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 Unity, 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

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Ahoy, everyone!

Today, I'm very excited to reveal New Horizons Remastered; a new project to immortalise our much-loved New Horizons mod for PotC in the Unity engine, as a standalone game.

Starting right now, you can play a short tech demo that incorporates several assets and locations from the New Horizons mod and reimagines them with modern graphics while emulating the same gameplay mechanics.

Click here to download the demo

Read on for a brief description of how this project came to be, what the demo includes and where it will go from here... as well as what this means for Hearts of Oak.

A Fresh Start

Many of you may have followed our progress on Hearts of Oak, which was the PiratesAhoy! community's first attempt at building a new game from scratch in Unity. Despite making more progress than some of us dared believe was possible, that project unfortunately came to a halt last year following the departure of key developers. We tried to keep it afloat with a smaller team in our spare time, but eventually this proved too difficult due to other commitments.

Despite this outcome, we knew the potential for a Unity-based pirate game was still there, so a very small team of us decided to try again. We started to port PotC to Unity to see what was possible, and quickly found that this approach worked in our favour; we already had the content and a template to work from, so the scope was smaller and more manageable than before.

Demo Features

Land Exploration and Melee Combat

Several locations ported from PotC are available to explore, including a port scene, town and tavern, all with real-time global illumination and improved materials with specularity and normal maps. The area should feel very familiar, and that's exactly the point. When you see an icon appear in the top left corner of the screen, press F3 to teleport to that location.

If you take a stroll along the sea wall, you'll find a very angry NPC who is more than happy to fight you. Combat currently works similarly to PotC, using E to sheath/unsheath your sword, Left Mouse to attack and Right Mouse to defend. In this demo, the NPC stays still so you can easily avoid him, but he has the ability to follow and attack you at will, which will be enabled in a future release.

Sailing and Ship Combat

Walk over to the edge of the pier, and you can step on board your ship and explore the deck and cabin. If you then approach the ship's wheel, you can set sail and navigate your way around the island. Sailing works the same way as the Storm Engine games; use W and S to raise/lower the sails, A and D to turn, and Space to fire the guns if a target is in range. The ocean is calm for this demo, but it's capable of large waves all the way up to storm conditions.

You will find a static enemy ship floating just outside the harbour, which you can attack once you get within range, which is fixed at 300 yards for this demo. Your ship has been given very powerful guns that should destroy the target in 5-6 broadsides. Later versions will enable full AI patrolling and combat. You can try ramming it if you want, though.

An All-new Soundtrack

A lot of very high-quality music was composed for Hearts of Oak, but only a fraction of it ever got used. Now, New Horizons Remastered uses some of this music for the first time, completely replacing the music from PotC. Enjoy a tranquil track in the port and town, or visit the tavern for a jolly soundtrack truly worthy of its name.

Future Prospects

This demo is just the start. Looking forward, there are several key features this game will include:

More Custom-Made Assets

Almost any ship, building, location or prop that was custom-built for our mods can be ported to New Horizons Remastered. This opens up a vast library of original content accumulated over many years at PiratesAhoy!, all of which can be given a new lease of life in a modern engine.

Improved Combat

The current fencing system is extremely simple, and could be vastly improved by taking cues from both CoAS and more modern RPGs to make the experience much more dynamic. More fencing moves could include parrying, heavy and light attacks, and a stamina bar to manage them.

A Renewed Focus on Storytelling

The aim is for quest writers to have an easy way to port their quests from PotC or CoAS, opening up new possibilities for storytelling. With the freedom provided by the Unity engine, old quests can take advantage of far more powerful features including in-game cutscenes, dynamic events and custom gameplay mechanics and animations.


Does this mean Hearts of Oak is officially dead?

Yes, development on Hearts of Oak has stopped.

What about all the assets you made for Hearts of Oak?

Thankfully, quite a few assets can be reused, including buildings, props, ships and other models. This extends to sound effects and music too, as seen in the demo.

Why didn't you announce this new game sooner?

We wanted to make sure we had a working, playable demo before making any announcements. We felt that it would have been unfair to announce another new project without something tangible to back it up.

Why did you decide not to continue Hearts of Oak instead?

Ultimately, this was a question of team size, resources and feature-creep. Making a new game from scratch was a mammoth task, and although we made quite a few assets for it, it was difficult to manage a large team of volunteer contributors. Due to the scope of what we were trying to make, the exact specifications kept changing, so our programmers ended up rewriting the code several times. In the end, it simply proved unsustainable.

So, what exactly is New Horizons Remastered?

It's a single-player open-world pirate RPG set in the Caribbean. You play as a captain with your own ship, and can freely explore and forge your own career as a naval officer, merchant or pirate.

Do I need PotC to play this game?

No, it's a standalone demo. It is not a mod for PotC or any other game.

What does this mean for the New Horizons mod for PotC?

