Lucas Pope has become one of the most distinctive voices on the indie gaming landscape, known for critically beloved titles such as 2013s Papers, Please and last years follow-up Return Of The Obra Dinn.
While both titles are puzzle games at heart, their approach is entirely different. Papers, Please challenges your moral compass by casting you as an immigration officer at border control, while Return Of The Obra Dinn turns you into a detective in the early 1800s, trying to discover the mystery behind a ship that arrives in port with all its crew members dead.
The original concept was I wanted to make a 3D 1-bit game, basically, Lucas Pope told GameCentral at the BAFTA Games Awards, while describing the origins of Obra Dinn. Once I had that and I realised Id need to build levels and things like that, or the environment, I had a couple ideas on how to make that possible for one person in some kind of contained environment.
I just figured a tall ship would be contained enough that I could build that myself. I like that period, I like those stories, so based on how I was going to structure the story, I felt like there was a lot of material there for me to draw from to figure out how to do it.
Obra Dinn became one of the big success stories at this years BAFTA Games Awards, winning Game Design and Artistic Achievement awards against strong competition from the likes of God Of War, Red Dead Redemption II, Celeste, and Lucass personal favourite, the fantastic Florence.
It took four years to develop Obra Dinn at Popes Japan-based studio 3909 LLC, and despite the success of Papers, Please, the games overwhelmingly positive reception still came as a surprise.
When I worked on this game, its very linear, its about a mystery, figuring out a story, and I wrote that so I know everything about it. So to understand how other people feel about the game was pretty difficult at the end.
By the time I released it I just wanted to finish it, just wanted to get it done with. So I didnt really have any clear idea of how itd be received.
Nowadays, any successful indie titles are almost naturally assumed to be heading to Nintendo Switch but Lucas was coy as to whether Obra Dinn will end up on the platform.
A lot of people are asking for it, Lucas said. Actually the first response when I released it for desktops was, When is it coming to Switch? So the writing is on the wall on that I guess.
I havent figured anything out yet solid for it yet though.
The arrival of streaming services like Google Stadia could spread Obra Dinns reach far beyond PCs and onto all tablets, phones and TV sets, but exactly how the games 1-bit monochromatic visuals will translate to a streaming platform is unclear.
Its funny, Obra Dinn is in a slightly strange spot because its 1-bit and very high contrast, low resolution, and actually compressing and coding that into vRead More – Source