Flotilla, a homeworld style game

From RPS

Flotilla (from the same developer as Gravity Bone) looks like a worthy successor to Relic's Homeworld. It features a randomly generated campaign, full 3D movement, customisable fleets, skirmishes versus the computer or splitscreen versus or in cooperation with another friend. The major divergence with Homeworld is that it's turn based rather than real-time. Coming out for PC and XBLA.

Colour me excited.

Not sure how I feel about exploration elements in a big black void, but I am totally down for some turn-based space ship combat.

Turn-based homeworld? Why did no-one think of that sooner?

I was hoping this was Mass Effect told from the perspective of Tali, kind of like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.

Sounds cool, though. Gravity Bone was interesting.

Homeworld is one of my favorite games, if this hits the same buttons I'll be very happy.

Excellent. I am happy every time a new turn-based game comes out.

It looks interesting. One gripe: If this is space, why is the bottom armor weaker? More fundamentally, what the hell does bottom mean?

Crouton wrote:

It looks interesting. One gripe: If this is space, why is the bottom armor weaker? More fundamentally, what the hell does bottom mean?

Even if the ships were asymmetrically armored I expect rotating the ship would be a viable option. As designed I can't see any reason one would want to fly "up" since you are simply exposing your soft areas to the enemy.

imbiginjapan wrote:
Crouton wrote:

It looks interesting. One gripe: If this is space, why is the bottom armor weaker? More fundamentally, what the hell does bottom mean?

Even if the ships were asymmetrically armored I expect rotating the ship would be a viable option. As designed I can't see any reason one would want to fly "up" since you are simply exposing your soft areas to the enemy.

Don't extrapolate fundamental rules from one scenario. There's nothing saying all ships have all armor weak on the bottom. There's plenty of ship customization towards the end of the video, for instance.

If you were planning on always being able to outnumber and outmaneuver your opponent concentrating your weapons and armor on one facing of your ship would be a valid tactic. Risky though.

PyromanFO wrote:

Don't extrapolate fundamental rules from one scenario. There's nothing saying all ships have all armor weak on the bottom. There's plenty of ship customization towards the end of the video, for instance.

Oh, I'm extrapolating, baby!

He makes the comment "Ships have weaker armor on the bottom and the rear" which sounded like a blanket statement. I suppose I could email him and ask the question as he was kind enough to add his email address to the end of the video.

guys the ships have directional armor so that maneuvering them has a purpose because otherwise the game would be a boring trade-shots-at-each-other simulator okay sheesh

If this has the masterful storycraft of Homeworld then that would be the iciing on the cake, but as it is I'm definitely keeping a close eye on this. I loved loved LOVED Relic's old space series... even Homeworld 2.

Switchbreak wrote:

guys the ships have directional armor so that maneuvering them has a purpose because otherwise the game would be a boring trade-shots-at-each-other simulator okay sheesh

The question I'm asking is not why the ships have directional armor but why they would all have the same configuration of armor. If that interpretation is correct it makes flying "up" kind of pointless. So instead of a trade-shots-at-each-other simulator it becomes a trade-shots-at-each-other-while-flying downward simulator.

Wow, while playing Sword of the Stars last night I was just thinking about how I'd like to see a more tactical 3d space combat game. And tada!

PyromanFO wrote:
imbiginjapan wrote:
Crouton wrote:

It looks interesting. One gripe: If this is space, why is the bottom armor weaker? More fundamentally, what the hell does bottom mean?

Even if the ships were asymmetrically armored I expect rotating the ship would be a viable option. As designed I can't see any reason one would want to fly "up" since you are simply exposing your soft areas to the enemy.

Don't extrapolate fundamental rules from one scenario. There's nothing saying all ships have all armor weak on the bottom. There's plenty of ship customization towards the end of the video, for instance.

It's more that the concept of "bottom" is telling. The designer seems to cling to the idea of a surface naval battle with submarines and airplanes rather than space battle. Homeworld had directional cardinality as well, but it didn't matter because I don't think it had any game impact.

It's more that the concept of "bottom" is telling. The designer seems to cling to the idea of a surface naval battle with submarines and airplanes rather than space battle. Homeworld had directional cardinality as well, but it didn't matter because I don't think it had any game impact.

Okay guys, how would you explain what's going on in that scene to someone who isn't a huge space-battles nerd? Honestly. What he's doing is saying "bottom" because that's how you explain it to normal people.

How you pick position is you pick it in the X/Y plane, then pick vertical. Yes, that means you're not free-form rotating and yes he uses convenient terminology instead of going for full 3D-correct terms and yes they have sounds in a vaccum and holy crap let's nitpick it to death.

The question I'm asking is not why the ships have directional armor but why they would all have the same configuration of armor. If that interpretation is correct it makes flying "up" kind of pointless. So instead of a trade-shots-at-each-other simulator it becomes a trade-shots-at-each-other-while-flying downward simulator.

And again, he says "ships take more damage on the bottom so let's move there" because that's how you explain it to normal people. You don't go off on an explanation of ship-customization and all the crazy configurations when you're just trying to show how maneuvering can affect battles.

Honestly it's a preview video and I feel like everybody is picking it to death.

