Screenshot Saturday & Game Mechanics


For the past few weeks we’ve been participating in Screenshot Saturday on Twitter, Reddit and the Tigsource forums. If your a gamedev and have something you want to show, Screenshot Saturday is a really simple way to get more eyes on your project no matter how early in development you are.

I’m going to give a brief description of what is happening in each screenshot including some information about game mechanics.

Exploration Phase


Every object that the player can interact with is highlighted in red when they mouseover it. Clicking on one of these objects will start an Event. Events can be long or short and are the only way to get loot. Clicking on one of the gold arrows will take you to a different room. If you get lost, you can click on the map icon on the right to see where you are and what rooms you haven’t explored yet.


Combat with a Dafuun Villager

During combat, you will use your equipment to defeat enemies. This screenshot features the HUD that shows the player information about the equipment.

The Equipment HUD is separated into several sections including basic things like damage numbers and a description. The symbols under “ELEMENTS” represent elemental damage (Fire, Electric, Wind, Gissa). Elemental weapons will both stun and do high damage to enemies weak against them.

Most attacks will do Medium damage but if you hit an enemies who is resistant to a certain element, you will do low damage. Also, weapons hitting a stunned opponent will do high damage. One strategy, for example, would be to stun an enemy first then hit them with a weapon that has a High damage stat. This can also be combined with damage multiplying items or a multitude of other effects.

You have limited resources so the best course of action is to use your equipment together to take down enemies in the most efficient way possible.

Crafting Phase with Falsen

Crafting Phase with Falsen

During the loot phase, the player can turn a piece of loot (found in events you find during exploration) into a Weapon, Item or Ally. This screenshot features Falsen, who makes Items for the player.

The other Crafters are Kamaho, who makes Weapons and Gazer, who summons Allies. They all have different ways of hinting at what kind of equipment the player will receive. The player will have to take the Crafters description, the loot description and any other hints (possibly during the event where the loot was obtained) and make an educated guess.

For example, just from Falsen’s description of his item, we can guess that it will probably harm the player in some way. Maybe it will do HP damage? Keep in mind that the fact it harms the player means it will have a powerful and beneficial effect as well. No equipment is useless.


I will be updating the blog with more Screenshot Saturday related posts in the future. If you want more information about gameplay, go Here

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Dark Scavenger Teaser Trailer


Hi all,

We just put up a new Teaser Trailer!

It shows off a few of the characters and hints just a little bit at the story. We don’t want to give away too much just yet though!

Thanks again for all your continued support!

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Dark Scavenger has been submitted to IGF!


Dark Scavenger has been submitted to IGF !

Hi everyone,

This blog has been a bit dead lately, but I assure you we’re all still alive.

There are a few Design and Code bugs we are still working on resolving but we are just about at the end of the project. We had a really intense finale. It’s a long story. We’ll tell you all about it soon.

We have just successfully submitted to IGF. There’s some tough competition out there but we have a pretty unique game and we hope we do well.

For now though, time to celebrate! Hope you all are well and stay tuned in the near future for more updates!

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Elder Geek Interviews the Dark Scavenger Team


A few days ago Elder Geek posted a very comprehensive interview with Alex Gold and Jim Otermat from the Dark Scavenger team. They cover everything from gameplay and narrative, to our inspirations behind the game.

Check it out here: Dark Scavenger Interview With Elder-Geek



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Dark Scavenger Game Progress Update


We apologize for the lack of updates over the last few weeks – we have been EXTREMELY busy working on the game.

However, we have made tremendous progress since our last update and in this blog post we’re going to take the opportunity to give you an idea of what’s been accomplished and what still needs to be worked on.

