Finalising The Frontier: FTL Footage

I'm beaming... with delight
You can’t spell ‘futile’ without ‘FTL’, and demonstrating randomly generated and bastardly tough space roguelike FTL without flicking some special developer switches seems, to me, the very definition of it. But the FTL devs are brave space types, venturing into the depths of their wonderful space-ship management sim to show off the new additions. Their 1000% Kickstarter funded indie game was already amazing, but they’re mining those Star Trek tropes for all they’re worth: they’ve added cloaking and teleporting. “Captain, we have an incoming message from YouTube.” “Onscreen, Lieutenant Sexington.”

I swear they’re making the game I didn’t even realise I wanted all this time. And it’s so deliciously lo-fi it could have warped in at any point in the last ten years: I hope the developers find a wormhole and go back in time to release it. The barebones demo I played was great, but with crew skills, ship customisation, more playable races and additional unlocks through multiple playthroughs, they’ve rerouted power to the deflector dish of my heart.

It’ll be out in 2012, sometime after August.


  1. TailSwallower says:

    Been following this since a mention of it on the forums, Kickstartered it and must have played that OnLive demo at least 20 times. Fantastic stuff.

    Anyone else who played the demo might find this video interesting:
    link to
    Someone actually defeated the Sector 2 boss during the demo, opening up access to as many sectors as he could get to in the time left.

    • skyorrichegg says:

      You could get pretty far past the second sector and the boss a little easier than that using a little trick that hopefully they’ll fix in the final release… link to the enemies keep getting harder but I didn’t notice gigantic differences besides that

  2. des0lar says:

    – And it’s si deliciously lo-f it could have warped in at any point in the last ten years – There’s a little error in that sentence :)

  3. PoulWrist says:

    I enjoyed this a lot. Want the full game :)

  4. Craig Pearson says:

    sleepy typering.

  5. MellowKrogoth says:

    So, try 5 by now as I attempt to get the comment system not to eat my comment.

    This game reminds me somewhat of Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space. Check it out, it’s nice if you’re into the “wander in space, find cool/weird stuff, you or the universe dies horribly”. link to

  6. The Tupper says:

    But Craig! if they’ve boosted the power to your heart’s deflector dish, how are you ever to find love?

    Not only that, but your liver, pancreas and kidneys are all at grave danger of damage from Thalaron radiation. Reconsider, man!

  7. torchedEARTH says:

    Can we have a demo that isn’t hosted by Onlive please? We don’t all have amazing broadband to run that steaming service. Did I say steaming?

    • FFabian says:

      ^ This!

      Any chance to get my grubby mits at the demo without using this Onlive thing?

      • Harlander says:

        There’s meant to be beta access for people who’ve contributed to the funding. Dunno when that’s starting, though.

        • youthful cynic says:

          It doesn’t say when it is starting but you get closed beta access when you donate $25+ on kickstarter (that’s ~£15.70).

  8. Crius says:

    already funded times ago.
    totally deserves

  9. AmateurScience says:

    This is really shaping up to be great!

  10. LimEJET says:

    So this is basically a computer version of Space Alert. Lovely.

    • cloudnein says:

      Computer version of the Battlestations board game, methinks…

  11. Robin says:

    I hope they’ll make the graphics prettier* with those money.

    *not saying it’s bad, just that it could improve!

  12. Dizzard says:

    This looks quite cool.

    Although personally I have difficulty enjoying games that completely wipe your progress on failure. I don’t mean being able to go back to a spawn point with the same crew. It’s more like I need some kind of recognition that yes this actually happened. It sort of feels like a bummer that you could play thousands of campaigns and have nothing to show for it.

    It’s what I loved about Dwarf Fortress, even if your Fortress/Adventurer was defeated. The world itself remained and grew with each playthrough.

    • Dizzard says:

      Ok this is strange. I just turned on the tv and there’s a Starship Enterprise (I think) movie on.

    • jaronimoe says:

      well, it said somewhere in the article that you DO get unlockables after finishing a playthrough. there’s your reward.

