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These are the voyages of the starship Moggy, crewed by a brave band of humans and aliens named after cats that I have known.
October 5, 2012 12:13 PM   Subscribe

FTL (trailer) is a new and lauded space-sim roguelike-like. Since its debut, RPS' Alec Meer has been keeping an imaginitive diary of a playthrough entitled The Fatal Frontier: Sector 1, Sector 2, Sector 3, Sector 4, Sector 5, Sector 6, Sector 7, The Last Stand.
posted by griphus (125 comments total) 44 users marked this as a favorite

 
Special thanks to ArtW.
posted by griphus at 12:14 PM on October 5, 2012


Ha! I just finished playing this during my lunch hour. I'm one the penultimate sector in my Zoltan Energy Bomber, a meager crew of three Zoltan engineers and a Rock pilot, 6 missiles left and not nearly enough shields for the final sector.

I highly recommend the RPS links in the FPP. This game was built for story telling.
posted by Doleful Creature at 12:16 PM on October 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


i kickstarted it, and picked the option to name a crewmember.
all my friends who are playing it are telling me they're seeing crewpeople named 'yeoz', and yeoz is kicking ass (or dying terribly. goddamn boarders.)

best $100 ever spent. :D
posted by yeoz at 12:18 PM on October 5, 2012 [22 favorites]


Also: Wikipedia entry for "roguelike", just in case.
posted by griphus at 12:19 PM on October 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Mefightclub has an ongoing thread about this as well, it has garnered moderate to high praise from pretty much everyone that's touched it over there.

I've enjoyed it but I'm getting a bit worn out, but not alot, by the lack of solid plot. Variety is handled fairly well by the ship choice you make when setting out, as well as by what you encounter for that playthrough in the shops/enemies you end up facing but it's more "FFS I need to stay alive" or "Dang, I had wanted to try to find a cloaking device this run" than "What type of mission/moral decisions do I want to make?".

Overall, like it, recommend it, losing is fun.

On preview: Shit I've played with yeoz once or twice. Well done!
posted by RolandOfEld at 12:21 PM on October 5, 2012


I'm glad I supported it but I won it on Normal mode the day after I got it which was a bit disappointing. Maybe I got lucky.
posted by Justinian at 12:22 PM on October 5, 2012


The mechanics of the game are excellent, and the extremely random nature of the playthroughs give it some legs. I've had more fun with this $9 game than with many I spent $60 on.
posted by Malor at 12:26 PM on October 5, 2012


Non-spoilery tips:

Most importantly: for the first couple of sectors, buy no upgrades. This is counterintuitive--there's so much great stuff you could be spending scrap on!--but you really want to avoid the situation where you find a shop and there's a great weapon or system or drone you can't quite afford.

You detect shops if you're within one jump of them; therefore, you should explore within one jump of as many stops as you can. Large jumps are better than big jumps, therefore, all else being equal.

You get more scrap for killing a ship's crew without destroying the ship. WAY more. This can make such a big difference that you should do everything you can do put a good boarding party together. Hire mantises whenever possible, give them as much combat experience as you can, get a teleporter.
posted by IjonTichy at 12:27 PM on October 5, 2012 [5 favorites]


Hooray! Now I can stop derailing other threads... to talk about FTL, anyway.

Personal best strategy: Fire Bomb the weapons room, then beam over two Rockmen. Rockmen just keep the repairers away while the fire spreads. Next go for the medbay, then the crew.

I used to board with mantis, but rocks plus fire is way better.
posted by BeeDo at 12:30 PM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yep, the playthrough the OP linked to basically mirrors my experience with the Engi ship.

GIMME A FREAKING GUN!!!

BeDoo, that sounds brilliant, although I haven't found ship yet that can stop the mantis ship with 4 mantis boarders, doubly so after they level up in fighting. That said I haven't had to go through a zoltan sector, nor have I met the final boss. It only stinks because they can't finish a ship off, you still have to have something to deal the death blow.

The firebeam is also quite devastating if you can get it to land and can turtle up.
posted by RolandOfEld at 12:34 PM on October 5, 2012


I wish I had the time to play games right now.
posted by JHarris at 12:37 PM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have not yet unlocked the 4-teleport ship, but consider: the whole time mantis are fighting the enemy crew, the enemy ship is still firing and doing you damage. Whereas the fire is hurting systems AND crew while you fight, except for your rocks. It can make a big difference if the enemy is using fire bombs themselves, or missiles.

Are we discussing final boss tactics? Someone decide on a spoiler level.
posted by BeeDo at 12:39 PM on October 5, 2012


I can ask the mods to throw a "SPOILERS" thing on the FPP maybe?

The concept of spoilers w/r/t roguelikes confounds me.
posted by griphus at 12:45 PM on October 5, 2012


I used to board with mantis, but rocks plus fire is way better.

Oh god, this. Consider that:
* Fire damages systems
* Fire actively damages crew
* Fire spreads (like a mofo).

