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Flagship is a real time strategy game played from a first person perspective. Fight a war with an agressive alien fleet from the bridge of your own starship. The game is being built with VR support from the ground-up, though it can be played without a headset.

FAQ

Can I play this without a VR headset?
Absolutely, the game can be played on a normal monitor.

Will there be multiplayer?
Unfortunately not, Flagship is single player only.

Will there be mod support?
While there won't be full mod support, we are hoping to ship the game with a mission editor that will allow you to create and share your own campaigns.

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flagship bridge

What's up with Flagship?

Hello everyone. It's been a while! Over four years apparently.

As far as gameplay goes, Flagship is currently a game of two halves. The first half; the main core loop of tactical ship-to-ship combat is in pretty good shape. Battles can take place in a single engagement area, or multiple engagement areas spanning the current star system. You have broad control over allies -generally controlled by groups, and fairly fine control over your own ship's systems. There are still interface kinks to iron out, but this is the part of the game I'm most happy with.

walkthrough smlI've created a (fairly) robust system for scripting briefings, missions and general conversations. Damage to the ship can be carried over from mission to mission. Voice commands are now built into the game, so you won't need Voice Attack. Between missions, NPCs will talk to each other and you can play poker in the officer's lounge. You can sit in your ready room and read emails. I've created an automated lip-syncing system, and characters' eyes will dilate or constrict depending on the light levels and in some cases, their mood. There's a lot of work here that I'm proud of.

So what's the problem?

The second half, the stuff you do outside of combat, needs work. Managing your ship and fleet between missions is something I've iterated on a lot but never really nailed down. Pre-mission planning is pretty shallow. Shallower still is the simulation of crew aboard ship, who can have scripted conversations but otherwise just sort of stand around or sit at their stations. Going deeper with that stuff requires a level of work I can't really justify on my budget.

I had designed the Flagship framework with the intention of building other games with it later, but despite my best efforts, years of prototyping and retrofitting had led to inflexible code that was getting difficult to work with. In addition to this, the code was also written in a mix of Javascript and C# which not only made some work awkward but also meant compilation times were agonisingly slow.pre mission smlFrom a visuals standpoint, pretty much every peice of art in Flagship is a rough placeholder. Some of it looks okay, but bringing things up to the standard I'd like will take a lot of time and many cases, money to pay proper 3D artists. I'm pretty short on both.

In addition to this, designing interfaces that give the player full control without being overly complex, that work well in VR and on flat screens has proved a huge challenge. Even after all these years there's still a lot I need to figure out.

From a business standpoint, Urban Logic Games as a company hasn't earned a bean since we formed it about 7 years ago. Not taking any money from the general public has been a very deliberate choice, but it's left us covering the running costs out of our own pockets. Up until recently this had been fine, but without going into too much detail my situation has changed a bit over the last few years and it's getting harder to justify the cost in time and money. Suffice to say, if it weren't for my incredibly supportive and patient wife, this blog post would be a lot shorter.

Your wife sounds very cool.What's the plan moving forward?

We had three options, the first being to carry on as we were. When I looked at all the remaining tasks, we had around two years left of work ahead of us. This was assuming the remaining development went smoothly and that we committed to polishing the game and its core mechanics as they currently existed. The problem with this was that I wasn't completely happy with all the core mechanics, and sofware development never goes completely smoothly.

Option two was to stop development, cut our losses and do something else. I've got a lot of other ideas, and some are even sensibly scoped, so this was tempting. Despite the real risk of sunk cost fallacy, this still wasn't really on the table. There's a good game here, and it's a game I very much want to exist. It's just going to take a lot of work to chisel it out.

Option three was to use the Flagship framework (i.e. the systems that run the various simulations and AI) to build a smaller game, with the intention of circling back to Flagship later. I could use the opportunity to port the codebase to C#, strip out all the old and retrofitted code we were no longer using and generally clean everything up. We had often talked about making a starfighter-focused spinoff after Flagship, and starfighter combat was already technically implemented.

Introducing Alliance Peacefighter

AP announcement banner

In case it's not clear already, we went for option three; a smaller game where you'll be taking on the role of a starfighter pilot. It's not set in the Flagship universe, the tone will be lighter and we'll be using a much more stylised (and economical) art style, best described as a mix between Homeworld and Starfox. It'll feature a linear, mission-based campaign in the vein of the Wing Commander and X-Wing games, a niche that's weirdly underserved despite the resurgence of space sims (not to mention the fact that space sims and VR are a perfect match).

