In case you missed it, Salvage Trader is my new 2D space adventure about exploration, trade, building a life for yourself and getting back at the pirates who destroyed your home. A Kickstarter for the game just launched to fund taking Salvage Trader from alpha to release.
Gameplay is built around an open galaxy map, featuring scattered resources, planets to visit and stations to dock at – all of which you explore at your own pace. Enemies will be lurking out there as well, hiding in debris fields or traveling in fleets. Each destination has a built in mini game, like memory puzzles and an arcade like sidescroller, or there is a series of missions you can take on as well.
The story follows the sole survivor from a small colony, destroyed by raiding space pirates. Having lost everything, you set out to join the one organization strong enough to take on these outlaws – the Salvager’s Guild. By upgrading your ship and completing missions, you will eventually take on the very pirate that attacked your home.
Salvage Trader combines many of my favorite elements, from strategy and open exploration to simple arcade fun. All the major features are there, it’s just a matter of making it look and sound good, replacing the placeholder graphics and adding more meat to the bones. That is what I’m hoping this Kickstarter will do.
To support the game and get more information, take a look at the Kickstarter page! Even if you can’t pledge towards the Kickstarter, I appreciate every bit of help getting the word out there. So, please share this with your fellow indie gamer friends.
I’m happy to report that work on Salvage Trader is progressing. Every week I send out an email with the latest news and a link to the freshest alpha build. This simple commitment keeps me productive and the game moving forward. Scroll to the bottom of this post to sign up!
The goal is to launch a Kickstarter campaign when the game is ready to go into beta, and hopefully fund the last leg of the journey this way.
First, I’d like to share a list of the tools I’m using to develop the game, starting with the engine itself…
Being a drag-and-drop engine makes development of small games very fast, though it certainly also has its limitations. There is no actual coding in Gamesalad, though it helps greatly if you have programming experience enough to know how the logic behind it works. It will help you set up behaviors of the individual actors within the game and pass information around behind the scenes. As far as the limitations go, they include bug hunting and occasional strange behavior. Gamesalad is great for many things, but I do sometimes feel I’m pushing its limits with Salvage Trader.
I happen to use Photoshop CS5, which for the simple graphics I’ve been adding is more than plenty. If you don’t have Photoshop, you can just as easily use Gimp or any other program that lets you draw things and save them as png files. Animations are just a series of png files strung together in Gamesalad, and since the engine does not support video playback there’s nothing to worry about in that department.
Sound and Music
For creating 8-bit sound effects on the fly, Bfxr is a little gem. I start out creating a bunch of random sounds, until something good happens. Then I tweak it a bit to make it better, save it and add it to the game. For making music for the game, I simply use Garageband which comes with every Mac and a cheap USB keyboard (M-Audio Keystation 49e, for those who care).
If you would like to play the alpha version of the game and receive updates on its progress, sign up for the mailing list using the form below.