I've just started my first game as a lone developer (actually it's a postgraduation project I'll use to start a personal project I'd liked to do for long).
Since I was a child and took swims on deep rivers I couldn't see the bottom, dark waters started to fascinate me (and back then playing Sub Culture [playing the Abyss of Aquaria also got this feeling on me]). It's something quite sublime as it is a mix o fear and fascination. Due to all of this I always wanted to make a game about the depths of the ocean.
So, much inspired by this infographic
, I've decided to explore both the region and the facts about Mariana Trench.
Some good points that made me think it'll be a good setting was the 1960 expedition, tripulated by U.S. Navy Lieutenant Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard, and the suspect that the trench could have been used as a nuclear waste disposal site and is also a place of heavy seismic activity.
I think a fine narrative could be built out of this...
But I'm still unsure of what game mechanics I could use so that the game wouldn't be boring and such.
The main idea would controlling the bathyscaphe and make your descent to the very bottom (Challenger Deep), although this alone wouldn't be compelling enough.
So I thought about considering the use of unrealistic technology (like the retro 60's of Bioshock) and have the possibility of dropping a unmanned bot that could do things on the sea floor and get to places the bathyscaphe is too large to access. I've found out that viperfish are only able to see the frequency range of their lights, this could be applyed to the light of the bot, and there could be means of changing the light you're able to emit. There could be also some hydrothermal vents that blocks the path of the bot and then you'd have to come back and use your sub to get across.
Also I've though about have pressure and temperature as attributes somehow (like the bot wouldn't be able to stand long due to the high pressure [on the very bottom it measures 1100 atm] or descending too fast cause temperature variations that might crack the windows, or something like that)...
I'm planning to use real low-res pixel art, as I'm not good with graphics (sound is easier for me, but I'll think about it later), and to start prototyping it with Scirra's Construct.
Feel free to share your thoughts with everything I expose, I'm pretty much open to everything and even though I treat it as a "personal project" it's just in a sense that it's something I've wanted to do for long (and this persoonal state makes it harder for me to take some design decisions, that's why I'm so unsure about the gameplay and I also don't like the name I gave, but I needed one haha), your help will always be much appreciated!