The team noted that the “look” of the game was the biggest change that occurred during development. Orth compared the art style of the game with minimalist presentation of the film 1968 2001: A Space Odyssey. Orth has also recognized the comparisons between the film Adrift and Gravity 2013, indicating that the game was designed before the release of the film. After seeing the movie, he was confident that the two were “very different.” The team considers the scope and scale of the game to be similar to gravity, the immersion of the world similar to the Half-Life series, as well as the presentation and narration similar to Journey (2012). Orth has also admitted that it was largely inspired by the game Proteus (2013) while developing Adrift. The game logo was designed by graphic designer Cory Schmitz, while the team has hired Hogarth de la Plante as a prototype of artist Dave Flamburis as a technical artist, Oscar Cafaro as a conceptual artist and as an artist Chad King of the environment. The soundtrack of the game was composed primarily by Orth, with contributions from the American group Weezer. Game sounds were recorded by Al Nelson Skywalker Sound, at Skywalker Ranch. Nelson said he intends to “[speak] a story and [this] emotion with sound.”
The game is developed simultaneously for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The game has a release date of March 28, 2016 for Windows, and later in 2016 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One; it was originally planned for release in September 2015, but was delayed to coincide with the launch of the Oculus Rift. The game will feature support Oculus Rift, a characteristic they heard from is the game design. The original prototype for the game was developed for potential publishers by three in ten weeks, using the Unity game engine. The functionality of the game has been completely rebuilt for use with Unreal Engine 4.
Adrift was officially announced June 4, 2014, before the full gameplay reveal at The Game Awards on December 5, 2014. A trailer for the game leak a few days before E3 2015 in June 2015. On June 12, 2015, Three One Zero announced a partnership with Top Cow Productions and Image Comics to produce a comic book series based on Adrift; the first issue was published the same day. The series is written by Matt Hawkins, with illustrations by Luca Casalanguida.