FTL: Advanced Edition on iPad aims for parity with the desktop version, and it includes the full game plus the massive expansion hitting PC soon – and it will cost the same as the PC game, $10. Co-founders of FTL studio Subset Games, Matthew Davis and Justin Ma, recognize that for a mobile game, this is a "premium" price point.
"Presumably the higher price point will make players a little bit more discerning on whether or not FTL will be something that they're interested in," Ma tells Joystiq at GDC. "Which is funny, because we're very expensive on iPad with the same price that's extremely cheap on PC. It could even be the same users that have the different perception of what is a $10 game, just based on the system."
The Advanced Edition is a "pretty huge expansion," Ma says, and it adds polishing touches that Subset couldn't fit in the launch game, even though they wanted to. There's a new "Return to Stations" button that scatters the crew back to their set positions, and on iPad, you can drag a finger to select all workers and move them at the same time into one area, or drag to open a series of doors. Drag to change the levels of the energy bar in the bottom left corner, too. Davis says that one in particular feels really nice.
One thing that didn't translate perfectly to the iPad is the dual-ship view. When your ship encounters another on PC they both populate the screen at the same size. On iPad, one is bigger, and you can change the dominant ship by tapping the one you want to inspect. Tap an attack action, and the enemy ship enlarges.
"FTL works really well with the general way you play on iPad, just because you can pause it at any moment, come back later, and all the little events are bite-sized moments – " Ma says, and Davis adds:
"You can do a jump and play that for two minutes – "
Ma continues, "So that works out very well. And in that way, it's kind of casual, it's just you have to be able to put up with severe disappointment."
FTL: Advanced Edition is due out "soon," the team says.