Author Topic: Return of the Obra Dinn  (Read 1354 times)

Rev+

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Return of the Obra Dinn
« on: October 21, 2018, 11:17:53 PM »
New one from yer 'Papers, Please' fellow.  The look of the thing harks back to something:  1 bit, original mac style dappled black-and-white, but I'm struggling to think of a comparison for the gameplay.

It's the early 19th century, and a missing boat has turned up with nobody still living aboard it.  As some prick who works for an insurance company it's your job to determine what happened to everyone.  To help in this task you've got a pocket watch that, should you whip it out when you're over a corpse, allows you to time-travel to the frozen moment of that person's death and wander about there too.

I know I said I couldn't think of a comparison for the gameplay, but outside of video games an exploded version of Cluedo is the best explanation:  your goal for each person is to determine who they are, what killed them, and whodunnit (if anyone).  You've got the ship's manifest but tying the name to the people knocking about in the death scenes is the challenge here, apart from the odd exception when a flashback involves someone saying 'fuck off you Dane' and the manifest reveals there's only one Danish person on the boat.

Anyone else giving it a crack?  It's making me feel thick as fuck, like I should be making obvious connections that I'm not, but it's incredibly satisfying when your deductions are validated.

surreal

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Re: Return of the Obra Dinn
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2018, 05:00:44 PM »
The look of the thing harks back to something:  1 bit, original mac style dappled black-and-white

Interesting behind-the-scenes on the graphics - 3D models then hand-drawn over to get the effect:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zpe2Ivnei14

Bhazor

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Re: Return of the Obra Dinn
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2018, 05:07:32 PM »
Surprised to see this is still alive let alone released. I remember the original browser version and I'd stored it alongside that Titanic sim as a tech demo with impossible aspirations.

Re: Return of the Obra Dinn
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2018, 09:40:12 PM »
I too was (pleasantly) surprised to see this was finally out. I bought it on the strength of the demo and burned through it over the weekend (took me eight hours in total).

There comes a rather daunting moment when you uncover the last of the death scenes and (if you're me) you've still only confirmed the names of a small fraction of the crew. Suddenly you realise you have a whole mass of anonymous sailors to identify and there are not going to be any more clues. But after some more hours of walking back and forth and finding new ways to look at things, there are suddenly only a few names left to assign, and you wonder 'now how did that happen?'

Now I kind of wish there was a hard mode, as I did end up brute-forcing a few of the solutions - you have to get three correct before they'll be confirmed, but once you have someone's name narrowed down to a couple of choices this isn't such an impediment. So I might replay it and force myself not to enter the details until I really think I could prove it.

MojoJojo

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Re: Return of the Obra Dinn
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2018, 12:35:10 PM »
Played a bit last night. First impressions:

1) The graphics, while sort of interesting and cool looking in stills, are still a bit annoying and distracting while you play. I don't think a realistic look would work either though, and I guess it is distinctive, which is important for small games.
2) The mechanics are a bit opaque and unclear at times. I spent ages trying to name one of the first guys but it wouldn't let me because I had to wait for the dramatic music to finish. I think it's more frustrating in this game than it is in others because your objectives are very clear from the start.
3) It's a bit grim going from death to death to death.
4) There's a sparkly star thing out at sea which I'm not sure is just a graphical easter egg or if it has same significance in game.
5) The appearance at the beginning of the second chapter was perfectly timed to keep my interest, which had been starting to wain.

EDIT - oh and a non-story but possibly spoilery thing I noticed: after you've clocked a corpse, when you hold your watch over it it will show a time, and the times give you an order of death. Don't know if that helps you actually solve any identities though.

Moribunderast

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Re: Return of the Obra Dinn
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2019, 08:07:05 AM »
I've been wanting to play this for a while and finally picked it up as it's on slight sale on Steam.

