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A Letter from the Captain

Ahoy mates,

As a part of our newsletter, I felt it would be auspicious to address ye all, and in particular talk a little about our nefarious plans fer future Puzzle Pirates features!

Previously we've kept the plans here at Puzzle Pirates HQ somewhat under wraps, in the belief that it's fun to have surprises sprung on ye! We intend to keep givin' yer surprises, but thought we'd try to give ye a little more insight into what we've got coming down the line. We're keen to hear what ye think of what we have in mind, and hopefully together we can make the next set of major features even more exciting.

Focus: Fun on the High Seas!

Our focus through the rest of 2006 is on bring some more excitement to the seas of Puzzle Pirates.

Governor-initiated Event Blockades

This oft-discussed feature will allow governors and Ocean Masters to create blockades around islands with a reasonable lead time. Our intent is to create the opportunity for greater use of the blockade boards, and to auger some fun events. There will be options, for example number of rounds, sinking / non-sinking, restricted ship types and so forth.

Discuss here

Navigation and Engagement Improvements

After that, we're going to introduce changes to ship navigation. The change will allow a skilled ship's captain to select the types of engagement that the crew would prefer. The goal of this change is two-fold: The first is to make navigation a more relevant part of a voyage. The second is to make it easier to control what kinds of encounters a ship will run in to. This should make things like trading and greenie voyages easier to mange in the short term. It's also important for some of the features we're adding later on.


Brigand King Blockades and Island Seizures

Next up, the first of our big additions. We're going to take the next step with the Brigand Kings. With this release, the Brigand Kings will blockade colonized islands. This feature is going to be controversial and still has a lot to come in design, but we expect the Brigand Kings to start by testing the defenses of an island and, if not properly repulsed, to declare a blockade and attempt to take control of an island. Woe be it to the island that falls into the greedy clutches of a Brigand King! We are, of course, also creating rewards for islands that are able to repel these foul invaders.


Duty Puzzle Bonuses

After we've launched the Brigand Kings (part deux), we plan to turn to some additions to the current duty puzzles, introducing some interesting variations that will allow duty puzzlers to contribute to sea battle more directly. We're hoping these changes will make battling more interesting for the whole crew -- more detail on this later, so discussion is pre-emptive for now.

Sea Monsters

The duty puzzle changes will be most relevant to the next "Big Idea", the release of Sea Monsters on to the unsuspecting Oceans of Puzzle Pirates. The Sea Monster release will create special areas on each Ocean where players will be able to search for treasure under the baleful glare of a variety of different terrible sea creatures. You will have to deliberately navigate to reach these inhospitable, dangerous but lucrative waters.

We're still in design on the nature of the Sea Monsters, but expect them to vary in difficulty (and species) to make it interesting for ship crews. We currently have three species planned -- you know what at least one of them is!


The Titan

Our final big change for 2006 (or, perhaps more likely, early 2007!) will be a further addition to blockades. Bringing together Sea Monsters and Brigand King blockades, we plan to introduce the Titan, a creature of enormous size that will blockade islands. It is rumoured that the Titan, if not ardently troubled by defending forces, will rain gigantic boulders upon the hapless islanders, endangering island properties. Be warned!

Discussion, controversey and much bakery of fine tarts!

Crafting Puzzle Project

Alongside all of this exciting stuff that we're cooking up at ooo HQ, we have the Great Crafting Puzzle Project coming along too. Hop on board and contribute to the next great Crafting Puzzle!

The Plan!

So, that be the run down of our plans for the next little bit. Some of these projects may take longer than we expect, and we may find ourselves being diverted by things the game needs to keep it fun, but this list hopefully provides a sense of the kinds of things we plan to add to the game.

Please note that all of these features are subject to discussion, re-design and debate. Nothing is as yet set-in-stone. We do not work to deadlines at Three Rings, but get things done as quickly as they can be. We can't predict when any of these features will emerge, and indeed, we may revise the plan based on your feedback or other events (such as better ideas) emerging.

These are exciting times for Three Rings; we've added a lot of mates to the crew, and we've big plans for Puzzle Pirates' future. Thanks to all of ye, our players, we continue to blaze a trail for independent massively multi-player online game development. Hats off to ye, mates!

I encourage all of ye to contribute to the threads above, in which the developers and OMs will participate. Please note that although we may dig into more details on what we have planned, we're not necessarily going to spill all the gory details. We want there to be some surprises! That shouldn't stop yer all from speculating, mind you!

Also if there's something ye'd like to get off yer chest directly, please do send me an email. I be glad to reply, though it may be when I return from me annual vacation next week, and the Austin Game Conference shortly afterwards!


- Capn Cleaver
[Edit 1 times, last edit by Cleaver at Aug 24, 2006 12:24:45 AM]
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