FTL

Datyedyeguy wrote:

From the patch notes:

Spoiler:

Removed bugged weapon from the secret sector

Now I'm really curious.

That's also mentioned in one of the Rock ship achievements.

I see the phrase v-sync in options dialogs frequently. What does it actually mean?

It means 'wait for vertical sync'.

It comes from CRT technology. A CRT is 'painted', one pixel at a time, by an electron beam. The beam positions itself at the upper left of the screen, turns on, pans right, changing intensity as it goes, and excites different colored phosphors to make an image. At the end of the line, it turns off, and returns to the start of the next line. The period during which it's off is called the 'horizontal blank'; it's a very, very short period... noticeable to computers, way too fast for humans to see. Once the whole screen has been painted this way, the beam turns off, returns to the top, and then starts again; this period is called the 'vertical blank'. It's much longer than a horizontal blank.

Computers, being a fair bit faster than humans, are able to do lots of work during the blank periods. Very early systems like the Atari 2600 were 'racing the beam' down the screen, literally displaying each line in video memory just before the beam passed over them, and then racing ahead to draw the next line during the hblank. This was because 2600s had almost no RAM, so they had to use the same 128 bytes or so over and over and over and over as the screen painted. This meant there wasn't a lot of time to do anything EXCEPT paint the screen, so the fact that they could get a game running in the hblank and vblank times was pretty amazing. Games like Pitfall and Yar's Revenge were virtuoso hacking, unbelievably brilliant people making weak hardware do things that it really shouldn't be able to do.

More modern computers have lots of RAM, and so they've decoupled this process. The video card has dedicated VRAM for the display, and it drives the update out of that RAM, sending data as it's needed to drive the beam. (Even LCDs accept data in this same format, and they update top to bottom. They typically do it in blocks, not in individual lines, but the overall process looks about the same to the computer, and to whatever software is running.) While the video card is displaying an image out of one block of VRAM, the computer is busily assembling another image in a different bank of VRAM. When that frame is done, it flips a little toggle, and the video card starts displaying video data out of the secondary buffer, while the computer draws the next frame in the primary buffer. When it's done, it flips it again, and then redraws in the secondary, and flips again, and so on. This is called 'double buffering', and essentially every video output system now does this. It means the computer can work at whatever speed it's capable of, and can then flip the page when it's ready.

If the computer flips buffers during a screen paint, the old buffer will be displayed on top, with a newer frame on the bottom. There will often be a visible line at the demarcation point if the image is moving much, and if this line is repeated over multiple successive frames, it's perceived as 'tearing'.

VSync means that, when the computer is finished drawing in the inactive buffer, it waits until the screen update has finished, and then switches buffers. This means that buffers never switch during a screen repaint, and you never get tearing. However, this can give you really choppy framerates in a challenging game, because if a frame is taking a long time to render, and the computer doesn't have the new one ready in time, it has to repeat the old buffer for an entire frame. The worst case is where the new frame takes only just a tiny bit longer than 1/60th of a second to draw, so each frame ends up repeated twice, and the computer sits idle for long periods of time. It's not quite fast enough to maintain 60fps, so suddenly it can only do 30fps, or 15fps.

Turning vsync off, in other words, lets the rendering run flat out, all the time. You can get 53 frames per second displayed as easily as 43. It shows an image when it's ready to show it, so the lag time is the minimum possible, given the time it takes for the video card to render each frame. But you often get screen tearing. With most fast-action games, unless your hardware is VERY fast, you want to leave vsync off, as it will improve reaction time and overall framerate a bunch. The computer can work as hard as it can, all the time.

With older games, where your hardware greatly exceeds the demands of a given game, turning VSync on can be much better... there's no reason to render 300 frames per second, the monitor can only display 60. So locking it at 60 with vsync means that everything runs cooler. You spend less money on AC power for the computer, and less on climate control to dump the heat it's generating.

FTL is so limited in terms of what it's showing that it's almost certain you want to turn vsync on. If it's written in a fast language or toolkit, it could probably compute like a thousand frames a second on a fast machine.

Guys, guys guys.

New update includes Steam Cloud sync apparently.

Quintin_Stone wrote:

Guys, guys guys.

New update includes Steam Cloud sync apparently.

That makes me a happy man! No more windows / OS X disparity!

Feh. Feeling less happy about my GoG purchase right now.

Tanglebones wrote:

Feh. Feeling less happy about my GoG purchase right now.

At least you know you aren't saddled with invasive Steam DRM.

