I love you, Dan!

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I love you, Dan!

For making this game.

My first few posts were about bugs, and that kind of made me feel bad, so here's something on an up-note instead.

THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU!

I'm absolutely loving Neo Scavenger and can't wait to see how it develops.

I discovered it through Christonian's Indie Game Showcase over at the Towns forum, checked it out and fell in love immediately.

Even as the game stands now, with nothing much to do once one gets to The Glow, I'm having way too much fun by basically looking at it as "Sim Hobo".

Best run so far: scoped rifle with sling, crowbar, night vision goggles, medical nanites, shopping cart and five backpacks (one on my back, four in the cart, and plastic bags in each hand as I pushed my cart around for that extra bit of space). I love that I was still wearing my hospital robes and bracelet; it adds so much flavor. Sadly, I lost that game to a loading issue. But now I have something to aim for: reclaim my former glory!

There really isn't much of a point to this post. A simple "Thanks, I like your game" would have sufficed, I guess. But I'm wordy and ranty, and I'd like to tell you why, exactly, I like it so much, and why I'm happy I gave you money.

There are a few reasons.

On the most basic level, I enjoy RPGs, turn-based games, and survival games in general. So, yay.

Beyond this, though, in all games which allow it to at least some degree, I'm a horrible hoarder and pack-rat; here, this behavior is--more than allowed--actively encouraged and profitable.

Bethesda's massively huge worlds littered with junk are a perfect example and a deliciously dangerous playground for my mild OCD and hoarding nature; "Save the world? Yes yes, I'll get around to that... as soon as I'm done picking up all this litter. Loot ALL the junk!!!".

Problem is, most of the time, junk is still junk, and there's not much (if anything) which you can do with it. This is a common theme with all games which have plenty of mostly-useless loot lying around (Spiderweb Software's Avernum and Geneforge series are another excellent example of this). I've recently discovered Project Zomboid and The Unreal World, and am loving them for much the same reasons as I'm loving Neo Scavenger: junk isn't junk, it's useful, and it matters. Plenty of games give you powerful weapons and armor, but I find there's a special kind of satisfaction in simplicity and finding use/efficiency from small and mundane things.

As this Rock, Paper Shotgun article mentioned,

"[W]ho among us hasn’t wished that Fallout forced us to live like dogs, fighting over bones in the sand of a ruined civilisation? There’s something appealing about the need to fulfill basic functions, perhaps simply because it’s so far removed from the roleplaying fascination with constantly saving the world."

So thank you, Mr. Dan Fedor, for giving me a game which lets my inner-scavenger shine.

And then there's the principle of the thing. Beyond the game itself, I must commend you for the choices you've made as a game designer. Specifically, striking out on your own and your stated business philosophy.

As a long-time gamer, I've found myself becoming more and more disappointed and disillusioned by the general business practices of the mainstream game industry and the direction it's been heading towards (DRM, a rabid need to squeeze multi-player into everything, emphasis on graphics and "shininess" over quality, depth and content, etc.).

I'd be lying if I said I didn't find these trends disturbing and that I wasn't at least slightly concerned about the future of gaming. Thankfully, I find both hope and solace in the Indie scene, which seems to be going through an impressive boom these days. Perhaps it just seems that way because I wasn't aware of these games before? I don't know. I do get the impression it's more than simply my not noticing it until now, though. With all the kickstarts, alpha-funding and betas, I'm seeing an incredible and varied slew of new games coming. They might not be multi-million dollar AAA titles, but they have depth, quality, diversity, heart and soul which is often lacking from today's big shiny (and, dare I say, commercial) titles. I find this terribly refreshing, and it gives me hope for the future.

That's not to say that I hate all AAA titles and big commercial games simply because they are what they are. There's still plenty of great stuff on that end of things. But I can't help but feel as though there are some choices being made on that level (I'd imagine mostly by publishers, not so much developers themselves?) which are quite harmful to the industry as a whole, especially when it comes to creativity and quality content. Perhaps they are choices which are good for the bottom-line, economically? (*coughDRMcough*) I don't know. But my guess would be no, at least not long-term...

Playing the demo a bit was more than enough to sell Neo Scavenger to me. But if it hadn't, if I was on the fence, and read this,

"We tailor our games to those who enjoy CRPGs but who dislike being pressured to play with others or at certain times."

You'd have gained yourself a sale on the spot.

I'm of that rare breed of gamers who still prefers a quiet, turn-based single-player experience and has no interest in action-packed competitive multi-player. Perhaps we're not that rare? Perhaps we're simply not as loud and vocal as our trigger-happy brethren? I don't know. But what I do know is that seeing that above quote warms my heart.

So... I guess that's it. What was my point? Why did I bother writing this monster, knowing that you reading it meant "wasting" your precious time which you could have spent working on the game instead?

Because I think the road you've chosen to follow is off the beaten path, and because I feel there's value in letting you know, explicitly, that yes, your target audience exists and, yes, we are grateful for what you are giving us. I mean, you knew this already, or at least suspected as much, otherwise you probably wouldn't be doing what you're doing. But I wanted to say thank you for more than just making a fun game, I wanted to say thank you for how and why you're making that fun game.

