Campo Santo  Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Campo Santo  RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Get The Look: Firewatch Inspired Home Mon, 20 Mar 2017 12:00:02 -0400 Pip Simon

If you are like me, then you probably love the aesthetic of some of your favorite games and wish that you could incorporate their style and décor into your own living space without making your home look like an arcade. Throughout this series I'm going to discuss the overall aesthetic used in in games and how you might integrate these looks into your own home.

Today we are going to look at Firewatch by developer Campo Santo. Firewatch follows the story of Henry, a fire lookout in Shoshone National Forest. It's a story of loss, healing, and discovering oneself in the wild. Its story is powerful and compelling, but its environments are just as commanding.

To get a Firewatch aesthetic would be different depending on the location in the game that you choose. For example if you feel inspired by the sprawling canyons then the overall look of the room would be very different then it would if you chose a more forested area. As these locations are more abstract, today I am going to focus on Henry's lookout, which is the easiest space to translate to a real world living space.

So to start I would recommend answering a question.

What do you like about this aesthetic?

It's easy to get lost when you think about this question, but ask yourself what aspects of the environment do you want to emulate in your space. You might find out that you just like the color palette, or you just like Henry's 80's retro items. Overall, you want to know the extent to which you want your space to look like the game and work from there.

For the sake of my tips and tricks, I'm going to pretend that you want a space that looks almost completely like Henry's lookout.

Get inspired

This is where making a Pinterest board or collecting a folder of images will help you stay focused on the look that you want. You can take screenshots of the game itself or you can search for rustic, woodsy inspired spaces. Tumblr is great for this, and you might consider watching films about the great outdoors. My top choice is Into the Wild which is based on a true story of wanderlust. Doing this will help you narrow down what you like, and it will keep you focused on creating a cohesive space where everything feels connected and nothing is out of place.

You can also check out my Pinterest board that I made for my lookout inspired bedroom.

Choose a color palette

There are many tricks when coming up with a color scheme. Generally, my trick is to take the largest piece of furniture or pattern in the room and match pieces with it. This will help to tie each item in the space together.

If you were to want a room that matches the aesthetic of Henry's lookout, then you have to think about the most prominent feature of the lookout.  To me, the thing I notice first is his windows, and how the sprawling landscape fills those windows. This is a lookout after all, so the outdoors are very much a part of the overall look of the room. The color palette of Henry's room mimics the outdoors. Henry's space has a mix of pale greens and browns. He has a mixture of earth tones in his room which tie it to the outdoors. The environment also uses small pops of red and orange which prevent the space from looking too boring without being overbearing; and still these colors are reminiscent to the lookout at daybreak and sunset. To model a room after Henry's you should stick to earthy colors and work from there.

Incorporate textures and patterns

Texture is often forgotten when the average person begins decorating a space. Textures may refer to wood grains, metallic features, furs, fleece, silk, and stone, to name a few. My trick is to pick one main texture that will be used the most throughout the room, and one or two others that will be used sparingly.

In Henry's lookout there are different kinds of natural woodgrains, metallic objects and soft fabrics. Wood is certainly used the most, in the painted wood paneling, raw wood floors, and wooden furniture. You may not have a space that naturally looks like this, but you have options. You can paint the walls an earthy color or hang wood paneling. A more cost-effective option may be to get faux wood paneling wall paper which is cheaper and easier to put up and take down than you might think. It's a great option to give your walls some extra flair, and is perfect for renters or people who are unable to make major modifications to their home.  If you are unable to change the walls and floors, I would recommend concentrating solely on having lots of wooden furniture. Aim for unpainted wood to give it a raw look.

Henry's room is a very warm, cozy space. So incorporate comfy blankets and pillows that appear soft to the touch. Fleece is good choice, and having a few plaid items isn't a bad idea either. There are a few metal objects in Henry's space too. Metals can often look modern, but if you stick to a metal like tin, enamel, or weathered, aged metals then you can give your space an overall rustic vibe.

Purposeful clutter

Cluttering a space effectively really helps bring a place to life. If a place feels too empty, then it's difficult for an audience to identify with it. The objects in a room should tell a story, so think about this when choosing key items.

The objects found in Henry's room are the perfect mixture of camping gear and 80's inspired décor. The items I notice first are his poster prints and artistic landscapes. While many of the official Firewatch posters are sold out, you can still get smaller postcard prints of them from the Campo Santo store page, and from time to time I have seen them floating around on eBay. I would also really recommend following Olly Moss who created the posters for Firewatch so that you can stay up to date on his work.

In Firewatch Henry arrives at the lookout with the space already decorated by the people before him. I recommend thrifting or buying some of your items secondhand. You can get things much cheaper this way, and the worn look of the objects will really help your room tell a story while getting the added benefit of being eco-friendly. Henry's room is very functional, so think about buying items that you think you'll actually use. Maybe you don't need lots of camping equipment for backpacking or rock climbing. That's fine. You can still get the same feel buy getting tin mugs that you would use around a campfire or old maps so you can dream up a new adventure. Definite look for army surplus stores in your area, and check out etsy and ebay where you can find unique and interesting pieces.

