Oh My: Under The Ocean’s Coming Along Swimmingly

By Nathan Grayson on December 12th, 2012 at 8:00 am.

Brittle leafy rooftops: for the survivor who says, 'The cruel elements are just going to take everything I love anyway. So fuck it. Why even try?'

I regrettably never took a closer look at Under The Ocean back when Jim fished it out of the Internet’s perilous depths earlier this year, and I’m now kicking myself for it. Contorting my legs such that they collide with my own body and produce sufficient force to cause painful (but justified) injury does, however, make it quite hard to type, so I’m going to stop now. Otherwise, I won’t be able to tell you to quit paying attention to me and watch this video of Under The Ocean’s excellent-looking random island generation system. Get stranded, survive, explore, build, eat, become seriously ill, slay really mean pigs with a spear, die. Then roll a completely different island and do it all over again. This looks quite special, in other words. Wash up unconscious and naked and maybe a little bit drunk on the other side of the break to see for yourself.

I very much like the sound of pretty much all of that. I’m often wary of random world generation, but designing its myriad potential factors around exploration and mystery is something that definitely floats my boat – at least, until said boat capsizes or crashes into a rock or collides with a plane. Under The Ocean seems to be very much on the right track in that respect, given that it’s plugging all sorts of possibilities not only into the island you end up exploring, but how you arrived there, what sort of condition you’re in, who/what else is inhabiting the place, weather, and heaps more.

Of course, it’s easy to lose sight of depth when breadth’s one of your main selling points, but Under The Ocean might just avoid that pitfall yet. There’s a fully functioning electricity system, for instance, that allows you to power-up your custom-built island abode with windmills, water wheels, and things of that nature. And that’s if you even choose (or get the chance to) construct a shelter in the first place.

You can hop right into an ongoing alpha test if you pre-purchase the game too, so that’s something I intend to do soon. Oh, but be wary: there are differently priced “Pretty Cool Silver Bear” and “Super Golden Bear” editions. So before you make any rash decisions, take a long, hard look in the mirror and figure out just what kind of bear you really are.

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26 Comments »

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  1. The Army of None says:

    This game kinda reminds me of Notrium for whatever reason. My favorite survivalist type game I think.

    • TwoLines says:

      Notrium is amazing. You have to create your own little camp and acquire your own power source and not starve… I love those types of games. Suddenly, they’re popping out quite frequently, I’m also interested in Miasmata and Don’t Starve!

  2. baby snot says:

    And yet I can’t pre-purchase because I don’t want a paypal account and there’s no other option. Please fix this. Please.

    • shadow9d9 says:

      Go make an account. Fixed!

    • CKScientist says:

      You can pay through paypal without getting an account – at least, you can if these guys have set their store up right.

      This was an important concern for me when I was building my own website.

  3. Hoaxfish says:

    I plunked my money down for this a while ago. I enjoyed Under the Garden, which was free, so I thought I owed them anyway.

    I find the development videos incredibly soothing as well.

    • Warduke says:

      That video was soothing.. I dunno if it’s the voice or the music or the voice music.. but kinda relaxing.. a “Bob Ross” development video

  4. JoshuaMadoc says:

    I think my only question is… just what the hell is *that* for the playable character? A Funkotronian?

  5. Roz says:

    Looks good, ordered me a copy. :>

    • Heliocentric says:

      Just tell me it wasn’t the Annoying Cockroach Edition, I have signed up to the newsletter, I guess I’ll hold on to see how much game there is, but I do like this concept.

  6. Sulaco says:

    Looks very interesting, like a platformer version of ‘Don’t Starve’ with better visuals. Not sure about it yet though.

  7. Heliocentric says:

    Yes, this is my kind of random, less +5 swords, more dying shivering.

  8. RobinOttens says:

    It’s easier if you just kick your left leg with your right one. Make sure you’re wearing shoes. That way, it doesn’t take too much work to hurt yourself, and you can do it in a position where you have your hands available to type!

    I like the way the water looks in this game. Gameplay looks interesting as well.

  9. Spoon Of Doom says:

    Looks really interesting. A bit of Terraria, a bit of Clonk, and a really nice visual style. I love pixel art as much as the next guy, but by now I’m almost, but not entirely, sick of it.

    Edit: Holy crap, I only now watched the construction video on their website. This really does look amazing!

  10. Warduke says:

    Some days I feel like rolling a new island…

    • f_zul says:

      …but you can’t shift the laws of nature anyway. so that you will fall into the same puddle of rules again and again.

  11. Lemming says:

    “Let’s roll another island”

    1. Is the island always off-screen to the left? How else would I know an island is there?

    2. Are they always so small?

    3. I assume there is a reason for killing animals (ie. food) other than being a dick?

    • Hoaxfish says:

      not sure about 1. but for 2. I think he’s just cutting his videos short as other videos show a lot more wandering around to different locations without changing island. 3. is a bit easier, yes for food, but you can also dismantle animal carcasses for their bones as well as flesh to make tools and stuff (one of the other dev videos shows this).

    • MrLebanon says:

      i played a few versions ago before building and random gen… it was one large Island that didnt change.. that had caves, secrets… loot to find… abandoned mine things to mine into

      It was pretty huge

  12. Network Crayon says:

    “There are some crabs around, we can attack them with a spear or just avoid them”

    Just like real life!

  13. Wounder says:

    So, neat game. I imagine I’ll like it better once I figure out how to do anything other than jump and pick up stuff. There are recipes, but no way I can find to actually, y’know, implement them. I have three boulders! Give me my damn stone block!

    I’ll go back to impatiently awaiting approval for their forums, then?

  14. Sulaco says:

    I’m teetering on the precipice of wanting to spend £4 on this and.. well.. not.

    Anybody who’s already bought/played it, should I?