Design Adrift was a direct consequence of the events that happened to Adam Orth in 2013. When Xbox One Microsoft announced it received a controversy for its digital rights management that would force users to stay online to use console. After watching people argue that, Orth-then a creative director at Microsoft-called “deal with it”, which resulted in a mass of complaints leading to the resignation of Orth society. This led him to move from Seattle to Southern California. Orth noted that the game is a metaphor, comparing the events of his life; both Orth and the player character are in the midst of a disaster, and must “do the hard work to put things together.” He said that the game is about “action, consequences and redemption.” Orth wrote the story without the science fiction or supernatural themes in mind, saying he “wanted to do stories and characters that resonate with people the hope because they are not typical stories of video games. ”
After resigning from Microsoft, Orth approached his former colleague Omar Aziz with the idea of founding a new studio. Although initially hesitant, Aziz agree with the idea after hearing the height of Orth for Adrift, and the two founded the Three One Zero development studio. After building a prototype for the game, Orth contacted and hired other former colleagues. The development team found that they were interested Adrift development because of its unique character, which distinguishes it from the first person shooters. “I became very tired FPS over the years, having worked on them for many years, I have had enough of them,” said the producer Matteo Marsala. The team is considering gambling as an “experiment in the first person,” making intentional diversion of violence. Game development ultimately lasted about 13 months, with a core team of six developers. Throughout the development, the team has hired various contractors for a number of weeks to complete certain tasks, such as animation.