Tacoma “Reexamined” And Will Release In Spring 2017

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:

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  1. Premium User Badge

    gritz says:

    Damn. After Firewatch, this was the 2016 game I was looking forward to the most.

  2. Aerothorn says:

    I loved System Shock. I liked Gone Home. But my main concern for this game was that audio logs continue to feel like the lowest common denominator for game storytelling. It is, in Warren Spector’s telling, a solution to the problem of making NPC interaction work: you just take out the NPCs and have no interaction.

    People can and have built great works on that framework, but I am becoming increasingly tired of it, and I really hope Tacoma is the game that tries to do *something* new with that formula.

    • Premium User Badge

      alison says:

      Agreed. Even the best audio logs seem silly once you step outside the game world and consider how uncommon it is for people to keep a detailed diary in the first place. And if they do, it’s certainly not scattered in fragments all over their workplace. If anything i would expect the future to be the Orwellian opposite of this archaeology trope – all logs from everywhere should be immediately accessible. It feels more realistic to try to isolate the information that’s relevant in a sea of data than to get contrived location-based reveals.

      I think Consortium did this fairly well by giving you an overwhelmingly ridiculous stack of data in the first room, and then revealing clues as the game went on that gave you some idea of what search terms you could be using to solve the crime. Another approach was Remember Me, where they invented a magical technology that made “logs” inherently tied to the player location. I wonder if Tacoma is also going that vaguely-paranormal route?

      In general i think sci-fi made in a time when stuff like PRISM and Google Glass and cloud backups already exist deserves a better treatment than the audio-visual version of finding torn-up diary pages all over a base.

    • Deadly Sinner says:

      I can stomach audio logs as long as there are no cryptic messages written on the walls in blood.

  3. TheSplund says:

    I guess it was intentional to use an image from Starship: Titanic or have I incorrectly recognised the picture?

    • TheSplund says:

      !! I’ve just seen the video – looks uncannily like S:T at the start (my mistake re previous post)

  4. PancakeWizard says:

    I have a feeling that, despite being a remake, the new System Shock is going to shake up the walking simulator genre somewhat.

    • PancakeWizard says:

      Btw, it’s worth pointing out that in the year 2088, there is still no way we would be sending obese people into space. A case of inclusiveness vs suspension of disbelief there.