Announcement - Valve
Today's Deal: Save 66% on FTL: Faster Than Light!*

Look for the deals each day on the front page of Steam. Or follow us on twitter or Facebook for instant notifications wherever you are!

*Offer ends Friday at 10AM Pacific Time
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Sheltered looks like a cross between FTL and Fallout, and is scavenging for Kickstarter cash">Sheltered







Time to take a break from hyper-expensive, lavish games, and come back down to earth. No, further than that. We're going down under the earth, deep into a seemingly impenetrable nuclear bunker. Okay, we should be safe here. Except, do we have enough food? Are those air filtration systems on the blink? Oh gods, there's someone outside! Do we shoot them in the face?



These questions and more form the basis of Sheltered, a new project that combines FTL-like disaster management with a post-apocalyptic twist. It's on Kickstarter now.



For a look at the project, check out the developers' quick and to-the-point Kickstarter video.







The concept holds some fantastic potential for recreating apocalyptic despair. There's always a moment in such fictions, when the gnarled hero, while travelling the wasteland, comes across the tale of a family driven desperate by fear, paranoia and tragedy. It'll be nice to see their story for a change.



The developers are looking for 15,000 to make this project a reality, and still have 23 days to raise the remainder of that total.



For more info, check out the Sheltered Kickstarter page.



Thanks, Kotaku.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Show Us Your Rig: FTL composer Ben Prunty">suyr-prunty-top







Composer Ben Prunty created the soundtrack to FTL: Faster Than Light (and the new music in FTL: Advanced Edition). He worked on music for Gravity Ghost and StarCrawlers, too. He's also a PC gamer, which means he has to maintain both a music rig and a gaming rig two very different beasts. So I asked him to show us both setups, and tell us how he approaches PC gaming in the living room and what his favorite games are.



I also asked him to teach me how to play the banjo, but he didn't respond to that part.







What's in your PC?

Both my work PC and my gaming PC are custom built by me. I love building my own rig. The two machines have a lot of the same hardware, because I built them around the same time:



Motherboard Asus Sabertooth z77

CPU 3.4Ghz Intel Core i7

Heatsink Cooler Master Hyper 212 plus

HDD Two 1TB Seagate Barracudas

Memory 16Gb G.Skill Ripjaws X Series

Video Gaming rig: GeForce GTX560 (it's about time to upgrade!) Music rig: MSI Radeon HD 6570 (nothing fancy.)

Power Supply PC Power and Cooling Silencer Mk II

Case Gaming rig: Cooler Master HAF 912, Music Rig: Fractal Design R4. This case has foam padding to keep it quiet. Perfect for a studio environment.



The music rig has a Komplete Audio 6 audio interface hooked up to it, along with those big studio speakers and a Novation Launchkey 49 MIDI controller. For more information on my music hardware, check out my blog.







What's the most interesting part of your setup?

Possibly that I have two rigs! This helps keep work separated from play; it's very hard for me to get distracted when I'm in the studio. The PCs themselves are pretty straightforward. I have my gaming rig hooked up to my TV and stereo so I can switch to couch gaming seamlessly, which I take advantage of often.







What's on your desk?

My banjo picks and tuner tend to always be at my gaming desk. You never know when you're going to spontaneously play the banjo. You can see I have a couple Mario figures on my speakers, but in general I hate having stuff on my desk.







What are you playing right now?

Right now my time is divided between Titanfall, Nuclear Throne and the first Dark Souls. Life is good.



What's your favorite game and why?

My favorite PC game is possibly System Shock 2, though the original DOOM or Half-Life 2 is pretty close. System Shock 2 was just a mesmerizing and deep experience, filled with tough decisions and free form exploration. I think it has more in common with the classic Ultima Underworld than most people realize. Plus I just love space horror.



PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to FTL Advanced Edition: the definitive version of Subset’s strategy game">faster02







FTL: Advanced Edition is free. The goodwill of that gesture to fans, to expand the hit space sim's feature set and narrative possibilities for nothing, is a neat way to get people talking about the game just as it emerges on iPad. For me, FTL has been a go-to game, something I've played every day for as long as I can remember. The additions to the combat feel generous, and certainly justify picking up the game again even if you've logged tens of hours with it previously.



