Lucas Pope’s Return of Obra Dinn will be a 1-bit first person mystery game.
Paper, Please was easily one of the most acclaimed indie games of 2013, earning accolades from critics and fans alike with its satisfying gameplay and unique concept. The game’s many fans, in turn, have understandably been eager to see what the games creator Lucas Pope is going to do next. Those same fans will probably be thrilled to know that their days of waiting have finally paid off.
Pope, writing in a thread at the TIGSource forums, has revealed his new project which he is dubbing Return of the Obra Dinn. A “3D first-person mystery game,” it will follow the efforts an East India Company insurance adjuster to recover the logbook of a derelict ship that had drifted to port with its crew missing. It’s Lucas’s hope that this new project will allow him to explore unfamiliar avenues of game development.
“I want to challenge myself so this’ll be a very different game from anything I’ve done before,” wrote Pope. “There’ll be less creativity with the gameplay and instead I want to experiment with the rendering, story, and a few technical features. Right now I have only a rough idea about the narrative. I’m hoping to capture a compelling mystery with suspense and twists in the limited space of an old merchant sailing ship. It won’t be the typical ‘collect items and look for clues’ structure.”
While Pope has confirmed that he’ll be using Unity 3D to develop Obra Dinn, he’s also revealed his desire to ground the game’s visuals firmly in yesteryear. “I’ve always had a nostalgia-softened spot in my heart for 1-bit graphics,” he said. “I’d like to capture the detailed black & white look of old Mac games in a real-time 1st person game.” It’s a desire that he knows will come with challenges. That said, he expressed “high hopes” that he’ll be able to pull it off and create something besides “an unreadable mess of dithered pixels.” We will, of course, be watching eagerly to see how his plans go.