Gadgets and gizmos, we all love them, and this weekend hundreds and thousands of people are flocking to Birmingham’s NEC to get hands on with some of the latest technology at this year’s Gadget Show Live. Created off the back of the popular Channel Five TV series, The Gadget Show Live is a fantastic opportunity for technology enthusiasts to get hands on with current and future tech.
This year the show is also home to a selection of independent videogames. Myself, Mike, Matt and Neil were all given the chance to get hands on with the following eight titles:
Mighty Tactical Shooter
Tiki Taka Soccer
Over the course of the next few days I’ll be writing up about each of these games. To begin with I’ll start with Opposable Game’s tactical action title, Salvaged.
Salvaged was the first title to grab my eye as we approached the indie games stand. With a tablet in hand a member of the development team was controlling a squad of 4 crew members, or in other words acting out the part of the commander, issuing orders to his salvage crew members. The galaxy has become over-run with long dormant, abandoned starships, ripe with items (loot) that can be used, sold or upgraded for future deep space salvage missions.
The main draw to this title is the use of a tablet as a controller. It displays the layout of the current ship you’re on along with the location of each of your crew members. By touching either the ‘dot’ that represents each person or by selecting one of the 4 character profiles on the right hand side of the screen allows you to then tap to where you would like that person to move too. On the monitor connected to the PC running the game were 4 screens, one for each of the crew members, showing their perspective on what was in front of them.
Be warned however, for out in space, you are never alone. While searching for loot you’ll encounter alien lifeforms that aren’t too pleased by your appearance on their new home. Combat is automatic, but it is up to you how you deploy and position your crew members. When I sat down to play Salvaged for the first time I went and made the ultimate alien movie mistake by separating my team into two groups. The first group positioned themselves by a corridor ready to face a couple of menacing aliens, only to find themselves without the time and space required to shoot the aliens dead before being torn to pieces. I managed to negociate the other team a little better, but between the two of them they didn’t really last that much longer.
During the course of your wander around the starship you’ll encounter the previously mentioned loot. As again already mentioned they can be sold, traded or used to upgrade your items and such. The full game will feature some RPG elements to allow your crew members to progress to better weapons and gear. Permadeath is a thing in this game though, so be very cautious with your team, otherwise you may end up losing your geared up salvagers.
It is clear the studio has been inspired by the likes of Space Hulk, Syndicate and of course XCOM. Having the benefit of two viewpoints was refreshing, both the top down perspective for tactical precision and the first-person view of each member of the team so you know exactly what you are facing. I did however find myself looking far too much at the tablet. From a tactical point of view I think it is much better to try and split your attention equally between the two.
Opposable Games take great pride in the technology that allows them to used the tablet with the PC. ‘One Touch Connect’, created in-house, allows multiple devices to discover and thus connect to one and other. All would be for nothing if not for the fact that the technology is supported across all major formats (PC, Mac, iOS and Android).
Nintendo and Sony are both playing with similar play styles with the Wii U and Vita respectively. While the use of two screens can sometimes be heavily debated between gamers, for tactical games such as this having the option to use a touch screen device (of which many households now have some form of Android or iOS tablet) makes perfect sense.
I enjoyed my time on Salvaged, (albeit resulting in the un-timely death of my crew) meaning this will be a title I’ll be keeping an eye on. It will be heading to Kickstarter in the very near future, of which us here at Blast Process will keep you all posted about. I’d recommend for further up to the minute updates regarding the status of the game, including any news regarding Kickstarter by following them on Twitter (@SalvagedGame). You can also check out the game's official website at salvagedgame.com.
During the show we managed to grab a few minutes with James Parker, Design Director of Salvaged. The video can be found below. Further below you will also find a teaser trailer for the title.