Time for an update on where things stand.
As mentioned earlier, I changed jobs in November. This meant an unavoidable slowdown in development for the past weeks, both before the switch (during the process of wrapping up at my old place of work), as well as after, as I spend time getting up to speed. The worst should be over by now, though.
So, what is happening next?
Version 0.167+ should go out soon. It does some work on the post-combat system; i.e., getting captured should now lead to trial (instead of automatic gallows), pirates and natives will now plunder your ship – unless they don’t like you, in which case they’ll slit your throat. Oh – and they’ll remember you too (yes – Pirate characters you encounter may end up persistent). The whole prize ships/fleet ships element is also getting an overhaul, but everything will not be ready in the first patch. This will probably be a series of iterations over the next few weeks.
Beyond that, the goal now is simply to get the game “done”, to the point where I’ll feel happy to take it out of “beta”. The following is the list of things I hope to have put into the game when that happens (not necessarily in this order).
In-App Unlock. Instead of a separate “Gold” version of P&T2, the game will have an in-app purchase that unlocks 10 new starting characters. The list is on Trello.
New character portraits and character items. The new character artwork is done, so now it “only” remains to add these into the game along with the character items. This will probably come as one of the early updates.
Merchant contract. The plan with P&T2 has always been to make the “Trader” part a more prominent aspect of the game. It will be possible to hire a crew using a “Merchant contract” (as opposed to “Pirate articles“) where you pay your crew a fixed salary, but otherwise keep all of the profit to yourself (and your investors). It still requires some balancing, but I know some players enjoy the trade aspect, and I hope it should be possible to make this aspect of the game interesting in its own right.
More social actions and settlement shenanigans. The character model in the game is much more advanced than in the first game, and this is where I hope to use it. In addition to the Saloon, there’ll be parties that one can go to, and it should be possible to visit the homes of the NPCs and try to increase/decrease your relationship with characters. Where is this useful? Primarily in terms of gaining benefits, favors and rank. Merchants will give you discounts and lucrative jobs. Soldiers are more likely to be forgiving of the indiscretions of your crew. And Governors will of course be able to give you interesting missions, and even cooperate with you on policy. In addition, it will be possible to buy a home in one or more settlements, etc. The trick here will be to add everything I want to add, without making things too complex to keep track of. 😮
“Main Storyline” quests. This can really be divided into two parts: re-adding the three long-form quests to the game, i.e., Moctezuma’s Crown, the Treasure Fleet, and the Cimmaron Saga, and then writing and adding the three new quests that I have firmly planned for Pirates and Traders 2 (there might be more, but one thing at a time). Also, of course, more and more and more shorter story-lines/events.
End Game wrapup. Yet more storyline. The plan is for every way the game ends to have a short storyline, and that includes peaceful retirement. This will depend on the wealth, status, traits and age of your player character at retirement, and could include such things as getting married (if the player hasn’t done that during the game), buying a peerage, getting appointed governor, etc. Or just simply ending up as a beggar.
Land Battles. The big one. Being able to attack port with your crew and allies. This means I need to revise the “Small Battles” game engine that this is based upon, which will probably take some time, but I know that this is high, high up on the wishlist of many players. It probably won’t happen this year, but I’ll try to get it done early next year. Also, of course, much more activity between the empires in the game.
Ship Details. More interesting ship equipment, modification, and ship traits. Had hoped to get this back into the game earlier, to be honest, but it keeps getting pushed back. Hopefully soon.
Did I forget anything? Probably – I might come back and revise the post later, if so. Do note that there are no guarantees that I’ll add all of these things into the game before I close out the beta – or ever, for that matter – but this is the long-term plan for the game.
Thanks for being a part of the journey.