ABZÛ is a game about a diver on an epic descent into the heart of the ocean, where the player discovers what it means to connect with and understand the environment as they interact with a rich world teeming with life. It was the first game I directed at Giant Squid, the small game development studio that I founded in 2013. ABZÛ is about the dream of scuba diving, rather being a simulation of it. The game features hundreds of real fish species from around the world that swim based on a realistic simulation of fish schooling behavior.
The ocean is a beautiful and majestic place and it is a vitally important ecosystem, yet we innately fear it because of it’s foreignness. This often leads us to ignore it at our own peril. I wanted to create a game that shows players what the ocean has meant to me in own experiences with scuba diving, and gives them a chance to connect with it and see it in a new light.
In 2017, I gave a talk at the Game Developers Conference about techniques we used to create the art of ABZÛ.
A video where I speak about the inspiration and broad concepts of ABZÛ.