Bye, Life: FTL Getting Free, Avellone-Penned Expansion

By Nathan Grayson on November 12th, 2013 at 10:00 am.

I’m beginning to think there’s some kind of conspiracy to have Torment/Project Eternity/Wasteland 2/Every Classic RPG You Can Think Of story megamind Chris Avellone write everything. It’s only a matter of time until we’re all glorified flesh puppets for his dialogue. I’m not even sure what I’m writing right now is my own. Avellone could already be pulling the strings, plucking away at my thoughts as though a master of mind-controlling bluegrass banjo. Nah, that’s crazy. Surely it’d be more eviden– BUY FTL BUY FTL BUY FTL IT’S GETTING AN EXPANSION WRITTEN BY CHRIS “SEX-LYMPICS CHAMPION” AVELLONE YEAH.

FTL: Advanced Edition, as it’s known, will be free to those who already own the original, and it’ll include the following:

  • Mind Control System: Temporarily turn enemies into allies. Force a boarder to repair the damage they just did, or have the enemy pilot sabotage their own helm.
  • Hacking System: Lockdown and disrupt enemy systems. Unique effects for each system, ranging from forcing a teleporter remove boarders to making the medbay damage instead of heal.
  • New Sector and Events
  • New Weapons and Effects: Many new weapons that take advantage of new mechanics: overcharging to increase the number of volleys, stun effects to freeze crew, and area effect targeting, to name a few.
  • And more systems, drones, augments, enemy ships, enemy layouts, and hostile environments.

There’ll also be smaller tweaks, including combat saves, more store variety, and save crew positions.

So basically, it’s more FTL – which is hardly a bad thing. Well, unless the brutal, time-ravaging black hole of a roguelike slurped up any sembalance of a life you had last time around. Then it’s probably a bit of a bad thing.

FTL: Advanced Edition will be out next year. Are you ready for more hopeless odds and horrific failure as Death (who conveniently does not need a space suit) jams scythe after scythe into your gears?

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89 Comments »

  1. pistolhamster says:

    Oh no, this cant be happening :( How am I supposed to complete my german studies?

    • SD says:

      Play the German localization?

    • Premium User Badge golem09 says:

      Watch Star Trek TOS in German.
      (No seriously, do it. I’m almost finished and it’s the most hilarious thing I’ve seen in a long while)

    • Acorino says:

      Or just go straight to watching Raumpatrouille Orion, the German 60s sci-fi TV series “inspired” by Star Trek.

      • vlonk says:

        How can it be inspired by Star Trek, when Star Trek only aired 2 episodes in America when the first Orion episode aired in Germany?

        I guess we had some pretty slick rapid development media companies back then.

        Regarding the german lessons: Go watch a Sci-Fi series of your choice in german. Please exclude Futurama and the Sitcoms. That localization is… mistakes where made.

        • Premium User Badge Morlock says:

          For a complete disconnect, watch Life of Brian in German.

          • Umbert says:

            Yes, do that. There aren’t many movies I would recommend with German synchronization, but the Monty Python movies excel instead of disappoint. And yes stay clear of all the cartoon and sitcoms in German, they’re horrible. Best thing I can recommend (as a movie) is Team America. That one is (in my opinion) way funnier with German voices.

          • Gilmir says:

            Life of Brian in German is digestable (but waaay less funny then the original).
            “Monty Python’s holy Grail” (named “the knights of the coconut” in German…) must be the worst translation ever. It basically murders all jokes of the original version by making new “jokes” in every line of the script. And failing miserably.

  2. Mr. Mister says:

    The new weapons’ sprites don’t look terrifically good, but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.

    If anything, I’m more excited at the possibilities that this will open for mods. I’ve been playing with Captain’s Edition for a good while now, and oh boy is it just plain retardedly exciting.
    http://www.ftlgame.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=15663

    (I recommend you get sMPK as well, and Better Backgrounds and Planets).

  3. Henke says:

    Well, this is timely.

    If I ever needed confirmation that the iPad Air I ordered yesterday was a wise investment, this is it.

    • Premium User Badge El_MUERkO says:

      Woo!

      also

      Yay!

    • Didden says:

      They had to do some major optimisations to make it work on iPad, so the graphics will only be 2D… oh wait ;)

  4. apocraphyn says:

    Oh my. Set phasers to stun, gentlemen.

  5. yusefsmith says:

    I’ve been playing through lots of the expansions, such as Captain’s Edition, Star Trek, Omicron and so on.