Pretty brilliant, this. A very nice change of pace after spending a month in the world of Sekiro. Some very fun story twists as you gradually uncover more corpses and the deduction feels very rewarding - mixing in obvious hints with some real head-scratchers that make you feel very clever when you put the right clues together. It's just a really good idea executed well and unlike anything else I've played. I used to be a huge point-and-click adventure fan (still am, occasionally) but that genre has felt quite stale for a while - this feels like a fresh take on the genre, while also being it's own thing. Would definitely appeal to fans of old point-and-clicks, though.

Anyone else gotten into this since the heady days of October '18 when this thread died a quick death?

St_Eddie

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Re: Return of the Obra Dinn
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2019, 01:02:00 PM »
Love this game.

That is all.

St_Eddie

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Re: Return of the Obra Dinn
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2019, 01:04:35 PM »
Actually, that's not all.  I can't get past the opening.  Guess I'm just thick.  I appreciate the beauty of game though.  I'm with stupid.

Re: Return of the Obra Dinn
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2019, 04:13:25 PM »
Which opening? There isn't really much by way of obstructing the next 'case' in the game, other than having viewed all of the previous bunch (which are usually but not always connected).

Whether you can actually solve anything is another matter, but the game doesn't stop you based on how much you've solved correctly, for the most part.

St_Eddie

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Re: Return of the Obra Dinn
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2019, 05:05:14 PM »
Which opening?

I can't figure out how to get out of the rowboat and onto the galleon.

(not really. I'm stuck at the first bit with the crewmen breaking into the Captain's quarters. I've mostly got the pieces in place but there's no way that I can identify the final person, at least not as far as I can tell. I've spent a good hour trying to solve it, to the point where I question whether I've encountered a glitch. I could try to guess the identity, I suppose but that would rather defeat the purpose)

Moribunderast

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Re: Return of the Obra Dinn
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2019, 10:47:29 PM »
I may be wrong but I don’t think that person’s identity is clear at that point. I’ve unlocked just about every corpse and I don’t know if I’ve identified that person yet. I’ve done 15/60 and am now starting again (not restarting, just going back to earlier corpses/murderers I couldn’t identify) and seeing if context clues/later scenarios have helped clear up some identities. So yeah, if you’re stuck at that one body, I’d say just move on. Can always come back to it.

St_Eddie

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Re: Return of the Obra Dinn
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2019, 11:27:08 PM »
Woah, wait a moment; you can just move on?!  How?  I was unable to find a way to reach the lower decks and figured that the player was expected to identify everyone involved in the Captain's room altercation first.

Moribunderast

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Re: Return of the Obra Dinn
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2019, 12:44:11 AM »
There should be 5 corpses in the Captain’s area (including the very first one just outside the door) - if you’ve found five corpses then it should open up more outside of that area.

Rev+

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Re: Return of the Obra Dinn
« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2019, 01:14:20 AM »
Woah, wait a moment; you can just move on?!  How?  I was unable to find a way to reach the lower decks and figured that the player was expected to identify everyone involved in the Captain's room altercation first.

No, and you can't reach the lower decks yet - I got stuck with trying to find a way to do that.  It'll just happen when the time's right.  Things progress when you've found enough bodies - you just need to find them, not solve the case.

St_Eddie

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Re: Return of the Obra Dinn
« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2019, 08:10:25 AM »
In that case, I'm pretty sure that I've encountered a game breaking bug.  I've found all of the bodies (and identified four of them) but the game won't allow me to progress.  I guess I'll try starting over from the beginning.

Moribunderast

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Re: Return of the Obra Dinn
« Reply #15 on: April 27, 2019, 07:03:40 AM »
Just finished this. Absolutely lovely game. If I had've played it last year it would've been a real contender for my Game of the Year. It's incredibly rewarding how you get from "How the fuck am I meant to figure out who THAT is?" to finally deducing it. Whittling down the various people, especially later when the clues can be quite obscure, was a really satisfying experience. It's a really ingenious puzzle game. Will be fascinated to see what Lucas Pope comes up with next.