Atras wrote:
Tanglebones wrote:

Feh. Feeling less happy about my GoG purchase right now.

At least you know you aren't saddled with invasive Steam DRM.

Main reason I went with it; I've been using my laptop in a few places without wifi lately, and wanted a good offline game

Tanglebones wrote:
Atras wrote:
Tanglebones wrote:

Feh. Feeling less happy about my GoG purchase right now.

At least you know you aren't saddled with invasive Steam DRM.

Main reason I went with it; I've been using my laptop in a few places without wifi lately, and wanted a good offline game

So the Steam Cloud would be largely useless to you anyway.

Atras wrote:
Tanglebones wrote:
Atras wrote:
Tanglebones wrote:

Feh. Feeling less happy about my GoG purchase right now.

At least you know you aren't saddled with invasive Steam DRM.

Main reason I went with it; I've been using my laptop in a few places without wifi lately, and wanted a good offline game

So the Steam Cloud would be largely useless to you anyway.

Only when I'm playing in those locations; still be nice when I'm at home

That was awesome, Malor. Thank you!

I'm very curious, could someone who was a KS backer please share with us plebs what the Backer-Only updates were? We can't read them on KS, so please copy paste here for us, ok? The Backer-Only update numbers are the following:

Oh my glob... 500%
Update #2 - For backers only · Mar. 01, 2012 · 17 comments

Developer's log, Stardate 9.14.12: FTL released!
Update #14 - For backers only · Sep. 14, 2012 · 57 comments

Early access for all $10 backers!
Update #13 - For backers only · Sep. 01, 2012 · 133 comments

Tanglebones wrote:
Atras wrote:
Tanglebones wrote:

Feh. Feeling less happy about my GoG purchase right now.

At least you know you aren't saddled with invasive Steam DRM.

Main reason I went with it; I've been using my laptop in a few places without wifi lately, and wanted a good offline game

You can play Steam games offline, you just have to remember to set it to offline before you go.

EDIT:

Oh my glob
Exclusive early access to one of the musical tracks.

Early access for all $10 backers!
Backers got the game 48 hours early.

Developer's log, Stardate 9.14.12: FTL released
The game is out now. Here's how you get your steam and GoG keys and DRM-free versions of the game. We're sorry the other backer rewards are going to be sent out in the coming months.

Tanglebones wrote:
Atras wrote:
Tanglebones wrote:

Feh. Feeling less happy about my GoG purchase right now.

At least you know you aren't saddled with invasive Steam DRM.

Main reason I went with it; I've been using my laptop in a few places without wifi lately, and wanted a good offline game

That's why I bought it on the Humble Bundle site. DRM free copy + a Steam code. So I have it with the best of both.

Tanglebones wrote:
Atras wrote:
Tanglebones wrote:
Atras wrote:
Tanglebones wrote:

Feh. Feeling less happy about my GoG purchase right now.

At least you know you aren't saddled with invasive Steam DRM.

Main reason I went with it; I've been using my laptop in a few places without wifi lately, and wanted a good offline game

So the Steam Cloud would be largely useless to you anyway.

Only when I'm playing in those locations; still be nice when I'm at home

Best place to buy it, is from their won website. Steam code, no drm and also for Linux.
I found this out too late as well.

Sparhawk wrote:
Tanglebones wrote:
Atras wrote:
Tanglebones wrote:
Atras wrote:
Tanglebones wrote:

Feh. Feeling less happy about my GoG purchase right now.

At least you know you aren't saddled with invasive Steam DRM.

Main reason I went with it; I've been using my laptop in a few places without wifi lately, and wanted a good offline game

So the Steam Cloud would be largely useless to you anyway.

Only when I'm playing in those locations; still be nice when I'm at home

Best place to buy it, is from their won website. Steam code, no drm and also for Linux.
I found this out too late as well.

That's the same thing I was mentioning about. It processes through the Humble Bundle site.

Here's a comparison of how far the rebels advance in each type of star system:

Regular star:
IMAGE(http://cloud.steampowered.com/ugc/939256402311622597/76D21307454CABC6BDDD1BE640A45C859673069A/)

Nebula star in a slug-controlled nebula:
IMAGE(http://cloud.steampowered.com/ugc/939256402311625554/01BE054CC9F58D798BDEE4387320B922A92F333D/)

Nebula star in a non-nebula sector:
IMAGE(http://cloud.steampowered.com/ugc/939256402311610713/1A8CD603FC50509046A50322E7AA2B9E9084BE17/)

I was taking the Zoltan Cruiser for a spin and lucked into a weapon pre igniter halfway through the first sector. Nothing like an instant missile to the shield generator followed up by a Halberd Beam before the enemy can get a single shot off.

