Posts Tagged ‘FTL: Faster Than Light’

Into The Breach: FTL follow-up is smart, tense and surprising

Within a couple of minutes of sitting down with Justin Ma and a build of his new game, Into the Breach [official site], preconceptions are torn to shreds. Ma is one half of the team behind FTL and when Into the Breach was announced, I wasn’t alone in thinking it looked like tactical skirmisher Advance Wars, with added monsters. It is that game, to an extent, but its most notable feature isn’t tied to the setting at all – it’s that this is a tactical combat game in which the enemy is entirely predictable. Everything is explained below, but in short, this might be the smartest turn-based design I’ve seen since Invisible, Inc.

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FTL devs announce tactical kaiju battler Into The Breach

The creators of FTL have announced their next game, Into the Breach [official site], and it looks a bit like the isometric, tactical version of EDF I’ve always wanted. Tasked with defending the last remnants of humanity from giant monsters, you’ll protect cities and fight monsters in randomly generated turn-based scenarios. It looks gorgeous, as you can see in the trailer below, and will have a new soundtrack by Ben Prunty, FTL’s composer, as well as writing and world-building from the keyboard of Chris Avellone.

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Abandon Ship Looks Like FTL On The High Seas

When we reviewed Tempest, a game of piracy in a fantasy setting, I came away saddened that it was all grinding turns and cannon aiming, with crew management that wasn’t very personable or fun. “Why has nobody successfully transferred the shipboard panic of FTL or the crew management of XCOM to a wooden frigate on the high seas?” I lamented. “Maybe in the future, some developer will plunder those design lessons.”

Well, shiver my timbers, it looks like Abandon Ship [official site] wants to do just that. Read the rest of this entry »

Have You Played… FTL: Faster Than Light?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

FTL is a Star Trek episode generator. You are in control of the crew of a spaceship and forced to race across the galaxy. Each new system visited brings with it drama, tough choices, high comedy, and the very high possibility of death. It’s thrilling.

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Generation Next, Part 4: Procedural Generation’s Future

Mark Johnson is the developer of Ultima Ratio Regum [official site], an ANSI 4X roguelike in which the use of procedural generation extends beyond the creation of landscapes and dungeons to also dynamically create cultures, practices, social norms, rituals, beliefs, concepts, and myths. This is the final in a four part series examining what generating this kind of social detail can bring to games.

In this series so far we’ve examined the current state of procedural generation (PCG) in game design and outlined what a greater engagement with ‘qualitative’ PCG might bring to games (in Part 1), talked through in detail the process for creating a richly detailed PCG element of social life (in Part 2) and given an overview of my own work in this area (in Part 3). For this final part we will now zoom out somewhat and talk about game design and the games industry as a whole, and where we might want to position qualitative PCG more broadly, both now and in the near future. There are two core propositions I’d like to put forward: firstly, that we should regard qualitative worldbuilding detail as being integral to the future of games, instead of an intriguing aside; and secondly, that the demographics of developers and players of PCG games are going to shape the direction that procedural generation evolves in.

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The 50 Best RPG On PC

An entirely objective ranking of the 50 best PC RPGs ever released. Covering the entire history of computer role-playing games is a daunting task and attempting to place the best games in such a broad genre in any kind of order is even more daunting. Thankfully, we are equal to all tasks and below, you will find the best fifty PC RPGs of all time.

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What Can Games Learn From Action In Comics?

PAGE ONE, PANEL ONE

Graham lies in a crumpled heap beneath the looming figure of DOCTOR NO IDEAS.

CAPTION: This looks like a job for…

PAGE ONE, PANEL TWO

Pip, dressed in a (heroic) frog costume, sits typing at a computer.

PAGE TWO, PANEL ONE

A closeup of a Gchat window with the text “G, are there any games which do violence as well as comics?”

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Comfort Games

how I feel RN

Hello there, best keep your distance, for I am ill. Not just ‘bit of a sniffle/put a bigger pullover on, you great ninny’ ill, but ‘noxious substances violently erupting from everywhere’ ill. My daughter started going to nursery about three months ago, and has been bringing back a delightful cocktail of viruses and bacteria ever since – it’s been a relentless assault on my immune system, and while I’m oddly proud of how long it stood against this microbial siege, it has now collapsed in gruesome style.

It’s OK, I don’t want your pity. Unless it’s a special magical form of pity that renders me instantly able to eat again. I want to talk about games.

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A Night With FTL Advanced Edition

I’m a broken man today, having been up til nearly 2am playing the freebie ‘Advanced Edition’ expansion for impeccably clever/brutal space survival sim/strategy/RPG FTL: Faster Than Light last night, so I guess it’s safe to say the new features haven’t broken the old spell. I had worried the various new weapons, rooms and encounters would upset FTL’s simultaneously delicate and chaotic balancing act, but in four run-throughs (three failed, once successful #humblebrag) I haven’t felt its famed cruelty ever collapsed into either messy excess or over-complication. In one game, I lost because the enemy kept teleporting over a stream of invading clones. Another I won thanks to an excellent new weapon. All’s fair in love and murderous rebel space fleets.