New Horizons Remastered does not replace the original mod; it is being developed separately. Development will continue on the New Horizons mod for as long as there are modders willing to work on it.

Why choose to remake New Horizons, as opposed to PotC or CoAS?

This new project started as a PotC port, but due to potential legal issues surrounding the name, we decided to use the New Horizons name instead. As the New Horizons mod was the original inspiration for Hearts of Oak, it seemed like the natural choice for a spiritual successor.

What content are you going to include in the game?

At this stage in development, assets from PotC and CoAS will be used as placeholders, while custom-made assets will be used where available. The ultimate goal is to replace all the old assets with custom ones so the game will truly stand on its own.

Will you include assets from the PotC films, or any other series?

No, this game will not include any content related to the PotC franchise or any other franchise covered by copyright law.

I've modded PotC and/or CoAS before. Would I be able to help make this game?

Unity uses C#, which is very similar to the C-based language used in the Storm Engine games, so you should be able to adapt without too much trouble. You would need to learn how to use the Unity Editor in a basic capacity, which doesn't take too long. Once you're familiar with it, you'll appreciate how intuitive it is compared to using the Storm Engine's modding tools.

Let us know what you think

Although this demo is very basic and does have one or two minor bugs, we'd still love to hear your feedback.

There are other elements of this demo that I've not had time to detail in this article, but feel free to ask any questions about what it can and can't do in its current form.

Please visit our forum for more information:

In the meantime, have fun in New Horizons Remastered!

Hearts of Oak News March 20th, 2016!

Hearts of Oak News March 20th, 2016!

News 15 comments

Hearts of Oak News for March and with a new Pre-Alpha Demo! This Demo has the distinction of being the first playable release to feature work from many...

Hearts of Oak News February 28th, 2016!

Hearts of Oak News February 28th, 2016!

News 6 comments

Ahoy mates, this update is far to long in the making, but there are some technical issues behind the long wait. After the last Demo release, we ran in...

Hearts of Oak News January 16'th, 2016!

Hearts of Oak News January 16'th, 2016!

News 2 comments

Ahoy mates, we are a bit later with this demo than we would have liked to have been, but we ran in to a few issues. The first of which was some weirdness...

PiratesAhoy! Year in Review: 2015

PiratesAhoy! Year in Review: 2015

News 14 comments

It's that time again! We've had a great year at PiratesAhoy! developing Hearts of Oak and our other projects, so join us as we celebrate all that we have...

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Demo 3 comments

This demo features simplified combat, ragdoll physics and also has the distinction of being the first playable release to feature assets from many different...

Hearts of Oak Pre-Alpha 1.9 Demo .Zip

Hearts of Oak Pre-Alpha 1.9 Demo .Zip

Demo 13 comments

This release is something completely different and focuses on new Character controller, Characters/NPCs, Dialogue, Environmental upgrades, Portals and...

Hearts of Oak Pre-Alpha 1.8

Hearts of Oak Pre-Alpha 1.8

Demo 7 comments

With this release comes a complete rewrite of the ship physics and buoyancy systems, which lets you walk around on deck and improves sailing performance...

Hearts of Oak November Demo

Hearts of Oak November Demo

Demo 3 comments

We had some technical issues with last months release, most of the major ones should be fixed with this one! Please let us know if you have issues. To...

Hearts of Oak October Demo

Hearts of Oak October Demo

Demo 13 comments

We have made significant progress for this release in areas such as sailing physics, damage systems, destructible rigging, and enemy ship AI. Please give...

Hearts of Oak September Demo 2

Hearts of Oak September Demo 2

Demo 4 comments

This release includes the first iteration of a tutorial level that takes the player through how to control the ship. You are given targets to fire at...

Comments  (0 - 10 of 392)

sooo what the hell is up

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still in work?

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It's a shame, would have loved to see the result and play the game. Same thing like the skywind mod for the skyrim engine. :-(

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Pieter_Boelen Creator

New update:
Very different and more small-scale approach this time, which should be more easily accomplished.

Reply Good karma+1 vote

welp, it's been almost a year since the last update
this thing is dead

good thing I'm a pessimist, I'm not dissapointed

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Pieter_Boelen Creator

New update:
Very different and more small-scale approach this time, which should be more easily accomplished.

Reply Good karma+1 vote

this is already dead to me
you guys didn't even copy the right game, you should have copied the Age of Pirates II game with the Gentlemen of Fortunes mod, and added more content to that

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Pieter_Boelen Creator

Did you try the New Horizons mod? Apart from more dated graphics (which is covered now by Unity) and a clumsy fencing system (which we'll now be able to improve on), New Horizons has a number of quite massive advantages over any version of GoF. See here for details:

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It has been a long time since any updates from the development team, is the project still alive? Any chances of it getting back on track?

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Pieter_Boelen Creator

New track:

Reply Good karma+1 vote
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