Add to that how firebombs and teleporters go through conventional shields, and on the whole it's just a disgustingly effective force multiplier that lets you lock down areas.

Mind you, the first and last time I tried it I got a little overzealous and blew up the ship my rock crew were in the process of boarding. YMMV.
posted by mikurski at 12:47 PM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


About spoilers: Well, you know, round two, power surge, etc etc.
posted by BeeDo at 12:47 PM on October 5, 2012


I completely overdosed on FTL and as a result haven't touched it in about a week.

But I have to say, I don't find the Meer diary compelling at all -- and I usually like that sort of thing. I think it's because there's practically no way to play FTL and end up with a fictional account of your adventure, different every time, and generally equal to what's being written up. I compare that to other games where such a narrative might take an unusual leap of imagination to produce.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:55 PM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


That is to say (NOTICE ME NOT ABUSING EDIT), almost every FTL playthrough spins an imaginative tale, which is quite an accomplishment.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:56 PM on October 5, 2012


last time I tried it I got a little overzealous and blew up the ship my rock crew were in the process of boarding

EVERY FRIKKIN TIME, I SWEAR. I've quit the game when things are otherwise going well because the enemy ship blew up with my crew on it far too many times.

The lesson here is to not even bother with boarding crews when you are using the federation cruiser because you WILL forget to turn off it's automated death laser once and once is all it takes.
posted by cirrostratus at 12:56 PM on October 5, 2012


Also, as much as I love this game it runs out of steam fairly quick because all their really is to do in it is unlock all the ships. Although I suppose I still can't unlock the rock ship or the secret ship for the life of me.

The mod community for this game is already up to some interesting things. Most important is probably the guy that is redoing the entire interface to be LCARS.
posted by cirrostratus at 1:05 PM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


UM, moderate SPOILERS I suppose.

I have not yet unlocked the 4-teleport ship

I think this is where we're disconnecting. With the 4 teleporter ship, if it's not an AI ship, I've killed EVERYTHING I've encounted within a few measly seconds. Much faster than any fire + 2 invader run would allow for. So I while I think your technique would be better with a two invader fleet, the thing is 4 mantis invaders simply can't be stopped, yet anyway. Even a defense drone can't really slow them down. Plus, if there is a threat of damage from the other ship, you can beam them into a room that's not the weapons room, then move the unengaged ones to take down their weapons.

There is still the pesky problem with not being able to finish an AI ship off however, so a weapon is still needed. And like I said, I've avoided Zoltan sectors so far... luck and all that.
posted by RolandOfEld at 1:08 PM on October 5, 2012


the enemy ship blew up with my crew on it far too many times.

Yep, done that too. Usually while trying to surgically knock out the enemy medbay... on autofire... with missiles. Even worse is when they jumped away with my crew onboard, though. You know, I wonder what the death message is if the enemy ship jumps with your entire crew oboard... "Woohoo, new ship"?

With the 4 teleporter ship

Can even 4 mantis beat down 4 enemy crew in a timely fashion within a maxed out medbay? That's what always gets me, the dang pumped up medicine dispensers. It is ok if I have an ion bomb. Also, yep, many an awesome boarding-style run of mine has been derailed by a four-shield auto-ship.
posted by BeeDo at 1:16 PM on October 5, 2012


Yes, I don't know that I'm facing an enemy maxed medbay, but the 4 mantis can tagteam (since their running) and defeat most any opponent I've been sent to face if properly managed.

I don't fight IN the medbay of course, that's suicide. However, you can fight in the right equipment rooms and take down key systems such that they come out to repair and you, because you are 4 strong, are waiting for their not-fully healed butts. And if you're lucky their shields/weapons/drones are down already, so no worries in the meantime.
posted by RolandOfEld at 1:19 PM on October 5, 2012


Do check out FTL forums for interesting discussion of the game, and many, many "worst moments" stories. Blowing up your boarding crew is practically mandatory.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 1:23 PM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, the 4 mantis tag team sounds mighty powerful but a functioning medbay counters any boarding pretty hard. That said I haven't yet had a run with the 4 teleporter ship where I got it off the ground. The price you pay for having 4 telepads is starting the game practically helpless.
posted by cirrostratus at 1:25 PM on October 5, 2012


*lightbulb* Ok, I see. With two they heal too fast, but I see how that would work with four.
posted by BeeDo at 1:26 PM on October 5, 2012


This game looks great, but I am scared to pick up a roguelike ever again.

Still, it looks reeeally tempting....
posted by painquale at 1:27 PM on October 5, 2012


Am I playing the game wrong somehow or do you have to unlock any alternate ship to the one the game starts you with?
posted by griphus at 1:28 PM on October 5, 2012


Yea like I said, I'm taking about 4 leveled up mantis. That's the damage of 6+ humans.

...and yea you do starth out really weak. AI ships....ffs.
posted by RolandOfEld at 1:29 PM on October 5, 2012


I love this game, but I've been on sort of a break from it as well because I played it a whole bunch and then some other games came out. But I'm delighted to see there's a functioning mod community, I wasn't sure how open the game would be to that stuff.

