Flagship is a real-time strategy game set on a galactic scale, played from a first person perspective. The game is being built from the ground-up to be played with the Oculus Rift, though it can be played on a normal monitor as well.

Report article RSS Feed Revamped Hangar Bay and Fighters

An update on our progress with the hangar bay and fighters.

Posted by UrbanLogicGames on Mar 12th, 2014

Hey all, Matt here. In this update I want to share my progress with the hangar bay. It’s a section of the ship you probably won’t need to visit very often, but we want it to feel just as immersive as the bridge. I spent a long time looking at traditional aircraft carriers, submarine bays and land-based hangars for inspiration. Previous versions of the hangar bay that we've shown in our screenshots and videos up to now was fairly big, but the new one is even bigger. Bear in mind it's a work in progress and there is still a lot of detail work to be done.

I've also been working on fighters. We've taken design cues from modern day air superiority fighters so that they immediately read as ‘human’ and are easily distinguished from their alien counterparts at a wide range of distances and lighting situations. Fighters launch when you give the command, and we want the player to be able to see this not just from the bridge, but also from the hangar bay too. I really liked the idea of them coming up a lift, then getting shot into space, similar to the CATOBAR, the catapult systems you see on aircraft carriers. Fighters are queued under the hangar bay, then lifted into position one by one and launched out. There is also a blast flap that raises to protect the main hangar from engine thrust. Below is a rough animation of the process:



UPDATE: I realise I haven't made it very clear how the fighter launch system will play out in gameplay terms. The flagship is a Battle-Carrier hybrid class and will feature 4 launch tubes (we may make this upgradable), which allows the player to launch 4 fighters simultaneously. Each tube would be loaded with another fighter in a matter of seconds, so potentially all fighters could be launched in under a minute. Dedicated Carrier class ships will have many more launch tubes and can scramble fighters much quicker. If the player needs to retreat, they'll have to wait for the fighters to land in the main hanger bay (think Battlestar Galactica). If you leave the area before all your fighters have landed, you'll lose those fighters that didn't have time to land.

Last but not least, just like my last update, here is some artwork showing off the hanger bar and fighters:



Thanks for all the comments and emails of support so far! Until next time, take care.

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blaze3114
blaze3114 Mar 12 2014, 6:35pm says:

how many fighters could the ship lunch at a time is my question? but it all looks rely good right now though

+3 votes     reply to comment
UrbanLogicGames
UrbanLogicGames Mar 13 2014, 5:23am replied:

Good question! The ship we've shown above is the flagship, which has 4 launch tubes (this might change) meaning you can launch 4 fighters at a time. The plan is that the delay between loading the tubes would be a matter of seconds, so you could probably have all your fighters launched in under a minute.

It's worth bearing in mind that the flagship isn't strictly a carrier (it's actually a battle-carrier hybrid). There will be a dedicated carrier class that can launch many more fighters much faster. We'll probably edit the news post to make all this a bit clearer.

+2 votes     reply to comment
blaze3114
blaze3114 Mar 14 2014, 9:06pm replied:

thanks for the info. i take it that there would also be ships with more firepower than you but you do have a fair amount your self as well

+1 vote     reply to comment
Taquito
Taquito Mar 13 2014, 1:15am says:

Looks really good.

+3 votes     reply to comment
TKAzA
TKAzA Mar 13 2014, 6:01am says:

reminds me of bsg, so i like!

+1 vote     reply to comment
rankalee
rankalee Mar 13 2014, 6:11am says:

Very cool stuff guys!

Question: Will you be able to pilot a fighter as well?

+1 vote     reply to comment
UrbanLogicGames
UrbanLogicGames Mar 13 2014, 2:28pm replied:

Probably, but it's something we're still working out gameplay wise because leaving the bridge removes your tactical control of the battle. So it won't be the main focus of the game - and we're definitely not looking to compete with Star Citizen! :P

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Wookienator
Wookienator Mar 13 2014, 12:09pm says:

Wow awesome

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UrbanLogicGames
UrbanLogicGames Mar 14 2014, 8:08am replied:

Fighters don't have warp drives, so their range is limited to the local area. Enough to take part in a battle, but not enough to leave the system without landing on a capital ship first. Converting hangar bays into missile launchers is a bit unnecessary as most cap ships have those armaments already. :)

+1 vote     reply to comment
This_is_not_my_name
This_is_not_my_name Mar 14 2014, 1:19pm replied:

I guess I mean long range missiles, I want my capital ship to be on the other side of the planet from something dangerous. Modern capital ships can project their power a few hundred miles and try to avoid close quarters combat as much as possible. But on the other hand I could see why you'd want to be close enough to see what you're blowing up.

