server announcements for updates regarding future closed or open testing phases.
Controller support is likely to be added at a future date, however it is possible that initial releases will not feature these accessibility options. Please see the store page for the game for the latest information regarding peripheral support.
The development team is multilingual, however this does not necessarily mean we are best equipped to translate the game into other languages. The game will be initially developed in English, and additional languages will be added through a mixture of development team and community contribution.
Donations towards the project are used directly on the production of Ahoy. That can include production costs (licenses, server hosting, etc.), contracted overheads (freelance artists and developers), and other community or emergency requirements.
For more information about donations, you can read more here:
Donations to the project are made through two key ways. You can make monthly recurring contributions through Patreon, or a single larger donation to unlock "Lifetime Platinum".
Monthly contributions are at four fixed ‘tiers’ (Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum), each tier offers a slightly different set of rewards.
Meanwhile, one-off donations to unlock Lifetime Platinum can be made using the special Patreon membership tier. Please read more about this here.
For more information about donations, you can read more here:
Contributors will receive a number of rewards in return for their donations. The exact rewards received depends on the manner and amount that is donated, however you can read more about this here:
There is absolutely no obligation to donate towards Ahoy’s development. Donating does not provide you with any significant special in-game boosts or bonuses that would otherwise reduce your playing experience.
The only things you might miss out on if you do not donate are: - (Very) Early access releases - A handful of in-game cosmetic rewards - Early access to progress reports in Discord / Patreon
This is only a question you can answer for yourself. Donating towards Ahoy’s development is, in all honesty, a risk. While we have every intention to make Ahoy into a viable, releasable video game, game development is an arduous process which can often find difficulty in maintaining development pace or be interrupted by personal and environmental factors outside of our control.
Ahoy is a passion project, and the team wants to see it released and playable just as much as those following progress in the community. Your donation will by no means ensure that the project succeeds, but with a combined effort between the development team, and support from the community, we can give it the absolute best chance.
Platinum exists as a monthly recurring tier on Patreon. Until now, it has represented the highest achievable tier we provide and as such is an incredibly generous contribution from our patrons should they choose to commit to this. However, as part of the Ahoy contributor initiative, we also want to reward long-standing contributors with a 'Lifetime' reward structure. Lifetime Platinum is something that is given to all patrons once their total lifetime contributions reach £400 (roughly $509.92 USD, or €462.50 EUR as of 5/8/2023). Unfortunately for us, Patreon does not provide the functionality to provide a membership for free to our contributors, and so the "Lifetime Platinum" role is only actually provided via the Ahoy website and Discord server when your contribution reaches the required amount.
Due to the fact that we simply do not know whether the project will succeed, or in what capacity it will be released, or indeed the monetisation model of the Arena and Persistent World releases, it is our policy that donations do not contribute towards the purchase price of future Ahoy releases.
Donations are rewarded with certain perks, and it should be made clear that the perks may change over time. Please donate only in an effort to support the project, and not in expectation of exceptional donation rewards. Donation rewards are offered as is, at the time of donation.
Firstly, if you are considering canceling your recurring donations to Ahoy, please fill out this Google Forms survey and provide us with feedback on your experience and how you think we can improve the contributor scheme in future.
If you proceed with the cancellation, you will keep all of the rewards that you have earned up until this point, except for your Discord “contributor” role and early Dev Journal access. Additionally, new rewards to the donation tier you currently hold will no longer be applied to your account in future. If you have already been rewarded with Lifetime Platinum, you will always be considered an "Active" contributor, even if you cancel any future donations.
Finally, while you will maintain access to any pre-release versions of Ahoy you have already claimed download keys for, any future major updates or pre-release versions will not be provided to you.
Thank you for considering supporting the project once again. Recurring monthly donations are handled through the Patreon platform. You can begin your contributions again at any time through the Patreon website.
Certain rewards, either included now, or added in the future, may not be available to you immediately. If there is an estimated release date for this reward, it is usually included within the reward tier details on the Contribute page, or on Patreon. In some cases, reward delivery may be delayed. We will try to keep you informed as best as we can with the delivery of these rewards at all times.
If you would like to make a larger donation towards the development of Ahoy and the available Patreon tiers will not work for you, you can contact us directly via email to determine the best course of action. Larger donations can be made via PayPal or any other standard form of transfer. Please email us at [email protected] for more information.
Due to the way we make use of donated funds, it is not possible for us to provide donation refunds. Received funds are immediately earmarked for production costs, and therefore it is simply impossible to maintain a certain amount of money aside to cover ourselves in case of donation refunds.
If you are unsure about donating, or if the money you are considering for donation is vital to your own expenses or livelihood, we strongly suggest you avoid making a donation at this time.
We recently integrated Patreon with the Ahoy website. You can connect your Patreon and Ahoy accounts on the Ahoy account page.
If you are having issues with this integration, or have concerns about the information displayed, please contact us
If you are currently an active contributor, your Discord role should be applied within 30 minutes of your contribution. If it has been more than an hour and you still do not have the correct role, please contact a member of the team on Discord or email us and we will look into it.
Please be aware that if you are no longer an Active or Lifetime Contributor on Patreon, your Discord role and early Journal access will be removed.
Ahoy is a complex, ambitious project. As such, it's quite possible some questions are simply not answered here, or difficult to answer at all at our current stage of development.
However, if you have other questions and would like to discuss the project in more detail, please feel welcome to join our Discord community and ask more questions!Join us on Discord