Saying goodbye to an amazing 2015

by Mex

I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by. 

Douglas Adams

Ahoy there!

Here it is, last post of 2015. It’s been an incredible year for us, looking at our project growing and shaping. Yes, we were hoping to release Nantucket before the end of the year, but…yeah, we are late. If you have read my past post, you know it’s for the project’s best. We just want to deliver you the best game we can.

Today I just want to thank you all for the support shown during this year. Thank you for reading these pages, for your votes on Steam Greenlight and for the feedback and passion shown during the events we took part. Keep supporting us!

Enjoy this holidays with your families and friends, or at least a good bottle of wine. Well, enjoy some wine in any case.

I guess it could be nice to give you a small present, so I’ll just show you something we are working on at the moment. This is a work in progress of our main menu, drawn by our illustrator Giorgio Palombi. I hope you guys like it.


This is it. See you in 2016.



A brief update on Nantucket development

by Mex

How did it get so late so soon?

Dr. Seuss

Ahoy there!

I hope to find you all well. The cold outside is trying hard to push me into the Holiday Spirit but, at the moment, it’s just pushing more spirits into my stomach.


Since the end of the year is coming, I would like to take some time to update you about Nantucket. As you can imagine, our original plan to publish the game in Q4 2015 is not going to happen. If you have followed us on our Steam page or just looked at our website recently, we have already updated it to Q2 2016. We still don’t have a final release date, because there are quite a lot of things that can affect it and we would like to give you a date “set in the stone”.
At the end of this phase we will take some time to discuss and prepare a release road map.

What’s happening?

We are reworking some mechanics and tweak things that don’t satisfy us at the moment. After showing the game around it was quite clear to us what was working good and what was “just working” and we decided to do something about it. Apart from changes to interfaces (some of them small, others quite big), the major changes are related to the combat system. I’ve already mentioned them in a past post and I promise to give you a more detailed update about it soon(ish).
Once this part will be completed, we will focus on adding more content and fixing bugs.

So, what is this post about?

We just wanted to tell you in time that you cannot gift your friends a copy of Nantucket for Christmas (but you can send gifts to us). Apart from this, I guess we just want to tell you: “Don’t worry, we are working hard to bring you a better game”.

Keep following us for more updates and have a nice week end!



195 years of immortality

by Mex

… he came down upon us with full speed, and struck the ship with his head, just forward of the fore-chains; he gave us such an appalling and tremendous jar, as nearly threw us all on our faces. The ship brought up as suddenly and violently as if she had struck a rock, and trembled for a few seconds like a leaf. We looked at each other with perfect amazement, deprived almost of the power of speech… 

Owen Chase

Ahoy there!

I hope you are all well. Here we are working hard, addressing all the feedback received at the Milan Games Week and improving interfaces and game mechanics. But today I will not speak about Nantucket or, at least, not about the game.

Today (well, yesterday…considering the time) marks the 195th anniversary of the sinking of the Nantucket whaler Essex, the event who inspired Herman Melville to write his masterpiece Moby Dick and Nathaniel Philbrick’s In the Heart of the Sea (yes, Ron Howard movie is an adaptation on this book, based on the real events).


For those of you who don’t know the story, the whaler Essex was struck by a sperm whale and sunk in the southern Pacific Ocean and the twenty-man crew had to spend months at sea. Just eight of them survived, after having to resort to cannibalism to survive.

I know, whaling is a thorny topic, and I will never stress enough the fact that Picaresque Studio condemns modern industrial whaling, but (yes, there is a “but”) I cannot deny I’m fascinated by the XIX century sailing adventures. If I had to pick ten novels to recommend to someone, Moby Dick is the second title in my mind (the first one, A farewell to arms by Ernest Hemingway).

Chapter 82 of Moby Dick is titled “The Honor and Glory of Whaling”. It’s a wonderful piece of literature and it contains a passage that I think summarizes my feelings towards those men:

Those were the knightly days of our profession, when we only bore arms to succor the distressed, and not to fill men’s lamp-feeders. 

