The PiratesAhoy! Community, makers of the popular mods Pirates of the Caribbean: New Horizons and Age of Pirates 2: Gentlemen of Fortune, presents...
Hearts of Oak logo
Hearts of Oak: Conquest of the Seas is a non-commercial PC game that is to become the historical seafaring game to end them all!
Fun, realistic gameplay on land and at sea, set during the Age of Sail, will provide extensive free play, exciting scripted storylines and intense multiplayer scenarios.
Our goal is to allow anyone interested in the era to be able to live their dream!

The gameplay will be similar in style to Akella's Storm Engine-based games that we are known for modifying, but we intend to take it further and offer more freedom, immersion and authenticity. The player will assume the role of a captain and have full command of their crew, being able to delegate tasks and give orders in the heat of battle. Dynamic hand-to-hand combat will make boarding enemy ships and capturing forts a fast paced, hectic experience. Whether you want to enlist in a navy, lead an honest merchant life, or resort to piracy, Hearts of Oak will offer many hours of gameplay.

Using the power of CryEngine, and the knowledge and talent of our artists, the game will deliver stunning visuals worthy of tomorrow's PC hardware. You'll be able to explore a vast open world filled with highly detailed locations, ships and characters.

We are a team of volunteers, and due to the scale of this project, the game will take many months to develop. We will be releasing tech demos, alpha and beta versions over the coming months, but please be patient and have faith in our dev team. This is our dream game concept, and we are determined to make it a reality!

Help Wanted!

We're looking for talented, enthusiastic people to help us make this game a reality.
For a list of our current vacancies, and for information on how to join the team, visit our Development Roles page.
Please note that we are NOT offering payment!

If you are unable to join our team, you can still help by spreading the word! If you know anyone with the skills we need, please do point them in our direction.

Frequently Asked Questions

Image RSS Feed Latest Screens
Realistic Caribbean Test Merchant's Marks Tavern Interior Lighting
Blog RSS Feed Report abuse Latest News: Hearts of Oak News 2nd September 2014

0 comments by Armada_ on Sep 2nd, 2014

Welcome to another edition of our Hearts of Oak progress articles!

Each week*, we will bring you a summary of the latest development news, including work-in-progress screenshots and in-game footage, along with a more in-depth look at featured content.

Following the recent announcement of our switch to the Unity engine, we have some details to share regarding donations, as well as the latest information on our development progress.


Due to the Unity Pro licensing and many available add-ons, we have started to accept donations to reduce the costs for our developers.
Even a single Unity Pro license that we need for improved functionality and graphics costs USD1500.
We have already raised the first 1500 dollars through an internal round of donations within in our own team, but that's only the beginning.

If you would like to contribute as well, you can do so through Paypal using the Donate button on
We are publicly listing the latest status, including proper credit to those who donated, here on our forum.

We are currently looking into the feasibility of added perks for those who donate.
These may range from having your name used in the game to receiving a "Hearts of Oak" t-shirt.
Anything that we decide on will be retroactively provided to everyone who donated before to ensure that nobody is missing out.

All releases of the game will remain completely free as this is and always will be a fully non-commercial project.
None of our developers get any of this money for personal use as 100% will be used to further the development itself.

In other words, these donations are completely voluntary and nobody is required to make any unless they want to.
However, all contributions will be much appreciated and we promise to put them to the best use that we possibly can!

Engine Development

- Ship proxies

This video explains how a ship's collision detection is handled, and how that affects the character's movement on board.

- Ship buoyancy

Here we show how the ships react to the waves, and how different mass values affect this movement.

- Ship firing points

The 'firing points' are our solution to gun placement on ships.
They provide an intelligent system for determining the maximum gun size a ship can accept at each gunport, eventually allowing the player to create custom batteries, even within the same decks.
These points also work with the gunport lids, so guns can be run out or stowed with the lids opening and closing accordingly.

Top Contributors

Below are the latest members of our development team to be recognised with our Top Contributor award in recent weeks:

RobinPC - For his continued contributions to our project, especially to terrain development, and his willingness to learn and improve.
Dario - For his dedication to laying the foundation on the quest writing effort and his willingness to do whatever needs to be done to help move this forward.
Mask - For his valuable work on establishing the formatting of the quests, as well as developing methods for working together on writing multi-branched stories.

