Everything starts somewhere. Even the greatest of successes have humble beginnings, and Gone Home's previously known origins were already pretty darn grassroots. That makes this revelation about its start as an Amnesia: The Dark Descent mod double-humble, as far as I'm concerned. What I'm saying is, Gone Home could be in a Humble Bundle all by itself. It is that humble. But anyway. Frictional and Fullbright have unearthed the very, very early Gone Home Amnesia prototype, and you can play it right now. Details after the break.
Frictional explained how this version of Gone Home came to be in a blog post:
"I met [designer and writer Steve Gaynor] briefly at GDC this spring, and was quite amazed to hear that the very first prototype of the game was made in [Amnesia's engine]. He had mailed and asked if the engine would be possible to use for a commercial game, and got the usual response. Fortunately this did not discourage the team from continuing. It also seems like they took our advice since the final version of Gone Home is made in Unity."
"We got Steve's mail regarding HPL2 engine on the 14th of January 2012 so this prototype must have been made before that. This means the prototype is over a year and half older than the final game and made almost 5 months before the game was announced. My guess it is the first time that the ideas for the game got some sort of substance."
So basically, if Gone Home's new behind-the-scenes commentary isn't enough to satisfy your itch for history, maybe this will do the trick. It's extremely early, but the groundwork is definitely in place. Environments, ideas, and even basic puzzles that made it into the final version make appearances. But while some things stay the same, others change. Altogether, it's a fascinating glimpse of Gone Home's first wobbly steps, a peek at its past and an illuminating gaze into futures that never were.
You can download the prototype right here. Just drop the file into Amnesia: The Dark Descent's "custom_stories" directory and you should be good to go. Happy history-ing!