Herman Melville

They were brave and tough men, living in danger and chasing mighty creatures like Ancient Greek heroes, but they were doing it for such a non-heroic reasons. Nonetheless, today I just want to toast to those men, not only the Essex crew, but all the unsung protagonists of those times.

See you next week,




Authoring Random Events in Nantucket

by DanieleBubb

Hi there folks,

Today we’ll talk about Random Events in Nantucket and how we handled a rapid-iteration authoring of them.

Random Events is a fundamental system in Nantucket, we implemented it for both telling stories and giving challenges to the player.

EventScreenAn usual random event in Nantucket

Design Goals

  • Represent accurately usual sea threats of 19th century sailing
  • Emphasize crew personalities, and how they interact each other
  • Let the player live Ishmael story and face important choices
  • Give challanges to the player, and reward or punish him based on his choice
  • Have a huge amount of events, to cover many situations and add gameplay variety

You may recall a system like this in other games as well. We looked at: challenges in Crusader Kings 2, narrative in Banner Saga, systems interactions in Faster than Light and tried to put all of these ideas in our system while integrating brand new ones.

What’s inside an Event?

  • Prerequisites: series of conditions based on crew or ship status, or triggered by the story. All the prerequisites must be accomplished to let an event be triggered.
  • 1 to 4 options: each one has its prerequisites, and chance to succeed based on the current game state
  • Effects: after an option is chosen, positive or negative changes on the game state happen like damage to the ship, a crew member gets ill or a quest is completed …

When an event pops up, the player carefully chooses an option and a popup appears to tell him what happened as a consequence of his choice

EventPopup1Event First Popup – An option is selected


EventPopup2Event Second Popup – Reporting the consequences

The Problem

We are aiming to add more than a thousand events in the game. Writing an event is far from trivial and takes a lot of time from concept to completion, so we needed a fast way to let the designer create an event and put it in the game. We tried a couple of approaches:

Designer writes the event on a document, in plain text. Then the programmer puts it in the game

We scrapped right away this one. It was easy for the designer to describe an event, but it was impossible for him to test it and there was a big possibility that the event wasn’t implementable because of the constraints of the system, and it took too long from conception to implementation because we had to wait the programmer to put it in the game.

Designer writes the event in a spreadsheet, and imports it in the game

The programmer wrote an importer which let the designer to create events through a spreadsheet, and then push the events into the game automatically. The main problem was that the event system was too complex and writing events without any validation of the input was too error prone, also errors from the importer weren’t enough to let the designer understand what was wrong with his event. I’ll show you an event created in the spreadsheet:


This screen represents the event showed previously, you can notice yourself how difficult it is to understand all its parts and how hard it would have been for the designer to get it right the first time.

So we scrapped also this other solution and we finally ended up creating a tool in Unity to let the designer insert his events.

The Tool

Thanks to the easy and flexible Unity API to extend the editor, we designed a tool to help the designer to create an event within the constraints of the system, help him spot eventual errors and test the event right away. Here is a screen of the tool:


The tool is composed of the following parts:

  • Events List:  All the events grouped by category
  • Event Header: General info about the selected event (description, subcategory …)
  • Event Prerequisites: Series of conditions, all of them must be true to let the event be triggered
  • Options Header: Here is set the number of options, and selected the current option to edit
  • Option Details: Prerequisites (analog to the event’s ones), chance to succeed, outcomes
  • Commands: Toolbar to create new events, duplicate, copy, test and save changes

The big advantages of this solution are:

  • Input validation: the tool checks whether an event parameter is an integer, a string or an enumerator value and leads the user to insert a valid value
  • Fast iteration: through the “Test” button, the designer can test the selected event right away, in the test scene there is a panel which describes what should happen in the game in plain text

EventsTestScenePopup1Test Scene – Event First Popup


EventsTestScenePopup2Test Scene – Event Second Popup



We discovered that implementing custom tools improves a lot the efficiency of authoring and decreases turn around times. But on the other hand, writing your own tools takes time, in our case 4 weeks, so make your own estimations and be sure that the time saved using the tool is more than the time writing it.

