Abyss Crew

Just came across this thing, a sub simulator inspired by Artemis.

Abyss Crew



  • Hi!
    I am the creator of the game, if you have any question, feel free!
    I am going to launch a kickstarter campaign on the 23d of February. I need you to pay some artists and audio designers to create assets for the game :)

    If you want to know more about the game, here is our website: www.abysscrew.com , our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/aquarealmstudio and our discord: discordapp.com/invite/VJHfQjS

    @smcameron That's funny, I have been following Space Nerds in Space for a long time now (I even posted in the main topic). World is small ^^
  • Oh, forgot to include some images:

    Screenshot of the whole pilot screen:
  • > World is small

    Ha, yes, bridgesim world is especially small.
  • Cool stuff! Great to see something else then space in this genre!

    Are you aware of the silent hunter games? Very realistic sub games. Might give some extra inspiration.

    As for questions, I got 2:
    1) Touchscreen friendly interface? (No dependency on right click/scroll wheel)
    2) Linux version?
    Our EmptyEpsilon setup is 100% touch screen with linux. If we could also run this game on it, it would give a healthy difference, at which point I'm pretty sure me and the guys at the office will assist in your kickstarter funding.

    Also, note, the image links on your web page are broken and pointing to the wrong domain: http://www.abysscrew.com/media
  • Hi @daid ,
    Yes, I like the Silent Hunter games (3d is the one I like most). But Abyss Crew doesn't aim to be a realistic simulation - it's in a steampunk submarine, there are krakens, crystals, etc...

    For now, the interface is not touchscreen friendly, sadly. But we keep that in mind for future versions, especially given that we'd like to export the game on tablets (Android/iOS). It seems easier to set up a game with friends where everyone would bring its tablet rather than its PC.
    About Linux: there is an export to Linux on the engine I am using (Game Maker Studio 1.4), but I don't know how to use it, it's really not straightforward. I'll try to have it work though - but I need to reinstall Linux on my PC first... An alternative solution would be to try with Wine.

    Nice spotted, for the media page! It's time to update the screenshots and the video btw! If you look at the broken link text before I remove it, you can even guess the former name of the game :D

    (if I understand correctly, you're one of the creator of Empty Epsilon ? Fan here, 'sending you all my love <3 )
  • This looks pretty cool. Actually, transfering the concept of bridgesims to a submarine seems pretty natural, and fun!

    if you manage to enable Linux support and offer a DRM-free / non-steam-dependent version, I guess it would be about time to reactivate my old kickstarter account and participate.

    And I am pretty sure if you do get it to work, you will find some linux users, e.g. on this board, who will be glad to do some beta-testing. :)
  • Bummer on the touchscreen friendliness. But good to hear it is on the radar a bit.

    As long as there is a linux potential, that's fine with me :-)

    (Yes, I did like, 90% of the EmptyEpsilon code, artwork was done by other people and 3D models where bought from donations)
  • Hi,
    Is anyone ready to try the game using Wine, on Linux?
    While I am figuring out how to make the Linux export working (might take a few weeks...)
  • edited February 2018
    If you mean as a demo, then yes, I would be glad to try it on wine. If you mean after purchase, that would a bit depend on the intended pricetag. Because as I don't use windows personaly and also my hardware is pretty old, there would be a certain risk that I might not be able to play it at all.
    That's why I am generally apreciate if a game has a demo, not only to test the gameplay, but to check if and how well the game will run on my machine.
  • Yes, I was thinking at a demo :)
    Send me an email at contact@abysscrew.com and I'll send you the latest build.

    Do you think it would be better to release a (free) demo version for the upcoming Kickstarter? As it is under development, there are obviously missing features, bugs, not final graphics, the game is not optimized...
  • Well, a demo implies that it's a limited version of the full game. Which is most likely not the case, it's more likely an early alpha. Would what you can give us now properly reflect on what the final result will become, or would it be in the wrong direction (too simple, too ugly, too hard to play). A bad "demo" game could be a whole lot worse then nothing at all.
  • @Pollux568 Thanks, I just sent the mail.

    @daid on the other hand, there is also the term "tech demo" which can mean less than pre-alpha.
    So a Demonstation can mean different things, but I agree that most people are assuming a fully developed, but limited game when Its just called demo.

    So yes, it will probably depend how this version is communicated and of course of the current state/how representative it is.
  • Hi!
    So, thanks to @BlueShadow , I can say that the game works on Linux using Wine (despite a strange error message when game is launched). It evens works cross-platform (Linux/Windows) :smile:
    For the demo, I think that releasing a "demo" which is the current version of the game would deserve the game more than anything. However I'll invite voluntary Kickstarter backers to playtest the game from time to time, to get feedback on various points :)

    Before sharing the official trailer (I want to update some last details), here is a small GIF I made with the successive versions of the game logo :

    (and here is the official logo)
  • edited February 2018
    Watch out! Large posting ahead!

