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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.>
That headline doesn’t refer to the times when games break and throw up oddball bugs for our amusement, but rather when games throw so many problems at the player that they become a sort of jeopardy-based experience in crisis-juggling. Earlier today I was running through my game collection and thinking about what I might like to play. It wasn’t Dishonored. Three things other stood out: Day Z, FTL, and X-Com. I began to think about what those had in common which, and what that said about my enjoyment of this year’s immersive masterpiece.
And I realised it was this: peril>. (more…)
These were the voyages of the Starship Moggy. Its eight-sector mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new weapons and new system upgrades, to boldly go somewhere no-one has come back alive from before (apart from save-scummers).
Sector 8. The end of the line. > (more…)
And so my FTL campaign, the flight of the starship Moggy, limps to the game’s penultimate sector. It seems impossible that we’re still alive at this point – let alone that we now have seven crew, three guns and NO-ONE IS DEAD. The looming question is whether or not we’re anything like equipped for the final showdown in Sector 8 – but then again it’s foolish to go asking that before we’ve survived Sector 7.
Ah, we’re in the Engi sector. Home, in a sense. I have four Engi on my crew, we’re in an Engi ship and we’re attacked by roaming Engi a whole lot less than by any other species. Home. But better not get too comfortable. (more…)
I’m feeling pretty good, which is exactly the sort of thing one should never say in FTL. Doom, disaster and dismay inevitably looms, but having pulled my ship and my crew back from the brink of disaster at least I’ve got a war story out of it. Now, let’s see what’s out there in Sector 6 – this needs to go well, as I’m now just two sectors away from the final f(l)ight – presuming I survive that long.> (more…)
Continuing my FTL journey into the heart of doomed space-darkness. Read the earlier installments here. >
A new sector! We’re down to 25% hull, still don’t have a proper gun and have spent all our money on repairs that didn’t last long. Damn, we’re in a tight spot. So do we exercise extreme caution or take big gambles in the hope of big pay-offs?
Here’s the first dilemma. We run into some rebels, who miraculously don’t attack us on sight. Wusses. Shall I demand surrender of their goods? You never know, maybe they’ll be afraid of men called Steven and just cough up without a fight. (more…)
With two sectors survived, things don’t look to good for the good ship Moggy, crewed by two Engis and a human named after cats I have known. The hull’s taken a beating, we’ve almost no cash and we don’t yet have any upgrades to speak of. Meantime, our enemies forever snap at our heels, and the challenges we’ll face in this next, Zoltan-ruled sector will likely be stiffer than that we’ve yet faced. Anything could happen, though. After all, space is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind- bogglingly big it is. It might even be big enough that I’ll find a gun in it somewhere. Oh, please dear lord let me find a gun.>
Continuing my imperilled escapades in spaceship sim/roguelike FTL: Faster Than Light. With a crew named after cats I have know, I’ve survived the first sector but at the expense of 50% of my starship’s hull and I have no meaningful upgrades. No-one is dead, though. Repeat: no-one is dead. I’m going to keep on saying that, because it’s the only thing I’ve possibly got to brag about here.> (more…)
FTL: Faster Than Light is the spaceship management/roguelike hybrid that everyone in the world is playing right now, living and reliving endless numbers of doomed space crusades, disastrous journeys and euphoric tales. There are eight million stories in the naked universe. This will be just one of them.
These are the voyages of the starship Moggy, crewed by a brave band of humans and aliens named after cats that I have known. This was an egregious mistake, as seeing my childhood pets burned, asphyxiated and lasered to death almost immediately proved traumatic. Still, we exist not merely within a universe, but a multiverse. One crew of feline-named space travellers might meet their tragic doom, but perhaps, in a parallel existence, another band of desperate starfarers might just have succeeded… (Of course they didn’t. This is FTL. But the multiverse does at least allow for the story to be told anew).> (more…)