  • Probably the biggest accomplishment is that all of the core writing for dark scavenger is complete! We just need to do a bit of proofreading and a debugging. At least the hard part is out of the way!
  • Chapter 4 is completely playable and the final chapter should be playable in the next few weeks.
  • We are still waiting for art assets, but the artists are busting their rear-ends to get them ready in time.
  • The Auto-Save system is in the game and working quite well.
  • The music is 100% done!
  • The final HUD art is looking solid! We are now in the process of implementing it.
  • We have a main menu! (we kind of needed one of those…)
  • An early version of the mini-map has been implemented. You’ll be able to find your way around the game soon!

Stay tuned for future updates and thanks again for your continued support!

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Dark Scavenger: Battle Music And Beyond

This week, we have a special guest post regarding battle music for Dark Scavenger from Audio/Code extraordinaire Joe Kelly!

It’s quiet in the woods you’re exploring. You hear only a soft breeze through the trees, running water of a stream nearby, and a few animals scurrying around.

This continues until your run-in with a bandit. After your unsuccessful attempt to talk him out of attacking you, you are thrust into battle. Suddenly energetic melodies race over pounding drums, highlighting the urgency of the situation – you are now fighting for your life.

Such is the auditory experience of Dark Scavenger. There is no ambient music. You won’t hear sweet melodies floating through the forest breeze or menacing tones hinting at the dangers of an enemy’s lair.

Music is heard only in those moments, as Alex says, “when something is trying to kill you”. The following clip is a preview of a few variations (Chapters 1 through 4) of Dark Scavenger’s standard battle music. It will vary with each Chapter.

Very particular musical properties change between these themes to make them fit the chapter of the game in which they exist. They are:

Key: Each new piece of battle music shifts in musical key from the last, creating a feeling of progression in the overall game.

Tempo: A more intense chapter might move at a faster pace.

Instrumentation: A different instrument takes the lead melody for each chapter. The percussion may change or be removed completely.

Hopefully, each one of those variations captures a slightly different feel for the battle. Keep in mind, this does not include boss battles – that is an entirely different beast (if you’ll pardon the pun) which will come with its own surprises.

If you found this post on Battle Music informative, check out our post detailing the process of creating final background art for Dark Scavenger: Storyboard and Final Art Comparison

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Storyboard and Final Art Comparison

Storyboard to Final Art

Creating the backgrounds for our game is a multi-step process:

1. I create a storyboard.

2. Artist receives my storyboard.

3. Artist laughs at my storyboard.

4. Artist turns storyboard into something that looks good.

Here are some examples of the process in action (click on the pictures to view them at full size):

Chapter 1

Storyboard Art for Chapter 1

Storyboard By Alex Gold


Final Art for Chapter 1
Art By Noah Berkley

Chapter 2

Storyboard for Chapter 2

Storyboard By Alex Gold
Final Art for Chapter 2
Art by Noah Berkley

Chapter 3

Storyboard for Chapter 3
Storyboard by Alex Gold


Final Art for Chapter 3
Art by Reiko Murakami

Chapter 4

Storyboard Art for Chapter 4
Storyboard By Alex Gold


Final Art for Chapter 4
Art by Sean Lane
  Although my art has (kind of) improved over the course of the project, there’s a reason why Artists make the big bucks.

– Alex

If you found this post on comparing storyboards to final art interesting, check the latest blog posts here: Game Development Blog

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Dark Scavenger Gameplay: Crafting


This is what you do with all that loot you’ve been collecting!

What is Crafting?

Each time you clear out an Area, you will be transported back up to the Dark Scavenger spaceship.

This Thing is your Spaceship

Any Loot you found in the Area, you will be able to give to the Crafters to turn into powerful Equipment.

These Slackers are the Crafters

Who are the Crafters?

The Crafters are just like you; they’re people from various planets across the universe stranded in space.


Kamaho is a master blacksmith and a generally knowledgeable dude/skeleton.


Kamaho can make you powerful WEAPONS.

Some examples include:

Bladed Boomerang: Damages you if it lands the killing blow on an opponent.

Dentist Drill: Does extra damage to opponents with big teeth

Stress Maul: Bash a Stunned opponent to automatically Stun them again.

Tornado Thrower: A flamethrower that shoots tornadoes. Hits all opponents.


