NYU alumnus Robin Arnott’s Deep Sea, a game commissioned for the Game Center’s No Quarter event, made its second appearance on Saturday at the Netherlands Media Art Institute in Amsterdam for this year’s Museumnacht. Deep Sea is an immersive audio-only game that blinds the player in a rubber mask and sends them thousands of meters under the sea, where they try to survive an onslaught of sea monsters. The game experiments with sense deprivation, claustrophobia, and demands the player enter a controlled meditative state to succeed. Two microphones planted in the mask measure the player’s breathing, and realistically control regulator sounds that obscure the player’s ability to listen for and hunt down the monsters.
Says Robin, “I was both encouraged and challenged by the first version’s reception at No Quarter. People who immediately understood the game had an intense emotional reaction – taking off the mask afterwards was like coming back from a different world. But there was definitely an entry barrier. People are visual thinkers, and without a visual component many players were confused. The Amsterdam exhibition has given me a chance to re-build the game with accessibility in mind, as well as revamping the sound design for a more intense experience.”
Tags: no quarter