Update: It took some time after playing this game to get to know the developer, Adrian Chmielarz, on Twitter and through his other writing. While we feel this game is an interesting technical and artistic achievement, we are uncomfortable with Mr. Chmielarz outspoken support of GamerGate and his positions on the social politics of the game industry in general. If the politics of the creator plays into your choice of games, you may wish to read some of Mr. Chmielarz writing before choosing to play this otherwise interesting game.
This week we discuss The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, a narrative explanation game with elements of horror and adventure games. In Vanishing, you play Paul Prospero, a detective with supernatural powers, who has been summoned to rural Red Creek Valley by Ethan Carter, a bright but troubled young boy. As you progress through the game you will investigate the mysteriously empty but hauntingly beautiful setting, and uncover the mystery behind your invitation.
Expect the game to take between two and five hours to complete.
This game prompted a lot of great discussion; let us know what you think!
Links for this episode:
- Bear Hive on BandCamp – Nate’s new album! Pay what you want!
- THE SHORT GAMES REVOLUTION – The Astronauts Blog
- VISUAL REVOLUTION OF THE VANISHING OF ETHAN CARTER – The Astronauts Blog – Here the Astronauts describe using “photogrammetry” to create high resolution textures and objects for the game with a minimum of tiling textures
- HOLY GRAIL OF NARRATIVE GAMES, OR HOW TO TELL A STORY THROUGH GAMEPLAY – The Astronauts Blog – The lead developer Adrian Chmielarz gives a talk at Digital Dragons 2014 on creating games that merge story and gameplay
- ON THE VANISHING OF ETHAN CARTER’S ENDING (EXTREME SPOILERS) – The Astronauts Blog – The developer comments on the ending. Do not read this if you haven’t completed the game.