Britain is the home of the original bedroom coders, we spearheaded the personal [Micro] Computer movement, so its only natural that the UK is still home to a wealth of indie developers unshackled by the ties of larger corporations. One of the recent Kickstarter projects that has caught my attention is Unicube's 'Sheltered'.
So before I indulge in another waffle filled page, I will cut myself off and get straight into the reasons why I am personally excited...
Its FTL in a bombshelter.
I have been an FTL fan for a couple of years now, its a game that makes you adjust your play style every time and has one of the most rewarding/frustrating management setup of any game. If you want to read my thoughts on FTL pop over to RGCD and have a read.
The idea of managing limited resources and surviving random encounters in a post apocalyptic setting is a personal nightmare come true, my other favourite game of all time is the Fallout series, so the whole project is like a personal wish list fulfilled.
Its Fallout with actual survival.
My biggest disappointment in the fallout series is that it glosses over the finer aspects of survival to keep gameplay dynamic and 'bro' safe. New Vegas attempted to address this with its hardcore mode, but never once did I have to worry about clean water or a safe place to sleep.
Shelter is all about the details, your family need food, water and sleep. You also must maintain your life giving equipment or you risk killing your loved ones. We haven't really ever had to worry about family in these trope filled settings, stories always revolve around a singular protagonist looking out for themselves. Which brings me nicely to...
Its about the Family.
If you are reading my site, you are probably wedged firmly in your late twenties upwards, and in a lot of cases you have your own family. As the head of my family I feel a responsibility to my loved ones, and this sometimes means being the bad guy, you can't always give everyone what they want, but I would move heaven and earth to give them what they NEED.
Sheltered will put you in the agonising situation where every choice, no matter how small, will effect your family - potentially making them ill or out right killing them. Every stranger you encounter will be a potential threat to their safety, you will have to weigh up whether or not trading or foraging with them is a risk worth taking. Its lovely to give Junior a sandwich, but if you poison him by doing so, it may be better to stick to rations.
Its a new idea.
The comparisons used by the team and this very article are simply to create an approximation of the intended experience, however this is simply because there is nothing available that compares. The finished product will eventually stand by its own merits, good or bad, but it will stand alone.
I have always told my readers to vote with their wallets and put money in the hands of those willing to push the limits of the media and no afraid to cater to a niche market. This game won't be for everyone, and that's OK... let the masses throw money at the AAA behemoths for sequel after sequel of stale ideas, that has a place, but I also feel we need to nurture new ideas as well.
If this game sounds like your kind of thing and you would like to support a fresh team to create an original idea, please I implore you to put a couple of quid into their pockets. We are living in the new golden age of indie development - embrace it and hopefully we will continue to see new ideas break through the photo-realistic cover based twaddle.
Check it out at its Kickstarter page here