+2 votes     reply to comment
AFellowStalker
AFellowStalker Mar 13 2014, 7:20pm says:

Are the fighters actually stored somewhere? Like could you see the hangar bay where all the fighters are sitting and waiting to get into the tubes?

Also I love the animation, but the flap in the back looks weird. Maybe the fighter can be moved back so it looks like its catapulting it forward.

+1 vote     reply to comment
UrbanLogicGames
UrbanLogicGames Mar 14 2014, 8:14am replied:

The fighters are stored a deck or so below the hangar, we're still deciding whether you'd need to go down there or not but, it's possible that is where you'd actually board a fighter (should you want to).

As for the flap, that isn't actually part of the catapult system; it's a blast deflector that prevents the heat from the engines reaching the main hangar. It's based on how real life aircraft carrier launch systems are setup, see - Static.ddmcdn.com for an example.

+1 vote     reply to comment
AFellowStalker
AFellowStalker Mar 14 2014, 1:30pm replied:

Oh that's really cool! I'm navy bound and had completely managed to forget the blast deflector.

And I really like the idea of all the ships crammed together in a small little area before they're launched out of the tube. No idea why.

Can't wait for the next update!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Freejack01
Freejack01 Mar 20 2014, 6:07am says:

I really want this game on linux........ got any openings for a alpha/beta tester.....Also is this going to only be single player or is there a chance for multiplayer?

+2 votes     reply to comment
UrbanLogicGames
UrbanLogicGames Mar 20 2014, 4:06pm replied:

Hi Freejack, we're developing in Unity so it's highly likely there will be a Linux version, though pending any platform-specific issues it may not be a simultaneous release with the windows version.

We aren't alpha testing at the moment, but there will be an opportunity to get hold of the alpha at some point, either via Kickstarter or Early Access.

Flagship will primarily be a single player game, but we're definitely looking at adding multiplayer after the initial release. It's too early to say for sure though.

+1 vote     reply to comment
CaptinBin
CaptinBin Mar 24 2014, 9:16pm replied:

I am definetly with Freejack01 on this. I would love to help you guys and your development of Flagship. It looks astounding and I can't wait to see where this goes!!! :D

Goodluck

-CaptinBin

+2 votes     reply to comment
ZombiePotatoSalad
ZombiePotatoSalad Apr 5 2014, 9:55pm says:

Ah, in my opinion, the flagship sounds less like a battle-carrier, and more like a heavy cruiser from WW2 (which carried smaller planes for recon) which comes with its own fighter escort. Depending on the size of the ship ad the various subsystems, especially the flight deck, elevator, and associated ares, I'd have to say it could field a complement of... 6 fighter craft? Of course, that's just my opinion, it's your game and vision, and I am still very much in awe. However, 4 seconds launch time sounds rather overpowered. There's the prep time, the time to move it onto the elevator, travel time, pilot arrival, and then launch. What I'm imagining, instead of an elevator, is something like the shuttle bay and launch tube in the first Starship Troopers, except resized for a fighter. That way, each fighter has its own tube and hangar (unless that was your vision already), so an explosion or crashed fighter won't jam up the works. Also, the way I am thinking, each fighter would have to be on some kind of track or transit system to get it to the elevator in 2 seconds. Could there be different launch systems other than tubes?

+1 vote     reply to comment
ZombiePotatoSalad
ZombiePotatoSalad Apr 5 2014, 9:56pm replied:

For example:
Main Hangar Bay-offers a great amount of space and quick turnover time, but is a big freakin' target.
Drop-type Hangar-Suspends the fighters above the hangar floor on hooks with catwalks for maintenance/rearmament. Holes in the floor open up, allowing each fighter to "fall" into space. fast launch time, slightly less risk (all your ducks in a row make them easy targets).
Slide-and-Drop Hangars-Similar to the tubes. Each fighter has its own launch bay and conveyor, a platform that moves the fighter sideways into a smaller bay with a breakaway floor. The fighter then "falls" into space. This one is a balance across the board (and a nostalgic one for me), as it allowss each fighter its own bay and launch area, and when returning, each fighter returns to a bay exactly the way it came in, but in reverse (think the ANS Reliant in Starlancer).

I'm running on aspergers-powered logic, so things must make sense. This thought process came from the thought that each subsystem (weaponry and magazines, crew quarters, life support, assorted corridors) must also take up room, and therefore compromises must be met for ship design. Perhaps each of these designs could be implemented, but it be left up to player choice? (also, the Battlestar Galactica-style lauch tubes would be excellent high-speed conduits for launching boarding pods... Or a less detectable way of launching explosives, maybe disguised as escape pods... just saying.

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