Bloody Good Time Catch-All

I was a fan of The Ship. The premise was you played the part of a disguised assassin pretending to be an upper-class citizen on a luxurious cruise-liner. The game was driven at a first person perspective where you had to make use of whatever weapon you could find while maintaining a set of sim-like stats of sleep, hunger, and urge to use the rest room. This baby-sitting was always stressful because there was always a penalty to letting any of your meters run out. Even worse, people could poison, booby-trap, and sabotage you in various ways while you use the privy, rest, or chow down to keep yourself from starving to death.

This was not a first-person shooter.

Which led to the game's lack of popularity. It's like the Sims and Hitman had a baby. There was nothing like it at the time to give people an idea of how to play it. If you kill someone who isn't your target, you get penalized. Do it too much, and you get booted from the server. Worse the game required you to holster your weapon around security guards. If you look threatening near them, you're immediately caught and thrown into jail.

I never got to enjoy the game when it was at its strongest. My purchase was about two years after release to be precise. I had been turned onto the purchase after listening to an old GFW Radio podcast where Shawn Elliott shared delicious anecdotes about his experience with the game. The good news was the company behind it released a single-player mode that served as a tutorial that introduced new players to the mentality and available strategies at your disposal. However judging by the single networked game active when I tried to play online, it was too little too late.

Bloody Good Time seems to streamline a lot of the clunky mechanics in the Ship. I watched GiantBomb's quick look, and despite their inability to play it well, I had a new found confidence this could be a lot of fun. At five bucks (less than that right now on steam), I'm more than happy to give Outerlight a bone and try my luck out with a fresh community. Hopefully things will fare better for them (even though the studio shut down) and the game can rake in some money.

I toast to originality.

I tried the XBLA version as my demo. It just seems to be lacking something to make it fun for me. I think this is the sort of game that needs to be played with friends at a LAN (which is probably where I originally first played the mod version of the ship) or on voice comms. Playing with randoms or worst case, bots just lacks something and it just feels like deathmatch with some gimmicks.

Outerlight are all but dead already, and with it the chances of the game getting much support is slimmer than usual for a Ubisoft PC game, not to mention any chances of expanding the game. It's online life will be short, just like many other small multiplayer games, which is why I think if you can introduce friends to it and play it with them it will have a life that way.

The other thing about The ship/BGT is whether it proves any game mechanics as being worth having in big serious AAA games, AC:Brotherhood has a basic hunter/hunted mode, but I don't see anyone else falling over themselves to do what Outerlight did.

Perhaps games like The ship/BGT are destined to be small, and on the PC that seems a little easier. I've no idea why they joined with Ubisoft.

I think this game looks really interesting (like The Ship), but I worry that if I buy it I will never find enough people online to get an actual game going (like The Ship.) Maybe we should schedule some GWJ matches?

The way I see it, there's not enough game in either The Ship or BGT for it to last like, say, TF2. It's got a few nice ideas, but I don't think it has the staying power based off the gameplay, it's a more social game (player A targetting player B) and if you're just playing randoms, the social part isn't really there. If you're doing organised games then it's likely to work better, but even then I can't see myself playing BGT for more than an hour.

Outerlight were (past tense ) in an unfortunate spot, being a company that needed to pay wages. They were ambitious with their mod idea and went commercial, and now it's a market that according to Ubisoft has little room for small games. It would be interesting to see an alternate history for Outerlight if they were a bit pragmatic with their projects and how they sold their games. I think they themselves say with hindsight they would have never have gone retail because it's such a bad return for the developer, and going through a large publisher (like Ubisoft) for funding a bad idea because you are bottom of the pile to get any return from sales, and all the while you've got to pay wages.

I can only hope the people who have a passion for creating games aren't too burnt out from being chewed up and spat out by the games industry, it sounds like a hell of an industry right now.

I figure this game deserves at least one bump, even if it is destined to eventually sink into the depths of the forums. Heh!

I played a bit tonight and it's certainly interesting, and definitely fun, but I think it'll get old quickly without new maps. It's a lot faster than I expected it'd be, I never played The Ship, but from what I can gather than was slow and methodical... this feels more like a death-match with a batch of very specific rules. But it works quite well, there's a bit more focus than you're standard death-match game. It's sad it'll probably get no support, because I think with some new maps this could keep on for some time.

tl;dr: Worth it for a paltry $5, but probably won't be playing it a year from now.

Unfortunately, whatever communication port the game uses is blocked by my hotel. When I can finally play this game online (another month maybe?), I fear it may already be dead.

SuperDave, the stuff you cite as The Ship's flaws are exactly what made it work. If you didn't have to "babysit" your character it'd be far to easy to sit in your room and never come out. If security let you walk around with your weapon out it'd be far too easy to other players to notice, hey, that guy's got a weapon, I'd better watch out for him.

Given, some people didn't like that style of play, but without it I wouldn't have been able to track down my target, trail him by watching his movements through windows, wait for him to sit down at the bar and then blast him from a window across the room. That was awesome and satisfying.

The Ship was far from flawless but I'm not sure you should fault it for the very features that made it unique.

I think it nicely comes under "this isn't a game for everyone", not all games try to be for everyone. It sounds like a cop-out, but it's one of the trade-offs that not many developers or publishers will accept now.

I had fun playing a few practice matches with bots. I'm currently too busy -- also with other games -- to really play without an incentive. So, if you see me idle on Steam, fell free to shoot me an invite/msg.