Ocean

edited July 2009 in Story Games
A few people asked about Ocean in the July thread, but since it had already reached it's 3 post limit, I guess I should start a new thread to talk about it.

You can see the badly edited trailerhere.

Ocean was a 60 day design and production project that I started in December and finished in early February. I got distracted by GameStorm and didn't get around to releasing the game until this week. Ocean is a hybrid project, consisting of 16 pages of story engine, 15 pages of advice and ideas for using the engine and 9 pages of comics That illustrate what the engine is supposed to do. It's a tight little package.

The game is underwater survival/mystery, similar in some ways to Yuji Iwahara's King of Thorn, James Cameron's The Abyss and a whole bunch of PS2 survival horror games.

Um...

Okay, I wanted to make a game that reflects my current play style, which is pretty much scenario + shared narration + simple resolution, with an emphasis on bad endings. Ocean uses shared narrative and countdown clock conflict resolution in the confines of a set scenario and preset goals. You play amnesiacs trapped in an underwater station with a monster, and the only way to escape is to figure out who you are, what the station is and what the monster is. The probable outcome is that no one makes it out alive.

The game is built around answering the three questions mentioned above. Who are we and why can't we remember who we are? Why have we been brought to this place? What is this place? What are these creature/monster/aliens/mutants/dinosaurs/gillmen/robots? Where did they come from? What do they want? These questions have no preset answers. We'll have to determine the truth as we play, and the game only ends once we've answered them and escaped to safety, or if we die in the process.

This kind of scenario is just really satisfying for me. I love mysteries and I love the survival genre of video games, and I could just play this again and again and again. I've done 15 games so far, and each has been remarkably different and worthwhile.

I don't really have much else to say, I guess. I have some actual play audio from GameStorm, but it's unedited and it may be awhile before I get to it. Oh, actually Gilbert wrote up that session. You can read it here.

Sales links:

Ocean on Amazon

Ocean on Atarashi Games

Ocean on the un-store

Comments

  • Jake, I love that trailer. It's got a great attitude - way edgier and aggressive than I'd normally expect from survival horror - and the inter-titles are beautifully constructed for maximum intriguification. Well done! I'm officially very interested now.
  • Jake, part of me really wants to buy this: that's unusual, actually, because I find I'm interested in few new games at the moment.

    But I don't quite know enough about it, yet, to spend 20 dollars. Have you got any other details? What are the mechanics like? Can you give us a preview glimpse of part of the book?

    Graham
  • How much have you played it? How much have other people who are not you played it?
  • What Graham said. I'm intrigued, but concerned that the mystery may come from the scenario/people and isn't mechanically supported at all.
  • Not ignoring you guys, just busy. I'll post something soon.
  • Posted By: GrahamBut I don't quite know enough about it, yet, to spend 20 dollars. Have you got any other details? What are the mechanics like? Can you give us a preview glimpse of part of the book?
    Posted By: MarhaultWhat Graham said. I'm intrigued, but concerned that the mystery may come from the scenario/people and isn't mechanically supported at all.
    I'm no good at talking about my games, so why don't I just show you? You can get the free pdf (which is the full version of the game) here.
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