Deliver Us Mars

Deliver Us Mars is a narrative and character driven adventure game by Keoken Interactive. 

Platforms: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.

In my pivotal role as writer on Deliver Us Mars, I undertook the substantial task of rewriting all cutscene scripts, shaping the narrative backbone of the game. Beyond this, I contributed extensively to the gameplay script, crafting around a third of it from the ground up. This involved not only a deep understanding of the game’s universe but also working with the lead game designer to ensure the narrative seamlessly integrated with the gameplay experience. In doing so, I also cut around 100 pages to ensure the story and dialogue were more concise and that the project stayed within its allotted voiceover budget.

Beyond the core script, my responsibilities included creating interactive story elements that enriched the game’s world. This included crafting immersive journals, dynamic text conversations, and item and object descriptions delivered in the first person. Additionally, I took on the unique task of developing a collectible comic book series that ran parallel to the game’s narrative, adding layers of depth and engagement for players exploring the game’s universe. I also spent time in Unreal Engine 4’s Sequencer to help build the game’s cinematics.

The impact of our collaborative efforts on Deliver Us Mars has resonated within the gaming community. The game received near-universal praise for its compelling story, grounded and emotional writing, and memorable characters. The recognition extended to nominations for Dialogue of the Year at the 2024 Game Audio Network Guild awards and a longlisting for the 2024 BAFTAs, solidifying its place among the standout narrative experiences in the gaming industry.

In this scene, a team of astronauts are preparing to abandon ship due to system-wide failure. Kathy, Deliver Us Mars’ protagonist, is waiting for her sister Claire to join her in the escape pod. 

Arguably the most hard-hitting scenes in the entire game, Kathy’s actress Elise Chappell elevates the text to gut-wrenching heights, and she fully deserved her NAVGTR nomination for her performance.

This scene, which takes place later in the game, solves one of Deliver Us Mars’ biggest mysteries – what happened to the Mars colonists. It also further tests the tenuous trust between team mates Kathy and Sarah. 

This relationship creates much of the drama for the second half of the game, so it was important for it to crack in subtle ways throughout the story. This is one of the final straws, before they finally clash. 

Here, Kathy finally discovers her father is alive, and may not be the saint she believed him to be. This revelation, in turn, causes Sarah to completely turn against Kathy. Sarah has a traumatic history with Kathy’s father, and this discovery feels like a betrayal. 

This was one of my favorite scenes to write, as it had to switch from an emotional personal moment to intense drama. Both actors knocked it out of the park, and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.

After 15 years, Kathy is finally reunited with her father. But Kathy has grown up since her father left, and she’s not the woman he thought she’d be. This scene is the culmination of an emotional journey that started from the very first scene of the game, and Neil Newbon (recent TGA Best Actor award for his role in Baldur’s Gate 3) absolutely crushes it. 

This scene took multiple rewrites to get it spot on, and involved cutting out the reveal that Kathy’s sister – and his other daughter – is dead, as it got lost in the rest of the scene.