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FTL: Faster Than Light's video poster

FTL is a spaceship simulation roguelike-like. Its aim is to recreate the atmosphere of running a spaceship exploring the galaxy. Read more

pledged of $10,000 goal
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This project was successfully funded on April 1, 2012.

FTL is a spaceship simulation roguelike-like. Its aim is to recreate the atmosphere of running a spaceship exploring the galaxy.

About this project

EDIT 1:   What the math?!   200% in less than 1 day...  You are all amazing!!!  We have to crash for the night, but we'll be online in a few hours to respond to questions/emails. 

EDIT 2:  >400%  We can't express our gratitude.   Also, we realize that there's a number of people who want to donate more than $40 but that there are no more rewards for higher levels.  We are going to leave for the night but we'll try and resolve this soon. 

EDIT 3:  >700% and 3 weeks to go.  It's amazing to know that something you've put your blood/sweat/tears into is being enjoyed & anticipated by so many people.   First of all,  if there's anyone at GDC who wants to say hi, I (justin) will be there.  Just hit me up with an email ( or tweet (@jarmustard) if you want to say hi.   Also, the demo will be available to play at OnLive's booth near the IGF on the Expo floor.  Second, check out Update #3 for some info on new rewards and what the increased funds might mean. 

Edit 4:  The OnLive demo has been extended!  See below.

Edit 5:

Plus thanks to Christopher Waters for the $96 pledge that brought us to such a nice even number!

EDIT 6:  We've just added a new update:  it includes a 2nd gameplay video as well as the news that... FTL will be on Steam!

“I’ve been playing an early build of the game, and it’s amazing.  When it comes out... you should play it because it’s amazing.” Graham Smith - PC Gamer Preview

“...fighting to stave off the inevitable destruction of my ship and crew as we make a mad dash through the cosmos gets my blood pumping every time.” - Nathan Meunier Gamespy Preview 

“This game is brilliant, and brutal, and different every time.” - Tom Francis - PC Gamer Preview 

FTL: Spaceship Simulation Roguelike-like

FTL, Faster than Light, is a game coming to Windows, Mac & Linux made by Justin Ma and Matthew Davis.  It features a blend of exploration, discovery, ship management and real time strategic combat that creates an experience quite unlike other games in its genre.

EDIT: But don’t take our word for it...

The OnLive demo is over!

For the first 2+ weeks of the Kickstarter, a demo of FTL was featured as part of OnLive's Indie Showcase.  It was an event coinciding with GDC that allowed people at home to try a number of the IGF nominees and honorable mentions.  It 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*!    For now we will be working hard to get the game ready for the beta in May.  In the meantime we will be putting up some more gameplay videos to let you get a better feeling for the game.

*Or so we were told at GDC.

The Game

FTL has been described as “Firefly by way of Spelunky.”  Many games have tackled the goal of recreating the feeling of space operas, but few have focused on the inner workings of a single ship. How does the crew react when their ship takes a heavy missile barrage and the shield batteries shut down?  Do you reroute all power to the engines in an attempt to escape?  Do you power up additional weapons to blow your enemy out of the sky before they can breach your hull?  Or do you teleport a boarding party onto the enemy ship and take the fight to them directly?  FTL allows you to take your ship and crew on an adventure through a randomly generated galaxy filled with glory and bitter defeat.

  • A setting of intergalactic war:  The player is tasked with a mission vital to the survival of the Galactic Federation currently threatened by a nearly victorious rebellion.
  • A story that engages, but does not dictate player experience:  The setting provides direction but the real story of FTL is created by the player and it evolves organically during each play-through.
  • An arms race: The locations and enemies grow increasingly dangerous over the course of the game.  To survive you will need to find and purchase equipment; hire and level up crew; and upgrade the ship’s systems.
  • Exploration is key:  Every location you Faster-Than-Light travel to contains a text based event.  This includes scenarios like attempting to help an infected space station pleading for help; slavers demanding your surrender; hunting pirates through a nebula; and surviving an uncharted asteroid field.
  • A random galaxy:  Each play-through will feature different encounters, events, choices, and results to your decisions. 
  • Permadeath is at the core of FTL:  Knowing that your crew’s lives are in your hands and that each battle could mean the end of your trek fills the player with a sense of urgency and desperation that adds importance to every decision.
  • Sleek and focused gameplay:  FTL focuses on the development of your ship, recreating the atmosphere of space operas without the countless menus and confusing interface that frequently go hand in hand with ship management and galactic sim games.  Currently each game lasts between 15 and 90 minutes.

The Combat

Ship-to-ship combat is a large focus of the game.  Check out this older gameplay trailer to see it in action: 

EDIT:  There are new gameplay trailers to watch.  Check them out in Update #4 and Update #5!

The Final Game

A lot of these elements are fully functional and can be experienced (briefly) in the demo... so what will we be adding between now and release?

  • Ship Customization:  Choose & name your ship; outfit it with weapons & equipment; and hire & name your crew.  
  • Alien Races: We are working on 5 playable alien races that have unique abilities, ships and implications during exploration.
  • Crew Development:  Your crew will gain skill over time, allowing survivors to have improved combat and operate ship systems to increase their potential..
  • An Ending:  The current game is infinite (play until you lose), but we want to have a more controlled game mode that gives the player a final goal and rewards for completion.
  • Deep Meta-game: Unlock playable ships, unique crew members, weapons and equipment to be used in subsequent play-throughs.
  • Custom Soundtrack:  We have two songs so far, but our sound designer will be working hard to give us a soundtrack that greatly enhances the experience. 

