Project: S.A.M.

Studio MediaShake has announced the development of Project: S.A.M, a hardcore rogue-like game set in a distant future for players to challenge, research, explore, and conquer.

Project: S.A.M. (Scouting Automated Machine) is a pixel-art style hardcore rogue-like game in a faraway future setting. MediaShake derived inspiration for this indie title from pioneers of ‘rogue-like’ genre, such as The Binding of Isaac, Enter the Gungeon, and Moonlighter.

The narrative revolves around ‘The City of Zion’, which has become isolated to ensure survival. Over time, technology has advanced, enabling players to explore the external environment. The key pieces of this tech are disposable robots called ‘Scouting Automated Machines’ (S.A.M.s). Players are compatible with the S.A.M.’s technology and, thus, are needed to discover new means of survival and to find safe territory for the expansion of the city.

The playable protagonist is a pilot, researcher, and explorer who will take on the responsibility to explore the desolate world outside, collect data, upgrade the S.A.M units (of which six playable types exist), then feed reports to the research centre. Players can attain an armoury and database in the research centre of local fauna or items that have been discovered by S.A.M. units.

Trial and error will enable players to learn of unfamiliar dangers in five unique regions: poisonous swamps, forests, mountains, crystalline glaciers, mountain tops, and the great volcano spewing perilous heat. Players will experience many encounters with a cast of over 80 enemies including creatures and elites with various mechanics to learn and defeat.

The weapon-play enables specific combo counts with each attack different from the previous. Attacking between dodges enables players to advance their survival skills. Furthermore, players can equip S.A.M. units with modules for offensive, defensive and utility bonuses.

Players can invest or spend big with multiple currencies; most valued is information and knowledge which can be exchanged to deploy mechs and location beacons, and buy blueprints as well as items and weapons. Scrap and enemy components are also highly valued and can be recycled at crafting stations for players to make weapons or trade for data.

The economics can become complicated as players will be managing the budget for the experimental Project S.A.M. for research endeavours. Players have to persuade superiors about the urgency of the outside exploration but most importantly how profitable it is. Thus, success will lead to praise; however, bankruptcy can ensue if data drops below zero.

Project: S.A.M. is in development for PC and is dependent on crowdfunding on Kickstarter. The game has raised over GBP£700 and the development is dependent upon reaching the GBP£40,000 target goal.

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Steve Carman
Steve's two passions are journalism and gaming, and he enjoys playing Indies, RPG, and Action/Adventure games on PC and consoles. He can also often be found sharing his views on the industry @stevecgames.

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