    What excites me most about this announcement is the potential to create new alien races for crew members.

    • FFabian says:

      WHAT? Expansions? Where? Why did nobody tell me? I don’t have any friends, thats why …. but thats another issue…

  6. JimboDeany says:

    Any Android love? Any at all?!?!

    • The Dark One says:

      But many of you might be asking “What about Android (or Surface, etc.)!?” For now, the answer is that we hope to get it on all tablet devices but do not know for sure. When we first released FTL, we did so on three operating systems simultaneously and it was a gargantuan task for a two man studio to accomplish. Learning from the difficulties of the past, we’re trying to preserve our sanity by focusing on one system at a time. Expanding tablet support will be our next highest priority, but we don’t want to make any promises (or rejections) until we’re 100% sure of the outcome.

      Similarly, some people might be asking “What about phones!?” Unfortunately, FTL will not be coming to phones. From repeated testing, we have determined that it’s just not possible to achieve the quality of gameplay we want on such limited screen space.

      • IonTichy says:

        I wish that bigger studios would think like that.

      • MattM says:

        I gave up playing star command on my nexus 4 phone because of the small screen.

  7. BTAxis says:

    Mmm, no. I reached the boss twice and then I just couldn’t be arsed to play the whole thing again anymore. I don’t see any reason to go back to it.

    • Ny24 says:

      The answer is poetry! When you levitate through stardust you are truly happy and the only real thing that may bring you down is gravity.

    • grrrz says:

      the key to winning the game is the spacebar…

  8. Wednesday says:

    Avellone.

    So it’s going to be a drab misery fest in which I find out how my star drive is powered by mulched up dead children?

    Edit: I only half don’t mean that.

    • Premium User Badge Lars Westergren says:

      I see you haven’t played Old World Blues. If you have the right perks, you can get in a situation where you try to seduce your own brain. It’s horrified and disgusted by your crassness.

      • LionsPhil says:

        Oh, so it’s going to be lolzrandumb garbage that’s thematically inconsistent with the game that came before?

        • Sparkasaurusmex says:

          Who gives a shit, it’s FTL?
          The story so far? Go right because a big red line is coming from the left. And that was sufficient narrative, really. I suspect this is more for name dropping than some sort of RPG epic story.

          • LionsPhil says:

            Well, yes. I kind of don’t want more story in FTL. It already has the basic narrative struts upon which you can spin your own tale.

        • Premium User Badge Lars Westergren says:

          Wow, harsh crowd. On one hand Avellone is too grimdark serious, on the other too facetious.

          Fallout has always been a series that alternates between being serious, and being darkly humorous and silly. I think there is more than enough world and gameplay already in F:NV that they could create one expansion that went wild towards the latter, including everything that they had previously cut.

        • Blinky343 says:

          I guess if I’d never played it I that’s something I might say too

  9. Premium User Badge Saul says:

    Aha! I read that he wanted to work on FTL in this interview on Tom Jubert’s blog: http://tom-jubert.blogspot.com.au/2013/09/the-chris-avellone-interview.html

    I gently tried to match-make, but it turns out I was already too late…

  10. ix says:

    Last time I played this game I woke up after a week with 50 hours played and no idea how I managed to fit those into working days. Seriously, has anyone got all those achievements ’cause damn that must be hundreds of hours?

    • Dezmiatu says:

      I still don’t have the slug or the rockman cruiser. Or the second variant of the Zoltan cruiser. Certainly not the fucking mystery ship you have to jump through loops after holding lady luck at gunpoint for a slim chance at success.

    • skyorrichegg says:

      I have 340 hours logged in FTL according to Steam, all ships and all achievements, but not all of the achievements were on normal… gave up on getting Living Off the Land on normal. The 340 hours is a bit misleading because early on there was no saving the game so I would leave it on for a bit during a day so probably around 240-280 hours is more accurate. I wish they would make an achievement for it because my most interesting run was using the Stealth Cruiser B and beating the boss having never bought shields the whole game.

  11. tormos says:

    THIS IS THE BEST NEWS THAT HAS EVER NEWSED

  12. TomA says:

    I love this game, it’s just too bad I’m absolutely awful at it, pretty much every game ends up with me bashing my head against the keyboard. Spent a good amount of hours on it and I’m still no better than when I first installed, strangely enough though I’m looking forward to discovering new methods of failure.

