Motherships Ahoy: Flotilla Out With Demo

By Kieron Gillen on March 1st, 2010 at 12:05 pm.

As many people have wrote to say, Blendo Games’ Flotilla has been released. You can get the demo or buy the full game for ten dollars on their site. I’ve only managed to have a quick crack, but it marries random generation to the playfully cool presentation of his previous Gravity Bone to a turn-based game of tactical-space combat. The only sad thing about this release is that “Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Boating In Space…” won’t fit on the title line. I suspect we’ll have more on this soon enough, but until then, here’s the trailer…

And you should go and try the demo out. Stately and smart. Yays!

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40 Comments »

  1. Brumisator says:

    WOOOT!
    Yay!
    Hooray!
    Etc.

  2. Helm says:

    Sean O’Connor’s Critical Mass! In full 3d! I must buy!!

  3. brkl says:

    Done, bought it. That trailer was enough. Glorious interface design, just lovely retro graphics, the music… I hope it’s a good game but I had to buy it for the effort that obviously went into those details.

  4. brkl says:

    Also, Flotilla is a lovely word. Flotilla.

  5. Pew says:

    Will pick this up when it hits the XBL Indie Games section. I want to play this laterally from my couch and sadly, my mouse/keyboard skills are lacking when my body is horizontal :(

    Now if only we could import data from this to unlock Tali’s Tatooine slave girl outfit eh?

  6. Bowlby says:

    Really great presentation for what is an XBLA Indie game. Downloading the demo now.

  7. Heliocentric says:

    $10 and i buy it.
    $20 and I’d have waited for a $5 sale, funny how it works.
    I’ll grab the demo just to make sure i have no hardware conflicts first.

  8. john says:

    no rebinding keys is incredib;y ammoying, i’d like to use the scroll wheel to zoom in an out instead of moving up and down, i can’t do that; is it a ridiculous request?

    Slapdash conversion of an xbox live game, nothing else.

    • Lilliput King says:

      Nonsense. It’s plenty of other things, like innovative, charming and funny.

      It’s also clearly designed for a gamepad, but that’s only a shame because it shows so much promise. I suppose it’s worth cracking out the 360 controller for, though.

    • Premium User Badge

      Hodge says:

      Sounds like a reasonable request to me. Shoot the guy an email and ask for reconfigurable controls, there’s every chance he’ll listen and implement them in a future patch.

  9. Xocrates says:

    The demo is rather fun, but the game doesn’t seem to be particularly forgiving.

    Considering whether to buy it or not, mostly because I already spent more money than I should in games recently.

    • Lilliput King says:

      I think it’s a Strange Adventures in Infinite Space model, so you’re meant to die often.

  10. Wolfox says:

    I’ve been playing through most of the weekend (it was released on Saturday) and it’s a brilliant game. Looks good, sounds good, the tactical battle mechanics are sound (and deeper than they look at first), and the adventure mode is fantastic (though it would be nice if it could be a bit longer). It’s a great game, one that I wholeheartedly recommend.

    • disperse says:

      How does the Adventure mode compare to a game like Space Rangers II (one of my favorites)?

    • Premium User Badge

      Lim-Dul says:

      It’s nothing like ti, considering each adventure will take like 15 minutes. :-P
      Look more on the Weird Worlds side of things.

      What’s different to WW though is that in the former your main decisions were which planet to choose next or which items/artifacts to keep while here you will have to make micro-RPG decisions to make during each encounter which greatly affect the whole adventure.

      The game is very, very simplified compared to any of the sources it’s got its inspirations from but all in the name of pure fun contained in a short amount of time.

    • disperse says:

      @Lim-Dul

      Thanks. I’m unsure if adding the 3rd dimension adds much or simply adds complexity (again, comparing it to Space Rangers’ 2d turn-based combat).

  11. Saucy says:

    What the holy christ is with those resolutions?

  12. Premium User Badge

    Hodge says:

    He gave me Gravity Bone for free, which means I must buy this one solely on principle.

    (though it doesn’t hurt that it looks equally beguiling)

  13. Premium User Badge

    Lim-Dul says:

    I bought it immediately after playing through the demo once. :-D

    It really is great! It’s like a mix between Gratuitous Space Battles, Homeworld and my favorite coffee-break game Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space. The absurd humor is excellent too.

    I disagree with the camera controls being counter-intuitive – all you need to grasp is that the right mouse button takes you to a freelook mode and that will allow you to zoom-zoom around the scenery as you please.

    I found the adventures to be a bit on the short side though and not very challenging… If you manually orient your ships to face proper directions that is.

  14. DMJ says:

    It’s like someone reached into my head and pulled this game out of my imagination.

  15. Harley Turan says:

    “Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Boating In Space…”

    <3 <3 <3

    Saw them play it live, probably the best live performance I've ever seen.

  16. M says:

    I’d enjoy it more if I didn’t keep getting hit in the vulnerable rear and underside by enemies in front of and above me.

    • Premium User Badge

      Lim-Dul says:

      Manually roll your ships? 0_o

    • snv says:

      Yes, thats the trick, now i wish the manually alignment interface wasent so clumsy.
      If i could just grab and pull the “front” and “top” vectors…

    • Premium User Badge

      Lim-Dul says:

      I already suggested improvements to that on the official forums and people seem to agree so I assume it will be fixed soon. It’s also very annoying that your ships level out each time you issue an auto-face order so you have to roll them back manually if they are above the enemy.

