NEO Scavenger

Last updated
NEO Scavenger
Developer(s) Blue Bottle Games
Publisher(s) Blue Bottle Games
Designer(s) Daniel Fedor
Composer(s) Josh Culler
Engine Flixel Blue pencil.svg
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux
Release
  • WW: 15 December 2014
Genre(s) Role-playing,roguelike
Mode(s) Single-player

NEO Scavenger is a survival role-playing video game developed by Blue Bottle Games. The studio is led by Daniel Fedor, a former BioWare employee. In the game, the player controls a character that awakes in a cryogenics laboratory in a ruined, post-apocalyptic world. The immediate objective of the game is to keep the character alive by finding food, clothing, and shelter, and caring for any illnesses that may befall him. Ruined towns can be scavenged for supplies, but doing so may draw the attention of nearby looters and raiders. Fighting for survival includes fending off attackers, and other beasts than may be hiding in the wastes. The developer released a free browser-based demo, and tiered purchase options are available to access the beta and pre-order the final game.

Survival games are a subgenre of action video games set in a hostile, intense, open-world environment, where players generally begin with minimal equipment and are required to collect resources, craft tools, weapons, and shelter, and survive as long as possible. Many survival games are based on randomly or procedurally generated persistent environments; more-recently created games are often playable online, allowing multiple players to interact in a single persistent world. Survival games are generally open-ended with no set goals and are often closely related to the survival horror genre, in which the player must survive within a supernatural setting, such as a zombie apocalypse.

A role-playing video game is a video game genre where the player controls the actions of a character immersed in some well-defined world. Many role-playing video games have origins in tabletop role-playing games and use much of the same terminology, settings and game mechanics. Other major similarities with pen-and-paper games include developed story-telling and narrative elements, player character development, complexity, as well as replayability and immersion. The electronic medium removes the necessity for a gamemaster and increases combat resolution speed. RPGs have evolved from simple text-based console-window games into visually rich 3D experiences.

BioWare is a Canadian video game developer based in Edmonton, Alberta. It was founded in February 1995 by newly graduated medical doctors Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk, alongside Trent Oster, Brent Oster, Marcel Zeschuk and Augustine Yip. As of 2007, the company is owned by American publisher Electronic Arts.

Contents

Plot

The game is set in a post-apocalyptic world. [1] In the game, Philip Kindred awakes from a cryosleep pod in a cryogenics lab, wearing nothing but a surgical smock, and with a hungry creature hiding nearby. [1] [2] [3]

Cryogenics study of the production and behaviour of materials at very low temperatures

In physics, cryogenics is the production and behaviour of materials at very low temperatures. A person who studies elements that have been subjected to extremely cold temperatures is called a cryogenicist.

Gameplay

The main world for the game. Players can scavenge towns and kill enemy bandits to fight for survival in the wasteland. NEO Scavenger screenshot 02.png
The main world for the game. Players can scavenge towns and kill enemy bandits to fight for survival in the wasteland.

NEO Scavenger is a post-apocalyptic outdoor survival simulation. [1] The player controls a character through a series of turns (each turn equals an in-game hour) played on an isometric map divided into hexagonal tiles. [1] During each turn, the character has a certain number of "moves". Each move makes the character hungrier, thirstier and more tired. [1] The objective of the game is to ensure the character's survival. [1] This requires that the player scavenge supplies from ruined settlements in the area. [1] Scavenging can be risky as it may alert nearby looters and raiders to the player's activities, [1] but it is necessary if the player wishes to survive in the wasteland; [1] clothes, weapons, food, and tools quickly become a necessity for the wandering player. [1] Recipes are available which require the player to gather certain items and combine them together to create other items. [4]

The player can suffer from a variety of illnesses including hypothermia, diarrhea, dehydration, and malnutrition. [1] Left untreated, the character could die. [1] Illnesses can be treated or avoided by using certain items in the game. [1] For example, to ward against hypothermia, the player should quickly obtain a pair of pants. [1]

Hypothermia A human body core temperature below 35.0°C

Hypothermia is reduced body temperature that happens when a body dissipates more heat than it absorbs. In humans, it is defined as a body core temperature below 35.0 °C (95.0 °F). Symptoms depend on the temperature. In mild hypothermia there is shivering and mental confusion. In moderate hypothermia shivering stops and confusion increases. In severe hypothermia, there may be paradoxical undressing, in which a person removes their clothing, as well as an increased risk of the heart stopping.

Diarrhea Loose or liquid bowel movements

Diarrhea, also spelled diarrhoea, is the condition of having at least three loose, liquid, or watery bowel movements each day. It often lasts for a few days and can result in dehydration due to fluid loss. Signs of dehydration often begin with loss of the normal stretchiness of the skin and irritable behaviour. This can progress to decreased urination, loss of skin color, a fast heart rate, and a decrease in responsiveness as it becomes more severe. Loose but non-watery stools in babies who are exclusively breastfed, however, are normal.