And, I mean, extra name mod meets Infodump username list? Hello!
posted by cortex at 1:32 PM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


I got the Engi ship almost by accident... I guess they unlock as you perform quests in particular sectors.
posted by Artw at 1:32 PM on October 5, 2012


Oh, and SNARK BEAM!

*
posted by Artw at 1:34 PM on October 5, 2012


|
|
posted by Artw at 1:35 PM on October 5, 2012


Am I playing the game wrong somehow or do you have to unlock any alternate ship to the one the game starts you with?

You do have to unlock them, yes. Hovering the mouse over the silhouette in the hanger gives a hint, and of course the exact instructions can be found if you search the web, but where's the fun in that? (Yeah, I searched.)

Whether you get any specific unlock in any particular run is up to luck, though, except for the one you get for sector 5 and the one you get for beating a run.
posted by BeeDo at 1:35 PM on October 5, 2012


*

Your post just lost 3 hull.
posted by Artw at 1:35 PM on October 5, 2012


Crew member BeeDo was caught in the beam and disintegrated.
posted by Artw at 1:36 PM on October 5, 2012


Am I playing the game wrong somehow or do you have to unlock any alternate ship to the one the game starts you with?

There are 9 ships, most of which are unlocked by doing a quest in the "Homeworld" sector of that ship. Each of the ships also has a very different alternate loadout that you unlock by doing 2 of the 3 achievements listed for that ship.
posted by cirrostratus at 1:37 PM on October 5, 2012


Oh, now that the FTL guys are seeing a whole bunch of hits from this website and undoubtedly visiting this thread:

iPad port plz, will pay $$$

(This was my plan all along.)
posted by griphus at 1:37 PM on October 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


Only the lack of a phone version is saving me at this point.
posted by Artw at 1:40 PM on October 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Crew member BeeDo was caught in the beam and disintegrated.

I have gone to wherever the Zoltan go.

My Rockmen and fire technique is officially dubbed The Rockafire Skank. I decided that right about now.
posted by BeeDo at 1:41 PM on October 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


The thing I find most interesting about this game is that you're on the side of "The Federation" instead the scrappy rebels. It's purely cosmetic in terms of the game, but I can't quite stop thinking of myself as crushing a sympathetic group for the benefit of the totalitarian space government.
posted by ODiV at 1:48 PM on October 5, 2012


Except the rebels have won, so... Not very rebel-ish anymore. It's a odd little quirk that I kind of like, like the background was just a random grab-bag of SF sounding words.
posted by Artw at 1:55 PM on October 5, 2012


RolandOfEld: "Mefightclub has an ongoing thread about this as well, it has garnered moderate to high praise from pretty much everyone that's touched it over there.
"
Curious Nu's comment about design pressures is a fantastic one, and I hope he drops by to repeat it here.
posted by boo_radley at 1:57 PM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeoz, no! Yeoz! (SLYT)
posted by yeoz at 2:05 PM on October 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


$10 and a couple hours later, my productivity REALLY regrets this...
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:18 PM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Heh, I think it is funny how some lessons are cyclical, and you can see them be learned by each new generation. My daughter asked me why I didn't name the crew members after the family. I explained, but I don't know if you can really learn that one except through experience.

I named my first X-Com squad after all my friends.
posted by BeeDo at 2:20 PM on October 5, 2012 [8 favorites]


iPad port plz, will pay $$$

Me too! I think this will be a game like Plants Vs. Zombies where once the mobile version is out, it will seem odd that anyone played it on a PC.
posted by Gary at 2:28 PM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


My daughter asked me why I didn't name the crew members after the family. I explained, but I don't know if you can really learn that one except through experience.

Save the humanoids! Just try to imagine them as members of your real-life family that way you'll make sure nothing bad happens to them.
posted by Gary at 2:32 PM on October 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


On my ships, Wash always lives, and McNulty always gets eaten by spiders.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 2:33 PM on October 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh god bless you Gary from saving me from having to link to that via phone.
posted by griphus at 2:34 PM on October 5, 2012


Odiv: yeah, it's an interesting choice, since we're so used to being on the side of the rebels. There are some hints that the rebels are a human-racist organisation - note that the Federation ship is the one that has the full multispecies crew.
posted by xiw at 2:42 PM on October 5, 2012


I'm on a break from it right now too. I've yet to get past the fifth sector, and have died in so so so many horrible fashions that I needed to step away to mourn all the crew members who became floating, charred meat in the vacuum of space.
posted by eyeballkid at 2:43 PM on October 5, 2012


I just finally unlocked the Red Tail and beat the boss pretty handily by getting my hands on all of the laser weapons I could find and upgrading my shields and engine as much as I could. With 51% evasion, a crew of mantises to take care of intruders, a cloak, a heavy laser, a mark II, and 2 mark III lasers, nobody's shields stand a chance after my first volley when I come out of cloaking. For the final encounter, take out the cockpit early on to nerf its evasion.
posted by cmoj at 2:43 PM on October 5, 2012


Also, take care of fires by opening blast doors to the outside whenever possible.
posted by cmoj at 2:44 PM on October 5, 2012


Hmm.. Shields vs engines, which is the best choice?
posted by Artw at 2:44 PM on October 5, 2012


Also, take care of fires by opening blast doors to the outside whenever possible.