For more in-depth discussion on random events, please have a look at the video where our designer Marco talks with other devs about different approaches to use the random events in games.


Milan Games Week 2015 Coverage

by Mex


Ahoy there!

We are alive and back to work after the exciting (and exhausting) experience at the Milan Games Week, a 3 days video game consumer show where we showcased a pre-alpha build of Nantucket. MGW is a quite recent event (this was its fifth edition) but it is rapidly growing, especially in terms of visitors. Oh god…they were “coming outta the goddamn walls”.

Let’s step back a bit. How we ended up there? Well, AESVI (the Italian game developers association) was organizing a space for indie developers inside the MGW and we decided it could be a nice idea to have people trying our game, giving us feedback and, above all, letting them know we exist. Apart from that, it was also really easy to set up, I live 150 km from Milan and we know a lot of people there. In fact, I would like to thank them all, especially Jacopo (CEO of Bad Seed) and his girlfriend Sara for their hospitality. They really took care of me and Daniele during those days.

I arrived in Milan the day before the beginning of MGW, in the afternoon, and I got the chance to attend the final day of the IGDS (Italian Game Development Summit), a parallel event for game developers with meetings and conferences. A good chance to meet old friends and make a couple of new ones.

Now, let’s try to summarize this experience.



More than 120.000 people attended the MGW. It is a lot. The opening time was 9.30 am but in the end the gates opened every day before 9.00 because the people queuing were too many.


Actually, the first couple of hours of each morning were quite calm in our stand, since people were rushing at the big ones (Sony, Microsoft etc..) to avoid long queues.

We have seen a lot of passion, dedication and competence. We have spoken with hundreds of people and have them playing our game. I have to admit our game is probably not the perfect one to showcase in this kind of events, because it’s complex and it requires time to be understood, but the feedback we received will help us a lot during this final phase of development.


We were really pleased to see some people spending half an hour playing our game and enjoying it, while others lasted the time of a click (literally, we have seen a young guy seating at our desk, doing one click and running away with the “what the fuck did I just watch” face). Long story short: Nantucket is a niche game, you love it or hate it.

Indie devs

In those three days, we got the chance to meet other indie developers and try their games. Some of the are past colleagues or good friend of us, while others were a nice discovery. I would like to mention a couple of teams and interesting projects you should take a look.


The Beggar’s Ride (Bad Seed) – http://badseed.co

Well, yes, they are friend of us ans we are biased, but it’s a couple of years they are doing interesting mobile games and you should check their website if you are a fan of them. The Beggar’s Ride is their latest game, and it’ a platform with a lot of puzzles, kinda like Limbo.

Blue Volta (Ossocubo) – http://www.ossocubo.com/blue-volta/

They were our neighbor and their game is visually stunning. Is a classic point and click adventure, but the visual style is amazing. Let’s say, a concept similar to Machinarium (also if the visual style is completely different).

Die Young (Indiegala)

It’s an open world first person survival game developed by Indiegala (yes, the same company of games bundles). I didn’t have the chance to try it, but it’s worth a look.


I’ve been at the Gamescom in Cologne and other minor events around the world and I have to say that the MGW was really good looking. Not as big as the Gamescom, but definitely above my expectations. The AESVI and MGW staff has been great and made everything easy for us.




I had some friends coming to the MGW and they all told me it was impossible to try everything. Actually, it was impossible to try more than few things. Queues for big stands (like the Sony Virtual Reality one) were insane. Hours and hours.

I believe it’s nobody’s fault, there were just too many people, but I can imagine it’s been frustrating for a lot of people just spending much of your time at the event in a queue.


Big Games line-up

There were a lot of incoming or freshly released titles, but nothing really new. Star Wars Battlefront, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, Fallout 4 and many others, but in the end everything was already showcased in other events.

I imagine that the race to become a big event in the game industry is hard and crowded, but I’m sure the Milan Games Week is going to be a key event for the Italian scene and customers in the years to come.



See you next week folks!



The way of the Paper (Part 2)

by Capt_Eatbones

Ahoy mates! It’s me, your loved Captain!

