Lucas Pope left Naughty Dog and the massively selling Uncharted series to make a paperwork simulator, last year’s hit Papers, Please.
Papers, Please, the game in which you decided the fate of immigrants, which took nine months to make, has surpassed 500,000 copies sold.
Pope and Papers, Please shared the stage with Naughty Dog during yesterday’s BAFTA award ceremony. Papers, Please took home the BAFTA for Strategy and Simulation.
“Papers, Please is self-evidently designed to make you think, it’s not entirely meant to be fun,” says Nicholas Lovell, from Gamesbrief.com.
Papers, Please puts players in the shoes of an immigration inspector given the job to approve or deny people entry into the country of Arstotzka. Lucas Pope told Polygon that the game was inspired by his moments spent on travelling internationally and the seeing the stress at airports, as well as the process of customs and immigration inspections.
“Immigration inspectors are constantly looking out for terrorists, spies, smugglers and criminals,” he said. “The technical nature of the inspection made me think that there were enough elements there to construct a fun game.”
For every person you handle properly, you get 5 credits. If you miss too many, you start getting penalties. If you start getting penalties, that means that your son at home will starve because of those mistakes you made that day. Though as your progress through the game stress builds up and mistakes become more easier to make as thing get more complicated. Everyday you’ll have to check if the Country of Arstotzka has changed the rules, and more documents are required and soon outside parties start to ask things of you to do. But in the end Lucas Pope hopes players will understand that sometimes authority is a complete jerk, and sometimes they’re just some guy or girl like everyone else, trying to do their job and keeping their family alive.
Papers, Please’s presence at the ceremony made it better because of the journey that lead to its creation. Naughty Dog, Lucas Pope’s former employers, were in the same room with a bigger group. Their game, The Last of Us, was up for the ‘best game’ award and won.
“Leaving Naughty Dog was a really risky move,” he says.
“Having this kind of success, and now being alongside them, is a big relief – I didn’t pass up a great job and go on into ruin.”
Papers, Please is available on PC, Mac and Linux. After taking some time away, Pope will be returning to the game to do an iPad version.