Hello there! ‘Tis I, Daniel of Opposable Games, come to chew your ear off about our mind blowing, face melting, soul annihilating game experience called Salvaged. Excited yet? Excellent.
So last week we talked about the story of Salvaged and how a narrative can connect the player to their gaming experience (Part One and Part Two). Naturally a story requires a character to be the fulcrum around which the story develops. In this blog I’ll be introducing the protagonist of our game; ladies and gentlemen please put your hands together for Alex Pieterson!
As the commander of a salvage ship, Alex is charged with leading her crew to find missing items in a dark and desolate universe. It’s hard work and it’s dangerous work but someone’s got to do it. Fortunately Alex is more than cut out for the job.
Alex comes from a poor background. Growing up in the slums of Mars (aka “New Earth”) as part of the ‘worker class’, Alex experienced hardship and a constant challenge to survive. From this oppression, however, Alex found a driving force to escape the drudgery of worker life. Each time she looked up at the stars she knew she could escape the confines of her home.
From salvager to salvage commander, Alex has established herself as a tireless professional. She has one of the best survival rates for salvage agents in the business thanks to her dedication to meticulous planning before a mission. Some would say, however, that with such a record when she does lose an agent it hits her hard. Amongst salvagers she’s respected for treating her crew as humans rather than commodities – in a business built on life and death Alex values life.
Relationships are important to Alex; a crew without trust cannot function effectively. Her trust even extends to the ship’s AI, Thaddeus, despite his stuffy disposition. Alex’s trust has been broken before, however, during a catastrophic salvage mission early in her career. This violent mission left her with a fear of the dark yet helped Alex to define what a good leader should be. This philosophy has guided her ever since that day.
There’s a growing movement for diversity in gaming at the moment. Ours should be a space that embraces the uniqueness of others rather than seek to marginalise them.
Consider why humans tell stories and continue to do so: stories entertain, true, but we also learn from them. Stories, and the characters within, teach us about respect and empathy for others. We learn from books, we learn from film and, in time, as games grow into an artistic medium I believe we’ll learn from them too.
Stories in games don’t need strong characters to create diversity they need real characters. If Salvaged can play even a small part in this movement I’ll feel I’ve done my job properly.