Cypress Knee Game Dev Diary No. 1: Northern Exposure Meets X-Files

In November 2012, a natural gas pipeline explosion triggered a massive sinkhole that swallowed the small north Florida town of Cypress Knee.

Only a few survivors know what really happened.

None of them seem willing to talk about it.

That didn’t stop an ambitious playwright from crafting a ripped-from-the-headlines theatrical production full of weird Florida references and bizarre conjecture.

The play was called Knee Deep.

How does it relate to what really happened?

“It’s utter goddamned bullshit,” declared Jack Bellet, a journalist featured in the play. “But I paid to see it twice.”

In the months after the disaster, the sinkhole filled with water from Cypress Swamp and became a lake large enough to be seen from space. They call it Little Okee, inspired by the state’s largest lake, Okeechobee.

In May 2014, an investment group called the Golden Partnership broke ground on a new planned community called Cypress Knee, a series of residential villages, commercial strip malls, and play spaces designed to sprawl along the northern and eastern shores of the Little Okee.

Bellet, using proceeds from a rather lucrative court settlement with the Church of Us (about which he was sworn never to discuss), established a new Cypress Knee Notice newspaper. Now he’s the publisher and editor-in-chief of what has quickly become one of the Sunshine State’s most profitable community newspapers as tens of thousands of people – from young families to widowed retirees – swarmed to the town.

And with them comes no shortage of strange.

The new interactive project, a creative successor of Knee Deep by Prologue Games, picks up the story in the year 2020. Players will be invited to assume roles in a living story about the growing Cypress Knee community, with a wide range of backgrounds and histories.

A few things you can expect:

  • · Northern Exposure meets X-Files. Quirky characters and odd events.
  • · Florida Man misadventures. Many inspirations coming from the real world.
  • · News! News! News! The Cypress Knee Notice will be real as possible as I seek to capture the heartbeat of what goes on in this burgeoning development.

Thanks again to the patrons supporting this project! Stay tuned for future dev diaries. I’ll update as often as I can.

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Wes Platt

Lead storyteller. Game designer and journalist. Recovering Floridian.

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