    • tormos says:

      Sometimes, failure is fun! My greatest memory of FTL is sitting up playing it late one night with my roommate.
      “Oh God, FIRE, FIRE, FIRE, why is everything on FIRE?” “Oh, now the oxygen room is breached and is venting into space”

      “Well, it sounds like your problems are solving each other”

  13. karthink says:

    Nathan, Avellone says on twitter that he did a “small percentage” of the writing, and most of it remains Jubert’s work. Your post gives the wrong idea.

    https://twitter.com/ChrisAvellone/status/400045004053155840

  14. Drake Sigar says:

    Awesome. I’d love to get back into this.

  15. P7uen says:

    Love FTL, but I’d rather have a bit more freedom, a bit less pressure to push forward on each level, than the above items. Is it just me?

    • Trithne says:

      No. I’m hoping that ‘expansion’ means a more free-form game mode, hopefully with less of a ‘now fight this dreadnaught’ at the end.

    • Niko says:

      There’s is a simple mod called “Disable fleet” that does exactly that, and I’ve been having much more fun with FTL since I discovered it.

      • mouton says:

        Still, it basically breaks the game. I like the basic campaign, but they sure could tweak it or make a new one.

      • P7uen says:

        Tweaks or no I’ll definitely check it out, ta muchly!

      • Premium User Badge JamesTheNumberless says:

        I had fun with it for a bit but it did break the game a bit for me, I also felt as though I was cheating – which is always a buzz for a little while in any roguelike, but gets boring.

    • ADamnYankee says:

      You want the “Infinite Space” mod: http://www.ftlgame.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=3542

  16. Premium User Badge lowprices says:

    The problem with the Sex-Lympics these days is that all the competitors are professionals. It’s lost the purity of the original version, when only gifted amateurs could take part.

    • Premium User Badge DrScuttles says:

      And they’re all using performance enhancers anyway.

    • Sleepymatt says:

      Personally I think the turning point was when they started allowing competitive water sports in. It’s just gone down the drain since then.

  17. Mittens89 says:

    This is so exciting! I would have happily paid money for it, but the fact that its free is most welcome news.

    • Themadcow says:

      Absolutely. I’ve had such a great time with FTL that they probably have charged £15 for a small upgrade and I’d have happily paid it. Hell, if FIFA / FM / COD can charge silly money for the same game each year then I wouldn’t begrudge it of these guys. Shame about the lack of Android tablet version (at the moment) but it’s completely understandable.

  18. Premium User Badge DrScuttles says:

    Awfully generous of the old chaps. One day I’ll name a crew member Mal and have him live to the end.

  19. Premium User Badge Lambchops says:

    Sounds like a good excuse to revisit it.

    Particularly intrigued to see how they implement hacking, it was an oft talked about possible feature mooted by beta testers and devs alike but at the time nobody had a great solution for how to balance it.

  20. Danda says:

    I want Avellone to write my life.

  21. ViktorBerg says:

    I guess we still have to rely on a mod for infinite mode, huh.

  22. Contrafibularity says:

    Most excellent, I will happily use this as an excuse to spend a few more weekends in FTL.

  23. Premium User Badge JamesTheNumberless says:

    Hacking and mind control sound like logical additions to the game but I’m not sure they’re abilities I want my enemies to have! It’s already enough trouble when you have systems damage and can’t get things to function fully at crucial times, without them deliberately turning against you. Losing control of crew members is even worse as your crew are currently the only thing you can really depend on.

    • Nick says:

      Well, Slugs sort of already have hacking in those events..

      • Premium User Badge JamesTheNumberless says:

        Yeah I suppose, and it’s fun as it is. I want to trust them, but I’m too aware that adding new complexity is extremely hard to do to a successful formula. You risk turning previously fun gameplay into something frustrating.

    • Premium User Badge JamesTheNumberless says:

      Don’t get me wrong, the challenge is something I love about this game but past a certain point it becomes masochism. Even if perfectly balanced with counter measures it would just be adding one more thing to micromanage and take care of.

  24. Premium User Badge phlebas says:

    What can change the nature of a space-based roguelike?

  25. Premium User Badge Hodge says:

    Well, fuck.

  26. FurryLippedSquid says:

    I don’t understand this “penned” business. Is there going to be a story? The game is the story. Isn’t it?

