You Can Make It So: Flagship On Kickstarter

Closer, we'll be fine. Closer. Cloooooooooooo

Both! Both is good. Lime IN the coconut. Peanut butter AND chocolate spread. First-person and RTS, only in space rather than on the lame-o ground. That’s the concept of Flagship, which Graham rightly dubbed an Admiral Ackbar simulator back in May. It’s a brilliant idea, though the implementation has a lot of challenges–most notably making it significantly different from a standard RTS. Urban Logic Games have detailed some of their plans in the newly released Kickstarter pitch, looking for £95,000 to blast off with.

I’d really recommend the game’s first trailer. the ending of which is one of best bits of game footage I’ve seen in a while. The immediate silence as the alien ship jumps in, its geographical structure being so different and so much bigger than anything around. At the very least, the change in perspective of Flagship will be incredible for immersion and atmosphere.

It also shows what may be one of the games problems: it’s likely to be far more spectacular when losing. Watching your fleet decimate an inferior foe from a distance isn’t going to have that “oh shit” moment that playing in first person is so good at. The middle of the fighting will be great, but watching explosions rock an enemy carrier won’t be half as exciting as half your own hull drifting off into space.

The pitch speaks more about how Flagship won’t just be an RTS with a very pretty but basic interface. Being located on the most powerful and important ship in the fleet means you’ll be controlling battles that aren’t local to your system. Equally, you’ll be able to influence them by warping to their location, but obviously you can only be in one place at once. You won’t have as much direct control over battles further afield either.

It’s certainly a game I want to see made, even if it can’t live up to the marvellous promise we can build in our heads. £15 will get you the game at the early bird tier, £20 if those run out, and they’re planning on a finished version at the end of 2016.

39 Comments

  1. John Connor says:

    Is this made by the same group as Consortium? The art style looks very similar.

    (Also it’s criminal nobody has played Consortium.)

    • goalcam says:

      Nope, different company, but I do see what you mean. They do stress in the video that these are their placeholder assets, so it likely won’t look too similar at the end of the day.

      The Consortium folks are gearing up for a second Kickstarter to fund the second game of the trilogy I believe.

    • Cinek says:

      “Art style”? What art style? There is none.

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        Phasma Felis says:

        Huh? It has art, therefore has a style. It can’t be “none” unless it’s text-only.

  2. theromulans says:

    If this game were eventually expanded into an Artemis type game… (real people working together within the same fleet)… amazing.

    • Synesthesia says:

      I have the weirdest nerdboner right now. Imagine that. 4 occulus rifts, 4 people in realtime operating the stuff… oh dear.

  3. goalcam says:

    Oh man. I just backed the heck out of this game. It’s gonna be a long two year wait.

  4. drinniol says:

    Over $90 AUD to get in the alpha, or wait until 2016? I’ll wait until they cave and stick it on Early Access for a reasonable price.

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      Matchstick says:

      I can definitely see your point but if too many people do that the game won’t be appearing on Early Access at all.

    • goalcam says:

      I maintain a strict policy of not paying extra for early access. It’s silly. The game is still beta – I should be paying less or the same as retail, not MORE.

      That said, I’ve almost bought into the Elite: Dangerous beta several times at this point.

  5. thelastpointer says:

    This game just proves my theory that everything is better in first person.

  6. Lanfranc says:

    It looks very nice, but I do wonder who the creators are and what their game design background is. It’s an awully ambitious project.

  7. tezer86 says:

    This looks like it has the potential to be a great game. Quite a design challenge though.

  8. Gap Gen says:

    I’d think getting that close to an accretion disk around a black hole is possibly not a great idea, but what do I know, I’m not a Space Captain.

  9. eggy toast says:

    Scrolling down the main page past the very hyped and over funded and abandoned CLANG and getting directly to this was pretty funny.

  10. cpt_freakout says:

    Question is, does anyone think it’s a…

  11. Reapy says:

    Their feature list is pretty scary big, but I wish them luck with the project. After watching a couple battlestar episodes, I always thought it would be interesting to build a bridge simulator where you are calling the shots from there rather than flying around or standard RTS like view.

    This game will really need awesome audio call outs from pilots and other ships as they do things, you would want to hear a perfectly drama filled delivery of stuff happening, people DIEING out there.

    Well anyway good luck to them, if they can manage to make the game something more than staring at that blue map 95% of the time and still playable they are on to something.

  12. SuicideKing says:

    The immediate silence as the alien ship jumps in, its geographical structure being so different and so much bigger than anything around.

    You mean like when the Ravana and both Sathanases jumped in for the their respective first times in FreeSpace 2? :D

    Also, those alien ships in the KS video posted here look like Shivan Hecates…

  13. BirdsUseStars says:

    I love the idea of having to walk around inside your ship, but what I’d really like is a more Star Treky exploration based game, with mystery and diplomacy and such. I’d want all the workstations to actually be the only way to control the ship, so if you were being torn apart by some alien, and you are the only one left on the bridge, you’d have to physically run from station to station to operate the ship. Ship damage would work the same way, someone would have to actually walk to the damage and fix it.

    Ideally, all this would also have some kind of swanky 60’s art style of course.

    • JonWood says:

      I love the concept, but I have a feeling it would fall into the same trap Artemis did, where the navigation and weapons officers get to have loads of fun flying around and shooting things, while everyone else occasionally clicks a button and wonders what the big deal is.

      • BirdsUseStars says:

        I picture it more as a single player Captain simulator, with AI crew.

  14. Geebs says:

    Needs more Staring Eyes tag

    • Chaz says:

      And “Oh no more guys with beards” tag.

      Seriously, has some unknown virus swept through the world recently, giving all men between the ages of 20-30 an inexplicable urge to grow beards?

      Every time I see all these bearded faces I can’t help but think of the Murray Lachlan Young poem “One Nation Under A Goatee”. Although this new trend is for full on folk musician style Grizzly Adams beards not goatees but nonetheless.

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        Phasma Felis says:

        I prefer to think that we’re finally shaking off the virus that forced men to ritually scrape their faces with razor-sharp blades on a daily basis. I can’t imagine why that ever caught on in the first place.

      • Dances to Podcasts says:

        Recently? As in the last 10 years or so. It’s such a cliche already that I’m expecting the fad to pass in the next few years. Though that might be a bit optimistic.

      • P.Funk says:

        Actually I believe the trend has turned and by next year nobody will have them. Such is fashion.

  15. Wytefang says:

    Looks interesting BUT unfortunately they use that most annoying of Kickstarter processes, where tiers of purchasing run out or are “sold out.” So incredibly lame.

    All that does is make people less and less likely to back your project later on the campaign, when you need the money the most to get over the hump and be funded. Again, it’s just short-sighted and stupid.

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      tigerfort says:

      Yeah; the project looks potentially interesting, but I just don’t back kickstarters with limited number “early bird” tiers anymore. I have more sympathy for special “only until we’re fully funded” tiers, although I’m in two minds even about those. But at least they’re not going to start disuading people from backing before the project actually reaches its target.

      • Wytefang says:

        Well said. Glad I’m not the only one.

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        DelrueOfDetroit says:

        Imagine walking down the street. You pass by a person with a guitar playing a song. You like the song and the way the person is playing the song. You decide to give the song person $2. “Sorry, 30 people already gave me $2, you will have to give me $5.”

  16. Aquifel says:

    I swear that looks like an Imperial Star Destroyer at 4:32. Anyways, looking forward to seeing a new entry in the ‘admiral ackbar simulator’ genre. Its definitely going to be an experience when it comes out.