Sea of Solitude

Sea of Solitude’s sublime exploration of loneliness now backed by EA

Sea of Solitude was one of the most intriguing and sublime game concepts that flashed across my eyes last year. It follows a girl called Kay who has been turned into a monster and is on a journey to find out how that happened. Most striking about it is the world it’s set in: a submerged city where gigantic fish and a talking crow-like creature lurk just out of sight, hiding in the cover of fog or the murkiness of the deep. It’s a game about loneliness skewed with a vision marked by both beauty and terror. And now EA…


Adr1ft and the loneliness of digital worlds

This is a preview of an article you can read on our new website dedicated to virtual reality, Versions. /// Adam Orth is alone. It’s no secret. He tells me as much even as I cross the threshold of Three One Zero, his development studio just off the block-party-turned-retail-orgy that is the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica. He’s right, there’s no one there, though half a dozen work stations line the wall to my left, one piled high with Atari cartridges. “We’re a digitally distributed team,” he explains, “so everyone can work from wherever they are.” Through the several…


Oceanheart is too precious to ignore

“Oceanheart is a chill exploration game about sailing away and making a home.” That’s how co-designer Karen Teixeira describes the fledgling new project on her website. Teixeira began development on the game in late April of this year. Since then, she’s slowly been revealing new details and video samples on the game’s Tumblr. The premise is straight-forward enough: an open-world adventure game where players sail around exploring different islands and discovering underwater secrets. But beyond the minimalist trappings of an Animal Crossing at sea—including fishing, cooking, crafting and some amount of boat-as-house interior decorating—the game’s real charm lies in the…


The Isolation Game Jam finds inspiration in nothingness

Header photo by Horatiu Roman. /// The farm is set into a dead-end valley. It has walls composed of old grey stonework, a single tractor, sometimes there are lambs. There isn’t much else, except the endless grey beard of the sky above, its ubiquity matched only by the hay-swathed terrain below it. Here, in this desolation, close to the highland border of north-west Iceland, the closest town about 30 kilometers away, is where the Isolation Game Jam is held. there are only mountains, tundras, and glaciers for company  “The best word to describe the area is bleak, and I do not mean…


Sea of Solitude finds beauty in depicting loneliness

“The vision, in a nutshell, is to let players experience different types of loneliness. But all in a playful way,” says Cornelia Geppert of Jo-Mei Games. And that’s about all I could get out of her at this point. It’s not a lot, but it hardly matters once you’ve seen what Geppert and her team have done with that concept. Somehow only in the conceptual stage, it’s called Sea of Solitude, and the images released so far sell themselves. We see a young girl called Kay, who has been turned into a black and blobby monster, as she journeys through a sunken city to find…


A videogame for all you lonely kids (and adults) out there

There may not be a greater intimation of loneliness than a child attempting to play a videogame that was designed for two persons. Picture them sat cross-legged in front of an old boxy television, completely by themselves, attempting to rush their limbs across two gamepads, and sighing with their entire torso when the effort produces no satisfying interplay. See that kid? It’s me. Not just me so it turns out. Folmer Kelly is also that kid and, I suspect, are so many other insular folk out there. Perhaps this includes you as well? Kelly gets a mention as his Ludum…