(Wyoming) The Game Developers Conference took place last month in San Francisco, and Campo Santo was there giving presentations on how they made the hit game Firewatch
set in the Shoshone National Forest.
Jane Ng's "Making the World of Firewatch
" has been put
online from the GDC in its entirety. In the hour long presentation, Ng
revealed that going in to the project, they knew it would be difficult
drawing a first person game that utilizes such a detailed natural setting
as Wyoming. Campo Santo did it with a ten person crew, which is quite
small. And they did it in a year.
For other companies, this would have been impossible.
Firewatch is unique because the game's environment is a character, so Ng's
solo 3D work on the project meant every single tree was important. The
forest had to feel real, like you were actually living in someone's
vacation photos of Shoshone from the Eighties. And the game couldn't lag
while you were running through fields, rappelling down cliff faces, and
wading through streams.
The group had to come up with a way for each designer to create and change
art for a single setting at the same time. You don't really "Level Up" in
Firewatch, so you can't easily divide the workload by sections of the
game's world. It meant inventing a whole new way to design a video game.
You can watch more videos from the game conference at gdcvault.com