Very satisfying when used on boarders.
posted by Artw at 2:45 PM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Aww man you guys are way better at this game than me. I've only unlocked the Zoltan and Engi ships, and only because I'm playing on easy. I'm such a noob! *pouts*
posted by Doleful Creature at 2:46 PM on October 5, 2012


My creaky old 2007 Macbook is barely running this. Sadface.

It'll be ironic if it's a game costs less than a pizza that eventually gets me to upgrade.
posted by Happy Dave at 2:47 PM on October 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


The trailer makes this look like it's real time. Is that the case or is it turn based?
posted by Mitheral at 2:55 PM on October 5, 2012


I say shields.

At least one boarder is very helpful for picking off the weapons on the final boss.

It would be very interesting if they had let the enemy ships repel boarders by opening their airlocks. I wonder why they didn't, it seems obvious... it would help balance out boarding as the end-all strategy.

Real time with pause.
posted by BeeDo at 2:56 PM on October 5, 2012


ODiV: The thing I find most interesting about this game is that you're on the side of "The Federation" instead the scrappy rebels. It's purely cosmetic in terms of the game, but I can't quite stop thinking of myself as crushing a sympathetic group for the benefit of the totalitarian space government.

Considering the complete amorality of most of the game, that's actually probably true. It would be totally fitting to have everyone in stormtrooper armor.
posted by Malor at 2:57 PM on October 5, 2012


Real time with pausing, in a way that feels functionally pretty turn based. You can end up doing a little bit of RTS-ish micromanaging of your dudes especially when there's a boarding party involved one way or the other, but even that's mild at most and the rest of the things you can do mostly involving multi-second cycles on weapon firing.
posted by cortex at 2:57 PM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


On failure to preview:

Mitheral: The trailer makes this look like it's real time. Is that the case or is it turn based?

Pausable real time. You'll be doing a lot of pausing.
posted by Malor at 2:58 PM on October 5, 2012


I'm pretty sure the easy button is broken in my copy because the ship is on fire and everyone is dead.
posted by Gary at 2:59 PM on October 5, 2012 [12 favorites]


Er... I don't pause during action. I due in a horrible panic a lot though.
posted by Artw at 3:00 PM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Or you can be hardcore as fuck and never pause. Did Captain Picard have a pause button? Hell no he didn't, he made Geordi go punch some bug dudes in real time while the engine room explodes and fills with pink vacuum
posted by theodolite at 3:00 PM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Did Captain Picard have a pause button?

What do you think the commercial breaks were for?
posted by cortex at 3:02 PM on October 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


I will trade the pause button for random Q encounters.
posted by griphus at 3:03 PM on October 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Artw knows what I'm talking about. Never pause, never compromise, never reach sector 2
posted by theodolite at 3:03 PM on October 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


"Q materializes on board.
1. Go back 3 sectors.
2. Play Tetris for an hour."
posted by griphus at 3:04 PM on October 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


I will trade the pause button for random Q encounters.

All your crew members turn into @ symbols and half of your weapons are randomly cursed
posted by theodolite at 3:08 PM on October 5, 2012 [10 favorites]


I know this is a small detail but I love the fact that "credits" are called scrap, because then I can imagine that the 25 crap I got after battle and subsequently used to upgrade my shields were actually a working additional shield generator powercell I managed to salvage from the wreckage of my defeated opponent.

Quick(ish) Story:
We encountered a slug-lord pirate ship in a nebula, during a raging ion storm that had disabled our systems and depleted much of our system power. On top of all that, this particular fiend's telepathic abilities were so great that he had the power to cause additional catastrophe to our ship before the battle had even started. As if by some sekrit slug spacemagic.

He turned it into a game, asking us whether wished to die by fire or suffocation.

We chose fire and he laughed, remarking that burning to death was a painful way to go. Fatally, he had overlooked the fact that we were mighty Zoltan! As the fires raged throughout the ship, we opened all the airlocks, diverted all remaining energy --engines, oxygen, even medical! -- set our weapons to autofire and piled into the medbay to wait out the battle. True, we had to cut all power to medical systems just to have enough for weapons and one shield, but as Zoltan we used the energy of our own bodies to power the life support systems in that tiny medbay, huddling close together as we imagined the slug-lord's burgled screams when our Halberd Beam tore through his ship's hull, spewing his remains through the angry, pulsing ion clouds.

Fuel: 3. Hull: 25% Forward, crew! On to sector 4!

