To start with, what is The Eternal Ocean meant to be exactly, and how is my presentation going to reflect my ideas?
Because I am taking some pretty odd steps.
What Do I Want to Accomplish?
This is probably one of the most important questions you can ask yourself starting almost any project, and it is intimately tied with another question:
Who is this for?
The answer to that one is already in the dedication to Wreck to some degree: I made this game for my oldest son, who wants to be a marine biologist and study deep sea creatures. He loves anything to do with sea exploration from cartoons like Octonauts and The Deep to watching me play video games like Subnautica to just watching old Jaques Cousteau documentaries.
He has already consumed an impressive amount of science fiction set in the deep sea, and I would love to help him explore the tropes of that particular brand of SF.
But I also wanted to create a world that reaches a little farther than Subnautica or even The Deep does. I wanted to create a setting where the kind of weird and wonderful stuff that you can see in classic science fiction works like 2001: A Space Odyssey or The Time Machine. So I want a world full of secrets and mysteries. Not just Traveller underwater.
Of course, this idea hasn't stayed just a game for my son. I wanted to create something that, after I had done the work, I could also play with grown-ups. I wanted to make something for fans of classic science fiction like my gaming buddy Thomas.
IIn other words, I want to create a game world that is full of secrets that feels satisfying to discover, and that feels more like a classic science fiction story then cinematic sci-fi.
What This Mean for Writing
Rather than creating a mechanical incentive,, I wanted to create an overall narrative reward for making discoveries. To this end, I have created a huge collection of secrets that can reward the characters with rare and unique gear and abilities. More importantly, the game is set up so that if the players wish to leave the planet, they will have to discover one of several particularly complex secrets at the end of a chain of revelations.