I admit reading that you used to be with BioWare came as a bit of a surprise. Most indie devs are indie devs because they're starting out in the business, trying to break through, etc. Surely, part of it is also the conscious choice and preference for indie vs. mainstream in some cases, but by the same token, I have no doubt that for many, there's nothing they would love more than to be working on big AAA titles.

Coming from there and choosing to strike out on your own couldn't have been an easy choice to make, and I applaud you for it. I can understand wanting to be your own boss, doing your own thing and possibly not wanting to fall through the cracks of a big machine. All other things aside, from a creative stand-point, there's obviously a big difference between being part of a big team on a big project and doing everything yourself. That one-man-army creative process must be quite fulfilling (albeit infuriating at times, I'm sure), and it's a perfectly understandable desire to jump into the deep-side of the shark-filled pool and test fate; the potential rewards are like none other.

But it also takes a great deal of courage. Something which you apparently have quite a bit of. To this, I tip my hat to you, and wish you godspeed.

TL;DR Thanks, I like your game. ;)

Wow, thanks! There's no need to feel guilty submitting bugs on the forums, they help me make the game better for all. I'll take the compliments anyway, though :) Positive feedback is not only motivating, it reminds me which parts of the game are what players like. So thanks again!

I hear you on the "RPG junk" in most games. I'm also one of those people that open every openable container in RPGs, and it usually ends up taxing my character's encumbrance. Especially when the game allows crafting with junk. I loved games like Arcanum and Silent Storm, which made scavenging and inventory management almost a game in itself. I would spend almost as much time inventory-sorting at the end of an SS mission as I did in-mission, trying to squeeze items into every last inventory square.

Plus, scavenging was a big deal when I was a kid. Outdoors, we'd scavenge junk to make forts and items for defending the fort: garden hose rope swings; rusted furnace doors used as gates to the fort; crushed beer cans used as "Chinese" stars...I remember those times fondly.

Even indoors, scavenging had it's place. Rummaging through the Lego bin, trying to find the part I wanted, and inevitably finding something "good enough" and reworking my design...that was how I spent my afternoons.

So I guess it's no surprise I made a game where rummaging is the main gameplay mechanic :)

I'm also glad you agree with my business principles. It's not always profitable, but I feel better knowing that players are respected. It's easier for me to stay motivated if I believe in what I'm doing.

Finally, it's true that leaving BioWare was a big deal: a really tough decision for me. I've always wanted to make games, and working in the industry was the holy grail for me. But I think a lot of people have a game deep-down that they want to make, and it's often hard to convince others to make it. Especially on someone else's dime.

Luckily, I was able to save enough money to put my money where my mouth is, and NEO Scavenger is the result. With a bit more luck, maybe I can take it far enough to be most of what I want. And ideally, enough that I can start game #2 somewhere down the line. Because if it's true that everyone has a game deep-down that they want to make, it's also true that they have *another* game deeper-down that they want to make ;)

So again, thanks for the kind words, and for the feedback. It's much appreciated! And I hope you continue to enjoy NEO Scavenger and any other games I eventually make!

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

Bravo to Elegant Caveman and to Mr Fedor. Elegant Caveman puts into words the things I feel about this game in a way I couldn't.

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Please help with the <a href="http://neoscavenger.wikia.com/wiki/Neo_Scavenger_Wiki" title="NEO Scavenger Wiki" target="">NEO Scavenger Wiki</a>!

I haven't played or been around in a while for a few reasons (mostly just life being life), but I still pop in now and again to keep abreast of news and developments.

Noticed that NEO Scavenger is now on Desura and Steam Greenlight (voted & favorited!)? That's awesome, congratulations! Keep up the great work!

Two reasons why I'm posting this here instead of making a new thread:

1) Well, um... to not make a new thread.

2) To remind you that I love you. ;)

(and I've never been to Mr. Steer, but you've made me want to try the burgers there... keep meaning to go; I'll be thinking of you when I finally get around to it!)

Great post. I'm definitely another one of these quiet gamers who rarely touches anything multiplayer, being a massive introvert it figures really. We're just comfortable with the company of our own minds :)

I've had a little stint on Towns and a hefty addiction to Project Zomboid too, seems like these games attract a similar crowd. I'm also an inventory management loving, item hoarding looter haha.

As to this game, I just think it has an astonishing amount of potential. It's a little unforgiving at the moment and can frustrate me a bit at times but it is a roguelike after all! I love buying a game really early and watching it grow even if my early experience with it is slightly frustrating and bug-riddled. I know I'm gonna squeeze soo much fun out of this £7.99 even if I get bored next week and don't pick it up again for a few months. So yeah I agree with the sentiment, thanks Dan and keep up the good work!

Elegant Caveman has said just about everything I and my Boyfriend have wanted to say for the past few weeks, but with better grammar structure. :P

The only difference being, the two of us have been scouring the Indie games market for close to a year now, throwing money at every project we find and enjoy. We jumped on the $25 option, not to make the game cost that much when it launched, but because we REALLY want to see this style of game get developed more. As Caveman pointed out, theres some really great Indie games out there that you just don't find Mainstream even attempting (Though maybe War Z will pave the way for mainstream companies to try riskier ideas). Minecraft was a silly little game idea someone had, and now look at it. 7.4 mil copies sold.