This week has been quite busy for us and, unfortunately, we haven’t been able to prepare in time the full coverage of our experience at the Milan Games Week 2015. It has been postponed to the next week.

Here I am with the 2nd article about “The Way of the Paper”. The past week we uncovered the very first steps we made during the User Interface design process for the game Nantucket. Let’s start from where we left:


As mentioned in the previous article, with this new interface layout we got a lot of information to be displayed on screen. We moved towards a more traditional strategy game. For me, this has been the start for working on the “final” interface artistic style while following the game design guidelines. Consider that I haven’t just copied what Mex had wrote down but tried to re-work his ideas and the interface on two aspects: usability and visual style. This meant several iterations and discussions about how to place the elements and how to make them the most user friendly. Here you have some of them:

At the time of these mock-ups, I wasn’t very satisfied. Each element was consistent with the interface style I had in mind but together they were not well integrated. The overall result was too chaotic. This is the reason why, eventually, I came to the first real version of the navigation UI we implemented later on. Consider that at the time the game development was at a very early stage and there was almost anything to see, not yet:

SecondIterationTop right: Ship Panel
Bottom left: Calendar Widget | Bottom right: Crew Panel

Here the Ship management has been simplified. If you followed this blog, you probably recognize most of the elements described in previous articles. If you haven’t, don’t be lazy: now it’s the right time to catch up!
The design process is really something that doesn’t stop. This way several iterations and elements are added/removed during the development. Here are a couple mock-ups that I blocked out for the new Inventory and Skill tree UI. The idea behind this was to change the least possible of the existing interface, so I thought of something that could be placed on top of it:

 SkillTreeInventoryMockupTop left: Skill’s Tree Panel | Top right: Inventory Panel

As you can see, this solution was not very elegant since it covered all the ship information. I decided then to make some more changes and I got this result:


We had the overall left panel split into tabs. It was a little step towards a more tidy UI but it converted the left interface into a huge container where lot of information was not available when looking at other tabs.

This interface layout lasted until January 2015. We announced the game in December 2014 and started to have a playable version of the game, even if it was still missing most of the features and content. During Christmas holidays we had some time to spend playing the game. Consider that when you hit Play (the watch), on the Calendar, the game enters a real-time mode. We realized that the player had too much information on screen:

  • Follow what is happening on the map.
  • Keep an eye on your resources.
  • Managing the ship and your crew.
  • He/She cannot look at the crew and captain’s panels at the same time.

For those reasons, we decided to re-work the UI and we came back to the original Mex’s idea of floating panels. Even so, we choose to use collapsible versions of the floating panels,  introducing the widgets. Once again, I created a functional mock-up, to be able to make changes fast:


Above you can see the Navigation collapsed and opened interfaces. Now, the player has all the basic information needed during the real-time mode. This way, the player can open/close the panels he/she needs whenever he/she wants. Moreover, we decided to add to the Captain, Journal and Ship panels, at the top right, a button to let user decide whether that panel has to pause the game or not. We think that these changes let the player customize his/her experience according to his/her tastes. Here you have the final result:

FullyOpenedInterfaceCenter left:Captain Panel | Inventory Pop-up | Skills Tree Pop-up
Center right: Ship Panel / Crew Panel | Inventory Pop-up

This is the interface iteration we currently have and the one that we feel, at the moment, as quite good for the navigation phase. Actually this is a mock-up and not an in-game capture. We constantly refine everything we think can change for the better the user experience. Even now there are updates waiting for this UI, especially after a huge feedback received from the people who visited us at our boot at the Milan Games Week.

Well, it’s been a long article but I wanted to show the process that we followed and still follow to approach the UI design and many others aspects. As you can see the differences between the first concepts and the final result are many: both in terms of usability and style. We think that the last iteration is a lot better than the first ideas. Even so, we’d like to know what do you think about. Please, feel free to comment.
I leave you now, but keep tuned. Next week we will publish, for sure, the coverage of the Nantucket’s showcase at the Milan Games Week 2015.

