The Fullbright Company, a
new indie studio
founded by a small team of former BioShock 2, XCOM, and BioShock Infinite developers, has announced its first game: Gone Home. The first-person adventure takes place in "a modern, residential locale" -- a large suburban home, from the looks of it -- where players will uncover some manner of mystery by "investigating a deeply interactive gameworld."
Though the studio has only been working on Gone Home for a few months, it's already sharing "very unfinished" pre-alpha video and screens of the game.
“Since we're indie and want to be transparent about the process, this is unfinished work-in-progress content, as opposed to a splashy trailer," said Fullbright Co-Founder Steve Gaynor in an e-mail correspondence with PC Gamer. "So brace yourself for some untextured walls and stuff.”
The development of story-driven exploration games isn't very common anymore, apart from those funded by the recent string of Kickstarter campaigns, which Fullbright states upfront is not in its plans. The small team of experienced developers, who most closely collaborated on the BioShock 2 Minerva's Den DLC, is clearly confident in its concept, and that's exciting. What is Gone Home, and what will the team's combined storytelling experience bring to it? In our correspondence, Gaynor picked out two interestingly paired inspirations: the cyberpunk precursor to BioShock and a 1995 teen drama.
“A couple of our main influences that we point to are System Shock and My So-Called Life," said Gaynor. "System Shock via an immersive, interactive world filled with environmental storytelling... while hints of the other influence can be found in a few places in the video. Some other influences that come into play might be The Last Express, Amnesia, and room escape games.”
If you're not familiar, My So-Called Life is an American TV show which ran from 1995 to 1996. Though it was cancelled after only one season, it was praised by critics for its frank depiction of the confusing and vulnerable lives of teenagers. It addressed topics such as gender roles, alcohol and drug abuse, and homophobia without the quick-and-easy lesson learning of most '90s teen-oriented TV.
So what happened in this mystery house? The VHS tape and flight plan tell us that, as its inspirations suggest, it probably takes place in the '90s (I think my mom still owns that rug in the first room). We also know that someone named Katie went to Amsterdam, and that someone named Sam lived in the house. That's about all we have to go on for now.
"We'll be showing more about the specifics of the game's setting and other details in the coming months," reads Fullbright's announcement. "This is the biggest chunk of Gone Home that we're going to show until we do a full trailer and reveal, probably later this year."
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