Indie Spotlight: The Vanishing Of Ethan Carter

Indie Spotlight: The Vanishing Of Ethan Carter
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Is it right to spotlight The Vanishing Of Ethan Carter, a game that has not been released?  Why would we do something like that? It is kind of crazy and pointless. But, whatever. I am in it for the kicks, baby.

The Astronauts, the dev team not the 60’s rock band, is creating a moody detective game inspired by weird stories and tales of macabre from the early 20th century.  It is billed as an immersive exploration and discovery game. This is a pretty big departure from the guys that created the in-your-face violence games like Bulletstorm and Painkiller while at People Can Fly.  

They recently released their first teaser video.  It’s pretty mysterious and I like it.  But, why spotlight a teaser video? Well, those sneaky guys peppered the video with all sorts of clues about the game. They were nice enough to provide us with a few things we might have missed.  They conclude their list with a hint that there is something else in video; something of great importance.



Take a peek at the video and then hit the jump to look over the list.


We want our game to feature certain poetry and pictorialness to it, so we looked at a lot of famous paintings of the past to see if anything can be an inspiration for our teaser image.


The team settled on “Hunter Sleeping on a Hillside” by a Herman Saftleven, a 17th century Dutch painter. But, the composition image was not enough for the team. 


 The composition just didn’t work for what we wanted to “sell” with the image. You just can’t really see what’s in the fire. And it was important to us that you see it.


So, they went beyond the original single image and created a complete video.



Music is one of the most important elements to setting a scene. The team contacted composer Aradiuz Reikowski, who has worked on games like Afterfall, Necrovision and Two Worlds 2, to use his “Into the Rain” track off the “Inner Silence” album.

He agreed and even customized the track for the video.



You know, man, the oneirism. Yeah, I had to look that up too.



After we have done the teaser scene in Unreal Engine, it felt very real. We felt that it looked more like a gameplay footage than a question. So we have slowed the world by 30% and this gave the dream-like vibe to the scene.






It’s important.

And it’s a crow, not a raven.  That is supposedly important, too. They even use the word “vital”.

It is so “vital” that they said to go Google raven vs. crow. Seriously.




They wanted to make sure we caught everything important that is in the fire. So, they numbered the important stuff just in case we missed something.


 1. Stripe t-shirt

 2. Sneaker (the other one is on the other side of the teddy bear)

3. Black backpack

4. Teddy bear

5. Notebook with striped cover



They wrap up their list with this little teaser:


Are there any more things you might have missed?

Yes. We have not revealed the biggest secret of the video yet. And we don’t mean the story or the metaphor that’s behind the teaser.


The team promises more intrigue in the future.  You can check out the entire post and watch for those future clues at the Astronaut’s blog.

As Mr. Holmes might say, “The game is afoot!”

Is that a good enough reason for a teaser video spotlight?

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