    • Kektain says:

      You get an amazing story to tell out of it, and hopefully have some fun. Pithy answer maybe, but true.

  13. Jayson82 says:

    I almost managed to defeat the imposible pirate but my time ran out just before i could defeat him but as he had no shields or weapons most of the crew dead it would not have taken much longer.

    Heres a pic that i took a few seconds before the trial ended link to See if anyone can guess how I did it.

    • Lenderz says:

      I’m guessing magic, and maybe wizardry. Was it that?

      Edit: I tried a few times and failed at each attempt, and wandered off and upped my Kickstarter donation as I enjoyed the attempts so much.

      • Jayson82 says:

        The trick is quite simple…missiles. With there lv 4 shields no other weapon will work to get past them other than missiles, also the missile laucher I had that I found on my very last jump before this battle was a fire bomb, this missile does no hull damage only system damage but it sets fires which was important to stop the pirate crew from repairing there ship. I also went into the battle with 12 missiles.

        All my junk from the start went into sheilds and power so that is how i stayed alive while i set fire to there ship.

        Can’t wait till the game gets relesed.

        • skyorrichegg says:

          There is at least one other way without missiles, I did it with an anti-ship drone mark II, an anti-ship drone mark I and two sets of blast lasers… that ends up just peeling through their shields, and if you target their shields to disable and bring them down a bit well your two anti-ship drones end up just tearing the guy apart very quickly disabling systems and just causing a right mess.

  14. wodin says:

    I want bigger ships with more crew. DO we even get any oher ships? I only ever see the same one with about 5 crew on it. How about real big ships with fighters! Those fighter pilots could have skills in shooting things in a very fast space ships (how about being able to customise said fighters and your big ship), some could be good others dead (quickly), how about promote the good fighter pilot who shot down lots of ships, only to find he is rubbish at commanding his men etc etc. This is what I’d like. A real big space opera style management like RPG.

    Quick edit…I like the graphics. I’d rather have what i consider great 2d graphics like this that have a character and charm of their own than spend time making super fancy graphics and cutting back on the gameplaydepthfeatures etc.

  15. wodin says:

    Oh, talking of Indie space games I’ve posted about a game on the forums I think RPS should check out and interview the developers. It has potential.

  16. DarkFenix says:

    I dumped more time into that demo than I have into some full games. Excellent game, can’t wait for release. Needless to say I threw some money at them and am glad to see so many others were of like mind.

  17. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    It looks like someone set phasers to “fund”.

  18. Urthman says:

    Oh crud. All this time I’ve been assuming this game was turn based (“rogue-like”).

    Nothing makes you feel more like a real starship captain than a constant test to see how fast you can click your mouse in the right spot.

    • Torgen says:

      Ack. I thought it was turn-based as well. No thanks.

    • irongamer says:

      Spacebar pauses the game. You can then open doors, select power settings, and direct your crew. All done on your time. Eat a sandwich between power adjustments and directing your crew. Then press spacebar to “end your turn.”

      • arccos says:

        Exactly how I played it. It’s pausable real-time done right. It gives you the time granularity you need and the opportunity to ponder your moves.

        • mckertis says:

          “It’s pausable real-time done right.”

          There’s no such thing. In every game with pausable real-time i’ve ever played – it required pausing in combat so often – that it was much worse than if it was turn-based to begin with.

      • Urthman says:

        Oh wonderful. That sounds perfect. Even better than straight turn-based.

  19. Arkh says:

    God damn you RPS! I swear to god if you make me kickstarter-fund another game, I’ gonna kickstart fund some talebans to blow up your homes!

    • Arkh says:

      Mein gott, did the player’s ship cloaked itself to escape?

      My wallet and I curse you, RPS!

  20. Lambchops says:

    Really looking forward to this, I could tell just from the demo that this would be my next Spelunky/Desktop Dungeons/Binding of Isaac.

    I’ve really grown to love these types of games recently and this is a fine example.