Also Question: When a nearly-dead opponent pleads for mercy do you grant it or do you cream them?
posted by Doleful Creature at 3:11 PM on October 5, 2012 [6 favorites]


Did Captain Picard have a pause button? Hell no he didn't, he made Geordi go punch some bug dudes in real time

I'm going to mod the game so my pause button is labeled "Geordi"
posted by Doleful Creature at 3:13 PM on October 5, 2012


Also Question: When a nearly-dead opponent pleads for mercy do you grant it or do you cream them?

Depends on what they're offering and what I need how much of a son of a bitch I'm feeling like. If you're offering me missiles and no fuel, and I'm short on fuel and don't have a missile launcher, you're not very good at stating the case for your continued existence.
posted by cortex at 3:17 PM on October 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


Blowing up your boarding crew is practically mandatory.

The one time I messed around with a teleporter my boarding party didn't even get to die in that kind of glory. Immediately after splurging on a teleporter and two boarding mantises I hopped them on over to a drone ship, failing to note that the robot ships don't have oxygen. It was a sad day for space adventure.
posted by passerby at 3:31 PM on October 5, 2012 [12 favorites]


You tend to get more scrap from wreckage than from surrender (which makes sense), but not generally by a lot (usually 10-15). Fuel and missiles can be exceeded in wreckage if they were initially only offering, say, 1 of each (you might get 2), but if they're offering a half dozen, you're not going to find that kind of loot amongst the debris. Course if all you want is scrap, fuck em.

Only the final ship left to unlock but I am discouraged by countless runs attempting to get it (always with the rock ship for that particular achievement), which is probably why I needed to give it a rest.

Meanwhile, XCom comes out *the day after* the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. What did we ever do to you, Firaxis?
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 3:34 PM on October 5, 2012


Oh, and if you clear out enemy crew completely (via boarding or anti-bio beams or what have you) you get even more scrap, and supposedly lots of weapons, too (I rarely get weapons). And if you do that to a slave ship, you get your pick of crew instead of a random one.

That's a useful addendum re: surrender -- slave ships always give you one crewperson if you let them live.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 3:36 PM on October 5, 2012


When a nearly-dead opponent pleads for mercy do you grant it or do you cream them?

No quarter! Unless I'm near dead. Special exception for slaver scum if it's in aid of freeing someone.

I'll always go for the engines if they try to flee as well.
posted by Artw at 3:50 PM on October 5, 2012


I'll always go for the engines if they try to flee as well.

YESSSS the moment I find out that they're powering up their FTL I'm like "not today, shitdonkeys"
posted by Doleful Creature at 3:56 PM on October 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


And then there's the joy of having comprehensively screwed their weapons and shields and being free to skewer their O2.
posted by Artw at 3:59 PM on October 5, 2012


I really enjoyed shitdonkeying my way through a pacifism run—no weapons, lots of shield and drive improvements (at least as far as being broke from no victory scrap allows), and just get the fuck out of dodge as quick as possible each encounter. My only regret there is the lack of a pacifism-compatible endgame option.
posted by cortex at 4:00 PM on October 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


If you target the cockpit instead of the engines then it removes their ability to dodge as well as jump.
posted by ODiV at 4:01 PM on October 5, 2012 [6 favorites]


Good point. Possibly knack one of their crew members too.
posted by Artw at 4:11 PM on October 5, 2012


Trapped pirates - kill or free?
posted by Artw at 4:12 PM on October 5, 2012


I named my first X-Com squad after all my friends.
posted by BeeDo at 2:20 PM on 10/5
[4 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]


Ouch.
posted by Bwithh at 4:55 PM on October 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Can anyone compare the game to aged-but-beloved Escape Velocity?
posted by mwhybark at 4:58 PM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


The thing I find most interesting about this game is that you're on the side of "The Federation" instead the scrappy rebels. It's purely cosmetic in terms of the game, but I can't quite stop thinking of myself as crushing a sympathetic group for the benefit of the totalitarian space government.
posted by ODiV at 1:48 PM on 10/5
[+] [!]


How do you know the Federales are the bad guys? Maybe the rebels are space brownshirts
posted by Bwithh at 5:00 PM on October 5, 2012


OMFG, if someone beat it without pause, in what I now dub ultra-mega-mondo-hardcore mode....

You sir or ma'am are a god among men or women.
posted by RolandOfEld at 5:05 PM on October 5, 2012


How has nobody mentioned the the soundtrack? I've been humming the music in my sleep!

mwhybark: "Can anyone compare the game to aged-but-beloved Escape Velocity?"

Basically no similarity, except they're both in space. Space Pirates And Zombies is currently satisfying my EV needs, though the controls are hard to get used to.

