The Initial Idea


I’m Dan, the Producer and Narrative Designer of the project currently entitled BLACKWATER. I’ve been putting off starting a developer diary, but it’s a new year full of yet-to-be broken resolutions, so here goes!

Blackwater consists of a small, dedicated team – 7 people spread over 4 countries!

I’m already getting ahead of myself. I’ll get to our team in a later post. This being the first post, I should begin at the beginning, which was just a little over a year ago when someone recommended a book to me – The North Water by Ian McGuire (for the Wikipedia article on the book, click here).

I won’t get into great detail about the book, but suffice it to say it’s about the people aboard a whaling vessel off the coast of Greenland in the 1850s. What attracted me to the book was the people that worked in the whaling industry during that time would have been some of the most desperate and/or criminal people in civilised society. It was a situation and climate that brought conniving and enterprising people together.

I had an idea for the premise of a game.

Now I will say right now that this game is inspired by that book, not a ripoff of the story (ahem, publishing lawyers). Those themes of darkness and desperation were appealing to me, so I worked on creating a world that would bring characters like the ones I read in The North Water together.

On the gaming side, I’ve always been a huge fan of narratively driven games with complex characters. I’m also a big fan of party-based RPGs, where players grow attached to party members after they’ve spent some time with them.

I wanted to create a party-based RPG set in a world inspired by that novel, that focused on complex characters first.

Next post I’ll get into what, to me, is the difference between a good and a bad RPG.

Keep it real,