Author’s Note: It should be noted that this is the VERY FIRST INTERVIEW done under the banner of Faces on the Radio, and the VERY FIRST INTERVIEW I (Hollister Dixon) have ever done, and as such, I bumble over a few questions and generally act all nervous. Regardless, I think this interview is quite nice, and we hope you all enjoy it!
When I arrived at the Fullbright House, the house/studio used by Portland’s Fullbright Company, I had to triple-check the address. I arrived with my ex, who also checked Google Maps to make sure we were in the correct location. “This is the place,” she said, but there was a slight tinge of uncertainty in her voice. If you’ve played Gone Home (if you haven’t, please do), you’ll realize just how perfect it is that, up until being greeted by the company’s co-founder, Steve Gaynor, I found myself completely unsure that I was at the right location. Gone Home is the kind of game that doesn’t bash you over the head with how clever it is, it gently prods you, beaming as it watches you take in the environment, and unravel the story in front of you. Do you remember the scene in Jurassic Park where Richard Attenborough shows everyone the brachiosaurus? It’s a little bit like that, only with Bratmobile and Heavens to Betsy in place of John Williams. It’s no surprise that the place the game itself was made is the kind of place this unassuming. Unless you knew that some extremely talented people lived there, you’d never guess that this quiet suburban house spawned one of the most – if not the most – subtle, elegant games to come out this year.
The inside feels a little like the game itself, but in a different way. In sharp contrast to the blended-in nature of the exterior, walking into the living room of the house can make your fingers tingle a bit with the desire to examine everything. There’s an entertainment center housing (from the looks of it) each and every gaming console known to man (as well as the complete series box set of The Wire), laser discs hang framed on the walls, and the mantle contains everything from magazine articles about the game to a replica of an Amazon river dolphin skull. And, true to form, there’s even a handful of cassettes lying about – namely The Youngins Are Hardcore, the album by the now-defunct Portland band/friends-of-friends-of-the-show The Youngins. And, just because it makes perfect sense, a beautifully fluffy cat also greeted me as I peered around at everything in the space.
I was lucky enough to spend an hour in the company of the game’s creators – Steve Gaynor, Johnnemann Nordhagen, and Karla Zimonja – and record a neat little conversation about the game, the effortless way it tells its story, and – of course – the preposterously great soundtrack. Note: This interview does contain spoilers, so those looking to avoid the game’s finer details should steer clear until they’ve finished the game. You’ve been warned!
You can stream this interview above, or you can download the episode by right-clicking here. Enjoy!