My first Kickstarter will be a Space Trader game

Salvage Trader, behind the scenes.
On the day the pirates came, the small colony you grew up in was destroyed. In a manner of minutes your loved ones were dead and your home going up in flames. Without any hope of victory, you put your faith in an old shuttle from the junk yard you worked in, hoping it would hold together long enough for an escape. It barely did, only now you found yourself alone in space, without a home or a family, but with a burning desire for vengeance. Only one group holds enough power to take on the dreaded pirate kings, and so you set out to build a new life for yourself and join the Salvager’s Guild…

I was in a funk after discovering that the sim game I had been working on, just wasn’t fun to play. I’d tried tweaking several parameters, adding new features, taking others away. Nothing seemed to make me want to keep playing. So I picked up a project I had started before the sim game; a space trader. A game I’d been wanting to make for years, but I had been too afraid to fail, to really throw myself at it.

Surprisingly most of the bugs that had puzzled me before were now easily solved. I soon found myself fixing things here and there, tweaking stuff and adding more. And more. And then some more. Days flew by, my work felt interrupted by the “Day Job” and I spent as many hours as would fit on my game. In the last month, the space trader game has come a long way. Nearly all the elements are complete, if only in function.

“Salvage Trader” (working title) is in early alpha. Half the game doesn’t have any graphics yet, and what few of my doodles that appear here and there will eventually be replaced with real artwork. As in not done by me. The same goes for the music, which is currently non-existent. At least I hope that is how it will go, because I will be relying on Kickstarter to get from alpha to a release version. However, I am not quite ready for Kickstarter yet…

Alpha access

Currently Salvage Trader is being developed for Mac OS X, though a Windows 8 version might become an option as well. I’m using Gamesalad as the engine, which makes development fast but does have limitations. Porting the project to a stronger, more flexible foundation will be a stretch goal in the Kickstarter campaign. For now, if you would like alpha testing access and help me shape the game, you can sign up for the mailing list. This list is specific to his project, and your info won’t be shared, sold or any crap like that. Note that I may cut off sign-up should I be lucky enough to drown in alpha testers.

Current features

  • A small but open ended world (25 maps that wrap around).
  • Collecting space debris and selling it at one of two space stations.
  • Fuel, running out of it, and collecting fuel cells floating in space.
  • Pirate ambushes, done old school arcade style (think Space Invaders / Galaga).
  • Options to pursue fleeing pirates, or drop your cargo to escape them.
  • Upgrading of your ship’s shields, weapons, cargo space and fuel capacity.
  • Upgrading of ship classes, letting you add more upgrades to your vessel.
  • A race track where you can gamble away your hard earned cash.
  • A mission system for accepting and completing quests (only a few have been implemented so far).
  • The ability to save and load game progress.

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