Earlier this month, a number of outlets were given an early look at Tacoma, the upcoming game from Fullbright. Here are a few snippets from what they had to say about it – click through the links for the full article:
I asked about the diverse cast, if it was a conscious choice on the part of the developers. [Fullbright’s Steve] Gaynor explained that it wasn’t exactly. “We didn’t have a list we were going down. We just thought it was more interesting.” Wales went into more detail, explaining that each character came to life step by step, and how the story also followed that pattern. The result is a cast that feels like a real group of people.
I recently had a chance to chat with both Gaynor and Wales about avoiding the sophomore slump, their sci-fi inspirations, a possible HoloLens demo, killer AIs and why space could be a very gay place.
But despite Tacoma’s futuristic aesthetic, Gaynor still wants to tell a grounded, human story like that of Gone Home, or Sleep No More. Telling this kind of story in Tacoma, when most of the characters are absent, marked only by the holograms they have left behind, is made possible through environmental storytelling, Gaynor says.
Gamespot also posted a ~10-minute gameplay video, with commentary from Steve Gaynor.
Tacoma‘s sci-fi setting allows it to introduce some new mechanics, starting with its “augmented reality” logs. Playing one of the logs launches a simulation in which brightly colored figures appear and have a conversation, each figure representing a member of the missing crew. You watch them interact, listen to their conversations, and occasionally even follow the characters to different locations.
Using audio recordings, diary entries, and chat logs to tell a story is hardly a new idea in the world of video games, but using them entirely as the basis for a game is unusual. And yet it really does work. The opening moments as you take on the role of space station explorer Amy Ferrier, passing through its airlock and coming face-to-face with its imposing architecture and eerily deserted hallways, are wonderfully atmospheric—and at times rather frightening. The whole place feels like it’s resting on a knife edge, and the most gentle nudges could send it crashing back down to earth.
GiantBomb: (Podcast) Giant Bomb’s Brad Shoemaker sits down with Steve Gaynor to talk about the game!
Game Informer: Beginning with the cover reveal, Game Informer has taken an in-depth look at the title, including interviews with Fullbright, a look at the tech on the space station and more!
The Tacoma is a huge station, and even the individual rooms are larger than anything you’ll see in Gone Home. “We [wanted] the scale of the experience to be a little bit bigger,” Steve Gaynor, co-founder of Fullbright, told me. The game feels grandiose, too. Space exploration is hard to divorce from the idea of exceptionalism—it is, after all, one of the greatest achievements of humankind—and the architecture of the Tacoma itself embodies that ideal. Some parts of the Tacoma resemble a lavish hotel, or exhibit that classic art deco opulence that BioShock is famous for.