- Indie darling Aquaria may be best known for its serene underwater setting and gorgeous hand-painted artwork, but its genesis lies in one of the most twisted, most violent video games ever created, I'm O.K.
That game, designed in part by "attorney" Jack Thompson, was part of the self-described school shooting expert's "A Modest Proposal" an ultra-violent game concept that was supposed to elicit a $10,000 pay out from Thompson, should someone be bold enough to make it.
Jack, as expected, welshed on the promised charitable donation when I'm O.K. hit the Web, but the freeware shooter garnered the attention of Aquaria co-creator Alec Holowka.
At GDC today, the two creators walked attendees through the undersea exploration game's development, from Yu's and Holowka's early programming experience with BASIC to early stabs at freeware. It was Holowska's Deep Sea Adventures, an early oceanic summer project, that bears the most resemblance to the final game, more so than any of the co-creator's other games.
The two creators hooked up after the release of I'm O.K. when Holowka praised the game in a Slashdot thread on the subject. Yu, who says he was very cynical about the idea of indie games and their potential nonetheless partnered with Holowka on what would eventually become Aquaria. Holowka,...