Bring the outdoors inside

My last tip for making Henry's lookout your own, is to bring the natural world indoors. As I mentioned earlier, Henry has large windows that connect him to the outside. Unlike Henry, you probably don't have windows like this, or you have curtains and blinds that create disconnect between you and the outside. Definitely consider filling your space with greenery. If you don't have a green thumb, you should get cacti or succulents as they are relatively easy to keep alive. Fake plants are an option too, just remember to dust them off from time to time. Also consider how much natural light your room gets. Get sheer curtains or wooden shades that you can pull back to let more light in. If this isn't an option get daylight bulbs that mimic the look of natural light.

If you follow these tips you will be well on your way to having a Firewatch inspired space. By simply breaking down the different elements of an environment, you can easily and constructively mimic the look of a space and make it your own.

Next up we'll be taking a look a Nathan Drake's home in Unchartered 4.

What other elements strike you about Firewatch? Let me know in the comments.

How Firewatch Plays With Your Emotions To Deliver A Strong Experience Sat, 27 Feb 2016 13:44:14 -0500 A Guy And His Games

Isolation, relationships and the fear caused by letting your imagination run wild. These are themes rarely explored in video games, especially outside of the horror genre. They were, however, used to great effect by the team at Campo Santo in the recently released Firewatch to evoke unique emotions within the player.

Warning: This article contains spoilers.

The Marketing

I believe that this was a deliberate move on the developer's part so that they could fully exploit the players lack of expectations. Like many gamers, my first contact with this game was the E3 trailer; a great video that made the plot seem extremely tense whilst keeping details minimal. This instantly generated discussion as to what the plot would encompass. The folks over at Campo Santo were extremely ambiguous in regard to the details of the game. This led to the majority of consumers having little idea as to what the game actually entailed. Despite being announced in 2014, gameplay details were very sparse and story details sparser still. 

"It was also refreshing that in an age of trailers giving away everything, (looking at you Hitman movie) restraint was used to great effect."

More importantly, it meant that even I (someone who tried to go in blind) had expectations that something nefarious was afoot. This feeling carried on throughout the game causing me to over-analyse every small detail. It made me care about the story in a way that games haven't managed to do in a long time. It was also refreshing that in an age of trailers giving away everything, (looking at you Hitman movie) restraint was used to great effect.

The Intro

Firewatch's opening was completely different to anything else I've played in a long while. For those who don't know, the game opened like a text based adventure where the player creates a backstory by making choices as to how their character's marriage occurs from the first date to the onset of his wife's dementia. The intro avoids being a complete exposition dump and through its moral choices and minimalist style, it creates a truly emotional beginning. 

Subtle yet engaging

This is partly due to that fact that the game doesn't show you what's going on. It starts as it means to go on, by using the highest end processor -- the imagination. By picturing the events in your own head, you have a much more personal, emotional response to what you are reading. I was completely sucked in.

Despite the short intro, it got me fully emotionally invested. At one point, the player chooses whether to put their wife into a care home or to care for her himself. I chose the latter and justified this by thinking that I didn't want to abandon her. I was so invested, I wouldn't leave a made up person who I'd never seen. These morally grey choices create a realistic backstory that hooks the player into the narrative.

The Isolation

By far one of the game's biggest strengths is its unique setting and the loneliness that accompanies it. At a time when games seem to be full of clutter, it was refreshing to be left alone. The game really played on this feeling of loneliness as there were no other humans in the game other than silhouettes and of course Delilah (who we'll get onto later). 

Firewatch is a video game and as such, you expect that when you are put into a large map like the forest, things won't be run-of-the-mill. Firewatch knows this and so creates items of apparent intrigue such as the disappearing teens and the mysterious fence. The isolation feeds this as you become scared and vulnerable latching on to anything that seems out of the ordinary. 

The game does this so well that it doesn't need to create an intricate story. Instead you create your own web of conspiracies. Finding out that Henry wasn't at the centre of this mystery was surprisingly grounding and was one of the most satisfying story moments I've experienced in a game thus far. This was mainly because it subverted my expectations and made me feel like a real person, not a plot device.

The Relationship

Henry and Delilah's interactions were some of the most realistic I've engaged in as a gamer. This is partly due to the excellent writing and the stellar performances from Rich Sommer and Cissy Jones. They created characters full of life and realism that really made you care about their relationship. I agonized over every choice I made; not wanting to ruin this friendship. By giving the player choice over the frequency with which conversation occurred, it felt more natural resulting in the player getting more invested and taking the game seriously.

The greatness of the story is highlighted by the fact a friend of mine intended to experience the game through a let's play. However, he felt that such disconnect arose from his lack of control and promptly bought the game. 


