More often than not, indie studios are made up of AAA veterans who are looking to break free and make personal projects. When successful, they band together making new studios which make great games, like Mark of the Ninja‘s Klei Entertainment and The Walking Dead‘s Telltale Studios.
However, we have now reached a point where developers are leaving indie studios to make their own indie studios, making them refugees from the refugees.
That is exactly what Campo Santo is, a group of ex-Klei and Telltale employees who have gotten together to make Firewatch, a first-person mystery game taking place in the countryside of Wyoming.
It is a place Campo Santo describes as “where your only human connection is communicating with your supervisor over a handheld radio,” and I can agree. I lived in Wyoming for two years, and I saw some of the most remote places on Earth during my time spent there.
You control Henry, a man who escaped his city life to perch above the Wyoming forests for a living and keep an eye out for distant smoke. Wyoming is a dry and arid state, and a small fire can take out widespread chunks of land. Quick response is necessary, and that is why Henry must never leave his secluded watch tower.
One day, he does. A strange phenomenon draws him into the “wild and unknown environment,” and nobody but his boss Delilah, on the radio, knows he has left. From there, it is a purely explorational experience into America’s least populated state. Buffalo, wolves, geysers, mountains. I wonder how many members of the team vividly remember Wyoming like I do.
Sounds promising, especially because Wyoming isn’t exactly the most utilized state in pop-culture or any kind of interactive media. With talented guys from Klei and Telltale, as well as Double Fine’s The Cave writer Chris Remo, this could be a first-person indie game worth checking out.