Hello again everyone, Cris here, back for another update!
First off, I have no choice but to continue the never-ending barrage of gratitude and to offer a colossal thank you to all of our incredible backers on behalf of the team! With your help we've made it past the 80%(!!) funded mark, and our goal of making Wanderer a reality is actually within reach! I never expected the support and enthusiasm for our project to be this amazing, and I'm overjoyed to see that there are gamers out there that want this game to be a reality as much as we do. We're so close to making it happen and it's all thanks to you!
We've got one more week to rally a final push, so keep up the fantastic work and keep the word spreading on social media! Thank you so much everyone, we're almost there! :)
Today I wanted to briefly touch on the design of the inventory system in Wanderer. Of course, no adventure game or RPG is complete without a world full of shiny trinkets to swipe and lug around in your presumably bottomless pants pockets, and Wanderer is no exception! Items play a big part in filling out the identity of the world, and will serve multiple functions over the course of the adventure.
The inventory system takes inspiration from classic point and clicks, J/WRPGs, and even borrows a little from the survival horror philosophy in regards to item space management. To enhance the apocalyptic survivor vibe of the story, in Wanderer you'll have a limited carrying capacity and won't be able to magically carry around a planet's worth of odds and ends on your person at all times. Though you'll start with very limited inventory space, over the course of the game this can gradually be upgraded in various ways, allowing you to more efficiently scavenge items as you explore.
Limited space means you'll have to plan in advance to some degree for each expedition into the world. If you're not expecting much combat, than you can pop your excess ammo cells into storage and leave your pockets empty to make way for some new loot! But you best hope that you don't accidentally stumble into a den of mutant cannibal bandits...
From a classic adventure game angle, there will be plenty of opportunities to combine items with one another and to use your inventory to interact with points of interest in the world to solve puzzles. However, unlike most adventure games, item usage and collection won't be completely linear. The goal is to avoid giving the player the sense that 'if I can pick it up, I have to pick it up'.
You'll find some items with various uses across a multitude of different puzzles, and alternatively some items with no obvious practical use at all. You may find some items are only relevant in a particular sidequest, and some will serve no purpose other than to offer a curious bit of flavor text or to provoke a unique bit of dialogue when used with a party member. With Wanderer we're trying to create the sense of a big apocalyptic world filled with all manner of stuff that helps flesh that world out and make it feel lived in, instead of placing the player in front of an obvious conveyor belt of items that will each inevitably serve a very convenient role in your progression.
Borrowing from the RPG genre, among collectables you'll find all manner of consumable items that are used to replenish and augment stats in and out of combat, and others with offensive and defensive uses in battle. For combat situations, each character can be assigned a unique three item load-out, adding an extra layer of strategy to party management and positioning during fights.
As Wanderer lacks a traditional statistic system allowing for lots of subtly varied equipment, equip-able items will be handled in a way closer to a classic JRPG (say, FF7) than a modern WRPG . You won't find duplicate weapons and armor constantly in the form of traditional scavenge-able loot, but instead there will be a linear sequence of equipment upgrades for Rook and for party members that you'll be able to acquire through various means as the story progresses (i.e. as a reward for beating a specific boss, for completing a party member specific side quest, for exploration off of the beaten path, or as an expensive purchase from a particular merchant).
Apart from simply finding items or being rewarded with them via combat or questing, you'll also run across characters willing to barter with you. By trading the energy-based currency of Charge, you can buy and sell items with others. As Charge is also essentially Wanderer's version of XP (being used to power the medbay and level up party members), this means scavenging and selling items is an alternate way of powering up your characters, and alternatively stocking up on medkits means trading off a potential HP stat upgrade.
With the item system in Wanderer, the aim is to add subtlety and variety to the ways you can interact with the world, to add to the atmosphere and immersion of existing in that world, to establish an additional element of strategy with survival, and to create another avenue for satisfying player progression. Like the game's other individual systems, it's pretty simplified and straightforward, but a lot of thought has gone into making sure that 'pound-for-pound' it adds in a significant way to what we're able to do in terms of packing as much varied and engaging content as possible into each episode of the game.
Into the Stars by Fugitive Games
Into the Stars offers a super immersive and strategic take on the Space Sim genre, putting you directly in the shoes of a starship captain and giving you command of your very own rookie crew. From your seat on the bridge, you're in charge of not only steering the ship, but managing it's resources and sub-systems, as well as engaging in communications and combat with the friendly and hostile forces you'll encounter as you freely explore a massive solar system.
All the while you'll be tasked with making difficult decisions (only made more difficult by the permadeath your crew can suffer from) as you're relentlessly pursued by the alien race that destroyed your home planet. Wrap all of this up in a beautiful presentation and add in an original soundtrack by Mass Effect composer Jack Wall and you definitely have a Sci-Fi experience worth checking out! Into the Stars successfully raised over $110,000 on Kickstarter and is currently in Early Access on Steam, so be sure to head over to their page ASAP! :)