Have You Played… Omnia Mecum Porto?

omniamecumporto

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.

I spent a year writing DevLog Watch, a weekly column in which I would link to developers who were charting the game creation process from its first moments. It’s been entertaining in the years since to watch many of those games grow and eventually be released, but of those that didn’t make it, I’m most sad to never get to play a finished version of Omnia Mecum Porto.

OMP was a luggage simulator: you would pack a back by dropping shapes on a grid like in some many RPGs, and then press a button to send the bag’s owner on a journey. Their adventures would be relayed to you in text: they left an item behind by accident after camping in a field; they bought a new trinket in a harbour town; they read that novel they brought along while feeling lonely late at night.

The items that you’d packed, whether they had practical purposes or not, would then take on a sentimental value to the traveller. These items would have the power to get them through long, dark nights on the road, to give them the strength to overcome obstacles and keep on travelling. But should you throw them away to make space for more obviously useful items like flashlights and first aid kits and food?

I only ever played a very rough jam game prototype, but I loved what it might have become. Sadly even this no longer available online and all that remains is a handful of undeleted devlog updates.

8 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    Aerothorn says:

    Graham, did you reach out to the author to see what the story was?

    • Premium User Badge

      Graham Smith says:

      I did not. I don’t have any contact details for them – although tbh I didn’t look for them either.

  2. Harlander says:

    The title’s from a Latin quotation, “Omnia mea mecum porto”, “I am carrying everything that is mine with me”.

    I don’t know if dropping the ‘mea’ turns it into “I am carrying everything with me”

    • Catterbatter says:

      To me, it reads more like “I carry it all with me,” but in Latin the two would be identical. (Even in English they have similar meaning, but Latin doesn’t differentiate present progressive.)

  3. dontnormally says:

    I would love to see the return of DevLog Watch.

  4. oyog says:

    This article reminded me of another indie game I played at some point about moving out of an apartment after a break-up. I had a hell of a time finding it through Google, but I got there eventually.

    And of course it turned out it was here on RPS I saw it in the first place. It was called Moving Stories and Pip covered it just over three years ago.

    Personally, the DevLog that still occasionally makes me a little sad to think of is for game-that-never-was, The Salvage. The game was intended to be about a lone space archeologist/mercenary who was digging around an alien planet looking for scrap and salvage to sell to alien archivists, if I remember right. It was all from the mind of the artist and it was everything I wanted from a game back in 2010. The whole DevLog is worth looking for just for his brilliant artwork. Shame he never found anyone willing to jump in after his initial coder backed out.

    E*: Ugh, looks like I fucked up those links. :I