Doleful Creature: "a raging ion storm that had disabled our systems and depleted much of our system power"

I love FTL, but this is one scenario the engine handles badly. Often when I jump into a storm, it decides to maintain power to my engines but not my O2, and I only notice when my crew starts to suffocate.
posted by vasi at 5:06 PM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


If the O2 be redding', crew be dropping' deadin' - you have to watch that thing. And it just silently turning off is the worst. On the other hand there's no better time than watching an enemy crew scurry and panic because you cut off their oxygen supply.
posted by Artw at 5:17 PM on October 5, 2012


I want a Battlestar Galactica ( Reimagined) fleet management game, including all the politics and domestic crises stuff. As far as I know this , this has never been done?
posted by Bwithh at 5:44 PM on October 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


Whoa, they asked for $10K on kickstarter and got over $200K! There best be a lot of extras
posted by Bwithh at 5:48 PM on October 5, 2012


Also, there needs to be a space fleet version of Dwarf Fortress. Hurry up, lazy indie game dev scene and make all that
posted by Bwithh at 5:53 PM on October 5, 2012


Artw: "On the other hand there's no better time than watching an enemy crew scurry and panic because you cut off their oxygen supply."

When I found out about the scrap bonus for killing the enemy crew, I badly wanted my next run to be boarding-focused. I never found a store selling a teleporter...but I did find two Ion Blast II weapons and a fast-reload augmentation. With my gunman leveled up, I could keep four enemy systems perma-ionized. Guess what happens when those include O2 and medbay?

Muahahaha!
posted by vasi at 5:56 PM on October 5, 2012 [5 favorites]


Heh. Hacker ship. Nice.
posted by cortex at 6:00 PM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


That's basically how I won my first run on normal. 2x ion powa and drones. It can be pretty boss.
posted by RolandOfEld at 6:34 PM on October 5, 2012


Grrr. Drones. I go after drone control even before weapons and shields.
posted by Artw at 6:37 PM on October 5, 2012


Ducking ahead of what I've read, so apologies if this point has already been made:

The starting conditions need to be more varied. I suspect this becomes less of a problem once you've unlocked more ships, but even so a bit of randomness of starting equipment and crew would be welcome.

Apart from that, this game is fucking awesome.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 6:55 PM on October 5, 2012


Started playing when it first came out.

Fun game.

HARD game.

Finished it once on normal (finally) with the stock ship (mixed crew, decent defenders, lucked into a strong beam weapon, lots of missiles, and repair augment with lots of drones for in-between the multiple boss fights for hull repair - you can heal crew and have crew fix systems after defeating an enemy with no time limit), and then cheated to get all the ships for my second playthrough. Went with the standard Mantis ship leveling and hiring as many Mantis boarders as possible. Should be much easier to finish again.

So many times that highly skilled crew get destroyed by skilled boarders/fire which makes the later/end game so much harder and dependent on luck rather than skill.

Does anyone know how the 4 square teleport pad works if you direct it into a 2 square destination?

But I kinda got bored - in order to not get creamed by the final boss iterations, you benefit a lot from grinding through every level maximizing sector exploration (there's a "time limit" * on each level so you can't explore every sector. Without long range sensors, whether the exploratory path you explore is sub/optimal is chancey), and luck/chance plays a huge role in whether you have a great ship, something that'll get you through through luck, or a deathtrap where you statistically cannot beat the boss.

Super fun game, but it got a little too grindey for me once I figured out most of the mechanisms. Also, a lot of wasted games where random chance just kicks you in the junk.Not unlike real life, but it can just completely ruin runs that you've put a few hours into.

What I really liked about the game was the viability of different strategies. But a lot comes down to luck/random number generation - so a True Rogue-like in my books - but it can be annoying.

Has anyone had a successful run with a Slug only crew?

* after a number of turns in a sector, there's an inexorable advance of the rebels that fractionally covers sectors from left-to-right where the start point is on the left side of the map and the exit point on the right. Exploring rebel controlled sectors means a fight with next-to-nothing in rewards (1 fuel?).
posted by porpoise at 7:11 PM on October 5, 2012


If the O2 be redding', crew be dropping' deadin' - you have to watch that thing. And it just silently turning off is the worst. On the other hand there's no better time than watching an enemy crew scurry and panic because you cut off their oxygen supply.
posted by Artw at 5:17 PM on October 5 [+] [!]

I lost a game because in the heat of battle I'd forgotten that I'd powered down the O2 system to bring another weapon online. Post battle, injured crew members healing in the med bay, one uninjured peep repairing systems, couple of hull breaches and oxygen alarm goes off. Huh? I say. Then everyone dies.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 7:16 PM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, for non hull-damaging ship builds, high engine upgrades help by letting you choose to "flee" (?) option much earlier after engaging an enemy (AI controlled non- O2-ed) opponent.
posted by porpoise at 7:19 PM on October 5, 2012


Reminds me of Battlestations.
posted by fleacircus at 7:41 PM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Does anyone know how the 4 square teleport pad works if you direct it into a 2 square destination?

Yes, it puts the invaders in adjacent rooms. You do NOT lose invaders. However to get them back all at once they've all got to be in a room together. Learned that lesson the hard way.
posted by RolandOfEld at 8:17 PM on October 5, 2012


This game isn't anything like Escape Velocity. The similarity to Strange Adventures in Infinite Space is pretty obvious though. Unlike Strange Adventures, however, games last longer than 5 minutes.