Godspeed and Happy Halloween to everyone!


The way of the paper (Part 1)

by Capt_Eatbones

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.

William Wordsworth

Arrrr! Long time has passed since my last journal log: I’m sorry but handling a crew takes quite a lot of your time.

My mates are attending the Milan Games Week, showcasing Nantucket to the Italian public. So, today, it’s my turn to give you some more information about the project development.
This article is about the user interface of Nantucket. In particular I will focus on the process we followed to get to the final result.

Interface design is something crucial for the User Experience or UX. As a relevant part of the design process, we started quite soon to work on the interface concept. Now, for the game we wanted to create, the visual style had to be very specific to the time context: 19th century sea life, ships, a captain…basically, for us, it meant Paper. When you start analyzing ideas, usually, you take a pencil and start sketching down something. That’s where we started, even if we did it on digital paper. This is the very first mock-up of the screen space layout (author: Mex):

VeryFirstMockupTop left: Combat View | Top right: Crew Panel
Bottom left: Ship Panel | Bottom right: Navigation Map

As you can see, there’s no reference to the art style. At this stage it’s still too easy to influence interface design choices with artistic flavors. Once the main idea is blocked out, it’s time to go a step further refining it and, maybe, imagining it:

FirstCombatViewTop left: Ship Panel | Top right: Crew Panel
Bottom: Combat View

The image above was a first mock-up of the combat phase – the Map view is completely missing here. As you probably can see, the Ship view is quite different from the one we have now. This is the result of several iterations we made. At the very beginning, one of our main references was FTL. We thought to structure the Ship interior in a similar way, assigning task to the crew in a more visual level. This example is also a first trial to imagine the UI style: look at the Crew panel. That’s a classical UI art style copied and pasted from a sea game screen capture, just to test it.

However, I wanted to push further. Since I’m an artist, I usually suffer if I don’t start sketching/art-making. That’s exactly what I suggest you to resist to, at least until the first design ideas are not defined. This doesn’t mean you cannot sketch down ideas but don’t get too attached to them and be prepared to abandon them if not suitable to the project needs.

When we were looking for visual references, we came across these sweet paper cut-out scenes:

We thought: why don’t we represent the whole game as a paper cut-out scenery? That has been the spark to get to the actual art style. Here you have the very first trial where the “paper” style came out:

Cut-OutStyleTop: Combat View
Bottom left: Ship Panel | Bottom right: Captain/Crew Panel

 Here, the Combat view would have been the typical paper cut-out scenery. Imagine the sea creatures coming out, all nicely animated: a sweet picture, indeed. Now, do you remember when I told you “don’t get too attached to your early mockups”? I leave the rest to your imagination…

At this stage, it’s quite usual that the game design changes frequently and, perhaps, drastically. The combat would have needed more space, flexibility and depth. We discussed about ideas about how to solve the “depth” issue. I noticed that we were trying to make choices trying not to change the cut-out idea. That’s the main reason why the concept art is sensible subject at this point. You don’t want to leave what you like and you try anything to justify it. It’s not going to work this way. The main goal is to think about the best solutions for the user. It doesn’t matter if your game looks amazing if playing it is a pain in your “sacred” ass.

For that reason, we started working on new solutions and Mex came with these new mock-ups:

Again, the image elements are very rough and simple. The main concept is quite different: the World Map is the background while the Navigation arrangement and Ship data (Ship panel), the Crew data (Crew panel) and the Place/Date (Calendar) are overlaid.
During the development of this idea, I was working on the World Map artistic style. Here was born the idea to play on top of the Captain’s cabin table, where the map is placed. Even the game mechanics changed and set sail towards a more traditional strategy game. This meant a lot more information to display on screen. As you can see changes are the rule during development. Of course, your goal is to limit them to those really needed.

Well, here ends the first part about Nantucket’s interface design. Next time we will take from here and you will see how and why we ended with the current interface. I leave you now, but keep tuned. Don’t miss, next week, the coverage of the Nantucket’s showcase at the Milan Games Week.



And then there were none

by Mex

If you aren’t in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?

