Papers, Please dev announces his next game, Return of the Obra Dinn

Lucas Pope announces a first-person, “1-bit” mystery game.

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Lucas Pope, the developer behind the award-winning indie game Papers, Please, has announced his next project; Return of the Obra Dinn.

In a post to TIGSource, Pope explains the game will use the first-person perspective and take place on an East India Company merchant ship named the Obra Dinn, which sets 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,” Pope said. “Early this morning of October 14th, 1808, the Obra Dinn drifted into port with sails damaged and no visible crew. As insurance adjustor for the East India Company's London Office, find means to board the ship and recover the captain's logbook for assessment.”

Pope said that his goal for the game is to challenge himself to experiment with rendering, story, and a few technical features, so it will be very different from Papers, Please and his other previous games.

The game will be built with Unity 3D, and will aim to emulate the look of old, black and white games for the Mac Plus, Pope’s first computer.

“I'm hoping to capture a compelling mystery with suspense and twists in the limited space of an old merchant sailing ship,” Pope said. “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.”

Pope’s Papers, Please won this years Seumas McNally Grand Prize at the Independent Game Festival, as well as the Excellence in Narrative and Excellence in Design award.

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