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Use the GDC 2021 Session Viewer to browse and sort the ever-growing list of sessions by day, time, pass type, topic, and format. All registered attendees will be able to build their personal schedule directly within the event platform, once live early July 2021. All times are listed in Pacific Time.

'Sea of Solitude': Game Design Based on Human Emotions

Cornelia Geppert  (CEO & Creative Director, Jo-Mei GmbH)

Date: Friday, July 23

Time: 9:40am - 10:40am

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core Pass, Summits Pass, Expo Pass, Audio Pass, Independent Games Summit Pass, Career Development Pass

Topic: Advocacy

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

Sea of Solitude is a game about struggling with your inner monsters and overcoming your loneliness. As a very personal project of the studio Jo-Mei and its creative director Cornelia Geppert. The game is tackling issues of mental health.

Sea of Solitude follows the premise "when humans get to lonely - they turn into monsters." This is what happened to Kay, a young woman awaking in a stormy ocean. She embarks on a journey to find out what happened to her, encountering other monsters, who - like her - suffer from loneliness. The session is a look behind the curtain - who are these monsters?

How did they turn into monsters? And how did Jo-Mei approach the design based on each type of loneliness?

Cornelia Geppert will describe the design and development process in depth and talk about the challenges Jo-Mei encountered during development, being a small team with a big ambitions.


The presentation gives people insights about the narrative design of Sea of Solitude and how the game design evolved from it - starting with a core emotion and turning it into mechanics.

Intended Audience

Designers and Artists who are interested in connecting game mechanics and world design with the games narrative, more closely.