The Vanishing Of Ethan Carter is what the main folk behind Bullestorm did next, and the combination of spooky forests and some bloke’s name makes it impossible not to claim it sounds like Alan Wake. However, it sounds like it’s branching off down the Dear Esther/Gone Home path rather than the shootybang one, which for my money often results in more atmosphere than a storm of bullets does. See also Silent Hill’s walking/worrying sections vs Silent Hill’s monster-clobbering sections. This is first-person, I should mention.
Very little is known about Ethan Carter really, but they are very proud of their graphics engine and its use of ‘photogrammetric’ technology. As far as I can tell that means turning 2D images of real-world scenes into 3D game scenes. Kind of like the faces in the first Max Payne, only with hills and stuff? Anyway, they’re using GIFs to demonstrate it. Look at our website daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaance.
In the absence of any knowledge of the game to share with you, I supposed I’d better include these small descriptions they’ve given of each GIF.
“The first “video” shows a small fragment of a rocky path near the opening area of the game. A lot of what you see has been made using photogrammetric technology. Rest assured we will be talking a whole lot more about it in January, but in short, we believe it’s the future for a lot of indie studios interested in photo-realistic worlds. The technology does not eliminate the need for artists and never will, but it allows faster acquisition of high quality in-game assets.”
The second movie shows our hero, an occult detective called Paul Prospero, witness a supernatural event. It’s connected to the memories of a certain corpse that Paul is “questioning” about… Okay, this is a longer story, so let’s leave it for another time. Note how the foliage is affected by the switch from reality to the memory, right before the draisine materializes.
Third GIF shows a fragment of a long forgotten cemetery from the later part of the game. Elements of the environment, like the tombs or the roots, were also made using photogrammetry.
Whatever’s going on, I think it looks jolly nice.
The Vanishing Of Ethan Carter was due for release at some point this year, but that’s quietly been moved to 2014.
There’s also a prequel comic here, if you missed it.