Return of the Obra Dinn
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Stare upon the ghostly faces of Return of the Obra Dinn

One could almost consider exploring history a form of puzzle solving. Extrapolating facts and events through ruins and artifacts and documents, putting together a cohesive story through the remnants of times. Lucas Pope’s upcoming Return of the Obra Dinn, his narrative-driven follow-up to Paper’s Please (2013), is a game that encompasses that process. A mystery of a lost ship pieced together by discovered documents and flashbacks triggered by the remains on board. In Pope’s latest updates in his TIGSource devlog, those documents and artifacts are slowly taking shape. Recent GIFs show the lengthy manifest, revealing the crew names, their roles, and…

Return of the Obra Dinn
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Return Of The Obra Dinn’s historical fiction gets even eerier in new demo

Lucas Pope, of Papers Please (2013) fame, has been working on his new project, Return of the Obra Dinn, for nearly two years now. Back in October 2014, he released the first build of the game, which ran for 10 minutes in length and showed off its stylistic 1-bit rendering. Updates on the game’s progress since then have all arrived in the form of a devlog, except the latest, which comes with a new demo to play. It features a host of improvements, such as a new intro sequence with fully voiced dialogue, a remodeled top deck, a new flashback, a small…

Return of the Obra Dinn
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Development of Papers, Please creator’s next game hits rough seas

It’s been a year and a half since Papers Please (2013) creator Lucas Pope first announced his nautical mystery game Return of the Obra Dinn, releasing a small demo of the game for players to try for free. Like many demos, it offered a vertical slice of the game’s typical routine, helping to embody what the full game might eventually look like as a whole. However, while working on a new demo to show at this year’s GDC, Pope found that his original vertical slice “did not scale up (at all) to making a full game.” As such, he’s taken to…

homesickened
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Finally, a videogame that doesn’t fetishize nostalgia

“You can’t go back home to your family, back home to your childhood … back home to a young man’s dreams of glory and of fame … back home to places in the country, back home to the old forms and systems of things which once seemed everlasting but which are changing all the time—back home to the escapes of Time and Memory.”  – Thomas Wolfe Even the air feels different at home, at once fresher yet also somehow more suffocating. The moment you step off the bus (or train or plane or Delorean), you can already feel the walls…

unsolicited_header_1
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Unsolicited shows us the begrudging lives behind junk mail

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. Unsolicited (PC, Mac, Linux)  BY Lucas Pope Given the vacuity of the junk mail that mailboxes regularly puke onto entrance mats, you’d be forgiven to think there wasn’t a single soul behind it. In one respect, you’re right, as the souls of the people who are paid to produce junk mail probably died a long time ago. Such is the nature of the job. This is something you’ll discover as you play Lucas Pope’s latest game, Unsolicited. Similar to Pope’s celebrated solo debut Papers, Please, Unsolicited has you sorting…

Maze-BlurFocus
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Lucas Pope takes us down the dark path of retouching 1-bit visuals

Return of the Obra Dinn is an upcoming Lucas Pope game with visuals so quietly gorgeous and ghost-like that only a haunting story about being lost at sea could match it. Pope, seemingly having observred the beautiful 8 to 16-bit games coming out over the past couple years, has decided to double down, using 1-bit graphics that recall early Macintosh visuals from Apple’s gray, boxy glory days. Unsurprisingly this design choice has left Pope with some unique problems throughout development. In his latest blog post on TIGSource, he takes readers through one such issue step by step. After getting the uncanny sense…

Obra_Dinn_Screenshot_1
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Return of the Obra Dinn update details the challenges of 1-bit rendering

Since announcing it a year ago, Lucas Pope has been hard at work on the flashback-driven mystery game Return of the Obra Dinn, his follow-up to Papers, Please. Last October, he released a rough build of Obra Dinn to play for free, showing off the primary dynamic of the game’s puzzle. You are an East India Company insurance adjuster armed with a magical pocket watch and a logbook. The watch allows to replay moments from the bloody story of a ghost ship as you investigate its crew’s disappearance and try to track the details. “Of the characters in the demo,…