Posts Tagged ‘Subset Games’

Persistence & Permadeath: progression in Spelunky, Into the Breach and roguelikes

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Progression is so often an illusion. Many games use the idea of permanent progression as a way of tickling our lizard brains with a growing pile of loot or numbers which constantly tick up, so that we feel like we’re achieving something while we sit in front of a computer and repeat the same set of tasks over and over again.

The beauty of permadeath is that it does away with all this. Characters grow and collect things, but then they become permadead, and it’s time for a new explorer to begin their adventure. The only thing that progresses is you, the player, slowly learning a set of systems with each failure. At least, that’s the theory. We spoke to the designers of Spelunky, Into the Breach, Dead Cells and Rogue Legacy to learn more about persistence within a permadeath mould.

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RPS interviews Into The Breach’s developer about hurting our feelings

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The folks at Subset Games are responsible for the games FTL and its follow-up Into The Breach, which means that they are also responsible for some of the most frustrating yells I’ve done alone on an airplane. I’m sorry to those around me, but I thought I was going to finally complete a run and then everyone I loved exploded or died from lack of oxygen or fell into the ocean. I assume Subset Games has been responsible for similar micro-aggressions against many of you. Which is why Adam Smith from RPS held them to the fire (a pleasant conversation) at Rezzed yesterday.

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Chris Avellone sheds light on Into The Breach’s time-travel mysteries

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If there’s one thing that grips me more about Into The Breach than the razor-sharp tactics of its death-chess scenarios, it’s trying to wrap my flabby brain about the dark possibilities and implications of its terse but tantalising plot. I’ve already espoused one possible and particularly fatalistic reading of what’s going on – the idea that every time your team of time-travelling Mechs wins, loses or otherwise begins a new campaign, they spawn a new timeline full of human suffering – but without definitive answers from the game itself, that’s little more than a guilt-stricken guess.

Time to go the source, then, that being Into The Breach writer – and writer, designer or both on a long list of revered games including Planescape: Torment, Fallout: New Vegas, KOTOR 2, Pillars of Eternity, Prey and ITB predecessor FTL – Chris Avellone. Though Into The Breach very much considers brevity to be a virtue when it comes to dialogue, its short lines drip with implication about the rules of time travel, parallel realities and the motivations and peccadilloes of its pilots. It was pretty clear to me that there was a vast spider-web of careful fiction behind the minimalist facade, and Avellone’s expansive answers about where and when the Mechs come from and exactly what happens when they breach only confirm that.

But, for every question they answer, they open up a dozen more. As is only right.
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Why playing Into The Breach makes you history’s greatest monster

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Did you win outright, for all four islands and without a single lost building the first ever time you played Into The Breach? No? Well, did you play again afterwards? If you did, you’re the most genocidal maniac humanity has ever known.
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Buy Into The Breach, get free FTL… On Steam, too

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The howling vortex of hypercapitalism that is Christmas may be behind us, but judging from the amount of snow outside my window, it’s still the season to be Santa-esque. Not to be one-upped by GOG and Humble, Steam are now offering a free copy of FTL with every purchase of the fantastic Into The Breach, a drum-tight tactical puzzle that has captured the hearts, minds and other less vital organs of several of RPS’s writers.

Better still, this deal is fully retroactive, if you’ve already picked up the game, and if you already own FTL on Steam you’ll find a giftable copy in your inventory to share with someone. Within, we have some handy tips on how to pick who in your life to share it with.

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Fright of the navigator – Into The Breach’s most powerful but most cowardly mech pilot

One thing I didn’t say much about in my starry-eyed review of the sublimely elegant turn-based strategy game Into The Breach was its metagame.

A campaign takes an hour or less, but the business of earning new types of mech and new pilots to drive, fly or teleport them will last you months. I’m a long way off unlocking everything, though I do have a bit of a head start from beta builds, but already I’ve found the pilot I will spend the rest of my life with. Isaac Jones, you complete me. Or rather, your game-changing ability does. Read the rest of this entry »

Buy Into The Breach, get free FTL

This is perhaps a slightly perverse offer, seeing as so many folks who have been jonesing for Into The Breach have the jitters and the sweats specifically because it’s the follow-up to the revered FTL.

However, if you’ve managed to come to this backwards, i.e. got all hot’n’bothered about Into The Breach’s ultra-deft, ultra-lean apocalyptic turn-based strategy without ever having played its brutal star-trekking predecessor FTL, good news! If you buy Into The Breach via Humble or GOG (and the former delivers you a Steam key, FYI), you’ll get a free copy of FTL.

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Wot I Think: Into The Breach

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Look not to what high-speed, turn-based, sci-fi strategy wonder Into The Breach shares with its timeless predecessor FTL: Faster Than Light, but instead to how aggressively different it is. Though they share a soul of permadeath and moment-to-moment dilemmas, entire limbs have been lopped off and casually thrown aside, teeth and hair uprooted and plugged back in at strange new angles, eyeballs moved to places that were never designed to have eyeballs. Not in merely superficial ways either. It has moved from space-bound chaos to ground-based decisions, from spaceship crew management to mech vs horror-bug warfare, even from real-time to turn-based combat.

Yet the really startling change is that, unlike FTL, Into The Breach is rarely a game of chance, of random, cruel loss or sudden fortune, but instead is almost pathologically fair, even if it often doesn’t feel like it. There is no calamity here that cannot be traced back to your own actions. In other words, you’ve only got yourself to blame for the total wipeout of humanity. But this particular end of the world is a glorious one, and one I will happily keep experiencing for years to come.
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Into The Breach’s launch trailer stomps out a little early

From a conclave of Earth nations comes the order: DESTROY ALL MONSTERS. Such is the way of Into The Breach, the kaiju-fighting turn-based tactical game from FTL studio Subset Games. Everyone at RPS who has played Into The Breach–let’s call them ‘the jerks’, for simplicity’s sake–has raved about fighting monsters with warbots through its small, focused battles on little grids in only a handful of turns. It’ll launch tomorrow but the launch trailer is here today, so let’s have a look at what the jerks have been playing. Read the rest of this entry »

FTL follow-up Into The Breach is finally out this month

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For the past couple of months, we’ve been bragging shamelessly about how we’ve already got beta copies of Into The Breach, the XCOM vs Pacific Rim vs Advance Wars-y follow-up to the timeless FTL: Faster Than Light. This ugly crowing has an expiration date, you’ll be glad to hear – and that date is the end of this very month.
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Into The Breach: a diary of doom

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With apologies about continued teasing you with something you can’t have quite yet, I wanted to follow-up our recent chat about the stressful wonders of FTL follow-up Into The Breach with an after-action report. This takes you through how the game actually works, and demonstrates the kinds of decisions, sacrifices and face-palming involved in every moment of it.

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Kaiju & mechs clash in ace FTL follow-up Into the Breach

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Any studio with a debut as strong as FTL might well be wary of that Difficult Second Album syndrome. How do you follow up a game so idiosyncratic and widely adored without risking disappointment? The answer, it turns out, is with a kaiju vs giant mech tactical masterclass.

We’ve been playing Into the Breach.

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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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Interview: Subset Games Talk FTL

Last week Adam posted some impressions of the spaceship managing FTL, and you’re allowed to read them. And now, Craig’s spoken with its creators, Justin Ma and Matthew Davis. They talk about how the project came to be, how they’re still in shock over their massive Kickstarter success, and how it was that the game was inspired by text adventures.

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