Not being able to shoot things really annoys some people. There are few better demonstrations of this enduring truth than Fullbright’s first-person exploration game Gone Home. Not only has it spawned an hilarious parody featuring lots of things being killed, but now you too will be able to kill things in the titular home, thanks to this Counter-Strike: GO map.
Gone Home studio Fullbright Company has changed its name. The small Portland-based studio will now go by the name Fullbright. Snappy, isn't it? The folk at Fullbright describe it as more "streamlined", which makes sense as now instead of four syllables there are a mere two. They also have a new logo, which you can look at above.
Ether One has been teasing us for quite some time, but next week the Oculus Rift–capable exploration game is finally free to mess with our minds. To celebrate, we’ve got a spanking-new release trailer to check out the weird world of the memory repair technician, also known as a Restorer.
In this week's special GDC 2014 episode, we recorded from Tyler's kitchen in downtown San Francisco with two groups of game developer guests who hiked over from GDC. First up, hear from Xaviant design director Tim Lindsey, whose resume also includes CCP, Bethesda, and Hi-Rez; Twinbeard Studios founder and Frog Fractions creator Jim Crawford; and Mode 7 Games' Ian Hardingham, who designed and programmed Frozen Synapse and is now working on Frozen Endzone.
Unity 5, the latest version of the popular game development engine, was unveiled at the Game Development Conference in San Francisco today. The new update will include big updates to Unity’s audio and lighting tools and 64-bit engine support, according to Unity Technologies. Unity 5 will be available for pre-order starting today, and is accompanied by a trailer featuring lots of flashy light rendering and a wub-wub distortion soundtrack.
Papers, Please and Gone Home take BAFTA Awards, Houser brothers make rare appearance for Rockstar's Fellowship
I'm not going to sugar-coat this for you: last night's BAFTA Game Awards didn't end with the PC hunched under an unbearable weight of face gold. The platform struggled against heavy hitting console match-three games, like The Last of Us, and Grand Theft Auto 5. Even so, there were awards for indie gems Papers, Please and Gone Home, and multi-platform titles like Bioshock Infinite. In addition, the reclusive Rockstar heads showed up in person to accept their BAFTA fellowship. You can find that video, and a full list of winners, inside.
Also, before the big list, be sure to check out the BAFTA Steam sale that's running until later today. There are some particularly great deals in there, like the excellent XCOM: Enemy Within for a ridiculously low £5/$7.50.
Welcome to the PC Gamer Game of the Year Awards 2013. For an explanation of how the awards were decided, a round-up of all the awards and the list of judges, check here.
Traditional storytelling techniques suffer in the transition to interactive entertainment. While many games choose to compartmentalise their storytelling and interactive sections, others experiment with new methods. In Gone Home, exploration becomes a form of authorship. The entwined stories of each family member unravel at your command as you flick through the detritus of their lives. The resulting tale was the most affecting of the year.
A warning for those who haven't played it yet, the discussion below does contain a few spoilers.
PC Gamer editors are prohibited from celebrating Christmas. For the team, the end of the year is marked by an event known as “GOTY Sleepover,” a time where we somewhat-voluntarily sequester ourselves away from our families and loved ones in the interest of a greater good: selecting the best PC games of the year. We gather in a room with a very heavy door and very little ventilation and stay there until we’ve reached a unanimous decision on every award category. It’s a lot like the Papal conclave, but with more Cheetos.
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.
This week's podcast is all about Steam's three, big announcements. What do SteamOS, Steam Machines, and the Steam Controller mean to PC gaming? How does it all work? How much does it cost? Does Valve want to replace your main rig? Your living room entertainment center? All of the above? How would Nicholas Cage fare in the political landscape of the 15th Century?
There is a strong feeling of place in The Fullbright Company’s Gone Home. A critically-lauded first person exploration game about a house and its inhabitants, Gone Home tells a powerful, moving story about two sisters’ lives through the artifacts of the everyday. The tapes left lying around the house are tracks from Riot Grrrl bands, the sort that grew out of Portland, Oregon in the 90s. Letters and postcards addressed to the house litter every surface. Like its spiritual parent the Bioshock series, the environment is the fabric of the story itself. The relationships the family have with each other, their neighbours, their childhood friends, their longings fall into relief as you traverse this home. There’s no doubt in your mind once you finish the game that this house contained real people who liked each other, got on with each other, were a family.
The Fullbright Company - Steve Gaynor, Karla Zimonja, Johnnemann Nordhagen and Kate Craig - live in a house together in Portland, Oregon. This is where Gone Home was made. This is a retrospective look at the collaborative aspects of how Gone Home was produced, and how pragmatic game design and projects of a strict scope can be more of an expression of who the creators are. Go and play the excellent Gone Home now, if you haven't already, for what proceeds are a few small spoilers.
