Former Naughty Dog developer gone indie, Lucas Hope, now finds himself in possession of a BAFTA award for his critical darling indie-game, Papers, Please. Shortly after winning his award, the BBC caught up with him to do a profile piece, in which he confirmed the game has sold over 500,000 units.
“People are coming into your booth, and they want to get from one side to the other,” Hope tried to explain in his interview. “You’ve got to check their documents and make sure everything’s in order before you let them through. It’s hard to describe the game and make it sound fun.”
Papers, Please does its absolute best to put context into your decisions. Some people are desperate to flee from a poverty stricken life and into the arms of the fictional dystopian country, Arstotzka. Of course, allowing too many illegal people into the country will result in financial penalties, and your family will starve or die of illness without proper supplies. What do you say to a woman who just watches her husband pass through the gates only to realize she doesn’t have the proper paperwork?
It’s far more stressful than a simple sentence can describe. Timing is key, pushing as many people through the gate as possible to make money. Speed leads to mistakes, and keeping an eye on paper after paper looking for any inconsistencies must take priority. A single error can set your families budget back by quite a bit.
Papers, Please won BAFTA awards for “Best Simulation Game,” and it was also nominated for “Game Design,” “Game Innovation,” and even the “Best Game” award, which it lost to Hope’s former employers at Naughty Dog, thanks to The Last of Us.
It is currently only available on PC and in English. Hope has stated he has a problem letting the source code into other people’s hands, an issue which is holding back a PS Vita port and even translations into other languages.
Have you tried Papers, Please, yet? I gave it a whirl and had to stop because my anxiety levels couldn’t quite handle all that paperwork.