Then I hit sector 2 and realized my starting loadout couldn't actually damage a ship with 2 shields.

I managed to pull together enough scrap to buy a small Ion Cannon and managed to turn my ship back into a formidable war machine again. This was followed up with a Burst Laser 2, and then the 2-shot missile launcher. Let me tell you, a weapon balanced against a 20-second cooldown makes for a hell of an instant opening salvo. Having offensive and defensive drone options didn't hurt either.

All this added up to my first Normal victory at hour 24.

This playthrough really showed me the depth of the game system here. I kept having to time my attacks and carefully decide what I needed to power up when. Do I need missile defense or the offensive drone suppressing his shield? Missiles or lasers alongside the beam? Missiles and lasers but no beam? I had to shift tactics mid combat, but I didn't feel like I was having to do too much fiddly stuff either.

Kickstarter Project Updates #2 through #4. They're rather long or I would share them all. Do you guys want the full paste?

Project Update #2: Oh my glob... 500%
Backer_white For backers only, Posted by FTL Team Like

First of all, thank you. It's difficult to express our appreciation for the amount of support and encouragement you've given us; it's truly amazing.

As a small token of our appreciation, we wanted to give you something extra. A number of people have expressed interest in FTL's music, so here is exclusive access to one of FTL's first tracks by Ben Prunty. It was previously featured in the Alpha teaser video. You can download it in a number of formats (right click and "Save As" to download):

MP3 - WAV - OGG - FLAC

More updates soon.

Project Update #3: FTL: Further Updates!
Posted by FTL Team Like

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

We started this project with the simple goal of making a game that we ourselves would love to play. We did not imagine that so many other gamers would feel as strongly about FTL as we do. We've received more pledges than we ever anticipated and the additional funds will allow us to greatly expand soundtrack/sound design and make sure the beta runs smoothly. We'll continue to look for more ways we can invest in the game without causing delays, and any excess funds will be used to continue bringing you games that we (and hopefully you) love.

A small number of you have requested additional higher-tier rewards so we are adding a few. However, we will not be adding additional slots to the $100 tier since that would devalue the "limited edition" rewards.

$80 - Receive two game keys, two beta keys, digital soundtrack, PDF art-book & instruction manual, plus your name will be in the credits.
$2000 - One lucky backer will be able to help us create a new alien race!
$5000 - One amazingly generous backer will have an opportunity to hang with the developers in Shanghai, China!

With these changes, keep in mind that: You can increase or decrease your pledge at any time during the Kickstarter. There's still a month to go, so there will be plenty of time to change your mind.

Justin will be at GDC this week. If anyone wants to meet up or at least say hi, send him a message at [email protected] or @Jarmustard.

We have a small announcement to make as well. We have the first documented kill of the demo's "impossible" boss! Congrats to our backer and Co-Editor-in-Chief at Voodoo Extreme, @Ohmwrecker! A silly prize is already on its way.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2WX5...

Project Update #4: OnLive demo ends! New gameplay video!
Posted by FTL Team Like

First, we must thank you all once again for your amazing support. We never dreamed there could be so many people excited about our little experiment. We will work furiously to make FTL the best it can possibly be.

The demo event has ended: The OnLive Indie Showcase was hugely successful: FTL was one of the most played demos of the event. At one point it was the 2nd most played game on the entire OnLive service! Thank you to everyone who tried it and gave us such positive feedback (except about the lag-induced FloatyMouse™). We're sorry if you didn't have an opportunity to try it, but now that it's over, we will be entirely focused on getting ready for the beta. For now, here's a taste of some of the new stuff we've been adding:

New Ships: Justin has been designing the art style for the Rockmen ships (you can see the crew on the main kickstarter page). The hardest part of making ships for an alien race is finding a coherent style: to reflect their slow speed and emphasis on defense, he opted for an armadillo-like scaled armor and a dense room layout.

Gameplay Video: We've also prepared a short video going over some of the features we've been adding recently. In it we show off the Teleporter & Cloaking systems as well as new weapons and UI.
https://vimeo.com/38619551

If you like the video and would like to see more, send us a note or leave a comment on Kickstarter and we can make this a more common thing.

Wallpapers: If anyone is interested, a wallpaper of our game's logo is available in the following sizes: 1280x800; 1280x1024; 1440x800; 1600x1200; 1920x1080

That's all for now!

