Posts Tagged ‘Firewatch’

The Great Outdoors: Firewatch

While preparing for this year’s Game Developers Conference I decided I wanted to learn more about how “outside” works in videogames. By that I mean I wanted to find out how different studios create a sense of space or place that’s natural or expansive. Firewatch is not an open world game, but is has these beautiful, expansive vistas, gorgeous trees and a very definite sense of being outdoors. Senior environment artist, Jane Ng, told me more about how the world actually works and how she hides the technical side from players:

Read the rest of this entry »

Come Learn About Firewatch’s Art At Rezzed

Firewatch [official site] is a masterful and beautiful first-person narrative game in which you play a fire lookout who watches for trouble, becomes embroiled in mystery, and has adult conversations with another adult in ways you control. To quote John’s review, it “expands the possibilities for how a narrative game can be presented, without bombast or gimmick.”

Want to learn more about how it was made? Come along to EGX Rezzed on April 8th and you can find out, as we’ll be quizzing visual director Olly Moss and animator James Benson on stage about how they helped recreate the great American landscape of the Wyoming wilderness from their homes in England.

Read the rest of this entry »

Firewatch And The Selfish Nature Of Romance

In games, romance is often an end-goal. A relationship is the reward at the end of a quest chain or a gift-giving minigame of sorts, or it’s the fulfillment of a character’s potential and meaning. There are exceptions, of course, but there are few great romances in gaming, doomed or otherwise. And there’s very little that would fall into the rom-com category.

When I first started playing Firewatch [official site], I was delighted when the melancholy opening gave way to a lightness of touch. There are bright, cheery moments, genuine laughs and a warmth that has nothing to do with any burning threat. This, I thought to myself, could be a tragedy-tinged comedic romance and I hadn’t realised how much I wanted to play such a thing until I was playing it.

Read the rest of this entry »

Am I A Good Man? Thoughts On Firewatch

Contains spoilers and theories which may or may not be spoilers.

I spent most of my time with Firewatch wishing I was there, alone and without pressures in its peach-hued Wyoming wilderness. It was all I wanted from life: an escape from glaring screens and beeping devices and an inbox which endlessly refills itself with requests I can’t do anything about.

Then I turned on the radio this morning, to hear a feature about how extended isolation has contributed to a disproportionately high suicide rate amongst British farmers. I might dream of a life in the woods, but in truth I would soon become desperately lonely and bored. At least Firewatch gives me the chance to live a small part of it. But it also makes me feel panicky, and guilty.
Read the rest of this entry »

Firewatch’s Steam Community Screenshots Are Beautiful

Firewatch is a first-person game about exploring the Wyoming wilderness as a fire lookout, which means much of your time is spent wandering through meadows, trundling alongside lakes and staring at vistas from clifftops. What keeps it interesting is how beautiful its environment is as you explore it at different times of day. Consequently, the game’s Steam community screenshots are stunning – and without narrative spoilers.

Read the rest of this entry »

These 17 Minutes Of Firewatch Look And Sound Great

Firewatch [official site] looks increasingly exciting to me. It’s the first game from Campo Santo, the studio formed of former Telltale, Double Fine and 2K Marin developers, and casts you in the role of a park ranger attempting to protect a forest from fires, partying teenagers, and maybe sasquatch I dunno. There are 17 new minutes of the game being played by developers Sean Vanaman and Jake Rodkin below.

Read the rest of this entry »