    Thanks again for the great chance to playtest the game.
    And I have to say: This is already a a very cool game. And despite its early stage it is in a pretty good shape.
    So yes, it definitely convinced me to join the kickstarter.

    So I'll share some of my impressions here: Be aware that the version I played is, according to the estimations, at least a year away from its release. So, many things I describe here will likely change.

    Overall look and ambience:
    It really sets the tone of a steampunk submarine. If you like the artstyle of sunless sea, you probably will immediately feel home. Here you also navigate through a dark, atmospheric world in top-down-view. A difference is that the orientation of the view is aligned to the vessel. So if you turn one direction, the view turns the opposite way. Another difference (also different to most other bridge sims) is that precise piloting is much more important. You're not on a vast, open ocean or in space, but (at least in the current build) in narrow undersea tunnels. The audio, like groaning metal or the sound of the sonar ping contributes to that atmosphere greatly.

    Station Selection screen
    When you start or join a server, it takes you to a screen where you see the interior of a submarine bridge, the four stations you can crew by clicking and a big porthole in the center. Right now, that porthole is basically a movement indicator, so you can see bubbles moving depending on the movement. However, I find it already pretty atmospheric.
    I asked Pollux if he could make that selection screen zoomable, so that only the Porthole can be seen - so it can double as a main screen and on a LAN game, seeing the stations on the main screen could be a bit immersion breaking. He said he's unsure about that, and might rather make the porthole smaller, as he feared it could look too "cheap" for a real mainscreen. I definitely understand his point, and submarines don't really need a mainscreen at all. But I still think it could be nice to have that part as fullscreen view, maybe as an optional screen hidden in the option menu. You also wouldn't need a projector or big screen for a submarine, a small monitor would be enough.

    The Stations:
    All stations have basically the same view of the exterior in the center of the screen: A zoomable, top down view of the world. Normally, you see a realistic representation of your vessel. When fully zoomed in, a schematic overlay appears where the specific modules can be seen. As engineer, you normally want to stick with this zoomlevel.
    When fully zoomed out (only available for sonar), the submarine changes to a silhouette, the exterior vanishes and you see the the radar beam and the detected objects.
    Personally, I think the realistic look of the submarine challenges the immersion of being inside a submarine (rather than just controlling one) a bit. Seeing a realistic top-down view is fine (some sensor shenanigans), but seeing the own vessel from the top is a bit of a stretch. But Pollux already mentioned he plans to change the look of the submarine a bit to a more abstract representation.
    Like said, the main view is basically the same for all roles. But other than e.g. Quintet, where all stations basically look the same, they are still very distinct here:
    1) The view is tinted in different colors for the different stations.
    2) The surrounding of the viewscreens differs a lot: unique instruments, levers, etc.
    Also the shape of the viewscreen differs, so there is quite a bit visual variation.

    Nothing unexpected, you turn and accelerate with the keyboard. Similarly to Sunless Sea, there's no step-less speed adjustment, but you switch between fixed speed presets, which is nicely mirrored by the speed lever on the screen. Due to the dark environment and the detailed graphics, it is often hard to tell what is an obstacle and what isn't. But actually, that's a feature, this is where the other stations come into play.

    Basically like the science station in other bridgesims. As the eyes and ears, the sonar operator can identify objects. When an object is scanned, the name appears also on the other stations if their operator hover over it with the mouse. Sonar also sees additional infos like attitude of creatures (neutral, cautious, attacking,...)
    it was a bit surprising to me that sonar immediately has the infos of the objects that were selected, and scanning just share some of the info with the other stations.
    You scan an object by holding down a key until the scan is completed, so no frequency adjustment like in EE. But I'm not sure if implementing something like that would work anyway, as it might cost too much time. Maybe if only needed for objects that are harder to scan?
    When the radar beam passes over an object, it is highlighted, but only on the sonar station. The sonar operator can also send out an active sonar ping, so that all objects around the submarine are highlighted on all stations, but that ping has to charge a while.

    Well, a gunner. Change weapons, load tubes, shoot things.
    But: it is a weapons station that is actually very useful outside of combat!
    1) It is needed to get rid of obstacles that are blocking the way (well, strictly speaking, the pilot can do this too, and I did that a few times accidentally in the playtest, but that way is definitely not recommended :-D )
    2) Amongst the weapons, there are flares that can be fired to light the surroundings
    3) The gunner can also harvest crystals (see below)

    I'm not sure if it make sense to talk much about that station, because Pollux said it is the one where the most changes will happen during further development.
    But the short story is: In the game's lore, there are these crystals that are the foundation of the technology in that world. They can be found in undersea caverns, and the ship's mission is to collect them. The Engineer can refine them to specialised forms, that can in turn be used for all kinds of stuff, like repair, upgrades, fuel, etc.

