The attention of the public during E3 is often grabbed by cutting-edge graphics, innovative new technologies, and creative gameplay systems put forth by "AAA" game developers. However, smaller creators have been getting more and more time in the spotlight in recent years. By far, Cornelia Geppert, CEO of Jo-Mei Games, is my favorite indie developer to come on stage during this E3.
Geppert and her team have worked closely with publisher Electronic Arts (EA) to create Sea of Solitude, a story-driven game in which the main character, a woman named Kay, turns into a monster because she loses control of her emotions after an extended period of isolation. At its core, Sea of Solitude is about helping Kay turn back into her usual human self. The game looks incredible, but that isn't the reason why I was grinning ear to ear during its world premiere — Geppert's passion about her project was.
Making dreams a reality
Upon getting onstage during EA's press conference Saturday, Geppert spent several seconds conveying how excited she was to show off her game. After catching her breath, she proceeded, but those few moments where she was flustered with happiness impacted me more than anything else that came afterward. It was amazing to see an artist excitedly present her creation to a massive portion of the world.
With things like the dramatics surrounding loot boxes being front and center in the gaming community in recent months, seeing somebody so genuinely ecstatic to showcase their hard work is a strong reminder about what this medium is about: Using creativity to create experiences that thousands of people will love and remember forever.
Coming from the soul
When a developer is this excited to bring their work on stage, it shows that they poured their heart and soul into it. Sea of Solitude is no different; in an interview with EA, Geppert spoke about the game:
Sea of Solitude is by far the most artistic and personal project I've ever created. At times it is very challenging to dig that deep into your own feelings like core fears, longing and anger, but at the same time, it is the most fulfilling thing to express those very feelings by putting it to people through art.
To me, Geppert hit the nail on the head. When people create art, such as a video game, it's not simply just an entertainment product. It's an expression of who the artist is — how they feel, what's important to them, and much more. When you play a game, you're getting a taste of what creators think the rest of the world will enjoy about their vision. Cornelia Geppert was very excited to show us what she thinks we'll love about hers, and I'm equally excited to experience that vision.
What do you think of Cornelia Geppert's presentation, Jo-Mei Games, and Sea of Solitude? Does her excitement inspire you? Let me know in the comments.
Sea of Solitude will be available on Xbox One in early 2019.