We're aiming to target both VR and flatscreens, with support for HOTAS joysticks, gamepads and mouse and keyboard. If all goes well, we'll release the mission editor so you can create custom campaigns of your own. We'll go into more detail at a later date, I don't want to derail this post too much.

alliance peacefighter smlIf you were looking forward to Flagship this might seem like bad news, but things couldn't carry on as they were. The good news is that all the work I'm doing on this is still building towards completing Flagship, which will benefit from all the improvements made to the framework. Better performance, smarter AI, a more flexible level designer, lots of stuff.

Flagship is still the end goal, we're just taking a detour on the way. As always, thanks for sticking with us.

Flagship progress update & changes

Flagship progress update & changes

News 27 comments

An overview of where we're up to and what's changed over the last year.

Flagship Progress Update

Flagship Progress Update

News 69 comments

A development update covering progress on the core game, upgrade to Unity 5 and the state of VR.

Flagship Status Report

Flagship Status Report

News 29 comments

We know it's been a while since our last news update, and some recent press mentions mean that some of you are just discovering Flagship; many of you...

The Future of Flagship

The Future of Flagship

News 21 comments

Thanks for the all kind words and messages of support over the last few days, it really means a lot. Our last update raised some questions so we’ll...

Comments  (0 - 10 of 297)
Erayser
Erayser

Pleased to hear from you, UrbanLogicGames. Been looking forward to all your projects since 2014. Wishing you the best, as always :)

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UrbanLogicGames Creator
UrbanLogicGames

Thanks Erayser, that's really appreciated :)

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admiralthrawnbar
admiralthrawnbar

So... it dead? Last article was nearly 4 years ago, last time the website was updated was 2 years ago, and it's been a year since it's even been tweeted about. Either admit that it's dead or give us some kind of update

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Wookienator
Wookienator

Just came here to say that I am still thinking about this game from time to time :) If you are still working on it, take your time.

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FakeAccount1
FakeAccount1

Let me start by saying this was an ambitious project from the start. I've been a lurker for a few years now and wanted to finally say thank you for trying this.

I've been really looking forward to a management game with such depth and great tactical combat. For me though, the former was more important than the latter. And while you have plenty of people in the comments section saying "oh yes, that doesn't matter." I'd like to be the one ******* who gives an honest opinion :) .

So many games have combat in them. This game stood out to me as a chance to move away from that and actually deal with the rigors of military campaigns, loss of life, loss of assets/resources and where/how to acquire replacements. That interests me 10x more than a game that (brutal honestly incoming, with no disrespect intended) I could frankly play on my phone. I could open Steam right now and buy 3-5 games with excellent ratings that will provide me with a set of "linear missions" in space on a grid and let me watch my ships shoot each other.

Thus, I guess what I'm trying to say is that I, as a potential customer, am somewhat disappointed. Can you sell me on why I should buy your product?

Note: There will be a few asshats that choose to attack me for typing this well-structured (if somewhat short) response, I'm going to be ignoring those individuals and probably not reading this ever again anyway. This is just something for you (developers) to think about going forward: how are you going to sell your customers (and yes that's what we are, not gamers) on your product after the entire selling point has been removed?

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UrbanLogicGames Creator
UrbanLogicGames

Hi,

For me the entire selling point of the game is being able to play a space strategy game in first person aboard your own ship. That's the core idea I started with and it's what people seemed excited about back in 2014 when we released our first trailer. Granted, many people were also very interested in the possibilities for gameplay outside of combat, and many of those people like yourself were disappointed when we cut that stuff, but it was never the primary selling point.

Based on what your saying, I'm not sure Flagship was the game for you even before we removed the asset management mechanics, which as I explained in the last news post were not deep enough to justify their existence (and making them deeper would mean expanding the scope of the game beyond our capabilities). In any case, you do seem to have already made up your mind so you'll have to forgive me if I don't spend much time trying to change it.

I appreciate you following the game this long, and I do hope you'll check out the game when it's released, but if you don't that's totally fine.

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