Dehydration in physiology, excessive loss of body water

In physiology, dehydration is a deficit of total body water, with an accompanying disruption of metabolic processes. It occurs when free water loss exceeds free water intake, usually due to exercise, disease, or high environmental temperature. Mild dehydration can also be caused by immersion diuresis, which may increase risk of decompression sickness in divers.

PC Gamer's Tom Sykes said of the game, "Compared to other post-apocalyptic RPGs, NEO Scavenger feels like the real deal, with a central character who lives the harsh life of a wastelander rather than simply borrowing the aesthetic." [1]

Development

After leaving his job of seven years at BioWare, Daniel Fedor founded Blue Bottles Games and began working on his first independent project, NEO Scavenger. [1] The game is inspired by other games he played as a child, particularly tabletop role-playing games including Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, Rifts, and Shadowrun: "I loved the creative problem solving, character creation, exploration, and later, character development and interaction." [1]

Tabletop role-playing game form of role-playing game

A tabletop role-playing game is a form of role-playing game (RPG) in which the participants describe their characters' actions through speech. Participants determine the actions of their characters based on their characterization, and the actions succeed or fail according to a set formal system of rules and guidelines. Within the rules, players have the freedom to improvise; their choices shape the direction and outcome of the game.

<i>Dungeons & Dragons</i> Fantasy role-playing game

Dungeons & Dragons is a fantasy tabletop role-playing game (RPG) originally designed by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. It was first published in 1974 by Tactical Studies Rules, Inc. (TSR). The game has been published by Wizards of the Coast since 1997. It was derived from miniature wargames, with a variation of the 1971 game Chainmail serving as the initial rule system. D&D's publication is commonly recognized as the beginning of modern role-playing games and the role-playing game industry.

<i>Shadowrun</i> role-playing game

Shadowrun is a science fantasy tabletop role-playing game set in a near-future fictional universe in which cybernetics, magic and fantasy creatures co-exist. It combines genres of cyberpunk, urban fantasy and crime, with occasional elements of conspiracy, horror and detective fiction. From its inception in 1989, Shadowrun has remained among the most popular role-playing games. It has spawned a vast franchise that includes a series of novels, a collectible card game, two miniature-based tabletop wargames, and multiple video games.

PC Gamer's Tom Sykes compared the game to DayZ but without zombies and with a solitary player. [1] The game uses elements from roguelikes, adventure games, and role-playing games. [1] The developer tried to reduce the dependence on guns which typify the post-apocalyptic genre. [1] Although players need to fend off attacking monsters, situations in the game such as hypothermia or dehydration also require the player's immediate attention. [1]

Early versions of the game used a simple combat system that consisted of repeatedly clicking basic options such as "Use axe on looter" until either the looter or the player's character ran out of hit points. [5] This system was replaced with significantly more complex system that allows for actions such as grabbing an attacker's legs to pull them to the ground if you are already down. [5] The winner of the fight is no longer based on hit points but on blood loss, shock, and other realistic causes. [5] The AI also received updates prior to a preview in July 2012: mutant creatures still act aggressively, but humans are less likely to risk themselves in a fight if the player character has nothing of value to take. [5]

Along with a free browser demo of the game, [4] the developer sold pre-orders that include beta access to raise funds to finish development. [1] The game was created using a number of different free programming libraries and tools: Flixel, FlashDevelop, TortoiseSVN, MySQL, Audacity, and Chevy Ray's AssetBatcher. [6] The game was entered in the 2013 Independent Games Festival competition. [7] The game was part of a Humble Bundle Weekly sale featuring games developed using Open Source tools. [8]

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 Sykes, Tom (Jan 2013). "NEO Scavenger". PC Gamer UK . Future Publishing (248): 28.
  2. Blue Bottle Games. NEO Scavenger. Scene: Items Screen. hospital wrist strap labeled "Philip Kindred"
  3. Hollingworth, David (Mar 16, 2012). "NEO Scavenger - browser games get old-school". PC & Tech Authority. Retrieved Dec 31, 2012.
  4. 1 2 Smith, Adam (Mar 13, 2012). "Scavenging Angels: NEO Scavenger". Rock, Paper, Shotgun . Retrieved Dec 31, 2012.
  5. 1 2 3 4 Tarason, Dominic (July 28, 2012). "School Of Hard Knocks – 'Neo Scavenger' Takes Survival Seriously". Indie Game Mag. Retrieved Dec 31, 2012.
  6. Blue Bottle Games. NEO Scavenger. Scene: Credits. Free Tools that made N.E.O. Scavenger possible: Flixel, FlashDevelop, TortoiseSVN, MySQL, Audacity, ChevyRay's AssetBatcher
  7. "NEO Scavenger entrant". Independent Games Festival . Retrieved Dec 31, 2012.
  8. "Humble Weekly Bundle" . Retrieved March 31, 2014.

Further reading