Alongside major AAA studios with huge booths, college game developer finalists of the E3 College Game Competition had the opportunity to present their projects. One of the participants were Underdog Games, creators of a ghostly, captivating title Port of Call.
Made in Unity, Port of Call is a narrative exploration game, inspired by the likes of Gone Home and Dear Esther. An amnesiac wakes up at the titular dock, with a typical, grumpy old man urging the protagonist to get on the ghost-like ship. The old man enlists the protagonist, getting him to work on the mysterious ferry, with passengers who seem to know some things about the protagonist’s past. The game focuses on immersing the player in the story, featuring a little under an hour of gameplay. It’s an experiment with short-form storytelling in an immersive media.
“The reactions to the game were pretty positive overall,” said Wilson Villegas, Team Lead at Underdog Games. “Our E3 demo ends at the end of the player’s first big interaction with a character, so people wanted to know what happened next. But not everyone likes story games, that’s for sure. Some players at E3 are looking for an action oriented experience, however, we had a good amount of people who really enjoyed the game.”
A team of six, Underdog Games hails from University of Texas at Austin. They’re one of the five finalists from around 400 college participants in the E3 College Game Competition.
“E3 was incredible. It really was like a dream,” said Villegas. “Being chosen to go to E3 was a huge honor. At the same time it was very humbling because we quickly realized that even though we had finally made it to the big pond, we were small fry!”