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Platform Win, Mac, Linux Publisher The Fullbright Company Developer The Fullbright Company Release Date 2013-08-15

Review

Review
175 Comments
10.0

Gone Home review: living room

Framed as a mystery, and requiring the player to care about its characters' personal lives, Gone Home takes some big risks in a medium that famously struggles with this kind of nuanced story. It succeeds, thanks to superb writing and a smart, story-driven approach to architecture and level design. Gone Home stars Katie Greenbriar, a young woman visiting her family's new home in 1995 after a year of European traveling. Upon arriving at the mansion — on a dark and stormy night, of course — she finds it deserted. It's your job to piece together clues in the environment and figure out where the hell everyone is. Throughout, Katie's younger sister, Samantha, narrates a series of journal entries, pulling you through the main story, while other threads are revealed through exploring the...

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Gone Home developer rebrands and expands

The Fullbright Company, developer of Polygon's 2013 Game of the Year Gone Home, has rebranded itself today as simply Fullbright. Co-founder Steve Gaynor wrote that although the name was being truncated, the studio will be continuing "[its] focus on creating immersive, unforgettable story exploration video games." Work on the next game from Fullbright has already begun, and Gaynor wrote that the team will add other members to keep development moving, including a programmer and character animator. Fullbright appears to be focused on its future, but if you'd like to hear more about its past, you can read the whole story here. Below, find an interview with Gaynor from earlier in the year.

Opinion
128 Comments

The nightmare is over: They're not coming for your games

"I got this message from a reader and it was pretty well-worded, and well thought-out … but what he was saying is, essentially, ‘well, Carolyn, you shouldn’t have given Gone Home such a high score because if game designers see games like Gone Home getting so much acclaim then we’re not going to have traditional games anymore!’" Time and again, this leitmotif of gamer-speak arises: the idea that someone, somewhere is going to take your games away. A "terror dream" that sees us reliving the paternalist past and lashing out at all criticism in hopes of keeping the grasping hands of the censor at bay. They’re not coming for you The writer and independent game designer Autumn Nicole Bradley helped develop this idea in conversation with me, as a way of uniting the whole of gamer history...

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Virginia seeks to bring human faces to the narrative game

They tell evocative stories in atmospheric worlds. But they often lack the intimate human connection of present characters; dominant in most forms of fiction. In the best of its kind, the player moves through the story, gaining a sense of real people, often without seeing them. These games seek to tease complex emotions out of players, without asking them to break down the kinds of challenges and puzzles generally associated with games. In this sense, they sit close to story-based entertainment, like novels and movies, than twitch-based arcade games. Still, they are very much video games. Until now, they have tended to keep human characters out of the picture, sometimes because of limited budgets, or due to the complexity of creating facial emotion, or the particular storytelling...

News
17 Comments

Gone Home now available in $29.99 Retail Special Edition with soundtrack and more

Gone Home, the critically acclaimed first-person adventure game from The Fullbright Company, is now available in a Retail Special Edition for $29.99, the studio announced today. The Fullbright Company originally released Gone Home last August digitally on Linux, Mac and Windows for $19.99. In a blog post today, co-founder Steve Gaynor said that during development, "I don't think we ever imagined that the game would be available as a physical version, in a box we could hold in our hands." Gone Home's Retail Special Edition comes with a DRM-free copy of the game on a DVD as well as a free Steam key; the Gone Home Original Soundtrack by Chris Remo, along with MP3s of Samantha Greenbriar's audio diaries; a sticker of a cassette tape bearing the game's logo; the 40-page Designer's...

News
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Gone Home developer establishes new studio to explore the outer edges of games

Johnnemann Nordhagen, co-creator of last year's Gone Home, has established a new development studio called Dim Bulb Games. "Gone Home was a fabulous experience to work on, and it was also critically and commercially successful," told Polygon via email. "Which gave me the opportunity to try some new things, and work on some stuff that I wanted to pursue. Starting a new studio gives me the opportunity to do that." Nordhagen was one of four that made up the Fullbright Company who went on to develop multi-award winning and Game of the Year Gone Home. Former BioShock designer Steve Gaynor announced in 2012 that he had established Oregon-based independent studio, The Fullbright Company, alongside fellow 2K Marin colleagues Johnnemann Nordhagen and Karla Zimonja. For the time being,...

