A third-person, open world survival craft-em-up about underpaid space workers will release this week in Space Trash Scavenger. It's an interesting looking one, with the conceit that it's a world where every little planetoid and asteroid has its own little sphere of gravity, including your own self-directed and constructed mobile scavenging platform. The same kind of gravity you may remember from Super Mario Galaxy—but you've got a jetpack to scoot around between it all.
The campaign sounds pretty neat, with you building your mobile base to scavenge up loot and enable your platform to do interstellar travel, then jumping between partially procedural, partially handcrafted space systems to get rich selling your products on the galactic stock market.
There are also automation elements, where you can build up your space rig to process and rebuild trash all on its own—though that seems to be strictly optional.
"While you explore different Salvage Sectors, you will build up your base, creating a production line to atomise trash, then construct new products for sale—and this can all be automated with conveyor belts, bringing factory elements to the game. We call it light automation, where you can automate as little or as much of the process as you wish," says developer SquarePlay Games.
"We wanted to bring a feeling of exploration and danger to this world. As well as rocky asteroids, you gain access to long derelict space wrecks and can find abandoned mining outposts and deserted farming sectors. Along the way, you’ll frequently encounter a mysterious enemy called The Entity and engage in combat, so you need to ensure you have the right weapons and ammo to deal with them. An important aspect is that you’ll need to think about fuel management for your jetpack and jump drive," they continued.
It's an interesting idea, and it's saying the things I like to hear—making limited resources matter, but letting you eventually automate them away to focus on exploration and expansion. There's even talk of giant dungeon-like space wrecks to explore.
Space Trash Scavenger is made by two-person studio SquarePlay Games, and is their second game. Their first release was the really quite cute Overcrowd: A Commute Em Up, a management game about running a bustling metro station. That game was also developed via Early Access. Space Trash Scavenger will be published by Paradox Arc, the small-game publishing arm of the larger Paradox Interactive.
You can find Space Trash Scavenger on Steam, where it'll release into Early Access on November 9.
ScavLog 8c: I have discovered a terraformed asteroid. It still has life, millenia after evacuation. Fascinating! I started to scavenge, but was cut short. Tadpole Entity! Blasted things! I retreated to space. #screenshotsaturday #indiegame #gamedev #unity3d #lowpoly #indiegamedev pic.twitter.com/Sz1gW6tGkuNovember 4, 2023