Just to be clear: this will be on XBLI (XBox Live Indie Games) not XBLA (Xbox Live Arcade). You'll just have to look for it in a different part of the store.

PyromanFO wrote:

Honestly it's a preview video and I feel like everybody is picking it to death.

True but I'm just not sure how much more exposure this game will get so I wouldn't mind getting some further understanding of the mechanics. I'm genuinely interested in the game but would like to know how much (ahem) "depth" there is to the gameplay. I sent an email to the designer to try to find out more.

PyromanFO wrote:

Okay guys, how would you explain what's going on in that scene to someone who isn't a huge space-battles nerd? Honestly. What he's doing is saying "bottom" because that's how you explain it to normal people.How you pick position is you pick it in the X/Y plane, then pick vertical. Yes, that means you're not free-form rotating and yes he uses convenient terminology instead of going for full 3D-correct terms and yes they have sounds in a vaccum and holy crap let's nitpick it to death.

The XYZ model is fine. The idea that there is a weak side of spaceships that always faces the same way relative to one privileged direction is unjustified.

You have criteria by which you evaluate games and they are probably different from mine. No one's picking nits.

Good questions above, I'll see if I can answer some!

Battles generally don't degenerate into a race to move downward. Ships are able to rotate in any arbitrary direction. You may manage to get "under" the enemy, but at that point the enemy can just roll 180 degrees to remove your line-of-sight to his bottom armor. (this would be a lot easier to explain with a whiteboard!)

Additionally, you have the option to activate a "Manual Mode" where you can set any arbitrary yaw, pitch, and roll. This is useful for ships that have guns mounted on their top or sides - you'll want to orient your facing so your turrets have line-of-sight to the enemy.

Hope that clears some things up.

This discussion has me remembering Freespace2, where after a dogfight and reforming with your squadron they would all orient themselves 'upright' and you would need to roll to be the same way up.

Brendon, thanks for explaining some more about the game. It sounds like the mechanics are really well though out.

Pyro, I think one thing that should be kept in mind is that it is the huge space battles nerds who are going to see this video and think , "hey this might be exactly what I've been waiting for! But what about facing mechanics?". Maybe I'm cynical but I don't expect most "normal people" to really take much interest in a fully 3-D WEGO turned based space combat simulator that doesn't sport fancy graphics in the first place. So anyway I'm glad the game is somewhat more dynamic than the video made it out to be but I think the video could have gone into a bit more detail. An extra 30 seconds of explanation about facing and rotation would probably have cleared up the basic assumptions.

Maybe I'm cynical but I don't expect most "normal people" to really take much interest in a fully 3-D WEGO turned based space combat simulator that doesn't sport fancy graphics in the first place.

They definitely won't if you have to explain all the crazy details that space-combat nerds want in the preview video Kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy, isn't it?

I'm not complaining about those details being there, I'm complaining about the expectation that you have to explain all this stuff. I kinda look forward to a space combat game that isn't beholden to the tons of crazy details that overwhelms niche strategy games too many times.

PyromanFO wrote:

I kinda look forward to a space combat game that isn't beholden to the tons of crazy details that overwhelms niche strategy games too many times.

Did you try Gratuitous Space Battles?

Anyway, from Brendon's reply it does seem that the armor is weakest on the bottom of every ship. That kinda stinks because I was hoping to do some more customization about shield angling and those sorts of things.

Brendon does every ship have a weak bottom, or is that just a design choice for the ships in the demo? If the bottom is always weak is there some sort of justification for it?

I think this might be more up my alley than Aurora, but to be fair, I still have nightmares about Aurora.

I can understand some ships having weaker bottom and rear armour, but applying that weakness to all ships seems a bit strange... What if you run into an ship shaped like a sphere? Why is the bottom weaker? Does it even have a bottom? Did the shipyard decide to cut corners? Does a sphere even have corners?

Anyway, I take it then we can't control the configuration of our armour. Just the thickness. Which is slightly disappointing because it takes a couple of bits out of our tactics toolkit. You lose the distinction between nimble ships that rely on speed and facing for protection. And larger ships with strong armour all over that rely on turrets to target smaller, faster ships.

Interesting game for all that. And I like the art style. I'm sure things will become clearer as things go on.

Tamren wrote:

Did the shipyard decide to cut corners? Does a sphere even have corners?

It did before they cut the corners to make it into a sphere.

Brendon Chung wrote:

Good questions above, I'll see if I can answer some!

Battles generally don't degenerate into a race to move downward. Ships are able to rotate in any arbitrary direction. You may manage to get "under" the enemy, but at that point the enemy can just roll 180 degrees to remove your line-of-sight to his bottom armor. (this would be a lot easier to explain with a whiteboard!)

Additionally, you have the option to activate a "Manual Mode" where you can set any arbitrary yaw, pitch, and roll. This is useful for ships that have guns mounted on their top or sides - you'll want to orient your facing so your turrets have line-of-sight to the enemy.

It's good to hear that you, too, see that as something worthy of getting right.

I hate to be that guy, but dare I ask what your plans are for the game? What state is it in currently, when can we eagerly press our money into your hands and where? any plans for after release expansion?