“I knew the deep recesses of the oceans held secrets undreamt of by mankind. I knew the risks: that the mission might break me, or that we might never return. But nothing we heard or saw in training could have prepared me for this. Darkness and silence hang upon the abyss like a funeral cloth, but what truly terrifies me is that this place is not lifeless. It is asleep, and something stirs in the gloom…”
We are proud to officially announce Stirring Abyss, our upcoming PC game! We are building a thrilling combination of strategy gameplay and an atmospheric, Lovecraftian story and environment. The player takes command of the survivors of a top secret research mission into the northern Atlantic Ocean in the 1950s, as they struggle to repair their submarine and escape the strange ruined city they sank into, following a mysterious accident. With limited access to vital resources such as oxygen, light, and fuel, the player must guide the crew in exploring the environment and making crucial decisions in text-based story events. Risk and reward play a crucial role, as time runs short but the dangers of braving the depths alone are great. Graphically, Stirring Abyss will feature beautiful hand-drawn environments depicted from an isometric perspective.
“…the floodlight of the submarine casts only a thin strip of illumination, and pitch black shadows lurk behind every pillar…”
Sleepy Sentry is a three-man team with expertise and experience in all aspects of game design and development. As some of you may now, and first-time visitors can see from the site, we’ve previously created and published two games. However, unlike our previous titles, Stirring Abyss is not just a student project: we are now fully committed to creating a full-fledged PC indie game. Every aspect of the project, from writing to game design to the artistic direction, will work together to build a truly immersive experience. All three of us are also huge fans of the works of H.P. Lovecraft: his stories serve as the main inspiration for the game, and we try to stay faithful to his style. Can you face the mysteries of Stirring Abyss and escape its clutches, or will you succumb to the unforgiving environment or the madness that lurks within?
“…an immense current grips him: as if some unseen Cetacean of gargantuan proportions had lashed its flukes…”
What makes Stirring Abyss unique is our take on telling an engaging and interactive story through the medium of a game. Interactive storytelling has been used in different forms throughout the history of video games, but commercial applications with a truly dynamic and adaptive story are fairly rare. In classic branching storytelling systems, the actual influence of the player is usually very limited and only applies on the small scale. On the other hand, dynamically generated stories often feel unfocused and anticlimactic, and enforce limitations on the rest of the game. Great stories have certainly been told without an interactive medium, but embracing the choices of the player as a driving force behind the story creates a completely different type of immersion.
Our system uses a unique approach to combine the best elements of the two approaches, to allow for the creation of stories that provide true interactivity. Every decision you make in Stirring Abyss matters, not only in the context of that situation, but through the course of the entire game. We are especially focusing on creating cool stories on a character basis: crew members who are lucky and skilled enough to return home will have the most amazing and unbelievable tales to tell, if only anyone would believe them! The storytelling system will be complemented with interesting and suspenseful strategy gameplay. The format of the game, a roguelike intended to be endlessly replayable, was chosen to make the most out of the system. Every run through Stirring Abyss will be a story of its own, but the greater mystery of the strange underwater world the player finds themselves in will only fully open to those who explore the game thoroughly.
Currently Stirring Abyss is in a very early stage of development and we are planning to go to Steam Greenlight in the spring of 2017. We want to actively engage fans throughout the development process, and any feedback you have will be heard and appreciated. We want to build this game together with you, so follow us on Facebook and Twitter; check out this blog periodically to stay up to date; or simply sign up on our newsletter below to get the latest tidings from the depths.