An Insurance Adventure with Minimal Color
In 1802, the merchant ship Obra Dinn set out from London for the Orient with over 200 tons of trade goods. Six months later it hadn't met its rendezvous point at the Cape of Good Hope and was declared lost at sea.
Early this morning of October 14th, 1807, the Obra Dinn drifted into port at Falmouth with damaged sails and no visible crew. As insurance investigator for the East India Company's London Office, dispatch immediately to Falmouth, find means to board the ship, and prepare an assessment of damages.
Interview with Creator, Lucas Pope
What are some challenges that you faced when creating Return of the Obra Dinn?
“The rendering technology
took some time and care to design, and the core mechanics were also a long time
coming. At the start I didn't have a clear picture of how the game would play
and it took a few years to iron things out.”
“As a solo developer it's always
hard to stretch my limited resources far enough to cover all aspects of
production and despite how much I enjoyed it, just about every part of
development was a challenge.”
“there's still a sense of life and motion beyond what I expected”
What aspects of the game were you most excited for audiences to interact with?
“The game involves exploring static moments frozen in time and I worried that spending a long time in those scenes would feel lifeless and empty. Luckily, even though nothing actually moves, in the end there's still a sense of life and motion beyond what I expected. My hope is that players feel that too and build a vibrant picture of the people and events on the ship.”
What inspired you to create this game?
“I grew up playing games
on a classic Mac and always felt the stark black and white visuals were
particularly beautiful. With Obra Dinn I wanted to see if I could reproduce
that style in a first-person adventure game. Things got a lot more complicated
after this initial inspiration, but in the beginning I was just thinking about
making a modern 3D game in 1-bit.”
Do you have any advice for artists interested in creating video games?