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Indie News Interviews

Interview With Half Heart Games, Developers of the Upcoming Strategy Card Game ‘Fleet Calamity’

Fleet Calamity is an upcoming movement-based collectible card game for PC where you’ll control three motherships, known as Flotilla, that you’ll strategically move around the game board to try and outsmart your opponent. Along the way, you’ll have access to upgrades, traps, viruses and other vessels. These vessels are from your Flotilla onto the battlefield and maneuvered. Along with your Flotilla, to take down your opponent’s fleet until only one ship remains.

We sat down with Matthew Hagen, founder of Half Heart Games, to learn more about this ambitious experience.

Fleet Calamity appears to be a unique hybrid between chess and card-based battle centered around space combat. What was your inspiration for this title?

Originally it was the show Battlestar Galactica (the remake, not the one from the 70’s, which I haven’t gotten around to watching). As for mechanic inspiration, I looked a lot at Magic: the Gathering, which I played a decent amount of, but found several flaws that I wanted to correct. One of the biggest [issues] being the fact that I could buy a better card and defeat all my friends who in turn would have to buy a new card just to defeat me.

How many Flotilla do you anticipate being available in the final version?

3 Flotilla per Faction, which is a total of 12. (3 flotilla x 4 factions). Although, we would like to implement a feature in which you could choose less flotilla for just a quick game if you only had so much time.

How many unique cards are you expecting in the final release?

This all comes down to funding. We have a little over 400 cards planned, but we are focusing on just the human faction right now. Then, we’ll move onto the Machine faction and finally the two alien factions. I know this isn’t really an answer, but without knowing how much money we’ll get it’s hard to pinpoint an exact number for you.

You mentioned early on that the game will not have any microtransactions. Do you plan to create expansions for the game in the future that introduce new cards, traps and Flotilla?

We do plan on rolling out expansions to the game and, yes, you’ll have to buy them in general. But, we are playing with an idea to help the players judge if the expense is worth it to them. The plan is as follows: let’s say I bought the expansion and I decide to play a friendly one-on-one match with you. I can make those additional cards/features available to you when you play me. You can make your own deck using my expansion and use those cards against me. However, if you then play someone who doesn’t have the expansion or doesn’t choose to share, then you’ll instead play with what you originally had…basically it’s just sharing an expansion with friends when you play against them.

Beyond Steam, do you have any planned releases on other platforms?

Yeah, we’d like to hit as many distributors as possible such as GOG, itch.io, Humble Bundle and our own website. We are open to more venues as well.

Do you plan to have different shaped boards to play on, besides the circular hex board?

We definitely would like unique boards…layered boards, spheres and the like. But right now we are focusing on the standard simple hex board, mostly to ensure the game runs nicely and plays smoothly. Then we’ll add in some more unique play areas.

When is your expected release window?

Currently, it’s just two of us working on this game and hiring people when we can afford it. Thus the release is still up in the air. It will be about two years out as it stands. We are always looking for more help, which would make the production faster.

Do you plan to release the game into Early Access to begin gathering player feedback from the community?

Yes, we aim to release playable versions just for our community on Discord. These players will be able to test the game and give feedback way earlier than anyone else. This first playable version we hope to have available within a few months. Granted, it will be pretty limited. Obviously, as time marches on, the game will be pieced together further and with the guidance and help of our community, we’ll make a game we can all love.

You can learn more about Fleet Calamity on their website here. We at Indie Ranger look forward to the initial build of Fleet Calamity, and will keep you updated with the game’s progress as it gets closer to release.

My name is Matthew Adler. I am a Freelance Video Game Journalist and also the Host and Creator of In Your Element: A Gaming Podcast.

In Your Element is a general gaming podcast with an emphasis on indie games. I feature a variety of different guests each week for discussion around specific topics. Check it out on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and other major podcast services!

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