Thoughts and a video (with commentary, or something approximating it) below.
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FTL: Advanced Edition Out In April, Free To FTL Owners

Are you ready to have even more of your life sucked away by FTL’s infinite, endlessly twisting black hole of finely calibrated systems? Then you are in luck, person with an improbable amount of time on your hands, because FTL: Advanced Edition is just around the corner. Or rather, the space equivalent of a corner. There are not a lot of corners in space.

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Attack Of The Clones: FTL Advanced Edition Update Detailed

No release date for the free FTL ‘Advanced Edition’ addon as yet, which makes me an even sadder boy than I already was. Especially in the wake of the new Clone Bay subsystem being revealed.

“The goal of the Clone Bay was to really disrupt the core way you play the game,” the devs have explained. “You’ll be able to send crew off into dangerous situations without fear of death. Giant alien spiders will no longer be the terrifying, unstoppable force that you’re used to, since the system can simply revive your crew after the event.”

“Giant alien spiders will no longer be… terrifying” is a bold claim, isn’t it?
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Steel Yourself: FTL Advanced Edition’s Adds Metal Lifeforms

New ships! On which to die.

We reported last month about FTL’s free, Chris Avellone-penned expansion, but now we know more about exactly what it contains. In a post over on the FTL site, the team introduce a new race of “metallic lifeforms” called The Lanius.

Just when I thought I had enough ways to get all my friends killed.
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Bye, Life: FTL Getting Free, Avellone-Penned Expansion

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.

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Humble Indie Bundle 9 Is Go(od)

It’s not Android games, nor soundtracks, nor books about kettles. The new Humble Bundle is the original, the Humble Indie Bundle 9. And for a ninth time in a row, it’s a corker. With names like Mark Of The Ninja, FTL: Faster Than Light, and FEZ, you can see the dollar signs spinning already.

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Good GOG: More Silly Prices In The Latest Good Old Sale

BUY VIDEOGAMES BUY ALL THE VIDEOGAMES BUY THEM FOREVER…

…is what someone who works at videogame download service might say. I don’t work at one of those, so I don’t really know why I’m saying it. I suppose I’m generally in favour of the buying of videogames, however. I’m also in favour of videogames being affordable, so the last gasp of mad discounting in the current GoG Summer Sale prompts me to raise a grubby thumb in approval. You’ve around 20 hours left to obtain the likes of The Witcher 2, Alan Wake’s American Nightmare, Dungeon Keeper, Retro City Rampage and Syndicate for $cheap.
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Awooga! FTL Boarded Garry’s Mod


If gathering friends to play Artemis Spaceship Bridge Simulator is a bit cumbersome, and if you find FTL a bit lonely, then I’ve found the perfect game for you. Final Frontier is the result of a nasty transporter accident between the pair, where the Heisenberg compensators decoupled and they arrived on the SS GMOD screaming and inside out. The sick bay did its best, but all it could do is stabilise the life signs. To be honest, the gristly lump that was spat out looks pretty amazing.
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Stare Into The Void: Infinite Space 3 Footage

Bing bong bing!
Disclaimer: I am a backer of Infinite Space 3: Sea Of Stars. Do I need to disclaim that? It’s not like I’m an investor. I just gave them money to make a game I wanted to play, and I only backed at the lowest tier. If anything, I was making an investment in me. I pre-ordered happiness. Disclaimer: I am an investor in Craig, and Craig is well happy at seeing the first glimpse of Infinite Space 3: Sea Of Stars. Digital Eel‘s third entry in their farcical space roguelike series is making the transition from a top-down 2D adventure, to bulbous and spacious 3D. There’s a roomy video below.
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IGF Winners: The Habitual Voyeur Of What Is Known As…

….Cart Life, which scooped up an an impressive triple-whammy of Nuovo Award, Excellence in Narrative and the coveted Seamus McNally Grand Prize at last night’s Independent Games Festival 2013 awards. The warmest of all congratulations to Richard Hofmeier, whose affecting, brave game is well overdue for this kind of attention.
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FTL Lego FTW

Not pictured: everything on fire, everyone dead

Things that would happen in the best of all possible worlds:

– Cats would empty their own litter trays
– Israel and Palestine would mutually agree “screw it, let’s have a fancy dress party instead”
– People would read the article before commenting
– McVities would bring back Marmite-flavoured Mini Cheddars
– LEGO approves and manufactures this proposed FTL building set
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Behind the sounds: Hotline Miami and FTL

Music man David Valjalo follows-up his exploration of the big-budget orchestral soundtracks in the mainstream games industry with a look at the other end of the scale – the super-low-budget, ultra-catchy, sometimes kitschy scores of indie darlings. He rounds up the men behind Hotline Miami, Sweden-based Dennis Wedin and Jonatan Soderstrom, two of the soundtrack artists they hand-picked, US artists M.O.O.N. and Scattle, and FTL composer Ben Prunty, to get the scoop on making music for small games and, quite often, small change.

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