Why Kickstarter?

You may be wondering, “if the game is so close to completion, why do you need our money?”   When we quit our jobs last year, we intended to work on a small project for a few months.  During development we received such overwhelmingly positive feedback that we changed our plans.  We decided to bring FTL up to a finished game quality.  However, releasing a game takes money and our funds are starting to deplete.  Your generous pledges will go towards:

  • Business Costs: To officially start selling the game we have to set up a company, deal with licensing and other expenses.
  • Paying Our Sound Designer: It is fine that we’re working out of pocket, but we will need to have money to pay our wonderful sound guy, Ben Prunty.
  • Polish & Improvement: Making FTL as good as it can be.

Access to the Game

Your pledge of $10 or greater will get you a copy of the final game when it’s released.  We do not know what will be our primary method of distribution, but regardless we will give you a DRM-free copy for Windows, Mac and/or Linux.  See below for estimated system requirements.  We're aiming to be content complete within a few months and then release the game by the end of summer.  This is subject to change and the closed Beta will likely cause delays.

Pledging $25 or more will also give you access to our closed Beta. The exact date and details are still uncertain but we will attempt to start it within a couple months of the end of the Kickstarter.  Here is what we know now:

  • The Beta will initially require Windows and have only English localization.
  • It will initially be available only to backers.
  • EDIT: The beta will be organized through Steam!  This means you will need access to a Steam account to join the beta.
System Requirements:

The requirements are all subject to change. We're doing our best to accommodate as many machines as possible, but with our currently limited testing we're unsure of what the final requirements will be.

  • OS: Windows (XP/Vista/7), MacOS, or Linux
  • Processor: 2ghz Core 2 Duo
  • Memory: 512 MB 
  • Graphics: OpenGL 2.0 Support, 256 MB (dedicated card preferred)
  • Minimum Resolution: 1280 x 720

Thank You

FTL’s website can be found at
If you’re confused about the game, check out our FAQ
You can voice any questions or concerns to
Sign up for the newsletter on our website.
Follow us at @FTLgame

And of course, thank you to the girlfriends, friends, and family who have been with us every step of the way:  finding bugs, vetoing bad ideas, and feeding us.  Plus a special thanks to Leah Churchill for helping us with the video.


  • The demo was on OnLive for a special event. We hope to have the final game on as many distribution platforms as possible, but other than Steam, it is not certain which.

    Last updated:
  • The instruction manual will not be just not a simple "how to play". It is an homage to the novel-sized manuals that game with classic games years ago. I can't promise it'll be as big as some of the huge ones, but once the game is released we will fill it with back story, detailed equipment lists, stats, tips, and of course, a section for notes.

    Last updated:
  • The beta is intended to help us tune the gameplay balance and progression. Maintaining builds and distribution across all operating systems this early in development would be more trouble than it's worth. The entire project is designed from the ground up to be cross platform, and those builds will be properly tested when the time comes.

    Last updated:
  • Although I personally think FTL would work well on tablets, porting it is not in our current scope. We will focus on the finishing the beta and final game for now.

    Last updated:
  • We recently signed a deal with Valve, and every pre-order of the game will include a Steam key in addition to the other DRM free builds. FTL should be playable on both the Windows & Mac versions of Steam and the key will unlock both.

    We are currently in discussions with other distributors, so nothing is set in stone with them yet.

    Last updated:
  • There's a large number of potential game modes for FTL's style of gameplay. For now we're just going to focus on our initial plan. If time permits, we'd love to explore other modes in the future (with a Weird Worlds style mode being high on the list).

    Last updated:


  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    6,149 backers

    Receive a DRM-free copy of FTL when it is released later this year on Windows, Mac & Linux.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    2,613 backers

    Receive the above rewards and get access to a closed beta where you can play the unfinished game and help us improve it.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $40 or more

    699 backers

    Receive the above rewards, a PDF art book, a digital copy of the soundtrack and a thank you in the game's credits.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $80 or more

    214 backers

    Receive the above rewards, an extra game & beta key for a friend, and a PDF instruction manual with detailed back stories, equipment lists, tips and more.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    100 backers All gone!

    Receive the above rewards, a limited edition poster and your name will placed in the crew rosters so that players can hire you on their ship.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    5 backers All gone!

    Receive the above rewards and work with us to create a custom event that will appear in the game based on your ideas (i.e. a enemy NPC with your name)

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    1 backer All gone!

    Other than the above rewards, a very special thanks in the game credits and our eternal gratitude, the first person to pledge $1000 will receive the original framed pen drawing of the Kestrel (the original ship art that lead the visual style of FTL).

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $2,000 or more

    1 backer All gone!

    In addition to the $500 and less rewards, you will to help us create a new alien race! Determine their look, temperament, ships and gameplay impact.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $5,000 or more

    1 backer All gone!

    In addition to the $500 and less rewards, hang with the developers in China! We'll fly you here for a long weekend and you can stay in our spare room, see and test our work, play some board games and see the modern metropolis that is Shanghai! Email us for more info.

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (33 days)