Gone Home: Fullbright Shine A Light On Their 1st Game

somebody needs to buy a couple of 100W lightbulbs. 'Fullbright' my arse.

Last week brought very exciting news: I bought a new clock for my wall. Also, that the core team behind the rather good Minerva’s Den add-on for BioShock 2 had gone their own way, founding indie dev The Fullbright Company with the full and noble intention of making a non-violent first-person game as their first project. Today brings yet more exciting news: I’ve just picked up some Euros for my holiday in Greece next week. Also, that the Fullbright Company have just announced and detailed said non-violent first-person game.

It’s called Gone Home, and it’s all about “exploring a modern, residential locale, and discovering the story of what happened there by investigating a deeply interactive gameworld.” It looks and sounds at least 9 intruigings about of a possible 10, even if it yet remains largely as mysterious as a cat’s inner thought processes.

What we do know puts me simultaneously a wee bit in mind of Jon Blow’s The Witness and – and I say this in a highly affectionate way, not a damning one – the notorious Jurassic Park: Trespasser, except with a more explicitly mystery-adventure angle. Says lead designer Steve Gaynor, “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.”

Here’s a very early sample of what they’re tinkering with:

Apparently, the current state of play is that the core mechanics and UI features are done, as are “the playable space and critical path and story elements for the first half of the game are in.” It also provides an answer to the the undying, unanswerable question posed in all game reviews: how many graphics does it have? About 5% so far. Same goes for sound. So, this ain’t some pie in the sky piece of wishful thinking, and hopefully we won’t have to wait until just before the heat-death of the universe for it to be released.

Also confirmed: it’s PC-native, made in Unity, with mouse and keyboard as the default control set and no, they’re not going to use Kickstarter. Phew! That’s one less post I’ll need to write at some point in the next few months.

This last image might bear an embiggening if you care to click on it, as it demonstrates the game-space Fullbright have constructed so far. Within it, it appears, lurk many mysterious both big and small:

More on Gone Home soon, I hope, and keeping an eye on the Fullbright website probably wouldn’t be a stupid idea. In the meantime, a puzzle to mull over as you examine the screenshots and video – what period is Gone Home set in? (Don’t look at me for the answer man. I was hoping you’d tell me.)


  1. Syra says:

    Cats don’t have thought processes, only the whirring machinations of their inner daemon engines.

  2. sbs says:

    “what period is Gone Home set in?”

    judging from dat wallpaper and vhs tape i’s day 70’s or 80’s

    • sbs says:

      wait no, that timetable says 1994 so around that then.

      • elevown says:

        Yup i spotted that- but given the state of that flight map- it looks to be some years after 94. Anywhere AFTER 94 is possible but id plumb for 21st century sometime. Unless its got time travel.

  3. arccos says:

    Interesting Steve Gaynor is working on this one, considering how often Idle Thumbs talks/talked about this sort of simulation and the one-city-block game concept.

  4. Gonefornow says:

    Sure, if it’s story based, it’s only going to provide a single playthrough, but that is a playthrough full of exploration and discovery, things games can never have too much of!
    Intrigued indeed!

  5. The Sombrero Kid says:

    Looks very similar to the game I’m working on, First person adventure games are the new vogue of indie gaming.

  6. mentor07825 says:

    Looking forward to the holiday in Greece while not playing Diablo 3 then? Very exciting week ahead of you, from all this excitement you’ve had recently!

  7. golem09 says:

    The phrase “Gnome Home” reminds me of the “Troll Toll”. Gotta watch that musical again.

  8. Maldomel says:

    Color me interested. like big ass mansions with secrets to uncover.

  9. Eddy9000 says:

    Cat’s inner thought processes are deceptively simple. Neuropsychology researchers once removed the part of cats brains responsible for the natural sleep paralysis that prevents all mammals acting out their dreams in their sleep. The sleeping cats pounced on imaginary mice, walked up to imaginary food bowls and started eating, and rubbed themselves against imaginary legs. Not much else.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      I wish they’d do that for me. I’d be able to fly. Among other things…

    • Lars Westergren says:

      That describes simple behaviour, not thoughts. For all we know, they could be composing complex Vogon poetry while rubbing against our legs.

    • frightlever says:

      Which reminds me of the experiments they did on giving coffee to cats. They had about two dozen cats in the experiment, half of which were the control, and the other half received various doses of coffee for a period of three years. After that they cut the cats open, removed and weighed their internal organs and made a table of their findings. By the time they’d finished they discovered that 100% of the cats were dead.

      What? It’s funny because it’s cats.

  10. wccrawford says:

    That looks awesome. I want to play! Put it on Desura and let us pay to play the alpha. ;)

  11. lhzr says:

    “and no, they’re not going to use Kickstarter. Phew! That’s one less post I’ll need to write at some point in the next few months.”

    Oh, no, you’re not escaping kickstarter that easily. You’re gonna have to write at least one more post about it: link to kickstarter.com

  12. Urthman says:

    If they can keep the writing throughout as great as the line, “The key is under the duck,” then I’m on board.

  13. N'Al says:

    I’ve just picked up some Euros for my holiday in Greece next week.

    By the time you get there they’ll be back to paying in Drachma. Eheheheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

  14. newprince says:

    Looks like a cracking drawer sim. *Dodges flames*

  15. Ross Angus says:

    Yes please. FPS, where the S stands for Scrutiny.

  16. G-Lord says:

    That reminds me a lot of Amnesia and Penumbra. Will keep an eye on this project.

    • Runs With Foxes says:

      Yeah, except less interesting. The thing I liked about Penumbra was how you could actually grab a door/draw/whatever with the mouse and open it yourself. But in this game it looks like you just press a button and it opens itself. In that case, it won’t have the same intimate contact with the environment as Frictional’s games have.

      • Jason Moyer says:

        Yeah, my reaction to that video is basically to wonder why they wouldn’t just try to license Frictional’s engine for a game like this.

  17. NikosX says:

    Holiday in Greece next week you say? Would love to have a coffee together with you!

  18. Lars Westergren says:

    This sounds wonderful. I’ve often though that something incredible could result if some adventure games would move to first person, with more realistic puzzles (even if I love the traditional form with abstracted puzzles too).

  19. frightlever says:

    If there’s one thing I hate more than clicking for obscure clues on a 2D background, it’s stumbling around doing it in 3D. Fucked up Gabriel Knight – can’t see it helping this any.

    And if you like this there are a lot of HL2 mods that already do this kind of puzzling. WHY you like this, would be the real question.