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Papers, Please creator unveils 1-bit mystery Return of the Obra Dinn

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Lucas Pope, the designer behind the surprisingly thoughtful Papers, Please, has revealed his next project, a first-person mystery set aboard a ghost ship using what he calls "1-bit rendering."

Pope describes Return of the Obra Dinn as unlike anything he's done before. "There'll be less creativity with the gameplay and instead I want to experiment with the rendering, story, and a few technical features," Pope wrote on the TIGForums. "I'm hoping to capture a compelling mystery with suspense and twists in the limited space of an old merchant sailing ship. 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."

Though Pope is building Return of the Obra Dinn in the increasingly ubiquitous Unity 3D engine, the game will feature a notably archaic aesthetic. "I'd like to capture the detailed black & white look of old Mac games in a realtime 1st person game," said Pope. "I plan to push it grittier and less cartoon-like than those old games; the hard part will be keeping everything legible without it becoming an unreadable mess of dithered pixels."

Pope has yet to determine a release date for Return of the Obra Dinn, but those looking for more information can find a full rundown of the game's plot and his goals as a designer on the TIGForums.
[Image: Lucas Pope]

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