The basic principle of crossing the game's eight sectors is unchanged. One nerdy tweak to the interface I quite like is a heavier use of symbols in dialogue boxes, so you're not always staring at white text on a beige background. But why am I talking about UI and not the new space combat bits, which are clearly the more interesting addition?



The biggest additions are the Clone Bay, Mind Control, Backup Battery and Hacking systems. Hacking mucks up one of the opponent ship's systems, Mind Control grants a temporary ally among the enemy crew and Backup Battery offers a finite power boost.



The Clone Bay is the one I'm most engaged with, a system that removes the Med Bay from your ship but replaces crew members who die in battle, providing the bay itself isn't damaged. I can't really work out if it makes FTL easier or not it certainly lowers the stakes in those scenarios where you send someone to a burning ship or dangerous planet, only to have them die, but it's a very small price to pay for something that considerably expands your tactical repertoire.







My proudest moment so far in using the Clone Bay came when three rooms in the middle part of my ship - including weapons - were on fire, and my remaining crew struggling to fight the flames. With their health bars on the blink and the Clone Bay itself about to be destroyed by the inferno, I opened all the airlocks, draining the atmosphere and consequently stopping the fire immediately. I purposefully murdered my entire crew as a strategic manoeuvre, but I minimised damage to the ship and 15 seconds later they started reappearing, minus their experience stats. Tactical firefighting.



This is just one way to use the Clone Bay. Clones also make it a lot easier to deal with enemies boarding your ship or you boarding theirs, since you can throw waves of less experienced crew at them without any long-term consequences. That kind of option makes the Advanced Edition an essential add-on to FTL for me, and there are still loads of possibilities I'm sure I haven't come across, roughly eleven games later.



Advanced completely opens up your strategic options by adding just a few features. I've only just got to grips with mind control, which temporarily turns one member of the enemy crew against the others. You can turn boarding soldiers against each other, or even have them help repair parts of your ship temporarily.



The changes aren't limited to the make-up of your ship, either - there's a conscious effort to expand FTL's fiction, as well. A new alien race comes in the form of the Lanius, who suck oxygen from wherever they're positioned and have their own type of starship. Their presence adds variety to the kinds of foes and potential crew mates you'll meet out there, which only helps when you've spent countless hours among engi and slugs.



Helping to mitigate repetition are the new story scenarios, thrown into the pot with the existing ones in Advanced. Obsidian's Chris Avellone has written some of them alongside narrative designer Tom Jubert, and when you've dealt with slaver ships and Tuco the pirate countless times before, having that fiction expanded makes FTL feel more complete.







Easy mode feels a bit softer now, too. Every time I do an easy run through I've breezed to the last sector in the Kestrel without taking more than half hull damage, and that's rarely avoiding conflict. With a newly added hard mode, it's tough to work out if Normal has changed or not discussing it with PC Gamer's Chris Thursten, he's found a couple of games to be fairly easy until he hits an enemy ship with a hacking drone, when the journey comes to abrupt end. I've had the same issue, and it seems to always come down to hacking drones putting you at an immediate disadvantage by targeting a vital room on your ship. They've got access to the same new toys as you, of course maybe this is just a balance check I have to be better prepared for.



Yet I'm pleased that almost two years on, FTL has given its fans a load more outcomes to be wary of as they crawl to sector eight. This is surely the best kind of expansion, one built without a business model in mind that only enhances the original game and rewards long-term players. With Subset Games having now created a basically definitive version of FTL, minus maybe a couple of possible tweaks in future, I can't wait to see what they move onto next.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

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. … [visit site to read more]

Community Announcements - Jarmustard
FTL: Advanced Edition is available!

FTL: AE is free expansion to FTL which includes a new alien race along with new events, weapons, playable ships, drones, and more! It also adds additional musical tracks by Ben Prunty, and events by Tom Jubert and guest writer Chris Avellone.

