The art of pacifist game design with Fullbright and Frictional

Sup Holmes every Sunday at 2:30pm EST!

[Sup Holmes is a weekly talk show for people that make great videogames. It airs live every Sunday at 4pm EST on YouTube, and can be found in Podcast form on Libsyn and iTunes.]

Did you know that the protoype for the snoop-to-win exploration adventure Gone Home was built in the same engine Amnesia, one of the games credited for bring the Survival Horror genre back from the brink of obscurity? That’s just one of the many parallels that popped up between the design sensibilities of Thomas Grip of Frictional Games and Steve Gaynor of Fullbright during their respective Sup Holmes episodes. 

It wasn’t surprising to hear that Thomas was heavily inspired by other Horror titles in creating Penumbra, Amnesia, and Soma, but I didn’t expect to hear from Steve that the opening area of the original Resident Evil was one of the inspirations for Gone Home. From the sounds of it, Fullbright’s upcoming title Tacoma may venture even further into intentionally taught territory. We also got a little hint of what Thomas’s next title at Frictional may be, but he wasn’t ready to spill the beans quite yet. 

Regardless of beans, it’s undeniable that these two developers have done something that many didn’t think was possible. If games were pop music, then physical conflict would play the role of the lead singer. These managed to create highly engaging, successful radio hits using only drums, bass and keyboards.That’s no small feat. We were lucky to have them on the show, and greatly look forward to what they may do next. 

Jonathan Holmes
"Where do dreams end and reality begin? Videogames, I suppose."- Gainax, FLCL Vol. 1 "The beach, the trees, even the clouds in the sky... everything is build from little tiny pieces of stuff. Just like in a Gameboy game... a nice tight little world... and all its inhabitants... made out of little building blocks... Why can't these little pixels be the building blocks for love..? For loss... for understanding"- James Kochalka, Reinventing Everything part 1 "I wonder if James Kolchalka has played Mother 3 yet?" Jonathan Holmes