Promotional art for "Firewatch" channels the style of Olly Moss. Photo: AFP
The first game from newly formed studio Campo Santo is to be "Firewatch," set deep in the hot, dry forests of Wyoming, with a tentative release date of 2015.
Based in San Francisco, born from a partnership with app developer Panic Inc., and formed by veterans from the studios behind multi-award winning games "The Walking Dead," "Mark of the Ninja," "BioShock 2: Minerva's Den" and "The Cave," Campo Santo's first game stars a fire lookout called Henry, stationed on a remote mountaintop perch.
"It's a single-player, first-person exploration mystery set in the Wyoming wilderness," reads the Campo Santo blog, "where your only human connection is communicating with your supervisor over a handheld radio."
Coaxed down into the woodlands by something strange in the dense forest below, players should expect to "explore a wild and unknown environment, facing questions and making interpersonal choices that can build or destroy the only meaningful relationship [they] have."
Three of the seven Campo Santo staff -- Jake Rodkin, Chris Remo and Sean Vanaman -- are already well known in video game circles as hosts of the Idle Thumbs podcast, a long-running and well-respected series that combines video game criticism with surreal humor and insider analysis.
Nels Anderson, lead designer on "Mark of the Ninja," was himself raised in Wyoming, as was Vanaman; programmer Will Armstrong comes from 2K's "XCOM" and "BioShock" series; Jane Ng worked with Remo at "Stacking" and "Brütal Legend" developer Double Fine.
British graphic designer Olly Moss is well known for his reworkings of classic movie posters, while Rodkin and Vanaman picked up multiple awards for their lead roles in designing adventure game tie-in "The Walking Dead: Season One."
And the fresh-faced studio hasn't lost its sense of humor yet -- the site's solo press commendation is an acerbic news post comment ("Like a supergroup of musicians from all the bands you don't like. And not even the best musicians from those bands"), while t-shirt merchandise parodies commercial associations with Mountain Dew and Doritos.