FTL Dev: Modding ‘Unexpected,’ Support ‘Pretty Much Impossible’

FTL: Faster Than Light seems to have taken off as an indie title. The space sim-slash-rogue-like has attracted lots of players as well as critical acclaim, with lots of people getting in on the action of managing a ship and fleeing the evil Rebel fleet.

In fact, some players like FTL so much that they’ve started working on mods for the game. But FTL isn’t really built to support mods, so it’s slow-going for many players who are working on creating new content and ideas for the game. We reached out to the two-man team of Subset Games to find out whether the burst of mod love from players was something they expected, and whether they’d be taking steps to support the burgeoning FTL modding community.

Justin Ma, one half of Subset Games, responded to Game Front’s questions via email and explained that the modding community cropping up around FTL was something he and co-developer Matthew Davis hadn’t considered when they were making the game.

“In general, the rush of interest towards modding was (perhaps naively) unexpected and caught us off-guard,” Ma said in an email. “We don’t have any issue with modding and we think what the community is doing is amazing, but unfortunately extensive modding support is pretty much impossible. We never pictured the support the game would receive and the code is, in general, mod-unfriendly. Still, that hasn’t stopped them from doing awesome stuff with the limited things they can play with.”

Among the mods that are being created for FTL is a complete, fan-made overhaul of the game that makes the game’s code more mod-friendly. FTL: Overdrive, which is being created by FTL Forums user thomasfn, is a work-in-progress of which the developers are aware.

They may not be happy about it, however.

“As we said on the forums, the concept of someone redoing the game honestly makes us uncomfortable, but I don’t think we’ll stop them,” Ma said.

So generally, Subset Games is down with modding of FTL, even if some of it is a little more robust than they might like. Beyond modding, in terms of additional content for the game, we might see new things coming to FTL in the future — maybe. First, Ma and Davis need a break, however.

“There is content that we hope to add to the game but we are still in the process of figuring out our future plans (i.e. deciding between pursuing game updates, tablet porting, localization, mod support, etc.),” Ma said. “Don’t forget we’re just two people, though. We were sprinting to get to the release, but we’re going to take our time from now on (for the sake of our sanity and sleep schedule). Everything will take time.”

Sounds reasonable, given how solid FTL is already. It seems players are willing to take up the mantle of creating more content for FTL in the meantime. We’re excited to see what Subset might have to offer in the future for FTL, though.

In the meantime, check out five of the coolest mods available for FTL right now.

Follow Hornshaw and Game Front on Twitter: @philhornshaw and @gamefrontcom.

Join the Conversation   

* required field

By submitting a comment here you grant GameFront a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution. Inappropriate or irrelevant comments will be removed at an admin's discretion.

1 Comment on FTL Dev: Modding ‘Unexpected,’ Support ‘Pretty Much Impossible’


On November 5, 2012 at 9:51 pm

I’m always impressed with modders that still manage to make good mods without the use of official mod kits.