The "New Horizons" mod for the 2003 Pirates of the Caribbean game by Akella is a continuation of the famous Build mod series. Developed as Pirates of the Caribbean Build 14, "New Horizons" continues where Build 13 left off, adding more new content than ever before.

Post news Report article RSS Feed PotC: New Horizons - Build 14 Beta 2.5 Released!

Yes, we skipped a number. And for good reason! For our Ten-Year Anniversary Release, special focus was placed on playability and we've met with quite some success there! But of course there IS new content too.

Posted by Pieter_Boelen on Jun 26th, 2013

Ten years ago, in 2003, a little game was released called "Pirates of the Caribbean". It was a rushed attempt at cashing in on the first film of its namesake franchise and unfortunately did not quite live up to its potential. We have come a long way since then!

So welcome to the Ten-Year Anniversary Release of our famous Build Mod,
now better known as "New Horizons".

Special Effects

While Build 13 already contained much improved effects over the original game, it turns out it is possible to do it even better!

Pay close attention to the powder embers trailing out of the barrels after a volley. There are three settings, ranging from simple puffs of smoke to complete and utter fog every time you throw a broadside at your enemies!

Massive Gameplay Improvements

A lot of the work that has been done in this release is difficult to show as it involves more behind-the-scenes gameplay mechanics. For example, many bugs have been fixed and all the firearms have been rebalanced, making the game much more playable even at higher levels.

Additionally, you can now gain Leadership skill also without playing any quests, which is of great help to those wishing to engage in Free Play.

But your relations with nations now play a much bigger role as storekeepers and shipyards will no longer trade with their enemies. UNLESS you are so good at trading that you manage to convince them to help you out anyway. But always for a price!

On the other hand, pirates don't like you if you are too much of a nice guy! And those former yellow-bellied dogs called "town guards"? Well, just beware of them now! They're no longer such pushovers as they once were!

Realism Options and Menus

It may look a bit less epic than what else we show in this brief overview, but that doesn't make these changes any less substantial. Most importantly, you can at long last freely use the Options Menu and New Game buttons again! And there are now three Realism Modes that are clearly explained.

And improvements have been made to many other interfaces, including a complete rewrite of the Buy/Sell Cannons one. This has fixed exploits that were in there before and also enhanced your freedom in installing or removing cannons as you please.

Ship Model Updates

We like ships. Especially when they look good. So we have been taking up every opportunity to improve on the original game's ships. For example the Aurora class Frigates (former Corvettes) were already updated before, but this time we went the whole nine yards.

She looks exceptionally good taking back her original place in the French squadron blockading Speightstown at the beginning of the original game's storyline. And this time she is joined by a new high-detail model: The Centurion.

But true pirates don't deal with such unwieldy castles. Speed and manoeuvrability is where the advantage is! Which is exactly what you'll get with the new 'Arcadia' Xebec. She's a rare sight outside the Mediterranean, but therefore not a less accomplished vessel for some proper piratin'.

But making speed without worrying about the wind is also a possibility, of course. They only appear in the last two Time Periods and even then are very rare, but Steam Frigates are a real thing and they work perfectly well, even if you have one of your crewmembers take command of one.

Free Play and Storylines

One thing people always seem to like is to be allowed to do whatever they want in the game. So for that purpose, there is now one storyline that allows Free Play in each of the six Time Periods. We even added a new Free Play Only storyline where you take the role of famous French buccaneer Jean Lafitte and have to decide what to do in a constantly changing game world.

There is unrest brewing in the Caribbean. Nations make and break alliances at their slightest whim. You had better keep an eye on all recent developments, lest you find yourself caught in the middle of a war! Although... there is something to be said for that!

In addition to that, all storylines that encourage Free Play now have various sidequests added, in case you get bored of completely going on by yourself without any specific goals whatsoever.

Our storylines now have some nice little secrets hidden in them that become available when you use the mod's Cheatmode. And as such, the famous Head of Blackbeard makes a mysterious appearance in the opening scene of the Woodes Rogers storyline. What could this be for?

