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Flagship: Command a Fleet from the Bridge of your Starship

By on September 29th, 2014 10:36 am

Flagship | First-person space RTS by Urban Logic Games

Hey, here’s something different. What if you could play a space RTS game from a first-person perspective aboard a spaceship, and watch the outcome of your decisions by turning your head and looking outside the window of your ship’s bridge? Well, if that possibility excites you, then you’ll be happy to know that that’s exactly what Urban Logic Games is pitching on Kickstarter right now with Flagship.

In a nutshell, Flagship is about commanding a fleet from the bridge of your starship. But, while space combat (fought in full 3D) is at the heart of this first-person real-time strategy game, there’s also mention of exploration, planet colonization, resource mining, trade and base building, although the extent of these elements is not clear at this stage. All the gameplay seems confined to the starship view, so no actual landing on planets is foreseen.

You’ll build mines, refineries and shipyards both on planets and in space. The human population will grow around these pockets of civilisation; trade routes will form, augmenting your ability to collect resources in these areas – providing you can supply enough food and water to keep them happy. When resources are scarce however, colonies may strike and in some cases, turn to piracy. –Urban Logic Games

"Captain on the Bridge" - Flagship | First-person space RTS by Urban Logic Games

The game will be single-player only, and will be released exclusively for Windows, although Mac and Linux are mentioned as possibilities for the future.

A strong selling point for the game, the devs hope, will be the native Oculus Rift support.

Flagship is being built from the ground up to support the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, though the game can be played without one. We’re really excited about the possibilities of virtual reality, and while it’s still a fledgling technology, we are building the game to support VR natively.

Urban Logic Games is asking for £95.000/€120.000/$150.000. An early alpha build should be available by July 2015 for anyone who backs the Kickstarter above the £75 mark. Beta will follow one year later, with a full game release by December 2016.

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  1. SQW says:

    “Urban Logic Games is asking for £95.000/€120.000/$150.000.”

    Not to be pedantic but shouldn’t it be comma instead of full-stop sign in separating the digits in the money? Or is it done differently in some culture that I’m not aware of?

    • Mathias says:

      The majority of countries actually uses comma to seperate dollars from cents and periods to seperate thousands.

    • SQW says:

      Thanks. I thought it might be the case of culture clash than Spacesector getting sloppy with editing. =)

      On another note, it’s great to see a KS page actually bothered with a cost break down

      *from their KS page*
      35% Graphics; 3D models, 2D artwork, animation, FX.
      35% Programming.
      10% Sound design and music.
      5% Writing.
      5% Voice Acting.
      4% Software licensing.
      4% Hardware.
      2% Web hosting, offsite backup.

      However, $150k seems a little small when they are effectively proposing Star Trek Bridge Command + open world sandbox aka Freelancer. Can anyone in the actual industry comment on the feasibility of doing what they are proposing?

      There seems to be a trend with KS nowadays to low ball your project cost to actually succeed than put a realistic but higher cost and risk failure.

      • Zero says:

        I think it’s very feasible, especially considering what they’ve already got. Space assets are, relative to other types of more terrestrial assets, inexpensive to make. They seem to have the Flagship itself already modeled in and out. They don’t need to model the innards of the other ships.

        As a comparison, if you exclude my salary and the costs of marketing, PR, etc, there’s about 50k worth of other expenses that thus far have gone into StarDrive 2’s development. And I think that the two games generally have similar asset requirements.

        So TLDR, I think it’s feasible for them.

    • chuki792 says:

      Pffft Europeans lol. Periods should separate decimals, thousands are commas… you got marked down for getting that wrong in school (in UK anyway)

    • DrBalthar says:

      Adding or swimming with the Occula Rift pitch is very likely to kill it. Occula Rift titles have a long history of failing on KS. Wouldn’t have done that I would have added that as a stretch goal as it is a gimmick and a massive distraction.

  2. Smoking Robot says:

    Interesting concept. Of course one of the reasons I play strategy games is first person games make me carsick.

    Hated the ‘BSG’ style music.

    • JohnR says:

      Funny you should say that. I also sometimes get motion sickness playing in FPS mode. Not sure what’s up with that. Apart from that, I have a natural aversion to FPS-only games, the fantastic original Deus Ex game (2000) notwithstanding. I like to see my player avatar, and to my mind there’s something a bit sanguinary and simple-minded about always seeing the tip of a gun in front of you. It’s like the saying about how when your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

    • snv says:

      It fits. This looks promising to be the Adama Simulator i am longing for.

  3. Zero says:

    I’m a huge fan of this game. I haven’t backed it yet but I intend to drop in to the alpha access tier before time’s up.

  4. Fowltief says:

    This is definitely a new perspective for RTS games. I hope the kick-starter is a success. I’ve already Backed it!

  5. Jeff P says:

    Looks nice, but sorry, you lost me at “Kickstarter”.

  6. tgj says:

    J. J. Abrams, is that you?

    If the RTS is not good, the bling will not help.

  7. OldGrumpyBear says:

    Is that 5% spent on writing and voice acting the norm in the industry?

    Now that I think about it most games dont even have a story, just a bunch of stuff shooting each other. Which could be nice if done well enough I suppose, but not if it becomes the new mediocre norm. Some old games which had mediocre gameplay at least had great storylines to pull them through…

    Am I the only one interested in a nice backstory? You know, with at least the depth of one of the many thousands fanfics found on the internet?