T.S. Eliot

Ahoy there!

I hope you all had a nice week. We’ve been working hard on our next build of Nantucket, that is going to be showcased at the Milan Games Week. We will give you more information about the event and how/where you can find us in the next days. Meanwhile, I’m going to complete the discussion about dangers at sea that I’ve started in my past post.

So, we have seen how piracy works in our game and how you can deal with it, but that is just a part of the dangers you will face sailing the seven seas. What about the other? Here we are, top 5 dangers at sea in Nantucket (excluding pirates):


  1. Running out of vital resources: I’ve stressed a lot of times the importance of planning your travels, and vital resources (food and water) management is just a perfect example of this. There is nothing worst than being far away from an harbor and running out of one vital resource. You and your crew member start starving (or dehydrating) and that’s it, you are gone in a few days. Some event can trigger to help you (or worsen the situation), but at that point it becomes a battle to survive. In this case, you have really few chances:
    • Reach the closest city, hoping to do it in time.
    • Reach or create a safe harbor. Safe harbors are docking areas placed in uninhabited part of the coast where you can send your crew hunting food or looking for water. They are really good, especially if you don’t have enough money to buy resources or if you are running out of resources far from a city. The problem with safe harbors is that you need to think about them in advance, because you need someone with the right skill to create them and other crew members specialized in hunting and finding water. On the other end, once created, safe harbors remain on the map, so you could just create a couple of them in “safe times” and use them when you are in need.
    • Hunt some whales, well, at least if you are running out of food. Whale meat can be used as food (and you still get blubber to sale).
    • Forget your moral dilemmas and start drinking your own pee or eating the corpse  of the first crew member to die. A lot of events will spawn during these stress situations and your choices could make the difference between life and death.
  2. Running out of wood: running out of wood is bad, almost like running out of food or water. Wood is used basically for two main reasons: fixing your ship and create safe harbors. Without wood, you will not be available to contrast the ship wearing while sailing and, ultimately, you will sink. Your alternatives are similar to the ones presented above, but you have to consider that creating a safe harbor (where you could be able to chop some wood) requires wood, so it will only work if you had previously created one.
  3. A randomly built crew: picking the right men in the tavern is vital, because once at sea you have to manage them in a confined space where all the problems are amplified. Look at your crew traits and compare them to see how they can work together. Picking a xenophobic american sailor and putting him in a crew full of people from all over the world could be risky, especially if the morale is not that high. That is the only answer to a crew problem. If you made “mistakes” in picking your crew, just try yo keep them happy, they will less likely cause problems.
  4. Dangerous sea areas: during your travels you will meet dangerous sea areas. They have no gameplay effect apart a chance of triggering bad events. Dangerous sea areas includes: perilous sea bed, perilous water, icebergs, and when they are combined with a bad weather condition they become deadly. So this is my advise: try to avoid them (if possible) and avoid to cross them with adverse weather conditions. Sailing through an iceberg area with fog is as bad as it sounds.
  5. Your crew: I have already mentioned the importance of building a coherent crew, but that’s just the part under your control. An important part, but don’t think you are not going to have problem just because you picked your men carefully. You are not safe. Ever. It’s all fun and games until somebody gets malaria.

This is it for today. Next week I’ll be in Milan but don’t worry, Captain Eatbones will take care of the DevBlog. So, keep following us for news and updates!




Black sails on the horizon

by Mex

 Some pirates achieved immortality by great deeds of cruelty or derring-do. Some achieved immortality by amassing great wealth. But the captain had long ago decided that he would, on the whole, prefer to achieve immortality by not dying. 

Terry Pratchett

Ahoy there!

Another busy week comes to an end. We have been focused on reworking the combat system, in order to have more depth and variety, and soon(ish) I will be able to show you all the result of these efforts. In the meanwhile, I’m going to carry on the discussion started in my past post, speaking about dangers at sea while sailing in Nantucket.


