Project Oceanheart

(12, 2015)

In 2015, a group of Northeastern University students and I formed a game design team called the Sound Puppies. Together, we designed and created an adventure game called Project Oceanheart, which won the Best Art award at Northeastern’s indie game festival.

Project Oceanheart is an action-adventure game in the style of a nostalgic 90s children’s computer game with modernized gameplay for an older audience. The game follows the path and life of a baby clam who wakes up alone on a beach with only a friendly crab as a guide. In order to get back home to its family, the clam must increase its strength and learn to navigate the dark depths and caves of the ocean. On its way it must stand guard against a bevy of sharks, jellyfish, and giant squid who are hungry for a cup of clam chowder. The clam knows the path home, but does it know if home really exists?

Our story blends with 2D sprites and multicolored ocean environments to create a sense of wonder and adventure, while also feeding into the feeling of the mystery of the ocean. It is also important that the story correlates with the light-hearted, childlike gameplay — the hero may be lost, trying to find its way back to a home it has never seen, but it is also experiencing a new world, much like Alice’s trip into Wonderland. Everything is silly, and everything is a new adventure.

Sound Puppies Team:
Tessa Berliner: Director, Lead Designer
Corey Hoard: Programmer, Producer
Cody Wetherby: Programmer, Designer
Kay Yu: Artist, Designer
Jon O’Brien: Associate Designer
Gilbert Yap: Composer

Demo version and design document available on request.