Similarly, the opening of the Bartolomeu o Portugues storyline allows you access to the city of Cartagena in Columbia. This will become a location for interesting quests in a future update later this year. But until that is released, you can go exploring there on your own!

Hidden Treasure and Other Secrets

The archipelago in our game is a vast place, riddled with treasures and other secrets. And treasure-searching has never been this much fun! Complete with "X Marks the Spot" on your Map.

But be prepared for scoundrels and swindlers to follow the trail of the gold, along with you. So you may be encountering some enemies along the way. But nothing beats finding the spot with the buried treasure and uncovering the chest that contains the loot!

Have you already met Captain Hendrick Vanderdecken? This retired seafarer and former owner of the famous Flying Dutchman has taken up residence in a shipwreck on an island that cannot be found, except for those who already know where it is.

And there he sells special ships. These are truly one-of-a-kind. But beware! There is always a price to be paid for these sort of... arrangements...

So are you in for a challenge? Try to find Clint Eastwood! Don't ask us how, but somehow a tough gun-slinger has decided to hide away from the world in a hidden house in the jungle. But rumour has it that he has a "magic" gun of some kind. Worth investigating?

And have you found your secret hide-out yet? For if you want to lie low for a while yourself? A hidden cave with a shipwreck in sounds like the perfect spot!

Improved Intel GFX Card Compatibility

Remember how the original game just plain would not work on computers with an Intel Integrated Graphics Card? Of course we finally managed to get a fix that runs smoothly with Build 14 Beta 2.3.

But this time around, we even made it look good! It has better water than the first version and no more glitchy reflections.

Setting Sail

With all that said, we shall leave you to your own pirating fun! But be sure to keep an eye on this spot, because we do have more in the works. And something quite substantial at that! Both on continued New Horizons releases, but of course also our new game project Hearts of Oak: Conquest of the Seas. And if you haven't seen it yet, be sure to participate in our survey for that game!

Are you intrigued yet? GOOD!

Post comment Comments  (0 - 50 of 57)
Gunnerman091 Jun 26 2013, 8:02pm says:


+2 votes     reply to comment
Storander Jun 26 2013, 11:57pm says:

Looks awesome! Cant wait to give it a try :)

+2 votes     reply to comment
7ty7 Jun 27 2013, 11:06am says:

I took yer survey and I'm takin yer mod as well! Arrr.

+4 votes     reply to comment
SinKing Jun 27 2013, 6:14pm says:

AHH, I have to find my copy of the game again. Since you started this mod I've changed pc three times, but this game stays. It's truely epic, I don't even know how many hours of fun are in the whole game, as I've never played through all of the campaigns. One of the best mods ever. Get it!

+3 votes     reply to comment
Pieter_Boelen Author
Pieter_Boelen Jun 27 2013, 7:20pm replied:

Thanks for your kind words. I'm pretty sure you can get several months' worth of gameplay out of the mod. Especially if you try to do and find everything there is to do and find. And that doesn't even include the endless Free Play potential. :-P

+3 votes   reply to comment
Captain_Iglo Jun 27 2013, 7:38pm says:

Yes, great work guys!

+2 votes     reply to comment
Renegade2 Jun 27 2013, 9:59pm says:

Very very interested in this :)

+2 votes     reply to comment
T-103 Jun 28 2013, 9:33am says:

I never knew this existed but i will sure give it a try

+2 votes     reply to comment
Pieter_Boelen Author
Pieter_Boelen Jun 28 2013, 2:03pm replied:

Let us know if you can't find the original game. You do need that.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Guest Jun 30 2013, 8:16am replied:

i found the game and installed build 14 but does free play become availble if you beat the game ?


