The making of the MARA world with pictures from the proces.

Making a fictive world and games inspired by the deep sea.

A couple of years ago a working group started developing ideas for a computer game for exhibition use. The project was inspired and informed by the research done by the MAR-ECO Research Project on life in the deep sea. In the first phase of the development the group consisted of a scriptwriter, an exhibition designer, a maritime researcher, two graphical designers, a game designer and a project leader. After a lot of work the result is a fictitious world, the MARA universe, with characters and scenery based on real species and real Atlantic Ridge deep sea ecology. Several game ideas were sketched out, but only one has been developed further.

Here we are presenting a prototype for a racing game based on the MARA universe. The game prototype shows an example of one game level. It demonstrates the basic game elements and some of the graphics.

Working group phase 1:

  • scriptwriter: Kjersti Steinsbø
  • graphical designer: Gustav Kvaal
  • graphical designer: Håkon Lystad
  • game designer: Jon Skivenes
  • exhibition designer: Hanna Hilt
  • maritime researcher: Leif Nøttestad
  • creative leader: Nina Svane-Mikkelsen

Working group phase 2:

Pin Interactive, Sweden:

  • programmer and creative leader Pin interactive: Thomas Westin
  • 3D graphics: Rodrigo Vangelius
  • Audio design: Markus Pettersson

  • project management: Nina Svane-Mikkelsen

The game project is part of the Ph.D. project Affinity and Battlefield.


Concept arts from the development of the MARA universe:

  • Developing the scenery

  • Developing the characters



Early version of fish characters. MARA concept art: Gustav Kvaal.


Early version of Orange Roughy fish character. MARA concept art: Gustav Kvaal.