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Indie Spotlight: FTL - Faster Than Light

Posted by: Travis at 3/1/2012 3:30 PM
This week's installment of Indie Spotlight features spaceship management, randomly-generated galaxies, text-based scenarios, real-time strategic combat, and intergalactic war. No, it's not a new Star Trek game; but most certainly shares a great deal of inspiration from the franchise. It's actually an upcoming indie game titled most appropriately, FTL: Faster Than Light. The game is currently being designed by Justin Ma and Matthew Davis, whom reside in Shanghai. The developers describe FTL as a "spaceship simulation roguelike-like," that aims to create the experience of managing the operations of a spaceship and exploring the galaxy. Titles of similar-based space franchises, including Star Trek, Firefly, and Battlestar Galactica, can be found referenced on the project's website and Kickstarter page.

Few games that are based in space have tried to simulate the experiencing of rerouting power to engines or shields, sending boarding parties to enemy ships, or managing the health of a ship's crew. The innovative approach to the gameplay of FTL is the addition of roguelike mechanics that challenge the player to carefully deliberate each of their actions. Thus, as in most roguelike games, permanent death is always looming in the next dungeon floor or in this occasion, galaxy.

The game already contains a wealth of features that should excite any fan of Picard or Adama, but its Kickstarter page lists quite a few more that will be completed before its release. These include ship customization, crew development, five playable alien races, and an original soundtrack. The trailers released thus far along with the various pieces of concept art showcase a great deal of attention to each aspect of the game. The project still has another month left on Kickstarter for donating funds to the game's development. With a $10 donation, you will receive a DRM-free copy of the game for Windows, Mac, and Linux. The game's current release schedule is aiming for this August, but the developers warn that there might be some delays.

Fortunately, you don't have to wait till August to play FTL. OnLive’s Indie Showcase contains a 30-minute demo that can be replayed until the end of next week. Visit the OnLive FTL page to test your skills at managing a spaceship and its crew.