If you own FTL on Steam it should automatically update the game to the newest version, v1.5.10. If you instead own a DRM-Free version of FTL, you need to re-download the game from the original location and then re-install it. The following link has more information about updating DRM-Free versions - Update Instructions

Additionally, FTL has also been released on iPad! It is the complete game (same as PC) and includes the new AE content. It costs $10 in the US Store and is available on the App Store worldwide. Note: FTL purchases on computer cannot be transferred or redeemed on iPad.
PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to After Action Report: the calamitous voyage of the Vagrant Badger, in FTL">After Action Report FTL







Welcome to the After Action Report, an account from one of PC gaming's varied, exciting battlefields.



FTL's creators wanted to make a brilliant Captain Picard sim, but Picard doesn't tend to die in a fire half-way through an episode of The Next Generation. Instead they've created a terrific roguelike that almost always ends in horrible death, but always spawns a neat little story every time you play. You control the crew of a spaceship as it zips across the galaxy trying to escape the laser beams of a pursuing rebel fleet. You meet pirates, recruit strange aliens and upgrade your ship to match increasingly deadly enemies. A juicy free update is about to add a load of new features, so I paid one last visit to the original version, to rediscover its brilliance, and try to reach the final boss.



First I need a ship. I choose the default layout, which I'm quite familiar with, and name it the Vagrant Badger, the ragged successor to previous vessels, which included the noble Space Badger (my most successful run), and the PCG Party Bus, among others. Next, I need to pick a crew an easy task. At the helm, captain Samuel Roberts, editor of PC Gamer UK. On shield-management duty, dutiful section editor, Andy Kelly. Finally, on weapons, deputy editor Chris Thursten. Who will die first?



You have to move from left to right in each sector, hopping from beacon to beacon to reach the exit point. I spy a useful route across the top of the sector, which ought to take me through numerous planets before the red wave of the rebel fleet starts advancing from the left edge of the map.



Jump one. I fly into an automated ship flying patrols around a long-range sensor station. I attack it immediately, disabling its shields with a rocket and a triple-blast from my laser cannon. I salvage the machine's guts for ten scrap FTL's currency and discover a map of the system in the sensor station. I learn that the system is full of alarming yellow triangle icons, each indicating a potential combat encounter. One is positioned right next to a huge sun. That could be trouble.



Jump two. An Energy Bomber tries to charge me a fee to use the beacon. They want 15 of my 20 scrap. I respond with a polite missile to their shield generator, and follow up with a courteous triple-tap from my trusty laser. They respond with surprising rudeness, destroying my engine and setting fire to the ass-end of my ship. I open the rearmost doors and vent the flames into space, performing a petulant cosmic fart as my foe explodes. More scrap for me, and an extra missile. Onwards.



Jump three. "This beacon has been placed too close to a super-giant class M star!" Apparently the searing pain and massive doses of gamma radiation failed to deter the determined and insensible builders in this corner of space. The same poverty of self-preservation applies to the pirate ship that lies in wait near the beacon. It rakes my hull with a pair of sustained laser attacks, setting fire to my shield generator, taking out my oxygen supply and damaging my engine. I take the pirate's shields down moments before a solar flare tears through both craft. The pirate ship explodes and the Vagrant Badger massively catches fire. Chris repairs the oxygen supply and the engine, Andy repairs the shields and Sam stares vacantly out of the window, because I forget to give him orders. I jump out to avoid another flare as soon as the engine is repaired.







Jump four. The Badger is still quite on fire. I open all of the ship's side-doors and starve the flames of oxygen. Meanwhile a merchant is hailing us with a mission, apparently unperturbed by the panicked screams and sirens he must be hearing over comms. He wants us to take some drone parts to another part of the system. I accept with the imagined scream of "AAAaargh yeswhatever nyaaaarggh".



Jump five. Ship repaired, I sail to the next beacon and receive a distress signal from the heart of an asteroid field. I can try to help, or abandon them to certain death. I select the "try to shield their ship with yours" option, but they die horribly anyway. At least this way I get to loot the corpse. The Vagrant Badger hungers for sweet scrap.



Jump six. I've reached the nebula. Sensors are affected by the environment, which means I lose visibility of any part of the Badger not occupied by a crew member. I encounter another automated scout, who I dispatch easily after a brief laser exchange. After the fight Andy starts repairing some minor damage to the shield generator and I take a quick look at everyone's stats. Your crew gain experience in the systems they use, unless you're Andy, who has refused to learn anything about managing shields despite being in the same room as the shield generator for the entire adventure thus far. I start to see his refusal to learn as a form of passive-aggressive mutiny, but find myself distracted by the co-pilot section of the cockpit, which has miraculously caught fire.