+1 vote     reply to comment
Pieter_Boelen Author
Pieter_Boelen Jun 30 2013, 2:55pm replied:

You can indeed continue playing after the main quest is over. But if you want, you can also ignore the main quest and do whatever you want instead. And some of the storylines are even Free Play Only.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Ravishing_Rick_Rude Jun 28 2013, 10:14am says:

Quick question. I'm having some weird text errors. Is that from a bad install? Secondly, (and a little off-topic) are there any plans to revive the Gentlemen of Fortune mod for Age of Pirates 2?

+3 votes     reply to comment
Pieter_Boelen Author
Pieter_Boelen Jun 28 2013, 2:01pm replied:

What weird text errors are those?

I'm not sure about CoAS modding. Haven't heard from those modders for a while. If people start working on it again, a new version will be released. But if they're not there, it won't happen. :-(

+1 vote   reply to comment
Ravishing_Rick_Rude Jun 28 2013, 9:16pm replied:

Just font errors, letters not aligning, stuff like that. Slightly annoying, but not game-breaking

+1 vote     reply to comment
Pieter_Boelen Author
Pieter_Boelen Jun 29 2013, 6:03am replied:

That does sound like a bug/installation error of some kind. Can you show a screenshot by any chance?

+1 vote   reply to comment
Ravishing_Rick_Rude Jun 29 2013, 11:07pm replied:

Here's one of the more serious ones. Sometimes when I'm messing with the options, the game won't let me resume or start a new game

+1 vote     reply to comment
Ravishing_Rick_Rude Jun 29 2013, 11:17pm replied:

And here's another from the story selection menu:

+1 vote     reply to comment
Pieter_Boelen Author
Pieter_Boelen Jun 30 2013, 7:19am replied:

- What folder do you have the game installed to?
- When you open your main game folder, is there a PROGRAM_new folder there?

You might want to post at . It is easier to help there.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Ravishing_Rick_Rude Jun 30 2013, 9:50am replied:

- I have it installed to ProgramData
- No, there isn't. I may have to reinstall the mod

+1 vote     reply to comment
Pieter_Boelen Author
Pieter_Boelen Jun 30 2013, 9:58am replied:

ProgramData? Is that like the Windows "Program Files"? Indeed I'd recommend to reinstall, but make sure to do so OUTSIDE the Program Files folder. C:\Games\Pirates of the Caribbean for example.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Ravishing_Rick_Rude Jun 30 2013, 1:51pm replied:

It's on Win7. It's different from Program Files. I reinstalled the game and mod to a different folder. And I think I fixed it. The text errors seem to be gone and the mod is properly patched. Thanks for your help!

+2 votes     reply to comment
Pieter_Boelen Author
Pieter_Boelen Jun 30 2013, 2:54pm replied:

Glad to hear it! :-D

+1 vote   reply to comment
Ravishing_Rick_Rude Jun 30 2013, 5:39pm replied:

Oh. And one (well, two) more questions. 1: I'm having trouble getting the game to fit my screen. Any way to fix that? And 2: Were some of the options in the preferences menu eliminated between 2.1 and 2.2? It seems that there are less options since I patched it.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Pieter_Boelen Author
Pieter_Boelen Jun 30 2013, 5:46pm replied:

1. We removed Config.exe on purpose, because it causes more troubles than it solves. Open engine.ini with Notepad and make the changes directly in there.
That works much better. Especially since it allows you to use more resolutions than Config.exe did, such as the 1600x900 I've been using.

Set screen_x and screen_y to your desktop resolution. Recommend setting fullscreen to 0. This makes the game run in windowed mode and allows you to Alt+Tab in and out.

2. Indeed we have been cleaning up the Game Preferences menu and getting rid of needless and confusing options. Many of them were just moved to PROGRAM\InternalSettings.h and not completely eliminated.

Are there any specific ones you do need? The clean-up is experimental and we'd appreciated feedback on the results.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Ravishing_Rick_Rude Jul 1 2013, 9:59am replied:

I don't have any problems with the resolution per se. It's just when I set the game to 1600x900 it seems to be like I'm watching a widescreen movie with 2 black bars on the top and bottom. The screen also seems to be shifted to the right as well. When I run it in 1280x1024 it's fine.

