Game Type: MacintoshNew article about what I learned from making Deep Sea: http://bit.ly/sensedeprivation
Deep Sea is a game about being vulnerable.
In this audio-only game, players don a mask that obscures their vision and takes over their hearing, plunging them into a world of blackness occupied only by the sound of their own breathing and the rumbles made by unseen terrors.
Survival means the careful tracking of a liquid constellation of alien sounds, requiring the player to focus intently to the point of suppressing their own breathing, further reinforcing the sensation of claustrophic isolation. The player fires their weapon and hopes to hear the creature cry out in pain, but more often than not the sound they hear is their shot disappearing uselessly into the void.
The sense of being surrounded by invisible dangers is reinforced by the reality of playing the game in a public space, with the player knowing that all around are people they can neither hear nor see. At the same time spectators can watch the gyrations of the player's body and hear their voice but have no access to the world the player is experiencing, and so remain helpless to rescue the player from their watery fate.
Game and Sound Design by Robin Arnott (www.wraughk.com) Music by Duncan Watt (www.fastestmanintheworld.com) Made possible by the NYU Game Center (gamecenter.nyu.edu). Special thanks to Andrea Moya, Sean Stogner, Charles Pratt, Frank Lantz, Bonita Engel, Jean-Marc Gauthier, and the many testers without whom this game would not function.
1) Place your head entirely in the mask. Your chin should fit snugly inside the mask and your mouth should be aligned with the mouthpiece. A correctly fitting mask is integral to the Deep Sea experience. 2) Put on the headphones with the cord dangling from your left ear. 3) Press any button on the bass of the joystick to begin or reset the game. 4) Listen carefully for the location of sea monsters ahead of you. Use the joystick to turn your cannon right and left, and the trigger button to shoot them. 5) Every noise you make draws the monsters' attention, including shooting and breathing. It is important to control your breathing if you want to stay alive. 6) Stay alive. Kill monsters. 7) Clean the inside of the mask when you are finished.