We are going to start with the most direct threat: pirates, always looking for some good old whaling ship full of precious goods. When a new pirate rises, a portion of sea will become his hunting playground and this means just one thing for you: troubles. Pirate ships are dangerous and, especially at the beginning of the game, much better equipped than yours. So, what are your options:

  • Avoid them: this is the most safe and basic option. Just try to sail far away from pirate areas. If you keep updated with the newspaper you will be informed about pirate activity around the world and it should be much easier to avoid them. In any case, remember that they are usually hunting close to the coasts (where they are based), so a good solution could be picking longer routes to reach your destination. Eventually, pirate will be defeated by the militia and you will be free to sail that area of sea again. I know, it sounds cowardly right.
  • Bribe them: they are looking for money, so you could just bribe them to let you go. I guess it sounds like a B plan if the one above blows, but if you have enough money to bribe your way home, you can avoid taking longer and safer routes.
  • Outclass them: invest in good technologies and a fast ship and forget about them. Outclassing their ships, you put yourself in a safer spot. You know that you can likely escape a chase (and then a wild “no wind” area appears to vanish all your efforts). If you cannot afford all these upgrades (or you prefer to upgrade something else), you can still rely on an expert man behind the steering wheel. Clearly, this is a mid-late solution, but it’s something to build on from the beginning of the game.
  • Fight them (at sea): a more aggressive solution to the pirate threat is to install a cannon on your ship. It is good to slow them down while they are chasing you and you can even sink their ship, also if it is probably not the most efficient thing to do. Sinking a pirate ship make you impossible to loot them and if forces you have to fight against a war ship probably better equipped than yours, at least at the beginning of the game.
  • Fight them (aboard): finally, there is your last chance; repel their boarding. When your ship and their ship are close enough, they will try to take over your ship. Fighting pirates aboard your ship is not easy at all, probably a suicide mission if you are not ready for it. Having at least one man-at-arms (a branch of the hunters class) in your crew would make a huge difference, but you have a limited amount of crew slots and maybe you prefer to have a different profile on your ship.

As you can see, there are many ways to deal with pirates, embracing different playing style. What you will have to do is to pick yours!

Next week we are going to keep discussing dangers at sea. Till then, keep following us on our social pages for more news to come.

Have a nice weekend folks!



Fair winds and a fallow sea

by Mex

If my ship sails from sight, it doesn’t mean my journey ends, it simply means the river bends.

Enoch Powell

Ahoy there!

Hope you are all doing well. Here we are doing a bit of reworking on the combat of Nantucket and preparing for the next event we are going to attend soon, but I’ll give you more information about both another day. Today I’m going to give you more details about a core part of our game: sailing.


In my past post, I’ve introduced you to the crew tasks management, done by assigning your men to specific spots on your ship. Now it’s time to set sail. Nantucket allows you to sail around a big part of the world, all the waters involved in European and American whaling during the 19th century. The reasons to set sails are many, such as quests, whaling and story lines, but your main focus is always the same: optimize your movements.

Sailing is a really wearing activity. Your crew needs food, water and booze, and your ship needs constantly to be fixed in order to be efficient. Every day at sea costs you money and, on top of that, the general mood of your crew will tend to decrease. The crew morale lower each day at sea, so you have to find a way to keep them busy and happy. It could be stopping in a city you are passing by for a visit in a tavern, being gentle with them when something happens on board the ship, or simply keeping the hold full of precious blubber. Planning ahead is the right approach to avoid resources’ dispersion and maximize your work.

In addition to the high level planning, there is a second layer of strategy, based on the current position of your ship. As I wrote in my latest post, every ship has a field of view, determined by the quality of your ship crow’s nest and the ability of the sailor put in it. Your reaction to “things” entering your ship field of view is part of this second layer.

What if your ship enters an area with no wind or a stormy one? Will you stick with your original course or  change it to have a safer sail? And then, of course, there are the worst case scenarios, like discovering an area with pirate activity or running out of essential goods in the middle of the big blue, with no city in sight. Again, it’s in the difficulties that the true captain makes the difference. Clearly, the game offers you tools to face this harsh situations, buy those are going to be the topic of my next post.

See you next time.