    • Stromko says:

      I’m amazed you can actually do that. The first thing that occurred to me about the weak bottom armor is that why wouldn’t you just roll your ship? It’s a good thing they thought of that or it would just be a race to the bottom of the map.

  17. M says:

    Half the time I can’t tell which way up I am, too much Space Rum clearly.
    It IS a fun game, it just feels a little to clunky in parts.

    • M says:

      The other half the time I forget to press ‘Reply’

    • Premium User Badge

      Lim-Dul says:

      Yeah, slightly. But luckily it is turn based, so I take my sweet time to zoom in and out and view the situation from all angles to make sure that everything is aligned correctly. In that regard the order preparations resemble Gratuitous Space Battles. On the other hand I find the way the destination markers are handled extremely nicely done – I’ve had issues with many, many space RTS-es making it difficult to see where your ship will end up and here the circles being cast on the grid plus little squares indicating adjusted movement results are quite cool. Many games tried combining moving the destination in all three axises at the same time and it didn’t work – what seals the deal here is that lateral movement is in its own phase – of course this is only possible since the orders are turn based. =)

  18. sebmojo says:

    EEEEEEEEEEEEELECTRICITY
    GONNA WASH RIGHT OVER ME

  19. jives says:

    I like it.. I think it will need some new content added as soon as possible though.. I’ma already seeing alot of repeated events

  20. Chris says:

    So…what’s the big deal about this game, anyway? It’s a turn-based clone of the Homeworld 1 engine, it looks like. Not that impressive given that the HW source has been released for a while, just lacking the mission/campaign stuff.

    • Premium User Badge

      Lim-Dul says:

      It doesn’t use the Homeworld engine AFAIK. Also, battles are only part of the equation – the other one is space exploration with hilarious RPG elements a la Weird Worlds.
      Positioning is also quite different to Homeworld.

  21. Chris says:

    Also, the TBS part isn’t that impressive either, considering that both HW: Cataclysm and HW2 allowed you to give orders while paused. You even could do it with attack orders in HW1 to a degree, by pausing, focusing on a target, selecting your squadron, then unpausing and giving the attack order itself immediately. I’m wondering if the only reasons this is such a big thing are because a) it’s an XBLA game, and the Xboxers haven’t seen Homeworld before, b) it’s an ‘indie’ game, though I’m not sure if cribbing engine from a released source should count that much, and c) Homeworld 2 has this unfortunate problem of crashing under Windows 7 when it worked great under XP (No clue on Vista, and I haven’t tested HW1 and Cataclysm yet. :-/ )

  22. Premium User Badge

    Lim-Dul says:

    Meh – I just became a bit disappointed in the game. LOL, yeah, already. It’s just that I can win ANY battle with just two Destroyers. Literally ANY BATTLE.
    It’s due to quite poor AI. What you do is just send one ship high up and the other one down below, of course rotating them appropriately. Aaaaand then you shoot away, keeping out of other ships’ attack distance which incidentally is shorter than Destroyer range in all cases. The AI is too stupid to do Flanking orders or align itself for example sideways and always follows one target, so while one ship will do no damage the other one will get bottom hits all the way – this reminds me a bit of the long forgotten but never surpassed space-sim I-War in which your deflector shields tracked one target – however, the AI in that game was quite formidable and you mostly controlled only one ship…

    • Man Raised By Puffins says:

      Indeed, I completed my first successful adventure with just the two starting Destroyers (albeit buffed up to the nines by the end of the campaign). Although I find that what most hampers the game is the clunky ordering system, which draws out what should be a fun lunch hour morsel with fiddly roll angle adjustment. All of which is a shame as it looks lovely and has buckets of charm.

  23. KillahMate says:

    I’m very happy this is out. I’m going to download it now, and play it.

  24. Premium User Badge

    Lambchops says:

    I enjoyed the demo. Despite the game’s obvious charm I wasn’t convinced by it at first but was won over by winning an epic 2 on 5 battle against 5 destroyers by the skin of my teeth. Will buy when I’ve got a bit more free time.

  25. Al3xand3r says:

    This is basically a 3D version of Weirld Worlds: Return to Infinity Space.

    http://www.shrapnelgames.com/Digital_Eel/WW/WW_page.html

    I urge everyone to try out that game as well, it’s got more variety in content and visuals, yet it’s 2D so it’s a very different experience than this game despite using the same core template, while you still have a randomly generated adventure with variable star map size and just as wacky events, dialogues, battles, etc.

    It has much more variety in ships, items you can get and equip, and events though. If Flotilla was more fleshed out in those aspects I’d probably prefer it over Weirld Worlds, but for now that’s still got my heart. Shame they don’t acknowledge the inspiration though.

  26. jsutcliffe says:

    I picked this up on Saturday, and have been sneaking in quick games wherever possible ever since. I am loving it, but wish that you had more than seven months to live.

    Chu Chu and Fun Factory have rocketed to the top of the list of potential names for the cats my wife and I are planning to get later this year.