Vargen wrote:

I was taking the Zoltan Cruiser for a spin and lucked into a weapon pre igniter halfway through the first sector. Nothing like an instant missile to the shield generator followed up by a Halberd Beam before the enemy can get a single shot off.

Then I hit sector 2 and realized my starting loadout couldn't actually damage a ship with 2 shields.

I managed to pull together enough scrap to buy a small Ion Cannon and managed to turn my ship back into a formidable war machine again. This was followed up with a Burst Laser 2, and then the 2-shot missile launcher. Let me tell you, a weapon balanced against a 20-second cooldown makes for a hell of an instant opening salvo. Having offensive and defensive drone options didn't hurt either.

All this added up to my first Normal victory at hour 24.

This playthrough really showed me the depth of the game system here. I kept having to time my attacks and carefully decide what I needed to power up when. Do I need missile defense or the offensive drone suppressing his shield? Missiles or lasers alongside the beam? Missiles and lasers but no beam? I had to shift tactics mid combat, but I didn't feel like I was having to do too much fiddly stuff either.

The Zoltan ship is incredibly dependent on finding a weapon in the first two sectors. If you don't... well, it's kinda GG. Just like the stealth ship needs to get shields very early (man, shields are expensive...)

The pre-ignitor is probably the most powerful augment I've encountered. It also has huge synergy with the Zoltan Shield, since that combination generally gives you at least two full weapon volleys before enemies can even get to your regular shields.

I managed to beat the game on Easy with the Engi A about 8 hours in. Haven't had much success on Normal though...man is that hard! I've started jumping back into Easy just to unlock some more ships. Even on easy I find the boss to be pretty rough unless I get a cloaking device. Also, solar flares plus an enemy that shoots missiles is my most common death.

I haven't even come close to upgrading like some of these screenshots. Where are you guys getting so much scrap? I'd also be interested to know what everyones most common first few upgrades are as it seems like early sector build order is the most important.

gore wrote:

The pre-ignitor is probably the most powerful augment I've encountered. It also has huge synergy with the Zoltan Shield, since that combination generally gives you at least two full weapon volleys before enemies can even get to your regular shields.

I'm a big fan of the Engi medbots when defending against boarding parties. You don't even need a strong mantis crew or anti-personnel drone.
I'm usually happy when I get that or the Drone Recovery Arm. I tend to go through drones quickly.

tboon wrote:
Quintin_Stone wrote:

Tboon will be thrilled by the v-sync option too.

Hooray! Will try this when I get home tonight!

Post-patch:

IMAGE(https://dl.dropbox.com/u/281072/ftl1.png)

So I finally beat it on easy without save scumming. Not sure I'm masochistic enough to want to try it on hard.

Devs had a fix for white screen but it still plays like crap even with v-sync enabled.

The pre-ignitor is probably the most powerful augment I've encountered.

The Drone Recovery Arm is a little more subtle, but also extremely powerful, if you've got at least one good drone. And the medbots are excellent. I don't think you can buy them in stores, but I've found a random encounter where you can get them:

Spoiler:

There's an event where you aid a civilian ship against a pirate. When you talk to the civilians, they're a poorly-supplied Engi ship. You can give them nothing, a little bit, or a lot of stuff. If you give them a lot of stuff, they've given me medbots twice in two tries. I think they give you a weapon for a small amount of stuff.

My favorite loadout that I can usually afford is fast weapon recharge, drone arm, and medbots. The Pre-igniter is very powerful, but depending on how the run's going, I'll try to capture enemy ships instead of blowing them up, rendering it much less useful.

Oh, and, yeah, I'm kind of unhappy with GOG too. Maybe they're not a good source for new games.

Just tried out the super-the-secretest ship Form B, beat the game on Normal with 2 hull points and only 1 surviving crew member. Don't think I can top that, a fitting final game I think.

Mantis type B is a giant pain in the ass. You hit an auto-scout first stop and all you can do is hope your boarding drone hits the weapons compartment, giving you time to charge your FTL. Since none of the compartments are attached, he can't travel, and a level 1 teleporter can't bring back your crew before they suffocate.

You can upgrade the TP to level 2 immediately, although I'm not sure it's fast enough, either.

Here is something you guys may have skipped over:

Killing the crew of an enemy ship will count as defeating it for stats

Apparently when you boarded enemy ships and defeated the crew, it didn't count towards the "ships killed" part of your score. Supposedly there are people who didn't know how boarding worked who completed the game and got scores of 6000+ whereas I have "perfect" easy runs and struggle to score more than 4000. This would explain why.