Everybody’s Gone To The Singularity: 15 Mins Of Tacoma

Oh, Tacoma [official site], where the wind comes sweeping down the nacelles. This is the next game from Gone Home folks Fullbright, and this time we’re in space, and there are people. Well, sort of. The below 15 minutes of footage from the start of the game gives a clearer picture of how this is going to work, and its similarities and dissimilarities to the cupboard-rummaging and diary-reading of Gone Home. There’s a train ride, a musical interlude, and most important of all, SPACE BLANKETS.

The big switch-up here is that you’re no longer entirely alone. Well, you are, but not from a visual or auditory point of view: the titular space station is inhabited by what I’m going to probably inaccurately describe as data ghosts, replaying the movements of the apparently now-absent crew members. All of whom have neat coloured spacesuits, in a no doubt deliberately Star Trekky way. There are no faces, just blobbly outlines with crude skeleton shapes, like Blender rigs, presumably in order to try and keep this a game in which the environment and voices tell the story rather than being reliant on inevitably glassy-eyed expressions and whatnot.

There’s plenty of browsing through ‘AR Desktop’ email entries, and the various conversations between data ghost NPCs can be rewound in what I can’t quite tell is purely convenience or the basis for puzzles. There’s also a basketball hoop, because, y’know, heritage, and a ship AI with a calm pleasant voice. We know how that stuff tends to play out, right?

Too soon to judge anything, obviously, but despite the impressive space station and the intermittent striking views of the inky great beyond through the windows, I’m not sure it’s quite summoning the immediate sense of mingled mystery and odd familiarity that Gone Home’s opening did. Perhaps it’s just because “going back to your parents’ house” strikes a chord with almost everyone, but “visiting an abandoned space station” is something that will only truly resonate for a select few astronauts, such as Jas Mann.

But hell, this is no doubt a known and calculated risk, with the benefit that stakes and even drama can be upped. A Disaster Of Some Kind is heralded in the closing minutes of the footage, and presumably the game’s tale will be divided between working out what went on there and digging deeper into the various inter-crew relationships, some of which are hinted here. Tacoma’s clearly very interested in our getting to know these people well, from their flirting to their lonely guitar-playing to their bungled attempts at cake-making.

Also, there are excellent space blankets. Look:

Tacoma’s due for release on Windows, Mac, and Linux in spring 2017.


  1. Jalan says:

    Oooo, Carl Lumbly!

    Body images still look like strange gelatin molds, but I see they’ve added a distortion effect to them.

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      mickiscoole says:

      Argh, that’s who that is. I spent the entire video trying to place it.

      To make things worse I recently watched the whole first season of Alias.

      • Jalan says:

        I guess we shouldn’t be too surprised, after they got him to voice C.M. Porter in Minerva’s Den. I guess that’s a sign that either they became good friends with him during that DLC’s development or Steve Gaynor & co. made enough connections to be able to convince him to take a look at Tacoma.

        No matter how it all worked out, it’s still cool to have Martian Manhunter back on a space station, even if he’s just serving as the AI. ;)

  2. Chaz says:

    Looks rather like Adrift but before the disaster happened.

  3. Head Bob says:

    Good work on the 90s one-hit-wonder trivia, though.

  4. WitcherLoreExpert says:

    The AI voice sounds exactly like the AI voice in The Turing Test.

  5. TechnicalBen says:

    Does it understand BSL?

    • NonCavemanDan says:

      Yeah, my first thought was “why isn’t she using both hands to- ohhhhhh….AMERICAN”

  6. Banks says:

    Is this another audiobook simulator?

  7. Urthman says:

    Ugh. What are those stick-figure skeletons supposed to represent in the fiction of the game? Is the twist that the supposed recordings are fictions invented by an AI less sophisticated than Pixar’s Renderman?

  8. Fritzy says:

    I like the AR recordings. I think it makes complete sense as far as what the ship is recording, how the AI understands the occupants, and recreating the scenes. I think it’s a great effect, and I’m surprised so many of you are bitching about it.

    • Jalan says:

      One comment since the article went up that could even mildly be construed as “bitching”, seems like you were shooting more for bland trolling than anything else.