The creator of award-winning indie hit Papers Please has named and detailed his next project.
It’s called Return of the Obra Dinn and is described by developer Lucas Pope as a first person mystery that uses retro visuals – or ‘1-bit rendering’ as he calls it – despite being built using the Unity 3D engine.
My first computer was a Mac Plus,” Pope wrote. I’ve always had a nostalgia-softened spot in my heart for 1-bit graphics. I’d like to capture the detailed black and white look of old Mac games in a realtime first person game. I plan to push it grittier and less cartoon-like than those old games; the hard part will be keeping everything legible without it becoming an unreadable mess of dithered pixels.
I want to challenge myself so this’ll be a very different game from anything I’ve done before, including Papers Please. 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. There’s a slightly cool gameplay hook but I won’t go into details on that until much later.