Gone Home is a first-person adventure game with visual novel elements from The Fullbright Company. It was released on Steam for PC, Mac, and Linux on August 15th, 2013. A console version, published by Majesco Entertainment's indie label, Midnight City, is due to be released sometime in 2014. Specific platforms are yet to be announced.
In the summer of 1995, a young woman named Kaitlin Greenbriar arrives at her family's new home in Arbor Hill, Oregon after traveling around Europe for a year. When she finds the house deserted, Kaitlin begins searching the mansion, hoping to find out what happened to her parents, Terrence and Janice, and little sister, Sam.
Gone Home is played from the perspective of Kaitlin "Katie" Greenbriar. She is the eldest child of Terrence and Janice Greenbriar.
Sam, the protagonist of Gone Home's narrative, is Katie's 17 year old sister.
Lonnie is Sam's friend. As they grow closer, she becomes Sam's girlfriend. Her relationship with Sam provides the conflict in Gone Home's narrative.
Terrance is Katie and Sam's father. He is a struggling author who occasionally contributes to a home theater magazine.
Janice is Katie and Sam's mother. She works for the Oregon State Forestry Service. It is implied she had an affair with a male coworker recently transferred to her department.
Gone Home is a first-person adventure game. The game begins with Katie arriving home after traveling abroad to discover an empty home. The player finds various clues left from family members, such as letters, diary tape recordings, and maps leading to secret areas, in order to learn more about Sam's story. The game rarely tells the player where to look for the next relevant clue. This requires the player to scavege the house for clues that will connect the dots to discovering more of the narrative. Access to certain parts of the house are gated using locked doors and require matching keys to be found before progressing.
There is no combat and the puzzles are not as difficult and obtuse as one might expect from a typical adventure game. The player progresses through the story by finding clues that lead them to discovering the next piece of the narrative, eventually leading to the game's ending. Most small objects can be picked up and examined from any angle. Additionally, finding certain notes will activate voice over narration from Sam that plays automatically and can be listened to again from the inventory screen. This is similar to how audio logs function in games such as Bioshock.
The development of Gone Home was led by Steve Gaynor. In May 2012, he appeared in a Giant Bomb video interview to discuss the founding of The Fullbright Company and the early development of Gone Home. Gaynor listed "immersive simulations" such as System Shock, Deus Ex, and Bioshock as sources of inspiration for Gone Home's first-person adventure gameplay although the game has no enemies or combat. Another source of inspiration was the practice of urban exploration.
The music is composed by Chris Remo who is a close friend of the company.
On February 16th, 2013, Johnnemann Nordhagen, co-founder of The Fullbright Company, revealed on Twitter that "Sassy Magazine" was used as a major research feature. This statement was later confirmed by Steve Gaynor.
|Windows XP SP2||OS X 10.7 Lion||glibc 2.11 or newer|
|1.8GHz Processor||1.8GHz Processor||1.8GHz Processor|
|2GB Memory||2GB Memory||2GB Memory|
|Video Card with 512MB VRAM||Video Card with 512MB VRAM||Video Card with 512MB VRAM|
|2GB HDD Space||2GB HDD Space||2GB HDD Space|