Tacoma  Tagged Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Tacoma  RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Tacoma teaser full of the same narrative exploration we loved from Gone Home https://www.gameskinny.com/rjfmj/tacoma-teaser-full-of-the-same-narrative-exploration-we-loved-from-gone-home https://www.gameskinny.com/rjfmj/tacoma-teaser-full-of-the-same-narrative-exploration-we-loved-from-gone-home Tue, 11 Aug 2015 19:29:34 -0400 Andrea Koenig

Those who have played Gone Home remember the creepy horror game atmosphere, only to find themselves in the middle of an intense plot about your character's sister discovering love and herself. It was engrossing storytelling in a narrative exploration game that really hit the mark, winning two different VGX Awards in 2013 and a BAFTA Games Award in 2014.

Now, the developers are back.

Tacoma is coming in 2016 as The Fullbright Company's newest project, following its lead female protagonist Amy, an "experienced, deep space technician" as she explores a seemingly empty space station, where, according to co-founder Steve Gaynor, "Not everything is quite right."

The female protagonist feature exploring an eerie abandoned shelter is a familiar situation from players of Gone Home, with the same narrative exploration gameplay fans have come to love. This time, it's a space station with no crew, and when Amy goes to check out the computer, even the computer isn't "in," and she needs to get back "the voice" of the station.

Small details make the game: Sign Language, text and pointers create a different feel than to just be opening doors and exploring your character's house, lost in your thoughts. The space station's zero gravity makes water and tools interact differently than on Earth, and that's the sort of detail in world-building that Gaynor and his team focus on-- how do you use the ladies' room in space?

Other features Gaynor previewed included multiple types of interaction features with the environment apart from those above. Our protagonist wears magnetic boots to maneuver the station, leaping down elevators, and then, with another click of the mouse, the ceiling is the floor.

Another feature is learning from other characters, despite their absense. Gone Home players remember reading notes from the protagonist's younger sister. In Tacoma, where technology keeps the station moving, Amy will encounter moments that she can "play" and "replay" recordings of crewmembers' lives. Multi-colored holographic shapes of people who were once on the ship greet Amy, or act out moments that develop the story. 

In Gaynor's preview, there's even more than one story taking place in these recordings. You can join the group and listen to one crew member's speech, but then take a step to the back of the group and hear two crew-members whispering and gossiping instead of paying attention, learning more about the story, the crew, and what may have happened.

For more details on Steve Gaynor's Tacoma preview, you can check out the video hereTacoma is set to release some time in 2016 on both PC and Xbox One.

 Header Image Source: vg247.com

Interview with Fullbright: The minds behind Tacoma and Gone Home https://www.gameskinny.com/pdoz5/interview-with-fullbright-the-minds-behind-tacoma-and-gone-home https://www.gameskinny.com/pdoz5/interview-with-fullbright-the-minds-behind-tacoma-and-gone-home Sun, 12 Jul 2015 14:30:01 -0400 Matt Amenda

We reached out to the newly renamed Fullbright, the creators behind indie hit Gone Home and now the E3-featured sci-fi title Tacoma. Kate Craig, the environment artist behind both games, shares with us the new fan reactions, the inspirations behind the new title, and some new tidbits on the title itself.

E3 and Fan Reactions

Matt Amenda: Now that Tacoma's been featured at E3, what have things been like at the studio? Did it get crazy for a while?

Kate Craig: There were some long nights and some last minute bugs, absolutely. When putting together a trailer or a playable demo for a big event, especially something as big as E3, it can get pretty busy at any studio, and we were no exception. Some punch drunk Slack chats, a few extra cups of coffee, etc. Now that the trailer’s out it’s been a little more relaxing, we’re back to normal - more or less.

MA: How have fan reactions differed between Gone Home's announcement and Tacoma's?

KC: Both have been/were positive, but it’s a little different this time around in that we have something that people can refer back to - a previous game and a house style, whereas with Gone Home, when we first started talking about it all we had was a greyblock room with some drawers you could open.

Folks are also pumped about space as a setting. In the past few years it feels like space exploration has become more and more humanized - you can read personal Twitter accounts of ISS astronauts, see them answer questions on YouTube and watch mission control react when something like the Curiosity rover landing is a success, so I think there’s a real interest in seeing the human element behind all the science.

Expanding the boundaries

MA: Tacoma looks like a bold departure from Gone Home. First an old house with no one in it, then a sprawling space station. What inspired the team to go in that direction?

KC: We were always looking to work on another narrative-focused game, but initially the game we were working on was much closer to what we’d done in the past. A little too close, even. So when Steve pitched shifting the game upwards, into space, I think there was a round of immediate, emphatic yesses. We’d spent a couple of years trying to stay true to a very specific time and place, trying to pin down the atmosphere of the 90s, so the idea of having more creative freedom, of extrapolating current tech into a near future setting was really appealing.

MA: Developing a sci-fi environment sounds a lot harder than building one house in Gone Home. What were the challenges that went with switching gears like that?

KC: With Gone Home, we were pulling from our own personal experiences with regards to story, to environment - pretty much everything. When it comes to creating a world set a) in the future and b) in space, you can’t rely so heavily on those elements, so it means we’ve been doing more research, which takes much more time. For example, we’ve moved the location and scale of the moon a number of times, and I have to do it again next week to roughly approximate the correct scale based on what we’ve read.

A space station is also ground well covered in the game world (and in other areas of pop culture) so thinking about how The Tacoma is different (and similar) to existing stations is another consideration we’ve been tackling.

New Experiences

MA: What tone are you going for in Tacoma, story-wise? What do you want the player to feel?

KC: Gone Home, there might be a couple of spooky moments to the game, but overall we’re hoping for more of a sense of mystery and adventure. Tacoma is a game about the relationships and motivations of a crew living in relative isolation, but it’s also set on a station with a focus on space tourism, so hopefully it’ll be a fun place to poke about in.

MA: What new gameplay features will there be? Will it still be entirely exploration based, like Gone Home was, or will there be things like combat?

KC: It’s an exploration based game, but this time we have the added benefit of microgravity, so Amy can explore the station in more of a 3D sense, launching herself towards different surfaces and attaching with her magnetic boots. She’s also able to interact with the computer systems in the station, so in terms of gameplay, we’re building off what we learned making Gone Home and expanding on it.

And there won’t be any combat in the game, which always takes away some of the pressure.

MA: Any plans to release the game on other platforms besides Xbox and PC/Mac/Linux?

KC: Just those for now!

MA: After Tacoma, what next? What does the future hold for Fullbright?

KC: It’s a little too early to say. When we’re working on a game, our focus is wholly on it and nothing but, so we’ll have to see once we wrap up.

From the looks of things, this small Portland indie studio is going places. We'll see in time if they can deliver a larger-scale game while keeping the heart that fans loved about Gone Home.

For further reading: Fullbright site, Tacoma site, and company blog.