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.
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.
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.
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).
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