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Depths (NES Game)


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I've been working on this on-and-off since the beginning of 2019, where I built this for a Ludum Dare. The game did very well there, so I decided to take it a bit further. 




Depths is a game about survival...

You awake in the middle of the ocean, clinging to a piece of driftwood. You have no memory of how you got here, however you know you need to survive. Unsure of your surroundings, you set off to explore.

You find yourself feeling weak, and can barely tread water. Yet somehow, you survive.

As you travel on, the seas become more treacherous. Can you make it through?

Important: This game makes references to suicide. If this is a concern, you may wish to pass this game up.


About the Game

This game was originally created in 48 hours for Ludum Dare - a fast-paced game creation competition. Since then it has received numerous updates to make it a more polished experience.

I took a break from my usual carefree style to make this. My goal was to make something that left a real impact on the player.

The game was inspired by an article by Anna Borges.

It was developed for the original Nintendo Entertainment System using NES Starter Kit - a C-based game library for the NES.

Much more information and screenshots available on the game's website.


Release Information

Cartridge Design

You can play the game now on the game's website!

The game was released digitally on January 6th, both as a web version and an NES rom download. It is available for free, with a suggestion of donating to Mental Health America

There might also be a small run of cartridges, if there is enough interest. Please sign up on the site, or just let me know in this thread. I will share details when I figure them out.

Finally, the game should be playable at MAGFest in the indie area, if all goes well.


I'm really excited to see this thing happen. Thanks for checking it out!

Edited by cppchriscpp
Making link to game more obvious
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Thank you again for all the support!

3 hours ago, TylerBarnes said:

This looks really really cool. I would like one if you do physicals. What mapper is it using? Thinking if that might be getting in the way of making physicals easily

Tyler, it's using MMC1 right now (Specifically SKROM 128k). I'm not really using it to its full potential, so I'm debating trying to swap it to a simpler mapper after the event. MMC1 is pretty easy though, and so far I'm having great luck running with Paul/InfiniteNesLives' carts. 

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Just a quick update, the rom (and a web-based emulator) is now available on the site!

I just got back from a very successful MAGFest. It got quite a few plays, and over a dozen people completed it based on my stats! I'm really happy with it. 

No new updates on a run of real cartridges, but I can tell you I'm thinking about it.

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  • 4 months later...
Moderator · Posted

This was fun to play at MAGFest earlier this year. As someone who struggled with some more acute mental health issues a few years ago and continues to struggle more mildly today, this was both engaging and therapeutic. I hope others experience the support this game inspires.

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Thank you for the kind words! 

I've been overdue for an update on this for a while, but I keep forgetting. I kind of needed this nudge. (thank you!)

Unfortunately, I don't really have any news to share. With the pandemic shaking up everyone's lives, getting cartridges made kind of my radar for the immediate term. Plus shipping from some areas is a mess right now, and so many other things are struggling. I do have a version running on an unrom cartridge, which may make physical carts more feasible.

It's still something I'd very much like to do, and I'm hoping I can pick this effort back up as we start to recover, and adjust to whatever the new normal is. 

Take care

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