SAiIS is the pachinko of space adventure games. Random, flashy, and played dozens of times in a single sitting.
posted by Winnemac at 8:18 PM on October 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


The slugship is my favourite ship to play with but if "successful" = finish on normal, then no.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:18 PM on October 5, 2012


Re: being the Federation vs. the rebels, I like to think it's meant to make the constant losing go down a bit easier. Yes, that's 2 hours down the drain but, you have your wild-eyed spaceracist captain (presumably) loosing a Vader-style "NOOOO" as the flames engulf his wicked plans, and bitter comfort in the knowledge that your incinerated crew were all loyalist fascists. I also find it helps to view the rebels as fighting for more pets to be adopted in the galaxy.
posted by passerby at 8:41 PM on October 5, 2012


porpoise: "So many times that highly skilled crew get destroyed by skilled boarders/fire which makes the later/end game so much harder and dependent on luck rather than skill."

When I started playing I couldn't handle boarders, but they're a lot easier now. You want to open the doors to suffocate the boarders–blast doors upgrades make this more effective, since they can't escape the vacuum. You also want to cycle your damaged crew into the medbay; since the enemy boarders have no healing, you'll always win in the end.

Combining these two strategies works even better. Drain oxygen strategically so the boarders are forced to either suffocate, or fight you in your own medbay. Either way, you win!
posted by vasi at 8:56 PM on October 5, 2012


It's a truly excellent game, one of the best I've played in a long time. Also one of the most challenging- I've been playing on Normal, and I don't think I've managed to get beyond about Sector 5 or so (and judging by the condition I tend to be in at that point, I'm not quite sure how I'm going to be in any sort of shape to take on the flagship if I get that far…) Part of the problem is that I never seem to have quite enough scrap for both basic upkeep (hull maintenance, fuel, ammo) and improving my ship to the point that it can survive the later sectors- and yet somehow, it never really feels unfair, which I think is a mark of excellent game design.

Bwithh: How do you know the Federales are the bad guys? Maybe the rebels are space brownshirts

That's pretty much exactly what they are, apparently. I haven't come across it myself yet, but I've heard that there's a quest which reveals that the Rebels are trying to overthrow the Federation because it treats aliens as equals, and that the Rebels believe that this holds humanity back from its true potential. Note also that, as mentioned unthread, the Rebel ships all have human-only crews- while on the other side, events where you get crew members from Federation ships or outposts can give you alien crew members. Not to mention the little indications of Rebel ruthlessness scattered throughout the various events (like the Rebel ship demanding free fuel from a refueling depot just because they beat the Federation, among others.) So, those worried they're playing as jackbooted thugs crushing noble freedom fighters can rest assured that it's actually pretty much the reverse- everything seems to indicate that the Rebels are basically space Nazis, and that you are on the side of the angels in this, or at least the lesser of two evils. (As a side note, I'm quite impressed with the game's storytelling, minimalistic as it is- it really seems to grasp the "show, don't tell" principle, and gets across a great deal through implication.)
posted by a louis wain cat at 9:32 PM on October 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


I enjoyed FTL quite a bit in the beginning (I've always wanted to see this game!) but it loses luster once you realize that a single lost battle (or tangling with the rebel fleet) will probably mean you won't finish the game. It really is all about optimizing your cash (scrap) and having enough to defeat the final boss.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 9:37 PM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


I assume fellow Kickstarteree Star Command is similar to this game except it has its roots in casual 3-D simulation/management type games rather than rouge-likes
posted by Bwithh at 9:54 PM on October 5, 2012


The way I described it when I first started: Nethack, with ten levels, and Asmodeus at the end.

It does get easier as you figure things out. There's a lot of good strategies buried in the mechanics.

Hello, I'm David McGahan: The starting conditions need to be more varied.

Well, you're stuck with just the one ship to start with, and it usually plays pretty similarly. The different ships have wildly different approaches. But each ship type tends to play about the same as every other run with that ship, for the first sector or two. Eventually, the random number generator has fired enough times, and the paths diverge.

Your first unlock comes from getting to Sector 5, and I've found that ship to be my highest-percentage winner, at least so far. Once you understand how to use it (it's VERY different from the Kestrel), it's deadly, probably the best of the ships in the early game.

Any ship can be good by late in the game, and any ship can suck, but the first ship you unlock, in my experience, will give you the best chance at a good run.
posted by Malor at 2:44 AM on October 6, 2012


I like FTL, but one thing that limits my play is how much it overheats my computer for so little graphics. 60 seconds into the opening menu, a still screen, my fans spin up to full power. This game could be written in CGA/EGA and still be as fun and visually appealing, and it's using about 70% of one CPU core, which is way too high for what it's up to, but that's not enough to get my fans to spin up. I assume that it's trying to get 3000 fps through the GPU or something. I'm really hoping for an update where they fix this.
posted by Llama-Lime at 2:54 AM on October 6, 2012


Wow - holing up in the medical bay and the O2 generator while venting all other spaces really IS a hilarious way of dealing with boarding parties!
posted by the man of twists and turns at 4:58 AM on October 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is a fun little game. I'm not very good. Made it to the boss on easy and he really just beat the stuffing out of me, and there wasn't really enough time to retreat, lick wounds, and try again.

