Friday, 17 May 2024

Afterwords – Sea Of Solitude

Cornelia Geppert, the creative head of Jo-Mei games in Berlin, has brought her dream game to life with Sea of Solitude. This captivating adventure game follows the story of Kay, a young girl whose loneliness has transformed her into a monster. Drawing inspiration from real-life experiences and those of her loved ones and colleagues, Geppert explores the complex topic of mental health.

Creating a Personal Project

In a recent interview, Geppert discussed the journey of developing Sea of Solitude and the personal struggles that influenced its creation. She revealed how her career dissatisfaction and relationship problems shaped the game’s narrative. As the head of a company that primarily developed free-to-play games, she felt constrained and unable to express herself as an artist. Additionally, Geppert shared the challenges she faced in her romantic relationship, with her partner suffering from clinical depression. These experiences led her to seek a deeper understanding of mental health and ultimately inspired her to convey these emotions through her art.

Tackling Mental Health in Games

Geppert believes it is essential to address mental health in games, as it allows for a greater sense of connection and understanding among those who may be struggling. While she didn’t initially set out to tackle this topic, the overwhelmingly positive response from fans has reinforced the importance of bringing these issues to light. Many players have reached out to express how they finally feel seen and understood, no longer feeling alone in their struggles. Sea of Solitude has given them a platform to explore and process their own emotions, allowing them to find hope and seek help when needed.

Monsters and Emotions

One of the standout elements of Sea of Solitude is the presence of various monsters that Kay encounters throughout her journey. Geppert explained that each monster represents a different aspect of Kay’s emotions. For instance, the fish monster symbolizes her self-destructive tendencies, always lurking beneath the surface. It reflects the cyclical nature of emotional healing and the discomfort that can arise when attempting to change. Geppert drew from her own experiences in an emotionally abusive relationship, where even negative emotions can feel strangely familiar.

The Fascination of Monsters

When asked about her favorite monster to write for the game, Geppert highlighted the shell monster. This particular creature embodies self-doubt and the negative inner voice that often hinders personal growth. As players interact with the shell monster, it gradually diminishes in size, representing the knowledge and understanding gained through these encounters. Geppert emphasized the importance of balancing and acknowledging all emotions, even the destructive ones, on the path to healing.

The Cutting Room Floor

Geppert revealed that there were several sections and ideas that didn’t make it into the final version of Sea of Solitude. Due to the small team size and ambitious goals, certain aspects had to be cut. For example, there were originally multiple potential outcomes for Kay’s relationship with her boyfriend. Additionally, other family members, like the grandmother, were intended to be included as embodiments of different forms of loneliness. Despite these omissions, Geppert views them as valuable lessons for future projects.

FAQs

Q: How did Sea of Solitude come to be?
A: Sea of Solitude was born out of Cornelia Geppert’s personal experiences with career dissatisfaction and relationship challenges. She channeled these emotions into her art, resulting in the creation of this unique game.

Q: Why is it important to address mental health in games?
A: Addressing mental health in games helps players feel less alone in their struggles and fosters a greater sense of understanding and connection within the gaming community.

Q: How do the monsters in Sea of Solitude relate to the main character’s emotions?
A: Each monster in the game represents a different facet of Kay’s emotions. They serve as symbolic manifestations of her internal struggles and personal growth.

Q: Were there any sections or ideas that didn’t make it into the final version of the game?
A: Yes, due to limited resources, some ideas had to be cut from the final game. This includes alternative outcomes for Kay’s relationships and additional family members representing different forms of loneliness.

Conclusion

Sea of Solitude is a deeply personal and thought-provoking game that tackles the complexities of mental health. Through her own experiences and those of her loved ones, Cornelia Geppert has created a captivating narrative that resonates with players on a profound level. By shining a light on these topics, Sea of Solitude encourages empathy, understanding, and open conversation in the gaming community.