As for the options, I forget a lot of the missing ones. The only two that stick out in my mind that may want to be re-included are the ships surrendering bar and the random/skill-based encounter boxes.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Pieter_Boelen Author
Pieter_Boelen Jul 1 2013, 11:05am replied:

1. You had that fullscreen set to 0 right? That "shifted to the right" issue sounds like a problem I had at times. I managed to fix it by going to the properties of ENGINE.exe > Compatibility and then setting the game to run in the compatibility mode for "Windows Vista (Service Pack 2). Perhaps that works for you too?

2. Ship surrendering is in PROGRAM\InternalSettings.h:
#define SURR_GLOBAL_SCL 0.01

3. The random/skill-based encounters are in Options>Difficulty with the "[Player] will be notified of all encounters" button. We noticed that we basically had the same setting twice, so removed one of the two.

I hope that helps.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Ravishing_Rick_Rude Jul 1 2013, 6:05pm replied:

No. Fullscreen was on. It was a little better when I switched it off. I'll have to try doing that compatibility thing next time I play

+2 votes     reply to comment
Pieter_Boelen Author
Pieter_Boelen Jul 1 2013, 7:17pm replied:

I hope that works. Setting fullscreen off works brilliantly for me. Much better than having it on.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Ravishing_Rick_Rude Jul 1 2013, 9:45pm replied:

While I'm on the subject, is there a setting in the files that controls the frequency of storms? I've been playing for a while now and I've found that storms are far too common.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Pieter_Boelen Author
Pieter_Boelen Jul 2 2013, 6:15am replied:

What month are you playing in? We've got the real Caribbean wet and dry season coded into the game and there is a maximal chance of storms especially in September and October. Could that be what is happening?

+1 vote   reply to comment
Ravishing_Rick_Rude Jul 2 2013, 11:10am replied:

That's probably it then.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Pieter_Boelen Author
Pieter_Boelen Jul 2 2013, 1:09pm replied:

If it doesn't improve in spring or you just plain don't like it, the relevant code is in PROGRAM\Weather\Init\WhrGenerateValues.c right at the top.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Commonsensia Dec 10 2013, 11:54pm replied:

Well I know its lame to cheat but I like to keep two games going one with a bit of realism and the other to just have fun! So adding a quick option to turn cheats on and of in config would be nice. And as to the previous remark about the video. Sadly if I us the windowed option the game is far to dark :( that is why I stopped by today to get a idea of where to change it now that it was part of the install I wasn't sure where to go back to till now. Thanks :)

+1 vote     reply to comment
Pieter_Boelen Author
Pieter_Boelen Dec 11 2013, 3:02pm replied:

Open PROGRAM\InternalSettings.h and set ENABLE_CHEATMODE to 1 at the bottom of that file.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Pieter_Boelen Author
Pieter_Boelen Jun 30 2013, 7:13am replied:

That Resume Game issue is definitely NOT normal. We had that until Beta 2.3, but Beta 2.5 fixes it.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Sgt_Prof Jun 28 2013, 4:02pm says:

Come on ! need export everything on CryEngine 3 !

+2 votes     reply to comment
Pieter_Boelen Author
Pieter_Boelen Jun 28 2013, 4:05pm replied:

Well, we DO have this project:
Unreal engine instead, but same idea. Unfortunately everything has to be done from scratch, which isn't exactly an easy job.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Pennypacker Jun 28 2013, 6:29pm says:

YAAAAY! Love this game! Time for a reinstall i think!

+2 votes     reply to comment
cW#Ravenblood Jun 28 2013, 6:44pm says:

You guys are genius!
Now once more a reason to grab the powdered copy and install it again! Played it years ago and loved it as a child.
Now, I will turn into a pirate again and discover one of the best games ever, imo.