I sorta wish it was turn based. And had maybe more of the weird space feeling of SAiIS and starcon.

I love the Engi alt ship. A man and his droids. I think he spends most of his time in the pilot's seat writing long comments on Reddit (with Heinlein references).

It's a little awkward that the game tells you HURRY HURRY and gives you fuel pressure as well, yet blowing through the first stages as fast as possible is a really bad idea. I like games where I can carve out breathing room for myself, though FTL is a bit short for that.
posted by fleacircus at 6:49 AM on October 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


One nice thing about 100 Rogues is that it gives you different mission blurb for each class - so though the Neceomeister is off to kill Satan just the same as the Crusader in his case it's so he can REPLACE Satan - it might be nice if every ship got a little blurb like that, maybe even changing things around a little so you could have a Rebel ship with the goal of crushing the federation.
posted by Artw at 7:54 AM on October 6, 2012


Oh, and if we're comparing to other games, the game that FTL is most like in my humble is actually a board game called Space Alert! that I am appalled to find on review has apparently never gotten a Metafilter post.

Space Alert! plays in a lot of ways like FTL does: your scrappy crew, generally too few to man all the systems on your ship, explores the galaxy and has random encounters with hostile ships and other dangerous stellar phenomenon, micromanaging ship systems to maintain shields, fire weapons, distribute energy, move crew about the ship, and try to either destroy or live through assaults by the incoming stuff.

The difference is that Space Alert! plays out in ten minutes, there's no pausing at all, each crew member is unable to see what other crew members are doing or where they are (it's like having no sensors at all!) and can only tell people where they are to try and keep things organized, the weapons have to be fired manually, the shields have to be raised manually, power has to be redistributed manually, the droids have to be minded directly, the ship computer is constantly trying to go to screen saver so someone has to jiggle the mouse every couple minutes, your ship is incredibly fragile, and the whole thing is MCed by a cheerfully neutral pre-recorded computer voice that announces all the terrible incoming stuff as it happens while you and your three or four crewmates shout madly at each other.

It's pretty amazing. Even a fight in FTL that is going badly feels a little more organized than a competent run of Space Alert! and if you have a few friends who like the idea of spending ten minutes frantically yelling at each other and another twenty minutes figuring out how, exactly, you've all fucked it up and gotten yourselves killed ("on turn five you were supposed to go AFT, not PORT, now we're both standing in the weapons room pressing the button and it can only fire once and—" "oh god that means the space squid didn't get destroyed after all" "fuck fuck FUCK"), I cannot recommend it highly enough.
posted by cortex at 8:29 AM on October 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


Cortex: http://www.artemis.eochu.com/

Also, man, Star Command! I totally gave up on that ever actually releasing. Maybe I am impatient.
posted by mwhybark at 9:13 AM on October 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Llama-Lime: "I like FTL, but one thing that limits my play is how much it overheats my computer for so little graphics."

Yeah, this. I was wondering if it only happens on the mac version. It causes an equivalent amount of fan blowing as Civ V which is... nuts.
posted by danny the boy at 9:49 AM on October 6, 2012


Cortex: I had exactly the same thought about FTL and Space Alert. I haven't been able to roust enough interest to play as much Space Alert as I'd like to, so this is a great solitaire substitute. I'm hoping that the shoulder surfing my kids are doing as I play FTL might get them interested in playing Space Alert with me.

I love the notion in both games that much of the point is to provide the seeds of a funny space disaster story. Here's a good one from BGG, and an even better one.
posted by dylanjames at 10:05 AM on October 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's a little awkward that the game tells you HURRY HURRY

Somehow I thought this too, but the very first message of every game actually tells you to explore everything and take it easy bro.

Well, not that exactly.
posted by Winnemac at 11:02 AM on October 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


The most recent patch of FTL adds in both vsync and frame limiting. If you turn both on, you shouldn't have problems with your computer overheating.
posted by Malor at 12:55 PM on October 6, 2012


Thanks Malor, that alleviates the problems a bit, though the GPU is still getting quite a work out.
posted by Llama-Lime at 3:26 PM on October 6, 2012


I actually named my first FTL crew today after three of my regular Space Alert crew.
It was sad when we lost one of them to giant spiders :(
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 4:36 PM on October 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I name my ships The Rogue and crew Helm, Gunnar and Bagman after Rogues biochip buddies... Helps me remember where to place them.
posted by Artw at 5:02 PM on October 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Self Actualization and the Mini-Roguelike
posted by Artw at 4:37 PM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Space Cadets Aims to Elevate the Co-Op Board Game Genre
posted by Artw at 10:45 PM on October 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


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