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Tribeca films 'Possibilia' and 'The Gleam' aim to fill gap between movies and games

Possibilia and The Gleam, two interactive films made by digital media company Interlude and directing duo DANIELS, aim to fill the space between the passive viewing of movies and the interactiveness of video games, according to Interlude CEO Yoni Bloch. Speaking to Polygon today after the films' screening at the Tribeca Film Festival, Bloch said the interactive storytelling of video games was a source of inspiration for the two films, and what Interlude hopes to do is to make the interactivity in film storytelling seamless. "One of the biggest criticisms for games like The Stanley Parable and Gone Home is that they're not games. This is where we fit in," Bloch told Polygon. "It's between a movie, where you can lie back and watch, and a game, where you just want to have the action....

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Games for Change Awards go to Papers, Please, Gone Home and The Mission US

Papers, Please and Gone Home took home awards at the 11th Annual Games for Change Festival today. Lucas Pope's Papers, Please, a dystopian simulator, won the Most Innovative category, which honors games that excel in creativity and aspire to bring new ideas to games for change. It was a finalist alongside Robin Arnott's SoundSelf and 12 Hit Combo's Súbete al SITP. The game also won the Best Gameplay category, in which it was a finalist with Fullbright Company's Gone Home and Preloaded's Tyrant. Thirteen, American Social History Project and Electric Funstuff's The Mission US: A Cheyenne Odyssey, a game where players take on the role of a Cheyenne boy in 1866, won the Most Impactful category. It was a finalist alongside Kognito's Start the Talk and Gigantic Mechanic's The Migrant Trail. ...

News
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Murdered: Soul Suspect strives to strike a balance between narrative and play

Developed by Airtight Games for Square Enix, the game puts players in the shoes of recently murdered detective Ronan O'Connor. The detective finds himself dead on a street after pursuing a lead on a serial killer. When he tries to reunite with his dead wife she tells him he has something to resolve before the two can meet in the afterlife. That's where the third-person perspective game picks up, with the spirit of O'Connor standing over the body of O'Connor. "Square came to us wanting to do a collaborative project," said Matt Brunner, creative officer of Airtight Games. "We sat down and discussed all different kinds of projects and we sort of narrowed in a game about a protagonist who is a ghost." Over the next year and a half, the team turned that broad idea into Soul Suspect, a...

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7 Comments

Here's what indie publisher Midnight City is bringing to PAX East 2014

Midnight City, the independent developer-focused publishing subsidiary of Majesco Entertainment, will have two booths, five games, collectible cards and free t-shirts at PAX East 2014, the publisher announced today. Games on display will include the following: Avalanche 2: Super Avalanche, a cooperative 2D climbing platformer from Best Games, at booth 996 High Strangeness, Barnyard Intelligence's action game that crossbreeds 8 and 16-bit aesthetics, at booth 996 Krautscape, a racing game (pictured above) with bird-like flying cars from Mario von Rickenbach, at booth 996 Organic Panic, Last Limb's game that pits a "quirky band" of fruit and vegetables against "a legion of of heavily armored fruit," at booth 398 Videoball, Action Button Entertainment's "minimalist electronic...

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The billion-dollar game dev trading post

The store allows game makers to share tools, editors, art, audio, anything really; sometimes for free and sometimes for a fee. "My calculation is that we unlocked a billion dollars worth of savings," the Unity co-founder and CEO told Polygon. "Half a million assets downloaded per month. That is six million assets in a year. That is six million work days assuming one work day per asset, per year." You can do the rest of the math. Unity is the hot game development tool right now, used in the making of Polygon's 2013 game of the year Gone Home, and other major hits like Kerbal Space Program, Rust, Krautscape, Shroud of the Avatar, Rain... the list goes on. At DICE earlier this year, Helgason gave a talk on "the economics of collaboration" arguing that the modern era of easily uploadable...

Gone Home Releases
North America
  • Windows
    • Released 08/15/2013
    • Publisher The Fullbright Company
    • Developer The Fullbright Company
    • Score 10.0
  • Mac
    • Released 08/15/2013
    • Publisher The Fullbright Company
    • Developer The Fullbright Company
    • Score 10.0
  • Linux
    • Released 08/15/2013
    • Publisher The Fullbright Company
    • Developer The Fullbright Company
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