While Sam flaps at the flames I send Andy into the dark area of the ship to investigate, and he almost dies in a hidden inferno in the neck of the ship. Both sections of the cockpit are now on fire, and Sam is not having a nice time. Andy and Chris do their best to stamp out the blaze, and eventually succeed, but the Badger is a wreck. The hull only has six points of health left.







Jump seven. An "especially well-armed pirate ship" approaches. They're slavers. They want one member of my crew, randomly selected, or they'll blast me apart. My mouse lingers over the "we will never surrender one of our crew to slavers!" option, and then look again at my ship's miserable health bar. Sorry, crew. It's time to roll the dice.



And so it came to pass that Andy Kelly, former officer and shield-managing-dude of the Vagrant Badger, entered a life of ruinous servitude. Sam and Chris live on, but what kind of life will it be without Andy's dry wit and giant hands, so useful for putting out fires?



Jump eight. There's an asteroid field near this beacon which I choose not to explore because, knowing my luck, there's a giant fire-breathing magma worm in there waiting to turn the Vagrant Badger into a funeral pyre.



Jump nine. There's a space station, mysteriously silent. Do I explore? I estimate that my odds of catching fire during this exchange are probably lower than the asteroid field, so I dock. There I see a "frantic person banging on the airlock door." He enters my ship and says "My... friends... They've gone insane... They're coming!" Then the rear of the ship is invaded by three foes with pistols. I think I'm outnumbered, but suddenly realise that the "frantic person" has joined my crew, and isn't a person at all. It's a Mantis warrior, a fast green alien that's excellent at fighting. I get everyone to hide in the medbay together and open all other doors on the ship. The invaders respond by taking out my O2 supplies, and then nearly asphyxiate to death reaching the only safe room on the ship. There Chris, Sam and the Mantis man called Dengler bond over a brief combat that eliminates all attackers.











Jump ten. I have FINALLY reached the exit to the sector. I wait for my FTL drive to spool up and dive into a Zoltan sector. I'm told the Zoltan are busy bracing the region for the coming war. I can expect to face tougher ships soon.



Jump eleven. I encounter a planet populated by "small, brightly colored, six-legged, horse-like animals". I could take them aboard the ship and sell them off to slavers, but I still feel a bit guilty about letting Andy go. I choose to "communicate peacefully." One of them responds by nudging me towards a crashed ship, where I gain some much-needed fuel, a missile, more scrap and an Engi crewmember. Yes! The Engi are cybernetic beings that are rubbish at fighting, but excellent at repairing things. Let it never be said that the tiny horse dudes of Random Backwater Planet 28A aren't a gentle and honourable folk.



Jump twelve. For the love of all things flame-retardant, I have found a shop. I blow all of my scrap on repairs and then feel sad that I'm 150 scrap short of a useful cloaking module, and 75 short of the crew teleporter. I'm not in bad shape, exactly, but I should really have more weapons, and perhaps an extra shield segment by now. If I hadn't spent 90% of my time on fire, things might be different.



Jump thirteen. Ugh, an asteroid field. Here constant pebble bombardments whittle down shields in seconds, and can take out vital systems if you suffer an unlucky hit. "A pirate ship hiding behind one of the larger asteroids attacks you!" Of course it does. I lose a few points of hull health defeating the pirate scum, and suck up more scrap from the wreckage. I'm still poor, and the game seems to be taunting me by placing two stores right next to one another. If only I could raid them. Instead, I must move on.







Jump fourteen. I detect a lone life form in a recently attacked colony. Magma worm? No, it's a lone survivor. I invite them to join my crew, and they gladly accept. I now have a crew of five. Not bad at all. Looking back, everything seems to have gotten better since Andy left. Sorry, Andy.



Jump fifteen. A slaver ship offers me the same choice as the one I encountered in sector one. Give up my crew, or be attacked. This time I have most of my health, four missiles, and five kick-ass crew members. I obliterate their weaponry with missiles and take them down to a sliver of health. They attempt to surrender, offering me a crew member for a moment of mercy. Instead I pick the "Surrender is not an option" option, and enjoy watching the slaver ship explode.



