Diving Bell is a small game poem about sinking slowly into strange waters. It's lightly inspired by a passage in B.K. Evenson's book Dead Space: Martyr (seriously, it's good) that describes the protagonist's long descent into the ocean. It's equal parts dreadful and beautiful.

Diving Bell is best played in Chrome or Safari. There's a bug in Firefox that prevents one of the level's background images from loading properly, so avoid that one unless you like unintended absences. The game works on mobile, but the visual effects tend to stutter as you progress (which admittedly has its own beauty). I'd also recommend playing at night, while relaxed, with a nice set of headphones. There's no horror or scares—the game just feels better that way.

For the technically-inclined, the game was originally prototyped in Stencyl in 2013, ported to JavaScript (Phaser CE) in 2017, then finally wrapped up in April 2021. I don't usually work that slowly, but sometimes you have to live with ideas for a while. Most of the audio was improvised to handheld cassette with miniature synthesizers. The more melodic bits were composed with expert synth wizardry in Ableton Live.

Big thanks to my playtesters Zac Price, Scott Benson, and Jared Pettitt for their thoughtful feedback. And thank you for playing.

StatusReleased
PlatformsHTML5
Rating
Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars
(5)
AuthorNathan Altice
Made withPhaser
Tagsartgame, Atmospheric, Immersive, one-button, poem, Short, underwater
Average sessionA few minutes
LanguagesEnglish
InputsKeyboard, Mouse, Touchscreen
AccessibilityOne button

Comments

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love the experience

(+1)

That's a quiet, strange and beautiful fall, I love it. ♥


To anyone reading this comment: if you have some programming knowledges and want to make a digital zine, please take inspiration from Diving Bell! It's a pretty nice example of what digital zines could look like, adapted to computer medium!

(+1)

noted ! <3

(+1)

Thank you!

The sound in this really brings out this meaningful dramatic effect, lovely - well done!

Thank you, Tifa <3

Strange, Heavy, and Beautiful.

(4 edits)

The ocean is immersion itself. It will drag you in, subtly and gently, until the world is light in the distance, drowning out your senses as it swallows you into silence...if you let it.






***


the more time i spend with it, the more it pulls me in. the intention and execution are very precisely aligned. i was very impressed by how, individually, the music, art, and gameplay seemed to lead seamlessly into each other, and as a whole, how it grew on me in such a subtle but effective way. it's a great example of how the sum of the parts can be greater than the whole. really well crafted, thanks!