Their contributions have been invaluable to the game's development, and we hope to give out more of these awards soon!

That's it for this week's progress; we'll have more updates for you soon!
Don't know what the Hearts of Oak project is? Take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.
*Please note that while we're aiming to post a new article each week, we can't always manage this, but we will post articles as regularly as we can!

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Post comment Comments  (0 - 10 of 259)
Pinkis007 Aug 25 2014, 7:56am says:

Good job on dropping CryEngine. Even though i Unity is not so fancy with graphics I saw games with Unity who look really well made. And it doesnt need less powerful PC then CryEngine. And if its easy to work and much faster than compared to old engine thats really good too. Its better to have game on not so fancy engine than to see how developers trying hard to make game on not so friendly engine till they decide to drop the project at all.

+3 votes     reply to comment
xlucidx Aug 27 2014, 1:49pm replied:

An engine's graphics level is only as good as the developer makes it to be.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Guest Aug 21 2014, 2:32pm says:

why not unreal engine 4? i heard it has a lot more features and capability than it's predecessor

+1 vote     reply to comment
Pieter_Boelen Aug 23 2014, 5:19pm replied:

If I recall, when we originally tried Unreal, it did not support changing the wind conditions "on the fly" without reloading the scene. That is quite a crucial feature for a game where you'll probably spend a lot of time sailing at sea, so we had to move on.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Armada_ Aug 25 2014, 10:33am replied:

It should be noted that there were other flaws with Unreal beyond the wind physics. I think we were also looking at limitations on map size for the islands, and similar issues to CryEngine that we couldn't circumvent.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Armada_ Aug 21 2014, 7:37pm replied:

We've used Unreal before, and rejected it for similar reasons to CryEngine. We realise it has improved since then, but having used Unity for the past few weeks now, we're very comfortable with it and are confident it suits our game perfectly. Our progress in that short timespan speaks for itself.

+1 vote     reply to comment
NakedTopHat Aug 11 2014, 4:38am says:

Really enjoy the Music, If the whole Sound Track is of the quality Shown in the articles then that would be awesome! Good work lads keep up the great work.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Guest Aug 5 2014, 10:52am says:

Will we have Pirates ship?
For a Pirat Fan like me would that be Great!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Armada_ Aug 10 2014, 8:05pm replied:

Yes, you'll be able to play as a pirate and sail whatever ship you can get your hands on, if you wish.

As for famous or fictional pirate ships, we can't promise any specifics right now. Pirates of the Caribbean ships will not be featured for copyright reasons.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Armada_ Aug 10 2014, 8:07pm replied:

Thanks! We appreciate the mention. :)

+1 vote     reply to comment
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l'Hermione Sea Trials next week! Needs donations for stern lantern. #History #AgeOfSail #Ship

Sep 1 2014, 1:00pm

L' Hermione Update, Sea Trials set to begin September 7'th! #History #AgeOfSail :

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Aug 25 2014, 10:09am

#HeartsOfOakGame: Progress continues on Ship Buoyancy #History #AgeOfSail #Pirate #Game

Aug 23 2014, 3:45pm

I added a video to a @YouTube playlist Hearts of Oak - Pre-Alpha Ship Buoyancy (take 2) - 8/18/2014

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Announcement on #HeartsOfOakGame: Officially Swapping Engine #History #AgeOfSail #Pirate #Game

Aug 19 2014, 4:24pm

I added a video to a @YouTube playlist Hearts of Oak - Pre-Alpha Ships Proxies 8/17/2014

Aug 17 2014, 5:56pm

@Navalaction Good job! Is #Cuba really that flat? What scale are you using for your models? #History #AgeOfSail #Navy #Game

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RT @Navalaction: Real height map of #Cuba coast in the age of sail #pirates #caribbean @PiratesAhoy_

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I added a video to a @YouTube playlist Hearts of Oak - Pre-Alpha CryEngine Issues

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