We live in a post-Gone Home world, in which games like Firewatch have taken the environmental storytelling of the suburban-house-wanderer and advanced upon it.
Fullbright might feel the same way: they’ve redesigned parts of their next game, Tacoma, since first unveiling it last summer, and now the spaceship-wanderer is due for release in spring 2017.
This was announced in this month’s Tacoma newsletter, which begins:
As you may have noticed, we haven’t released a lot of new info about the game in the last few months– and that’s because, after we did our big unveiling last summer we sent out a playtest build to a bunch of fellow developers we trust, took a long hard look at their feedback and our own feelings on where we were at, and decided to reexamine and rework a number of the core assumptions we’d held about the game. How would gravity really work on a deep-space facility like Tacoma? What are we trying to say about the function and implications of Augmented Reality– and how does the player interact meaningfully with the story content in the game, in a fundamentally different way than anything we’ve worked on before?
So, long story short, we’ve had to push out our original schedule. We’d originally planned mid-to-late 2016, so we’re giving ourselves an additional 6+ months, to land in Spring 2017.
The newsletter doesn’t explain exactly what those changes are, but does say that new feedback suggests they’ve improved the game and that the new version of Tacoma will be revealed sometime this summer.
I played Tacoma last year at Gamescom and liked it. The game sees you boarding a space station and, like Gone Home, trying to work out what’s happened there and where all the people have gone. You do so by picking up objects and pawing through cabinets much like in Fullbright’s last game, but also by watching augmented reality figures projected into rooms, like visual audio logs, and with twists like objects floating in zero gravity and the ability to flip between walking on the ‘floor’ and ‘ceiling’.
Its issue, in my eyes, was that it was maybe too similar to the easy ‘Gone Home in space’ tagline. I look forward to seeing if it’s a larger departure now. Here’s what it looked like before: