Posts Tagged ‘Firewatch’

BioShock, Firewatch, Dishonored & More: How Well Do Non VR Games Work In VR?

I’ve got two VR headsets in my inappropriately small home, and I spend more time feeling guilty that I’m not using them than I do using them. Conceptually I love the tech, and I sporadically have a fine time with ‘experiences’ – i.e. virtual tourism to real or made-up places – when it comes to games-games I’m yet to get all that much out of it. But what about non-VR games rendered after-the-fact in VR? Could this be the full-fat virtual reality gaming I’d imagined when these headsets were first announced?
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A-flutter: The Butterflies Of Firewatch

Over the weekend I was playing Firewatch [official site]. I actually played it twice because I wanted to spend time in those environments and with those colour palettes. As I spent more and more time in the game it occurred to me that the game’s relationship with insects is an interesting one.

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Firewatch, Ford, And Copyright Infringement Online

Olly Moss’s work on Firewatch [official site] is so beautiful and distinctive. It’s how I became aware of the game before I even knew it was a game – pictures of his creations tweeted into my timeline. They tap into that glorious “See America” tradition of stylised, romanticised imagery of national parks and other awe-inspiring spaces.

I can see the appeal of that style when you’re marketing a brand which trades on its American history and focus. But it looks like a Ford dealership has swiped Firewatch imagery without permission for use in an email marketing campaign.

Here’s the image as per the Twitter account of Panic Inc who co-produced Firewatch:

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The Bestest Best Games Of 2016 So Far

We usually do our enormous GAMES OF THE YEAR posting fest at the end of the year (as would seem logical) but because it seems silly to reserve praise for special occasions we’re doing a Games Of The Half Year collection to tell you about everything we’ve loved playing so far. It can double as a summer holiday recommendations list too!

We’ve listed ours in alphabetical order to prevent genre-based punch-ups in the staff chatroom. We’d also invite you to list any gems we haven’t mentioned or might not have played in the comments below.

Just hit the left and right arrow keys to navigate the Games Of The Half Year or click on the arrows next to the images to get started!

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:

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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.

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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.

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