+2 votes     reply to comment
*Flame* Jun 29 2013, 8:55pm says:

Amazing !

+2 votes     reply to comment
Reedyboyramp Jun 30 2013, 1:13am says:

So at one point in time I did indeed own this game, yet that time has passed, any suggestions for me?

+2 votes     reply to comment
louiestfc Jul 12 2013, 6:31pm says:

you guys have turned out some excellent work, very well done.

+2 votes     reply to comment
evilstorm Aug 14 2013, 4:47am says:

Ive tried to play this build a couple of days now but i find it impossible to play. I always get destroyed by forts or very near death after i repair my ship. Also fighting is very difficult and makes me afraid.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Pieter_Boelen Author
Pieter_Boelen Aug 18 2013, 5:17pm replied:

Which difficulty level are you playing at? Why are the forts even firing on you? You shouldn't go near hostile ones. Also, make good use of false flags while you are still unknown enough for enemies to believe you.

Personally I never get round to playing much, so I'd recommend you post at so the people who DO play can give you some suggestions on surviving.

+1 vote   reply to comment
ntblood Aug 22 2013, 12:18am replied:

you make a good point though. I think I'll start my campaign on journeyman rather than adventurer (3rd of 4) because I want a challenge but I don't want to suffer a lot.

+1 vote     reply to comment
ntblood Aug 22 2013, 12:16am says:

It's Ok evilstorm, don't be scared ; )

Hey! I love it, it's working but I can't complete my training mission. I picked up everything out of the weapons locker and the other, big chest, equipping my sword, pistol, & spyglass. And he still says "it seems you haven't equiped the weapons-locker yet, sir." Well, B.S. I'm frustrated. There was 6 more bullets & powder than I could carry so I tried moving them to the other chest as I can't drop them anywhere else and still I'm stuck! Help?! >_<!!

I tried googling this but no luck.

+1 vote     reply to comment
ntblood Aug 22 2013, 12:30am replied:

I solved this bit only by restarting my game. I think it was a bit buggy about the training mission retrieving things from the weapons chest.

+1 vote     reply to comment
ntblood Aug 22 2013, 5:31am says:

Ok, I have a real problem with this: the game is running OK but after playing for a few minutes if I try to save the game it says "you can't save without an active profile loaded." I have no idea why the game is doing this.

Also why when we strafe are we able to glide through all walls & objects? I saw this in the vanilla game too recently and I don't get why, unless it's a specific issue running this on windows 8, though I have my doubts.

+1 vote     reply to comment
ntblood Aug 22 2013, 11:16am replied:

I still have this problem where I can't save a game because it says my profile isn't active?!
Also despite not being able to safe I've tried getting tru the tutorial start and started to sail but it doesn't seem like it allows me to get out of the world map-sailing view and go to port >_<!! There's a context menu that shows I'm near port in the lower left corner but tapping Enter or any of the action keys doesn't bring it up?
Dang it. Any advice would be appreciated.

Thank you!
I've played this game before so I don't get this.

+1 vote     reply to comment
ntblood Aug 22 2013, 11:26am replied:

I have installed Build 14 Beta 2.1 Full and then Build 14 Beta 2.5 Light. I installed my PiratesOTC to D:\Games as was suggested except I used my D:\ drive.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Pieter_Boelen Author
Pieter_Boelen Sep 4 2013, 7:59pm replied:

As for exiting the worldmap, have you tried the Spacebar? That's the one that should work.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Pieter_Boelen Author
Pieter_Boelen Sep 4 2013, 7:57pm replied:

We tried another fix for the "no active profile" problem. It will be part of the Beta 3 that is soon to be released. Recommend sticking to the standard "Player" profile.

The unmodded game did not have sidestep. It is a mod-added feature that we cannot fix because we have no access to the game's actual source code.

However, as per Beta 3, this feature will be turned OFF by default, because people cannot accept it for what it is.

+1 vote   reply to comment
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Released Oct 6, 2013
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