2023 in Review

Jan 5, 2024

2023 was a great year for Ship of Heroes. We're making dramatic progress towards launching SoH in 2024. Of course, we’ve wanted to launch SoH in several previous years, but we are now far closer to this goal than ever before. For us the launch of the game is a new beginning, not an end, since after launch we will shift into high gear to produce ever more content for our players.
We’ve achieved a lot during 2023, too many things to mention them all, but let me highlight just a few: Typical FPS in Apotheosis City is higher now than it has ever been. This is a very good metric, since it means we can sustain more crowds, larger raids, and a better social experience than most modern MMORPGs. We’d like to say “great work” to the art and code team that has accomplished this!

High FPS hasn’t stopped Apotheosis City from looking beautiful, either.

We had a successful Steam Beta in October, and as a result of that event, our total number of wishlists has more than doubled! In every event, some things go well and some don’t – and this is true at every game company. But the Steam event was a strong positive for us, and we want to thank everyone for putting in the hours, and the creativity, to help make it succeed. A special thank you to our volunteer testers who helped us start Steam Next Fest with zero known bugs… and to all of our participants.

Many heroes battled and defeated the evil Dr. Cornish and his Prometheans.

We could not have run our Steam event without having a new, much more advanced server setup, which is another major achievement of 2023. This setup includes a completely new multi-threaded chat system that handles many kinds of information transfers. We’re planning to make further upgrades and add features to it, but the system in place now is the core of our server launch system for SoH. It’s a major milestone simply to have it. We’ve tested it once already, and we’ll test it again soon. A huge project is underway to examine and improve every combat animation in the game. The assessment phase has been completed – and the first six animations have been upgraded already. We’re making changes, and just as important is that we know why we’re making the changes. This will pay off in the long-run. Already, our related improvements to targeting and camera controls have been very well-received.

Very few MMORPGs give anything like this kind of freedom, or beauty.

But wait, there’s more! We also completed a major upgrade to our character creation tool (CCT). We’ve added more costumes, more hair models, and more options than ever before, making our CCT one of the best in the industry. Even before this, we had added 114 preset heads in a mix-and-match format, so players can begin with nice-looking but unique face, hair and eye combinations, then customize their looks further to suit their vision. We also streamlined the process for creating a character, giving the CCT more power and flexibility than ever before.

Just as our devs keep the game running, engineers keep the ship running…when they are not on break.

Ship of Heroes now has more than 200 unique new NPCs. To add to the visual aspect of the story, NPC personnel now have special costumes that reflect their day jobs, like Engineering, Ship Security, Navigation, and other key roles aboard the FHS Justice. These characters look great, since SoH is based on modern 2K textures, as opposed to older games using textures with a quarter of this level of detail, or less.

A Diplomat NPC and a player character. Which one is which?

An Engineer and a Ship Security share lunch in the Engineering break room

We’ve been preparing to launch Ship of heroes for some time, and many have noticed the signs. We’ve recruited new testers to operate under NDA, published a few video tutorials, upgraded our website, added a downloadable press kit, and of course, we launched our Steam store page back in March, along with monthly updates on Steam.

Despite being a small indie team, we strive to maintain big-budget studio levels of polish.

Click to add to your STEAM wishlist

But our most important actions this year have probably come about as a result of our Steam demo in October: we’ve been working on delivering smoother combat. New camera controls, enhanced tab targeting, new targeting reticules, improved movement speeds, increased damage for primary powersets, and faster combat while at superspeed all blend together in an exciting mix. Ship of Heroes combat feels faster, harder-hitting, and more exciting than ever before.

targeting in ship of heroes

Combat is easy to learn, but hard to master.

Overall, we’ve had a great year! As you take some time to relax and reflect on the year to come, please remember that Ship of Heroes will continue to improve on the road towards launch. And there will be more free public events coming soon, so keep reading these newsletters to stay informed.

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