From the creators of the award-winning indie game Poncho (Delve Interactive) comes a survival game revolving around being homeless. Change – A Homeless Survival Game puts players in the shoes a man who has recently become homeless and must find a way to survive day to day.
I had a chance to play the Alpha, and while it only lasts around three days in game time – running about 10 minutes in real time – it revealed the base elements of the game. Like any survival game, the goal is to survive and hopefully prosper to the end of each day.
Change – A Homeless Survival Game has the unique feature of turning something that a lot of people experience every day and conveying the other perspective of the situation. Anytime someone walks by, the option to beg comes up, with the game’s character asking for money in a few different ways.
Whether he asks for money for food, shelter or clothing, the responses tend to mirror how they would in real life. Most NPC ignores the character, while some state they don’t have any or only have a card.
When someone does offer up some money, the change given is not much more than a few dollars, which can be spent at the stores. The current stores stocking an array of different items, with foods usually being the focal point, as not starving to death when living on the street is obviously vital.
The Alpha had a few examples of foods, starting with cheap, yet unfulfilling potato chips for sale and also offering more hearty meals like a sausage that fill up the food bar, but those meals cost more money. Though there hasn’t been enough time to see what effect buying it has on the character in the long term, there is also an option to buy booze in the game.
Happiness will also play a large role in surviving the streets as well. Something as simple as being able to scrounge up $20 to buy a guitar can mean the difference between depression and tranquility when surviving in Change – A Homeless Survival Game, and will also help earn a few extra bucks as well.
Another item for sale is deodorant, which will improve the homeless man’s hygiene. Again, there hasn’t been any indication as to just what effect the poor hygiene will bring, but it likely involves not only receiving money while begging but also being turned away for job interviews.
The opportunity to get a job selling newspapers appeared on the final playable day, with the interview stating they would process the application and let us know tomorrow. Jobs are obviously a vital way to receive income and survive, so it should be interesting to see how Change – A Homeless Survival Game depicts trying to get a job as a homeless man.
Upon its full release, the studio behind the game has promised that Change – A Homeless Survival Game will feature an endless city to explore filled with randomly generated, events, NPCs, and environments, unique to every playthrough that lets you develop your own story. The inventory management \ and weather systems will also provide a challenge survival enthusiast as well, as players will need to manage their food and anticipate surviving in the snow and other harsh climates.
Change – A Homeless Survival Game is currently on Kickstarter, sitting at $1,201 pledged from 90 backers, with a stretch goal of $3,874 goal. As of this article, there are 16 days left in the project’s Kickstarter.
Delve Interactive also announced on their page that they’ve decided not to go with stretch goals, stating their game’s design is finished, and to add things or have things that can only be added with enough funding would only tarnish the design.
The studio hopes to have Change – A Homeless Survival Game out on Steam and Tablets in late august, but have a backup date in January if they miss their release window. If you’d like to donate to the project, head over to their Kickstarter linked in the article.
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Andrew has been in love with video game ever since his brother was forced by their parents to let him watch him and his friends play games like Goldeneye and Super Mario 64.