Falsen is a freaky green-man who lost his mind a long time ago. Nobody is really sure where it went.


Falsen can make you useful ITEMS.

Some examples include:

Kick-Me Sign: Quadruples the damage of your next hand-to-hand attack.

Poison Pop: Does minor damage to you but gives you two turns in a row. • Secret Blanket: Hide under the covers to make all enemies automatically miss you with their next attacks.

Tongue Twister: Instantly Stuns all opponents that have more than 10 words in their description.


Gazer is an antisocial alien without a mouth.

  Although he can’t talk, he can summon helpful ALLIES.

Some examples include:

Captain Nibbles: Tiny beast that only attacks Giant opponents.

Mama Bird: Giant bird that damages enemies and gives health back to you… don’t ask how.

Slasher: Swift warrior who attacks an enemy without using the player’s turn.

The Sun: Does massive damage to EVERYONE (yourself included)!

Crafting is the only way to become stronger. Make sure to grab as much loot as possible!

That’s it for the crafting post. Go here if you want to know more about the gameplay in Dark Scavenger: Dark Scavenger Gameplay

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Dark Scavenger Gameplay: Combat


If you haven’t already, check out last week’s post on exploration.

In this post, I am going to talk a little about Dark Scavenger’s turn-based combat.

Three enemies? Oh noes!

Attacking the Enemy

There are several ways to attack enemies.

Once you attack an enemy, your turn is used and the enemies are given a chance to retaliate!



Equipment will be your best friend in battle.

Just kidding, Falsen will always be your best friend.

There are three different types of Equipment. Each serves a different purpose in battle:

Weapons: Your primary method of attacking. Weapons are the only type of Equipment that can exploit enemy weaknesses.

Items: These may enhance your Weapons, Stun Enemies or Heal You! Most Items will not cost you a turn to use.

Allies: Allies are a wild card! They can do massive damage but only work once per combat.

Yeah, take that you defenseless little animal!


All Equipment has a set amount of durability that decreases with each use.

That is some mighty fine placeholder art.

When a piece of Equipment reaches zero durability, it breaks and cannot be used again for the rest of the chapter.

However, all Equipment is restored at the end of each Chapter so don’t hold back!


You wouldn’t want to touch most enemies in Dark Scavenger with your bare hands… but we let you do it anyway!

Go ahead and punch this thing. We dare you.

Use the Fist in the upper-left corner of the screen to attack hand-to-hand!

You know you want to use this.

Your fists do not degrade like Equipment and never miss. However, they do very little damage.

Special Conditions

Now things start to get a bit more complicated…


Hitting an enemy with a Weakness will cause them to become STUNNED.

He’s going to feel that in the morning.

When an enemy is Stunned:

• They will lose their turn!

• Your Weapon attacks will do extra damage!


Sometimes, Enemies will begin to Focus.

This isn’t going to be pretty…

If the enemy starts focusing, they will attack you on their next turn for massive damage.

In order to stop that from happening, you will need to Stun them quickly!

Strengths and Weaknesses

Almost all enemies have strengths and weaknesses that you need to consider before choosing each attack.

• Using a Weapon that the enemy is strong against will do less damage.

Nope, try again.

• Using a Weapon that the enemy is weak against will do extra damage AND stun them.

That’s more like it.

Make sure to pick your attacks carefully!

Using “words” instead of “swords”

Fighting an NPC to solve problems in Dark Scavenger is always the easy way but it is entirely possible to complete the entire game without entering a single combat.

Pacifism in Dark Scavenger is the ultimate challenge… can you do it?

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Officially Announced Dark Scavenger (for real!)

Hi everyone,

We made our official (and very public) announcement today!

Check out just a few of the sites that covered it:

We’re pleased to see so much press on the game before we’ve even hit alpha! We still have a long way to go in the development process but we hope you’re enjoying all the early screenshots and gameplay videos so far!

Thank you for your continued support.

– Alex



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