Gone Home started as an Amnesia mod, and you can try it

Perry Vandell at

Amnesia: The Dark Descent developer Frictional Games recently revealed that The Fullbright Company’s indie title, Gone Home, first saw life through the Amnesia engine. And if you're interested in the prototype, you can try it right now.

Frictional Games co-founder Thomas Grip notes in a company blog post that he denies all requests to use the HPL2 engine in a commercial game, as there’s no documentation for the engine and Frictional Games simply doesn’t have the time to support the engine. Instead, Grip would suggest using Unity or UDK (Unreal Development Kit). Steve Gaynor, who helped craft the haunting tale that is Gone Home, asked Grip whether his team could use the engine for what would become Gone Home, but received the same answer.

Fullbright ended up following Grip’s advice and used Unity to shape Gone Home—but not before building the first prototype with the HPL2 engine anyway. After all, Grip only denied requests to license the engine for commercial products.

Grip and Gaynor reconnected after Gone Home’s launch, with Grip asking if Gaynor still had the “Amnesia version” of Gone Home tucked away in his computer. Gaynor just so happened to have a copy, and now that copy is available to you.

Grip said Gaynor requested the HPL2 license way back in January of last year, and speculates that the Fullbright Company must have been utilizing the HPL2 engine before asking Grip if the final version of Gone Home could use that license. Basically, this means the Amnesia prototype is a very early version of what Gone Home would eventually become.

To navigate Gone Home’s earliest, creakiest walls, just download the prototype and extract the file into Amnesia: The Dark Descent’s “custom_stories” directory. If you see something called “Test Game” after selecting “Custom Stories” on Amnesia’s main menu, you’re good to go. At least the Gone Home prototype doesn’t have invincible flesh monsters roaming the halls…right?