I am standing outside the train station with my bags at my feet, painfully aware that I do not own a key to my parents' house. My arrival is unexpected and comes on the back of a transatlantic flight. I am exhausted but almost home.
I am standing in the front porch with my bags at my feet, painfully aware that I do not own a key to my parents' house. My arrival is unexpected and comes on the back of a transatlantic flight. I am exhausted but almost home.
I lost my keys three years ago in the snow after a friend's birthday party. Most were replaced immediately but the one to my parents' front door was always tucked away at the forgotten end of a to-do list. An unnecessary hassle and entirely my own fault.
I don't have a key yet. This isn't the house where I did most of my growing up. My parents moved about an hour's drive away while I was travelling through Europe and tonight will be the first time I see their - our - new place.
Article by Robert Yang. This post does not spoil any specifics of the "plot" in Gone Home, but it might sensitize you to its delivery mechanisms and some details.
Mansions are old, rich, and scary. Most "mansion games" (like Maniac Mansion, Thief, or Resident Evil) emphasize these qualities for specific effect, and they would not work without the mansion tropes at the core of their designs. The video game mansion starts as an alien place that, through repeated visits and backtracking, becomes YOUR MANSION because you know all the rooms and secret passages and stories inside it.
Gone Home is very aware of its place in the mansion genre, a genre that emphasizes "stuff" and who owns it -- inventories, objects, and possessions. Here, the lightweight puzzle gating and densely hot-spotted environments evoke adventure; the first person object handling and concrete readables evoke the immersive sim; the loneliness and the shadows evoke horror. In a sense, this is a video game that was made for gamers aware of all the genre convention going on (in particular, one moment in the library will either make you smile or wince, assuming you notice it) but in another sense, this is also a video game made for everyone.
Every connection we feel with another human being begins with a gradual descent through layers of familiarity until we touch something unique or resonant, when we go from the general idea of a person to the specific. Gone Home makes that process visible, and through the first-person exploration of one family’s home, turns it into a surprising and moving game.
It’s 1995, and Kaitlin Greenbriar has come home eager to reunite with her family after a year-long adventure in Europe. Instead she finds a deserted house and an apologetic note from her sister Sam begging her not to dig around “trying to find out where I am.”
The Independent Games Festival has renewed its deal with Valve to give shortlisted finalists of the 2014 IGF Awards an automagical Golden Ticket onto Steam. All main competition finalists will be offered a distribution deal, whether they're nominated in the individual Excellence categories, the Seumas McNally Grand Prize, or the Nuovo Award. "Nuovo" being IGF speak for "kinda weird".
This week, Evan, Tyler, T.J., and Cory recap news from Gamescom: Diablo, XCOM, Elder Scrolls, and more. We compare notes on our current adventures in Saints Row IV, and T.J. vastly exceeds the legal limit for Bohemian Rhapsody lyric puns in a single podcast.
Gone Home will arrive, weary and traveled, on our doorsteps on August 15 We've played some of this first-person, non-combat exploration game from a team of former BioShock 2 developers, and trust us when we say you should get excited about nosing about in some family's drawers.
Oh, and you'll be able to play it in Klingon! Well, probably. Developer Fullbright Company has announced that Gone Home will support fan-made translations, so it's really only a matter of time.
The press conferences that precede E3 set the tone for the event, they determine the conversations and questions that follow. With no single unifying organisation to set up such an event, it's one of those rare occasions when the open nature of the PC can prove a detriment. The consoles have had their say, now we can't help but wonder what a similar a show for the PC would look like. Who would take the stage? What would they show? What song-and-dance numbers would we get?
Take your seat, make yourself comfortable and put those Doritos away as we welcome you to this year's purely hypothetical show, the E3 2013 conference that PC gamers deserve.
The Fullbright Company is based out of a three-bedroom house in Portland, Oregon. Founders Steve Gaynor, Johnnemann Nordhagen, and Karla Zimonja don't just work in the house—they live in it. It's like the headquarters of an indie superteam: members of the group worked on BioShock 2, Minerva’s Den, XCOM, and BioShock Infinite.
Gone Home is a "story exploration" game from The Fullbright Company which takes place in 1995, and stars Samantha, a teenager "dealing with tons of uncertainty, heartache, and change." Riot grrrl is an often misrepresented '90s feminist punk rock genre. Well then, how appropriate that the latest Gone Home trailer introduces music from riot grrrl bands Heavens to Betsy and Bratmobile as a plot element (and also really great).