FTL-y Shortest Trip to Earth blasts crowdfunding demo

shortest way to earth

One of the developers behind the rock solid top-down shooter Teleglitch: Die More Edition is working on an FTL-inspired spaceship roguelike that, judging by the bits of the demo I’ve played, looks promising. Shortest Trip to Earth [official site] has just hit Indiegogo, looking for $35,000 (£27k), and the demo contains a tutorial and two sectors of space to blast through.

You deck out a ship with different modules, move your crew about to man different sections, explore far-flung planets and battle alien craft in real-time. The aim is to get to Earth by surviving 10 space sectors, refuelling and collecting valuable resources as you go. It doesn’t have the same polish as FTL (not yet, anyway), but watching your crew scamper between their stations is satisfying. What impressed me the most was the writing and the number of individual stories it throws up as you explore.

In my first sector, for example, I scanned a desert planet for life forms. My scanners found a cave so I risked a couple of drones that got chewed up instantly by some monsters. I could’ve left them alone, but instead I sent a three-man strike crew to blast them away. Lurking deeper were a friendly alien race who asked for my help: they were cowering indoors because of a beast that roamed the surface of the planet. Could we, pretty please, take it out for them?

I obliged, bombing what turned out to be a giant robot from afar, and was rewarded with a bunch of resources, the gratitude of the aliens and ten pots of spiced sandworms, a local delicacy. If was enjoyable, detailed, and each section of the mini story was accompanied by hand-drawn artwork. So far, so good.

You can download the demo from Itch or Game Jolt.

The developer is Interactive Fate, a four-strong team including Edvin Aedma, one of the group that created Teleglitch. They’re hoping to launch the full version of Shortest Trip to Earth in the first half of 2018.


  1. Cronstintein says:

    I was just thinking this week I wish someone would copy FTL, definitely going to check this out.

    • TechnicalBen says:

      Yeah. Looks like some mix of FTL with Rimworld or something.

  2. Synesthesia says:

    Strong galaxy trucker vibes; I dig this.

  3. mattevansc3 says:

    “Inspired by” seems to be putting it lightly. It looks like a bigger, and hopefully better version of FTL.

    • poliovaccine says:

      Yeah, I was just gonna say… I like FTL enough that I’m interested, but I’m also curious if this does anything differently than FTL, or if it just aims to make iterative improvements in every way? Cus I mean, I’d be just fine with that, dont fix what isnt broken, but I’d still be curious to know the plan. Also curious if the FTL devs have given some sort of official show of support or something?

      In any case, I’m more than happy to receive a sequel to FTL. Just curious what makes this distinct, or if it even wants to be..?

      • Landiss says:

        Battles look to be quite different thing. The trailer shows battle versus 2 ships at the same time. It appears the ships are much bigger (more modules). Besides, the history of games is basically repeating and trying to improve what someone else did. I don’t understand why people always complain about such things. Do we only deserve to have one FTL or could we have a genre made out of it?

        • jalf says:

          I don’t understand why people always complain about such things

          What do you mean? You responded to a comment which wasn’t complaining. It was saying, paraphrasing slightly, “this is great. I wonder how and how much it will differ from FTL, but it sounds good either way”

          Also, yay, more FTL-likes!

          • poliovaccine says:

            Yeah, thank you. I even went out of my way to say I’m into it, just in case it wasnt clear haha… It’s just that, oftentimes when something is an “unofficial sequel” or a “spiritual successor” or a joiner into a newly developing genre or something (e.g. “FTL-likes”), they try and do something deliberately different to distinguish themselves. From this writeup, I can’t tell if this is “another FTL-like” or “basically FTL 2.” That’s what I’m asking after, but I’ll be happy with either thing, cus I mean, I like FTL and so I tend to like FTL-likes.

            I dont even think the person I replied to was complaining to begin with, at least I didnt take it that way. Just… they are correct, it looks way more than simply “inspired by” FTL, looks like a direct iteration. Personally, I dont register that as a complaint..? I guess looking back at it in that light I can see how one might, except for the whole part where they say, “hopefully that means bigger and better FTL.” I was basically echoing that sentiment, so I guess if you heard a complaint once, you’d hear it twice, but… yeah, not complaining. Glad to gobble up any FTL-likes. Can’t speak for the other poster, but I took “bigger and better FTL” to be flatly a positive thing..!

          • Landiss says:

            Ok, guilty, I misunderstood the previous comments, sorry about that.

  4. Landiss says:

    To be honest, that is what worries me the most. Focusing on detailed stories (and with pictures) always means there will be more repetition. It’s simply not possible to add enough (quality) text for that to not happen. I would prefer simple encounters with not too much details, but instead more variation between them.

  5. Lobotomist says:

    Such a blatant copy of FTL

    Take my money !

  6. poliovaccine says:

    Yknow that part toward the end of Mass Effect 2, where, without spoiling too much, a bunch of the choices you have or havent made turn out to matter very much to everyone, in succession? I want to see that sort of thing approximated in an FTL-like. It would lend another layer of consequence to your various decisions in ship management, and also, the one thing missing when your crew is too interchangeable and die too often is that sense of Mass Effect or even just XCOM level camaraderie. I wanna see that cooked into the next FTL-like somehow – I feel like if there’s anything missing from the formula at all, at least in terms of achingly clear potential, it would be that.

  7. OmNomNom says:

    Instant backing from me. Teleglitch was awesome.

  8. erikson says:

    I am going to check ut the demo right now! Looks cool. Does anyone know if the FTL crew (Subset games) is working on a sequel?Apparently they are working on Into the breach. So I guess not.

  9. racccoon says:

    I do not get it..
    Games that make money have to beg for more money to start another game!?!!?.
    Its kind of insulting to the gamers who donated to last game.
    My question is why aren’t they using the funds from last game to develop the new one?
    What gives them the right to ask for more free cash from the very people who gave them a crutch to lean on last time?
    I do think this is pure GREED!
    Begging devs need to learn that a business runs on profit which is then implanted to the next project.
    This trend in games where devs constantly keep forever asking for funds is very disturbing and uncalled for.


    • BewareTheJabberwock says:

      A> It’s hard to tell which dev you’re talking to, here. But most indie devs operate on very thin margins, so even when something they do sells well, that money is probably going to pay the bills from the last two years of rent, etc, while they were making it. The nice thing about the crowdfunding model is that they get a bit of cash infusion while things are developing, so they don’t feel like they have to crap out an unfinished game because they ran out of money.

      2> It’s not like if you get in on crowdfunding something you’re throwing your money in a hole. Usually you back something, and then it either comes out, and you get a copy (and some perks, game content, your name in the credits, soundtrack, etc etc), or it doesn’t and you don’t get charged. I loved Pillars of Eternity, so I got in on the PofE2 crowdfunding bkz I knew it was a day one purchase anyway. But now I also get to hear about how it develops, and the stretch goals were cool, too (up to a point).

      iii> You are under no obligation whatsoever to participate in the crowdfunding. Don’t do it. Buy what you like when it comes out.

    • ThePuzzler says:

      “My question is why aren’t they using the funds from last game to develop the new one?”
      Perhaps they spend the crowdfunding for the last game on making the last game? That’s what it’s for.

  10. Rufust Firefly says:

    Reminds me a little bit of Strange Adventures in Infinite Space or Flotilla, both of which I loved.

  11. KayAU says:

    Finally, something that might be able to scratch the FTL itch, and even seems to expand on the concept, mixing in elements of other games I love, like SAIS/Weird Worlds. FTL is my favorite roguelite, and although there have been a few other games which have tried to emulate it, nothing so far has managed to come close. This one does look promising.