Jumps sixteen, seventeen and eighteen. A string of similar encounters follow. A rebel fighter confronts me, dealing a little damage to my hull. They try to surrender on the verge of destruction, but I say NOT TODAY, and destroy them for the extra scrap. Next, a rebel scout attempts to flee, but I missile his engine, then his shield generator, and dispatch him with a laser volley. On the third jump, I reach the exit, and plot a course into new a new sector, also owned by the mysterious Zoltan.







Jump nineteen. I'm desperately underpowered. The Vagrant Badger has been brawling beyond its means for the past few fights. Missiles have sustained me until now, but that surely can't continue. I need to kill as manty things as I can before the difficulty curve escapes me.



Jump twenty. My ship is swamped by ads offering fuel for missiles. I pass, and jump on.



Jump twenty-one. I find a refuelling station offering fuel for scrap. I'm running low, so I buy some up. I jump on.



Jump twenty-two. I find a Zoltan shipyard and "admire the display of hundreds of glowing Zoltan performing delicate exterior work on a massive transport ship." There's nothing else to do here. I jump on.



Jump twenty-two. "There is nothing here, save for vast swirls of gas reflecting rays from a distant sun." What is going on? I seem to have found the most peaceful sector in all of FTL. It's a sector of beautiful views and merchants, and no evil bastards at all. I need conflict. I need scrap. I need weapons and more shields and a teleporter. I curse the beautiful reflective gas-ray things. I curse them and jump on.







Jump twenty-three. I find a secret planet in a nebula. The surface boasts a "huge monolith visible even to the naked eye." This is weird. A Zoltan elder hails. "Through luck or intent, you have discovered the Great Eye. Look into its depths and receive your just dessert". This is really weird. I pull the ship in closer and a ship approaches. "And in the coming times, when the monolith speaks not with a man he has no future and must be left wanting." I have no idea what that means, but the ship has turned hostile. I fire off a few blasts at their shields, but they're an Energy Fighter. They have two barriers and a third shield with a bar that I have to whittle down before I can attack the hull. Before I even get started they disable my shields with an Ion blast, and then hammer me with the one thing I feared most: a really massive laser.



Things are on fire again. It's been a while since things were on fire, but my crew seem to know what to do. Sam battles the flames in the cockpit. Dengler does his part in the shield room. Chris and Charlie start mending the weapons bay. My shields are down. I can't shoot. I order Sam to the back of the ship to help out, but the neck of the ship is completely ablaze, and he dies on the journey. Editor down! Chris, Dengler, Charlie and my Engi repair as fast as their tiny forms allow, but it's too late. My hull is breached and the Vagrant Badger cracks apart. The voyage is over. It occurs to me that somewhere in this godforsaken galaxy Andy Kelly is probably still alive. Perhaps he is the real winner.



Bum. That's two losses from two After Action Reports so far. Maybe I'll have more luck with FTL Advanced goes live shortly.



Community Announcements - Jarmustard
The FTL: AE free expansion will become available at the same time as the port to iPad, this Thursday.

Information on the release can be found in our announcement here - http://www.ftlgame.com/?p=688

And general information about the expansion's content can be found here - http://www.ftlgame.com/?p=647
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Nathan Grayson)

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.

… [visit site to read more]

PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to FTL: Advanced Edition out April 3">FTL advanced edition





Subset Games has announced on Twitter that FTL: Advanced Edition will release on April 3. The new edition of the game will release on iPad for $10 on the same day, but will be offered as a free upgrade to those who already own the original game on PC. As you should.

FTL: Advanced Edition adds new ships, weapons, event and environments. Some of the new additions include a cloning room, which, in exchange for your medbay, will allow you to create clones of dead crew members at a cost to their skills. Another addition, a mind control system, will force enemies to sabotage their own ships.

The update will also include new music by composer Ben Prunty, and new sectors and events written by FTL writer Tom Jubert and Wasteland 2 scribe Chris Avellone.

As you can imagine, we love FTL already. These additions will give us yet another reason to jump back into the cockpit.
...

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