    As it stands, I can name half a dozen recent space games where you can barely squeeze out a paragraph of lore.

    …Imagine if you could fuse certain types of space games with something like Arcanum…

    Anyway, I dont quite like the idea of playing from ship’s bridge or cockpit.
    – visuals are actually pretty crappy because a lot of blocked off by ship elements. 1/3 to 1/2 in some of the games i tried. I’m sure some people think thats neat, and maybe it would be it you had life sized simulator with live hardware controls and a window at least the size of 52″ plasma, but on a laptop its utter crap.
    – said ship elements get repetative after a few minutes – whether its a cockpit in the fighter, or a bunch of people doing nothing but pushing buttons like in the screens. You can literally treat them at UI elements because all they do it is take up screen space.
    – Sometimes devs also force you to use parts of the cockpit/bridge as interface, in place of usual on screen menus. This is supposedly done for additional immersion.
    However, as they can not make an actual simulator, a cockpit with hundreds of controls like in space shuttle for example, they make a crude mockup that looks more like a drawing of a cockpit instead of being one, with only a few usable or believable parts.
    In the case of a full ship bridge, there’s just a bunch of animated people doing something that has zero impact on the ship control itself. Like you are watching a youtube clip over and over while trying to imagine something else is going on based on it.
    All it does is make things slower and more cumbersome to control, and unrealistic.
    In some cases it also makes you feel like you are flying an antique piece of crap because the buttons look old even to modern standards. Its like seeing Vader in the old movies, with that 90s ATM on his chest.
    As a side note, if you want to talk about sci fi immersion then I’m more inclined to believe in some kind of direct to brain interface, or some virtual reality tech for the pilots seats, or retina implants, or dozens of other possibilities that make the old cockpits and windows useless.
    – Lastly, if you ever want to see some nice ship to ship battle action or scenery you usually grab an external camera with ability to zoom and change in pov and get outside the ship anyway. So, what was the point again?

    I guess it could be somewhat interesting if you had this huge holo display on the bridge where you would maneuver your fleet in 3d (and it would actually matter more than tech level, Ender’s Game style).
    But then you’d have to somehow link it with what’s going on outside the ship, and meh i can already see this wont work.

  8. Vanhal says:

    On a side note, did i seen redshirts?

  9. Nua Sidek says:

    1 quick suggestion. Issue commands via PDA option.

  10. Feygan says:

    This looks like it has lots of potential, if done well it could represent what most of the X series players were hoping for when they got to the point of commanding fleets. hopefully by 2016 the rift will also be a practical retail product to make this work.

  11. True_poser says:

    I don’t think it’s a viable concept.

    Managing your fleet via consoles on your bridge is a “realistic” approach, however all it does is presenting usual RTS-like interfaces in a cumbersome form. pretty much sums it.

    While cool visals from the bridge are cool, they are probably useless for managing a fleet.
    Maybe I’m wrong, but I can’t think of a viable space combat setting where naked eye will add something to radars, lidars, ECM, ECCM and other technobabble.
    Only some post-war/apocalypse with people flying on lostech and duct tape and it’s certainly not the case here.

    VR gimmick is controversial at best.
    No, I don’t believe they’ll have problems with motion sickness as the environment around the player is mostly static.
    You are unlikely to get motion sickness even in Lunar Flight, because of that massive static cockpit around you.

    However, with Oculus you have a problem with controllers.
    If you’re using a keyboard and mouse you can’t turn much, as your arms are of finite length. If you took your arms off of them to turn back to look out for that nasty ion destroyer, good luck finding them again fast enough.
    And if you’re using a gamepad, good luck playing RTS with it.

    Personally, I believe that any space game that includes a walking simulator shoots itself in the foot.
    It doesn’t matter in this case though, as it’s unlikely they’ll get it funded.

  12. Moon Master says:

    >Personally, I believe that any space game that includes a walking simulator shoots itself in the foot.

    Amen to that.
    Not with the current technology.

  13. Mark says:

    sigh…. would space combat really happen with crew looking out of huge panoramic windows and directing the battle via sight? We seem to be falling backwards into increasingly blatant space fantasy because even 40 years ago Star Trek had a view screen.

    Immersion is always a problem but if this one ever gets off the ground, I’m really going to struggle with suspension of disbelief.

    • True_poser says:

      There’s nothing bad in space fantasy as it is.
      It has to be as:
      1) self-conscious
      2) engaging
      3) maintaining its internal logic
      as any other genre.

      Even more, I strongly believe that for a tactical space game the smart fantasy is a way to go.
      Space is just too freaking huge as anyone who ever tried to make a “realistic” ruleset probably knows.

      However if you consciously go fantasy, you’ll get everything.
      You’ll get focal points in your universe (as wooden ships can fly only close to cosmic leylines).
      You’ll have bridge reconfiguring on the fly, without any drydock, as stations on the bridge are just intersections of the leylines from the ship’s engine (which doubles as a transformer).
      You’ll get crew selection meaning something as leyline attunement isn’t something you can change by training.
      And, most importantly, you’ll be able to make combat distance be less than visual contact range if you want.

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