    Playing with limited crew
    right now, the game has no limited crew setup like EE or Quintet, however it features a basic AI that takes over an empty station, except for pilot. Mainly basic stuff, like periodically sending out a ping and auto-repair, when enough repair crystals are there. But that already does a decent job, well enough to leave the station unattended for a while - With the caveat that you really should have a crewmember as gunner, at least right now. Because so far, the AI gunner just fires at close objects, without caring about a line of sight or if the own vessel is too close (so the impact will cause damage to itself)
    But it's really cool that this feature exists, and it's already very useful.

    Running on Linux
    As Pollux assured, Linux support is definitely planned. As the export is a bit complex, he could not test it by now, and of course is very busy doing kickstarter preparation at the moment. But the game already run pretty fine in wine, at least on my test systems it worked without any preparations (of course you need 32bit libraries if running on a 64bit OS, but at least regular wine users should be familiar with that fact). I even tested it with a Live-CD of MX Linux (32bit), all I had to do was install wine, and the game ran fine with it. So while this of course does not mean it will work on all possible hardware configurations or distributions, it is at least pretty reassuring.

    Bottom Line
    So as you might have noticed, I'm already very impressed. Of course I see there is still work to be done, like more content, polishing and proper option menus. There are a few little things that I would prefer to be change a bit, but even if they won't, this will become most probably a great game. And even the current early version is already much fun!
  • The lack of a main screen is somewhat disappointing. For EE the main screen serves a few goals. But the main ones are something for the captain to look at, and much more important, something for spectators to look at and understand what is happening.
    In general we always have a few people just watching other people play.

    Other then that, sounds like a good start!
  • edited February 2018
    Well, there are a few things I did not mention, partly because the posting was already long enough for some "short" first impressions. I even had to rephrase some sentences to fit in the forum's character limit, because I did not want to split it up in multiple postings.
    And on the other hand, because many of the game can change until the release, and according to Pollux, it is not yet finally decided what the captain will have to look at in the end and/or what could serve similar purposes as a main screen in classic bridge sims.

    Also: the lack of a "main screen" in the classic sense doesn't mean there is nothing to look at. There is already another mode - it is literally called spectator mode - where you can choose between some views. You can display all 4 stations side by side, one of them, or a "clean" view - a simple top-down view without color filters or submarine interior.

    While I am at it, I should maybe mention that there is also already a game master screen with some basic features. Right now you can't edit the tunnels itself (but I guess such a function will also be risky, as the players might notice it), but add, move or remove enemies or obstacles. So you can already bring in some variation on the fly.
  • @daid Yes, although in the "classic" setup of Artemis/Empty Epsilon, there is a videoprojector displaying a 3D view around the ship, I don't think it is a necessary feature for bridge sims. In Abyss Crew, each player can see a little bit around the sub (even the Engineer).
    However, it could indeed be cool to implement a periscope with a 3D view of the surroundings at one point (but it's on low priority right now). It could be for a captain player.
    For the spectators, they can indeed watch each screen individually or the four screens side by side (or individually), so that we know what's happening for each player :)

    @BlueShadow oh, your post made me remember that I have to include the color filter for the spectator view ^^
    Editing the tunnels is something doable, but I don't know if it is a desirable feature. I mean, it depends of the exact role of the abyss master: is he rather a sort of dungeon master made to entertain the crew, or is he an opponent playing the abyss itself?
    There is no "good" answer to that, but we have to decide at one point. What would be the most attractive for you?
  • Ah, the "neutral screen" with just the basic view would work fine. I personally know the 3D view can be quite a bit of work, and might not fit really well with the atmosphere of the game.
  • edited February 2018
    Not sure, maybe a combination of the two? Like edit the map before the play, or when it's paused (if you plan to add that feature). So more or less a "level editor". And then within the game, only the change of objects. However I think It would be cool if you can change the properties of the enemies live (behavior, health, weapons) similarly to the Game Master Screen in EmptyEpsilon.

    BTW: congrats to your "Projects we love" feature on kickstarter! I guess that should help the campaign quite a bit.
  • Oh, didn't think about map editing before play, it could be the solution (while the crew is in the lobby, the abyss master can set the map).
    Yes, the Kickstarter campaign is going well!
    If you want to look at the page we have prepared during 2 months, here is the link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/98046098/abyss-crew-a-coop-submarine-game
    You can discover a new video (and the teaser trailer at the top of this topic has been updated too), the last graphics of the game, and some cool illustration!
  • May I point out that that goal looks extremely low? Simple math says your team can only work for a week with that amount...
  • edited February 2018
    The reason is that money will be dedicated to paying for professional assets (graphics, audio) made by young, talented freelancers, to improve the game, not for paying team salary.
    I, as the main developer, have a part-time job, so I don't rely on the Kickstarter campaign for paying my rent :)
    (naturally, the project get 10 times the initial goal, this could be reconsidered :D )
  • We did it!
    The project has reached its funding goal!
    A huge thank you to the supporters who have help Abyss Crew, including @BlueShadow who has been really involved!

    But it's not over: the next level of funding is $ 5,000, and will unlock the survival mode!image
  • Congrats on meeting your kickstarter goal!
  • edited May 2020

    Space Game Junkie plays Abyss Crew:

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