    • Premium User Badge Hypocee says:

      It’s all about flavour rather han narrative – making events that aren’t You Encounter a LASER HEAVY SCOUT, fitting interesting nuance into multiple-choice challenges, deciding where a fun blue is thematically appropriate. I’m actually fairly invested in Jubert’s FTL universe, as roughly sketched as it is and will hopefully remain. Rock are really pretty cruel. I oddly like Mantis expatriates. I actually RP a bit, running from mistaken fights with Zoltan and Engi police and these days I usually let the Rebel transport go because they can’t surrender and aren’t carrying weapons especially often. There are hints here and there of the politics of the war. Slavers, mercs, bandits act like this, this and this so elsewhere in the world that must happen etc.

  27. derbefrier says:

    Hell yeah been a while since I have messed around with this. Also from the comments it sounds like I need to look at a few mods that have come out in my absense.

  28. Frank says:

    Yay, more FTL things and layers.

    Meh, Avellone. I hope he’s not costing them too dearly.

    • Low Life says:

      Well, he’s doing it for free, so only their integrity. And their souls.

      • Premium User Badge JamesTheNumberless says:

        Avellone is welcome to my soul if that’s the price for the opportunity to work with him.

  29. malkav11 says:

    As much of a fan as I am of Chris Avellone…the writing in FTL comes like, three sentences at a time. It’s not the sort of game where his talents have room to really shine.

    • Dinger says:

      To the defense of FTL, that’s the beauty of the writing. There’s a simple series of game mechanics, and those drips and drabs of three-line writing flesh them out. When you get to the end, you find yourself having flown around the galaxy, being okay with slavery as long as it serves you; for that matter, the game trains the player into being ruthlessly interested in advancing her own cause at any price, defeating these awful rebels who seem to have done something evil, which is never really stated or made horrendous in any way. The first time you play it, you have a choice. As you learn the game, those choices become fewer and fewer.
      I’d love a sequel mission where you played as the (future) rebel flagship (but not the same flagship layout/capabilities, natch).

  30. Slaadfax says:

    Am I completely cracked, or did those ships flying across the screen at the end of the trailer look a little like Shadow ships from Babylon 5? It’s been a bit since I’ve played FTL, but I can’t recall anything looking quite like that. Plus, they’re kind of flying through a lot of wreckage there… seems like a hint at a dangerous new foe, perhaps.

  31. Lemming says:

    I didn’t see any mention of an ‘exploration mode’, which is a shame. That’s the one thing I think I, and many others have been clamouring for.

    • Premium User Badge JamesTheNumberless says:

      An endless exploration mode without the rebel fleet mechanics would be the easiest way to add an extra game mode but I personally wouldn’t play it except to try to collect all the achievements I’m missing. The way the game’s encounters scale up per sector combined with where the limits currently are on power/systems/crew mean that everything would be maxed out very quickly in a game mode like this unless you were extremely unlucky. A completely new scenario with a different sort of agent of urgency (maybe a time limit to complete a mission, rather than a fleet chasing you) for instance, we haven’t had the story yet of exactly how you came to be in possession of the “secret” the rebel fleet is pursuing you for. A prequel scenario could do that.

      • Lemming says:

        I think we can take as read that ‘exploration mode’ means more than just the game without the rebels. One would assume it would be balanced around the exploration instead, and therefore not have the inherent problems you mention. eg. new items being a lot rarer, more scrap required for upgrades, ways you can lose items for good. Basically a way to have the play in an ‘endless’ roguelike mode.

  32. AtnaShadow says:

    Well, there goes a sizable chunk of my free time. Again. Oh well!

  33. cyrenic says:

    Also new music!

    Loved the soundtrack.

  34. Reverend Lovebutter says:

    Ken’s crusty shell of cynicism cracks, and a glistening, gleeful seepage of lust leaks out.

    Ken’s stern, Puritan work ethic fails, and his mouse pointer creeps towards the FTL desktop shortcut.

    Must. Not. Click….

  35. Enkinan says:

    NICE.

    I still need to try out mods in FTL, but vanilla is still entertaining as hell, and I still have some ships to unlock. New content by Avellone is just more icing.

    Avellone is turning into the JJ Abrams of gaming.

  36. HSuke says:

    Will definitely get this if they come out with a Super-Easy mode.

  37. DatonKallandor says:

    So what’s Avellone doing on this again apart from being good PR? FTL has no story. There’s nothing to WRITE unless you consider 1 paragraph textboxes “story by avellone”.

  38. JXSZSMS says:

    Beware, it just hangs a “supervisory” kind of title for Avellone, but he is not really the main personnel. Such kind of stuffs usually signifies problems. At least I for one am ready for disappointment at that time.