Announced in February 2013 by indie studio The Astronauts, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is finally showing itself with these first in-game screens. In this first-person perspective game, the player controls an occult detective named Paul Prospero who has the ability to visualize the final moments of any murdered person. With beautiful landscapes and macabre mood, the player has to find clues in order to find out what happened to the vanished boy. No precise release date, the team also hope to bring it onto next-gen consoles.
WHAT’S THE GAME ABOUT?
In The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, you play as Paul Prospero, an occult detective who receives a disturbing letter from Ethan Carter and realizes that the boy is in grave danger. When Paul arrives in Ethan’s home of Red Creek Valley, he realizes things are even worse than he imagined. Ethan has vanished in the wake of a brutal murder, which Paul comes to see might not be the only murder to investigate. Using both regular and supernatural detective skills, Paul must figure out what happened to the missing boy.
Via a First-Person Perspective, you explore and interact with the environment in order to discover the truth. Paul has a supernatural gift that allows him to visualize the final moments of anyone who’s been murdered. The more clues you discover, the clearer and longer Paul’s vision. Exactly how much you are able to discern from a corpse is entirely up to you. You might discover the motivation of the murderer, or find a hint of where to go next – or both.
WHY ARE YOU MAKING THIS GAME?
We believe video games are a largely untapped medium for powerful storytelling possibilities. Every developer with a deep interest in the storytelling side of gaming uses different ways to let players live through a story: from interactive dramas like The Walking Dead to story-exploration games like Gone Home to online adventures like Journey. The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is our own attempt to tell a multi-layered story while keeping the player completely immersed and constantly engaged–with the unique sense of presence only video games can offer.
WHAT KIND OF HORROR GAME IS IT?
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a “weird fiction” horror, meaning our focus is on atmosphere, mood, and the essential humanity of our characters. With its mixture of a beautiful world with the haunting and macabre, this story is for adult players. That said, there is no combat in our game. If our game leaves any scars, you won’t be able to see them. Also, we want gamers to experience the story of Paul and Ethan at their own pace, and without the need for sedatives. It’s less about pure terror and more about clammy unease.
WHAT PLATFORMS AND WHEN?
We’re currently developing the game for PC, but we’re hoping to eventually bring it to next-gen platforms. We’re in full production, but we don’t have a set release date. It’s a question of months, however, not years.
WHO ARE YOU?
We are The Astronauts, a small – eight people at the moment – team founded in 2012 by the ex-owners and leads of People Can Fly, creators of Painkiller and Bulletstorm. Our webpage is http://www.TheAstronauts.com (you’re here!), our Twitter is http://www.twitter.com/TheAstroCrew, and you can also follow Adrian, who is both writing these words and the lead designer on the game, at https://twitter.com/AdrianChm.