Firewatch Livestream: Funnier Than The Trailer Suggested

I think I can see the sasquatch in this image.

Five days ago, the Firewatch trailer attracted plenty of oohs and ahhs: a first-person narrative exploration game in which you play a newly-hired recruit into the thrill-a-minute world of watching-for-fires, set in a very pretty forest. The trailer raised a lot of questions about the exact nature of your interaction with that game world though. Is it Dear Esther with a walkie-talkie? Is it Gone Home in a forest? Is there a pursuing sasquatch among those trees?

Answers come in this livestreamed playthrough, which is altogether more impressive and exciting than the trailer, and embedded below.

I didn’t find this particularly spoiler-y, because I was skeptical about the game beforehand and so didn’t mind seeing 15-20 minutes of some early parts of the game through the controls of designer and writer (and former Walking Dead dev) Sean Vanaman. Your mileage may vary. If you don’t want to see the game but do want more information, you might consider skipping to the 22-minute mark, by which time the playthrough is over and the devs answer questions from the Twitch audience.


Watch live video from camposanto on Twitch

I pretty much loved this. The dialogue is a lot funnier and a lot less portentously ambiguous than the short trailer; that dialogue is interactive, in that you can choose how to respond to your boss over the radio or choose not to respond at all; and there’s more detail than simply canned-animating your way between rope checkpoints, as there’s umpteen items in the environment you can fiddle with, each with associated chatter and more responses based on what you use it for.

Developers Campo Santo are a small studio formed by some familiar names, like the aforementioned Sean Vanaman, plus Jake Rodkin from Walking Dead, Nels Anderson from Mark of the Ninja, famed graphic designer Olly Moss, and musician and former Double Finer Chris Remo. They’ve been devlogging work on the game for a while now, so there’s plenty more behind-the-scenes info should you want it.

Firewatch is due for release some time in 2015, which means not all life is pain.

27 Comments

  1. Gravy100 says:

    Is one of the books they pick up at the start a Gone Home reference?

    • agemyth says:

      Yes. I think it was actually one of the books the father in Gone Home wrote.

    • Terragot says:

      The two girls in the lake – Samantha and Lonnie.

      You know it to be true.

    • deadwanderer says:

      “The Accidental Savior”, yes. And you’ll note they make a point of abusing the book wherever possible… :-)

      I also enjoyed “The Singular Mind” by Dr. Jonas Allard.

  2. Steve Catens says:

    Finally, a game for devotees of the Cooter Preference Test.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Wisq says:

    Gah. Stuck in that perpetual loop where everything I really want to play always seems to be scheduled for release next year — and everything I was looking forward to the previous year has either been pushed back to next year, has turned out to be bad, or (I’m guessing) has managed to quietly pass from “really want to play” to “forgetten about already”. It never ends.

  4. eggy toast says:

    Circa 6m 30s when the actual game-talk starts, and they don’t get into the game until 8m 20s.

  5. Freud says:

    The twist ending is that the forest fire is lesbian and escapes to be with her flame.

  6. zeep says:

    Looks like fun. Too bad time of day is narrative driven.

  7. Premium User Badge

    Hodge says:

    I caught the tail end of this last night and loved it. Before I was mainly interested in the game because of the supergroup making more it than anything else, but now I’m properly sold on it.

    The whole ‘regailing everything to an off-screen partner’ gives it a nice Twin Peaks vibe, too.

    • Urthman says:

      More like a supergroup of musicians from all the bands you don’t like. And not even the best musicians from those bands.

      • aerozol says:

        I want to see things that are brave enough to try and speak to an audience/ perhaps me specifically enough for others to not at all feel like they get it (or to ‘hate’ it), rather than just be aimed at a broad denomination.
        This doesn’t encourage that. Go say nice things about niche devs* you like.
        edit: *or musicians

      • bonuswavepilot says:

        So are you another name for Ratzo, or just ripping him off?

        link to rockpapershotgun.com

    • Donjo says:

      Yuss…. one step closer to being Agent Dale Cooper

  8. AyeBraine says:

    This is just amazing! This feels so much different than dialogue in other games, and the world interaction is so natural (equally distant from “insta-building” crafters, “gun-shaped-hands” FPS or a purely quest item-hunters). Especially the actual, verbose and satisfying reactions from the character. WOWOWOW.

  9. padger says:

    Okay, wow. This looks really interesting. I actually don’t want to see any more, because this is clearly going to be a special thing.

    • rcguitarist says:

      I with you on that. You know a game is going to be amazing when after watching just 5 minutes of real gameplay you are super excited to play it. I will 100% be buying this.

  10. P-Dizzle says:

    Reminds me of the relationship of the characters in the movie Oblivion.

  11. Vandelay says:

    Vote now on whether the person on the other end of the walkie-talkie is:

    A) imaginary

    B) dead

    C) an AI

    D) a man

    E) highly intelligent monkey