The game's story focuses on a 23-year-old American Oxford University graduate named Owen Robert Morgan. After being mistaken for an international criminal, he must board the RMS Titanic in an effort to clear his name and to find the real culprits. Once the player is on board the ship, the player must perform certain tasks of a real crewman and secure a cabin of his own. Once the Titanic hits the iceberg, the player has 2 hours and 40 minutes to completely solve the mystery.
There are three additional game modes planned to be included in the game. The most prominent is Tour Mode, which will allow the player to explore both the ship and the city of Southampton at their leisure without the restrictions of Story Mode. The next mode, Simulator Mode, will give the player the opportunity to sail the Titanic and possibly other ships on the open ocean. The last game mode planned is Multiplayer Mode which is still in the concept stage. It will include two sub-modes: Sinking Mode and Voyage Mode. The latter will allow players to experience the Titanic together. Deck games and passenger services will also be available.
Development of the game began in November 2012, after the cancellation of the Titanic: Lost in the Darkness mod for Crysis 2. On December 25th, 2012 the first preview of the game was released, showing a fly through of the Grand Staircase. At that time, the team was using CryEngine 3 to develop the game. Since then, the team has switched to using Unreal Engine 4 for development of the game. On March 7, 2015 the first preview of the game in Unreal Engine 4 was uploaded to YouTube. It showed an early sinking animation of the First Class Reception in close to real-time. On April 7, 2015, a playable walk-through demo was released, which featured a few select areas of the ship including the D Deck Reception, Scotland Road, and the Turkish Bath. The demo can be downloaded from the official homepage. On July 30, 2015, a podcast was held to provide updates on the project. During the podcast, several preview screenshots of the current state of the Grand Staircase were released. That same day, the official forums were launched. By the next day, however, the forums had been taken down for unknown reasons. As of January 1, 2016, the forums are still unavailable. In November 2015, the team went on an 11-day research trip to England. Highlights of the trip included visiting the Grapes Pub in Southampton, which is to be depicted in the game, and measuring the RMS Olympic's original first class lounge which serves as the dining room of the White Swan Hotel in Alnwick.
On April 14th, 2016, the team uploaded a real-time animation video showing the sinking of the Titanic to their official YouTube channel to coincide with the 104th anniversary of the tragedy. That same evening, a live podcast was held in which the team commented on the video as they and the listeners watched it together. The video received coverage on many news websites. By the end of the month, the video had accumulated almost 7 million views. The video has received an overall positive reception from historians and the public alike. Ken Marschall wrote a message to them expressing that, even as an artist and historian, he got a fresh perspective on the ship's sinking after watching their video during the podcast.
One of the historical consultants of the game, Bill Sauder, also was a consultant on both the 1996 computer game Titanic: Adventure Out of Time and the 1997 Film Titanic, as well as an expert panelist on National Geographic's 2012 television special Titanic: The Final Word with James Cameron.
In researching the project, the team would track down obscure artifacts or preserved pieces of Titanic's sister ship Olympic in order to ensure proper recreations. The team has made several discoveries during the course of the project that have been announced and released, including the layout of certain areas of the ship, the colors of different items, the order in which the events unfolded that night and the revelation of a different design in the windows between the first class dining and reception rooms.
The team is building their Titanic model to secure that every room on the ship to be fully explorable and interactive. This includes each cabin, every hidden passage, and even the tiny linen closets and store rooms. During a podcast it was revealed that the team is planning on including readable books from the libraries on the ship. One book confirmed to be in the game that may have been on the Titanic is Morgan Robertson's 1898 Futility, or the Wreck of the Titan. Their authenticity and attention to detail has been praised by the world's most renowned Titanic historians, and despite the massive size of their undertaking, the team is able to efficiently work through parts of the ship at a good speed.
Titanic: Honor and Glory includes in-game memorials to the survivors and victims of the tragedy. The developers are also working on Oculus Rift compatibility, which allows for a complete 3D immersion during the voyage and the sinking.