Return Of The Obra Dinn Developer Could Explore VR With Next Game

by Charles Singletary • April 9th, 2019

Lucas Pope, the developer behind Papers, Please and The Return of the Obra Dinn, made an appearance at the 2019 BAFTA Games Awards where the latter game was nominated in six categories and walked away with wins for artistic achievement and game design. Many eyes will be on his next work and, during an interview, he revealed that it could possibly be a VR game.

In a conversation with Game Central while at the BAFTA Games Awards, Pope stated that he’s interested in virtual reality, but hasn’t spent any time on it just yet. “It’s just one of those things in the back of my mind that seems interesting,” he said.

The virtual reality gaming ecosystem is riddled with story-driven experiences that blend in intriguing puzzle elements, like Aspyr’s sci-fi mystery Torn. Shifting into VR would offer Pope a fresh platform for him to exhibit his knack for weaving an interesting tale throughout games that require close attention to detail.

The Return of Obra Dinn, for instance, is a meticulously crafted experience that pushes players to investigate the scenes of a ravaged ship to figure out what caused the curious disappearance of the merchant vessel. The game takes place in 1807, where a ship called Obra Dinn set sail in 1802 and reappears five years later having never reached its rendezvous point. It sails into port with visible damage and no crew, and players play the role of an insurance investigator that must figure out just what happened to the long lost ship, the crew, and almost 200 tons of goods it carried.

A similar experience could translate well to virtual reality, where players can maneuver freely to scrutinize and explore layers of a setting to a higher degree than non-VR games. While it would be interesting to see the mind behind two award-winning games create a VR title, it may be awhile before Pope releases something. It took the solo dev 4.5 years to finish The Return of Obra Dinn and, though he’s hoping to make something smaller in scope than that title, he would be diving into VR for the first time and will have to learn some new development techniques.

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