Fiewatch is a brilliant example of a game that uses subtle and engaging mechanics to draw you into its world and affect the way you think and feel. By taking you on a roller-coaster ride of emotions from depression to companionship and from fear to relief, it subverted expectations and created a unique experience I'll remember for a long time.

Firewatch: Why it's Worth Playing Mon, 22 Feb 2016 17:04:28 -0500 Eric Adams

This past Tuesday, Firewatch was released for PC and PS4. A first-person adventure game developed by Campo Santo, Firewatch relies on its lush scenery and beautiful vistas to keep the player distracted for hours. You play as a fire lookout named Henry, tasked with finding out what is causing some weird occurrences in the area. Your only other companion is a girl by the name of Delilah. She and Henry communicate via walkie-talkie.

The opening sequences are click-and-choose moments that will set up the story of the game. Depending on what you choose, your story will set you down a certain path, and there are a few different ways it can end -- so choose wisely.


Just walking around the Wyoming woods from the viewpoint of Henry is reason enough to give the game a try. A beautiful mix of orange and yellow give sunsets a really gorgeous glow and the trees are eloquent in their own right. Everywhere you look, there is a beautiful landscape that can easily cause a players mind to drift. Your character mostly just talks to Delilah and roams the area, so the gameplay may not pull in a ton of gamers. But it still stands up as a very good story driven game.


Usually games that rely on beautiful landscapes don’t have much substance, but that is where Firewatch proves different from those types of games. When playing the first time through, you will find yourself wanting to know more about what is going on. You want to know more about Delilah. You want to know if you can build a relationship with her and whether or not there is something fishy going on. You want to know every little detail about the story. Firewatch succeeds in creating a mystery that gamers will want to solve.

Now, with all of that good stuff said, I am not saying you MUST play Firewatch.

It is a beautiful game, but it does have its shortcomings. The story, for one, is extremely short. While the price of $20 for the game is reasonable, I am sure there will still be a group of gamers ready to complain. Also, there were points where it generally felt like a chore to go from one part of the map to the other. I may be nitpicking, but this is what I found wrong with the game.

My final verdict is that this game is worth your time. The story is engaging, and you generally care about what happens. You want to know what the ending is and you want to answer the questions the game asks.

Firewatch is a low key gem we shouldn't sleep on Fri, 19 Jun 2015 12:11:04 -0400 girlwonder

At Sony's E3 205 showcase, Firewatch was announced for the PS4. Firewatch is being developed by Campo Santo, an independent studio coming straight out of San Francisco. It's a quirky, suspenseful first-person adventure taking place in the Wyoming wilderness of 1989.

If you missed the trailer, we've got it for you right here:

You start off the adventure as Henry and you're a fire lookout. Henry is in charge of guarding this watchtower in the wilderness.  Fun fact: Henry is voiced by Rich Sommer, from Mad Men. Throughout the game you are being guided by your loyal companion Delilah, however it's not physically Delilah, it's her voice being echoed out to you via walkie talkie. Delilah, voiced by Cissy Jones, sends you out on jobs and guides you through the wilderness with playful dialogue. 

The narrative is human and natural

Firewatch has many natural, human instinct elements throughout the game. You'll often find Henry shielding his eyes from the sun as he travels through the forest, just how we would in real life. Henry's back story is something I've found to be very relatable. You've had a crappy year, and have been going through a lot. Your marriage is on the verge of ending, so you take this job on in order to find some peace and solitude. Sort of an escape from your troubles. Just a little adventure to shake things off and do some soul searching, or to serve as a big distraction; look at it as you will.

Not only that, the dialogue between Henry and Delilah is so well-written and natural, it does not sound forced or awkward. Throughout the game, the relationship between Henry and Delilah is developed with playful dialogue. The witty remarks, playful jokes, make the duo very endearing. It's all lighthearted, which is nice because of what Henry is dealing with. That being said, I'm sure it has serious moments too. As Delilah said in the trailer, she doesn't talk to the other lookouts like how she talks to you. 

The art is stunning

The abstract take on the Wyoming wilderness is breathtaking. The art is crisp, fresh, and delivers the essence of summer to the audience very well. Whether it's the red-orange sunset hues or the bright blue skies in the morning, Campo Santo nailed the art. 

Furthermore, in a tweet by @thatJaneNg, an artist at Campo Santo working on Firewatch, she states how the turtle featured in the trailer is an "Ornate Box Turtle which is native to the Great Plains of the US." This shows how the art team is sticking to realistic elements by including animals native to the locale.

 Dun dun may not be alone

The end of the trailer ends on a cliffhanger. You travel out to a site only to find some wire cut clean through. What's worse? Delilah notices someone at your watchtower, when you're nowhere near it. This quick scene took this lighthearted adventure down a suspenseful road. Suddenly, you don't feel alone in the wilderness anymore, but it might not be company you wanted in the first place.

Firewatch is an independent title we shouldn't sleep on. With all of these wonderful elements, it makes for a unique title. Stay tuned for a release date, gamers, you'll be able to explore this title soon!