Note: this transliteration of the rules of Jun Sasaki's wonderful Deep Sea Adventure is not endorsed by him or Oink Games. It is a player aid designed to help English speaking players understand the game.
This player aid includes clarifications of the game's rules gleaned from discussions at boardgamegeek.com and, while it restructures the presentation of the game's rules in minor ways to improve readability, clarity and concision, it is faithful to those rules in every way.
Players who didn't make it back to the submarine by the end of a round now drop their treasure starting with the player closest to the sub. This is so that when players return their game pieces to the submarine (now an explicitly defined action in the game), they do so in an order that results in the player farthest from the sub being the last to return, which enables the simple rule, "the last one back goes first next round."
The only effect this has on game play is that the chips dropped by the player farthest from the sub now end up farthest from the sub, instead of closest for any given end-of-round drop. For me, this doesn't alter the game because all dropped chips maintain their informational values, i.e. their actual values are hidden as before, and their possible values are visible as before.
<geek> Thematically, this change works well. If a vertical string of divers all dropped their collection bags at the same time (in response to a sudden stimulus such as their air supply running out), the bags dropped by the deepest diver would hit the ocean floor first, and end up at the bottom of the pile of subsequent bags falling on top of them.
Strategically, this change works too. The player furthest from the submarine is likely holding the most high-level treasure collected that round. Dropping this farthest from the sub maintains the elusive quality of the expensive stuff, and the impetus to push your luck to claim it. </geek>
I was under the impression from BGG forum talk that Deep Sea Adventure's designer intended that divers cannot turn around to return to the submarine without treasure in hand. Such was the consensus way back when, when I wrote this interpretation of the rules.
Recently, Oink Games removed the ambiguous "cannot return to the sub" rule from the game's rules altogether. So be warned. These instructions now differ from the official rules in this way.
If you wish to play with the current rules, simply ignore the first sentence of Step 2. "You may only turn back to the Sub if you are carrying treasure."
I don't mind the old rule. I think it encourages players to push their luck, which is, after all, what the game is all about.
Thanks to BGG user Gillum the Stoor (gillum) for bringing this to my attention.