By Jeffrey Matulef
The trio of ex-Bioshock developers at The Fullbright Company have revealed their first game to be Gone Home. As we discovered last week, it will be a first-person exploration game without combat set in an unfantastical environment. Along with a batch of screenshots, The Fullbright Company has released some pre-alpha footage.“Hopefully the video demonstrates the basics of what Gone Home is all about: exploring a modern, residential locale, and discovering the story of what happened there by investigating a deeply interactive gameworld,” explains The Fullbright Company’s Steve Gaynor on the studio’s official site. “We’re really interested in pushing toward simulation, both in the sense of the physics system but also in allowing the player to open any door or drawer they’d logically be able to and examine what’s inside, down to small details. If we do it right, these interactive and simulation elements will work together to make you that much more invested in discovering the story woven into the environment.
Bear in mind that this is very early footage, as explained on the development blog. “Currently we’re concentrating on the first half of the game, to build out and learn from before moving ahead. Our core gameplay and UI features are in. The playable space and critical path and story elements for the first half of the game are in. About 5% of the art and sound are in. But we can play through a representative, lower fidelity segment of the game and see if we’re on the right track. And so far, we’re excited by what we’ve got.”
The blog goes on to explain that Gone Home is being developed on the Unity engine and is PC native, with gamepad support as well.
Personally, I’m very intrigued by the level of detail in the game. One of my biggest pet peeves about the medium is how little most environments are interactive. We usually can’t do more than pick up shiny objects, examine a few hotspots, and open the occasional drawer… but only if it contains something useful like ammo (nevermind why so many people just leave ammo lying around). After such limited interactions, investigating a living space as layered and rich as an actual residence gets my inner detective very excited. We’ll know more later this year as The Fullbright Company is expected to drip-feed more details on Gone Home over the coming months.
[Source: The Fullbright Company]