We may be quiet gamers, but we know a diamond in the rough when we see it. ;)

I'm on pins and needles for the next build update, and Damnit, the Boyfriend just found two full lighters. I'm gonna go watch and see what kills him this time.

Aw, thanks guys. I'm thrilled that you're enjoying it so far!

Honestly, I was a little nervous when first launching NEO Scavenger, because I wasn't sure if it was just me who enjoyed brutal game worlds with rigorous inventory management. Glad to see I'm in good company!

I'm also glad I decided to launch in a beta state, instead of waiting. Seeing how others both play and respond to the game, plus implementing their suggestions, has made it so much better than I could have alone. You guys rock!

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

Why thankyou, Dan. I imagine it is rather nerve racking going from job security with a big company to living off your own single handed effort on a fairly outlandish game. Hats off to you for making the jump.

I think you made the right choice with the release in beta approach, like I said I love to pick up a game early on. Speaking of early I was dead impressed that the fix for the bug I reported the other day was out by the time I woke up the next morning! Certainly one of the many benefits of releasing in beta, for both player and developer.

Anyway, I'll stop showering you in praise for a bit... don't want you getting too complacent now do we :P

I'd just like to say I agree. While I haven't picked this game up just yet (I plan to at end of the month when I have more money). I'm also like BloodIndex, I've gone around and supported indie games that I find enjoying (towns, gnomoria, project zomboid, and so on). And I'm glad I've stumbled onto this game, and look forward to watching it evolve and grow into something spectacular!

I love to explore and scavenge everything.. I like it when games give you junk that may not be of use! I have seen people complain about that ("only give us stuff that we actually need!" stuff), but it is something I thoroughly enjoy. And I like it when a game is unforgiving to be honest, and I haven't had issue with the demo just yet. If it needs to be easier, perhaps add settings, or something. Just don't make it stupidly easy please! So many games are going that way these days, it is depressing. Especially with strategy games, roguelike games, etc. where you need to think and micromanage!

Anyway, thanks a lot for a great game, and everything that has been mentioned in this thread!! I look forward to the completed game, seeing it evolve, and supporting it more!

Just gotta add, 'cause Tay got me thinking about it;

1) Another reason to be excited about Neo Scav; Its not another cop-out Zombie game. I looked over the Greenlight projects again and was actually kinda disgusted how many people are just producing more of the same thing. Admittedly, I've been against Zombie games since I was 5 and my brother used to torment me by only ever letting me play 'Zombies Ate My Neighbors' and consistently forced me to be Bait. That can really mess up a kid who's still figuring out what goes bump in the night. Not to mention severely limit the kinds of games I can play with my friends as I get older and stupid Zombie games get more and more popular.

2) This is where I get my walker and hobble around, shaking my fist at kids who will never know what an Atarti/NES/SNES/Sega ever was or how hard gaming used to be. No passwords, no gameshark, no save anywhere you want. I looked at a lot of MMOs before I really started playing one, and I landed on FFXI which, to this day, is still one of the most vivid, expansive, HARD game I've played in the past 10 years. MMOs because I was finding later generation games to be too easy. ( *Walks ten feet and levels up* wtf?! )

Then I discovered Crafting... and to this day, I haven't seen a game with THAT many crafting recipes (there were several THOUSAND when I stopped playing, and theres even more now o.o).

Not to say Neo Scav is an MMO, but more that I see charming elements of the things that are missing with games these days. Companies lately seem to be trying to force content down peoples throats with Achievement systems to get them to do things outside of their play style instead of accommodating what the players are interested in, and it leaves me frustrated. Before the Indie Games sites went live to give me faith in humanities ability to create, I was about to give up on the industry entirely.

Wherever Neo Scav takes me, the first time I played the demo was more than enough to warrant my support. It took me back to a time when the only badass graphics we had were colored ASCII symbols on the screen and trying to figure out if I was looking at a Treasure Chest or a Beholder.

And goddamn those white worms....

Your post reminds me of the days when I was playing "The Sword of Fargoal" on my Commodore 64, with the game loading on CASSETTE TAPE.

Yeah...that's right. Cassette tape.

I think that one of the greatest lessons playing non-mainstream games teaches us is that it doesn't require fancy graphics to make a good game.

There really aren't enough games out there that feed my need for isolationism, escapism, post-apocalyptic indulgence, survival, near-horror, and long periods of quiet skulking & scavenging punctuated by short periods of intense, brutal violence. I've noticed that there are tons of games that touch on an aspect or two of what I desire, but not many that really push all the buttons for me. I would have to take Fallen Earth, Fallout 3 New Vegas, Borderlands, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat, possibly both Witcher games, and throw that all into a blender to homogenize the mix into what would be the perfect game.

Ultimate, that's what I'm hoping NEO Scavenger evolves into with enough development & funding.

"Principles have no real force except when one is well-fed." - Mark Twain