Play Gone Home’s Original Prototype… In Amnesia

By Nathan Grayson on October 24th, 2013 at 1:00 pm.

On the left: 'Ahhhhhhh, finally home!' On the right: 'DON'T GO IN THERE DON'T GO IN THERE DON'T GO'

Everything starts somewhere. Even the greatest of successes have humble beginnings, and Gone Home’s previously known origins were already pretty darn grassroots. That makes this revelation about its start as an Amnesia: The Dark Descent mod double-humble, as far as I’m concerned. What I’m saying is, Gone Home could be in a Humble Bundle all by itself. It is that humble. But anyway. Frictional and Fullbright have unearthed the very, very early Gone Home Amnesia prototype, and you can play it right now. Details after the break.

Frictional explained how this version of Gone Home came to be in a blog post:

“I met [designer and writer Steve Gaynor] briefly at GDC this spring, and was quite amazed to hear that the very first prototype of the game was made in [Amnesia's engine]. He had mailed and asked if the engine would be possible to use for a commercial game, and got the usual response. Fortunately this did not discourage the team from continuing. It also seems like they took our advice since the final version of Gone Home is made in Unity.”

“We got Steve’s mail regarding HPL2 engine on the 14th of January 2012 so this prototype must have been made before that. This means the prototype is over a year and half older than the final game and made almost 5 months before the game was announced. My guess it is the first time that the ideas for the game got some sort of substance.”

So basically, if Gone Home’s new behind-the-scenes commentary isn’t enough to satisfy your itch for history, maybe this will do the trick. It’s extremely early, but the groundwork is definitely in place. Environments, ideas, and even basic puzzles that made it into the final version make appearances. But while some things stay the same, others change. Altogether, it’s a fascinating glimpse of Gone Home’s first wobbly steps, a peek at its past and an illuminating gaze into futures that never were.

You can download the prototype right here. Just drop the file into Amnesia: The Dark Descent’s “custom_stories” directory and you should be good to go. Happy history-ing!

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17 Comments »

  1. Stupoider says:

    The price tag never really struck me as humble.

    • CookPassBabtridge says:

      Would you see it as more of a humble brag?

    • Tinotoin says:

      Yeah, that was the one things which put me off getting it. It’s not a large sum of money in the grand scheme of things, but it is apparently quite short, and not a genre I’m sure I’m interested in yet.

      HOWEVER [falls off chair] it’s half price on Steam presently, so shall definitely try it out now.

      • The Random One says:

        It’s half off on the Humble Store as well, since we’re speaking of humility. You could pretend it actually is a humble bundle!

    • Terragot says:

      Indies have to price this highly as pricing isn’t considered at full value anymore, but within 75% off steam sales.

  2. ZackRoyer says:

    Oh please stop trying to make this thing be something. It isn’t and will never be. One new article every week, “know the hipsters behind gone home”, “Why gone home is gone home”, “Early times of gone home”, “Look gone home creators as babys”. I’ve played it and in my opinion is shit. I’m not saying it isn’t good, had potential but was a waste of resources, artwork and time developing this “game”. Even if it was good as people claim to be there is better indie games and developers who DESERVE to be known, not a bunch of hipsters who made an almost-game with a lesbian plot.

    • AndrewC says:

      This one’s a keeper.

    • KarmaRot says:

      How is it a waste of time? It is a game people enjoy and clearly something that people are interested in. Just because you are not does not decrease it’s value. Move on, no one made you read this.

      • WarThunder says:

        While we are all entitled to an opinion (and opinions are like assholes …… etc) it does seem that RPS are getting a but carried away with reporting on this ‘game’ (which I thought was a boring, clunky, very badly written load of old drivel – but hey, that’s MY opinion).

        If you want to play something in a similar vein which, to me at least, is bloody excellent then try Dear Esther – everything about it is far superior to the dumb ‘soap-worthy’ nonsense in Gone Home.

        Go away gone Home, go away ……….

        • dethtoll says:

          Dear Esther not shit hahahahahahahahahahahahasdfjalsdfjka;lsdfkjafd;lskf *explodes into confetti*

    • wonderingmonster says:

      Raphael, is that you?

      • RedViv says:

        Hopefully not. Don’t be a Raphael! Don’t get stuck there!

      • JR says:

        Stanley Stanley Stanley Stanley Stanley Stanley Stanley Stanley Stanley Stanley Stanley Stanley Stanley Stanley Stanley Stanley Stanley Stanley Stanley Stanley Stanley Stanley Stanley Stanley Stanley Stanley Stanley Stanley Stanley Stanley

        … is he gone?

    • longtimereader says:

      Seeing all these stories about Gone home makes me think about the South park episode where they so into hybrid cars and get off on the smell of their own farts because they are so progressive. Except instead of hybrid cars it mediocre story about lesbians.

    • NarratorDialogueTooMuch says:

      Dear Raphael,

      At first, I was devastated by your negative review of Gone Home. But then I realized that by stating you weren’t saying the game wasn’t good, yet completely shit, you were in fact comparing it to fertile soil, potent, yet unrealized. Your comment has inspired me to view you as a beacon of good design and so I’ve petitioned the developers to make the following changes. You can shoot and destroy literally everything in the game. To accomplish this, the player must first search the house for parts to assemble into a shotgun of the same model as made popular by Kurt Cobain in the early ’90s. After infusing the shotgun with the ghost of his great-great-uncle Oscar, the player is then able to confront the lesbians and cleanse them of their sexual deviancy with it. I am nearly at the end of my comment, and will use the remaining space to state that I will now rummage through some drawers in my house, just to piss him off a bit.

    • yusefsmith says:

      I like how you use “Lesbian” as a pejorative, modifying “Plot.”

      So many different things wrong with that…

    • saturnine says:

      Don’t hold back. Tell us how you really feel.