Lucas Pope will follow up his highly acclaimed indie hit Papers, Please with a game drawing on the 1-bit graphical style of games released for the Apple Macintosh when it was brand new.
Pope's next game, announced yesterday on The Independent Gaming Source forums, will be called Return of the Obra Dinn. It's the fictional story of a merchant ship lost at sea in 1802. It shows up six years later, drifting into port with no one aboard. The game unfolds from the perspective of an insurance adjustor for the East India Company, who is tasked with boarding the ship and recovering its captain's log to complete an investigation.
"I'm hoping to capture a compelling mystery with suspense and twists in the limited space of an old merchant sailing ship," Pope wrote. "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 added that his first computer was a Mac Plus, which Apple produced from 1986 to 1990. "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 realtime 1st person game." The game will be developed with Unity 3D.
Papers, Please is a "dystopian document thriller" in which the player is an immigration officer faced with choosing who may be admitted and who is barred from entry to a fictitious nation. Papers, Please took the Most Innovative honor at the Games for Change Festival in late April, and also won three awards, including the grand prize, at this year's Independent Games Festival Awards. Pope, a former developer with Naughty Dog, recently said he is interested in bringing Papers, Please to the PS Vita.