Campo Santo
A small but scrappy video game studio in San Francisco

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"Like a supergroup of musicians from all the bands you don’t like. And not even the best musicians from those bands."

Rock Paper Shotgun commenter PopeRatzo, February 3, 2014

From the Blog

  1. It’s time for another bit of Firewatch art!

    I have been doing a lot of pre-production work for the environment art but it is still a tad early to show you what we’ve been experimenting with, so here is another solo object prop.

    When I finish a model, before the texture pass I like to put it in context with a scale human (ours is a free base mesh by Eugene Fodkin) and show it to the team for feedback.  Here is what Jake had to say:

    Jake: If that wireframe nude lady holding the boombox was in hot blue or hot pink neon wireframe it would be an actual era-appropriate magazine ad for that boombox. Hot pink wireframe except for neon blue wireframeswimsuit. Boombox fully rendered.”

    So of course after I did a first texture pass,  I had to present it again in full 80s glory.  We all had a good chuckle.

    The first image is Olly’s concept art. Next is an untextured model and wireframe, then an unmapped texture. The large image of the boombox is a plain Maya viewport screengrab of the model with one diffuse texture on a Lambert, with no lighting, a quicky AO “shadow” on a plane, and plopped onto a blue background in Photoshop just for spice. It’s about 860 verts.

  2. In the first edition of the Campo Santo Quarterly Review, ombudsman Duncan Fyfe unearthed/penned the tale of a salty former pirate who is tempted back to his seafaring ways with the promise of Campo Santo, a legendary treasure beyond imagining. As the member of Campo Santo (the development studio, that is) responsible for Firewatch’s audio, I figured it was incumbent upon me to bring this yarn to arguably-pointless life.

    So I did that. All the music and voices you hear in “Set Sail for Campo Santo” were composed and performed by me, using Duncan’s words.

    I originally intended to record simply one voice, but as I did a few extra takes I found myself getting louder and hoarser (Nels and Will were in the adjoining room, and I can only imagine what that must have sounded like). It seemed appropriate to slam some of those takes together to create an ersatz pirate chorus. I filled in the spaces between the lyrics with some vocal interjections, and pitched those voices down slightly to create the impression that they had come from gruff, rum-soaked sailors’ throats.

    For the music, I started with a base of acoustic guitar strumming out the chords I chose. On accordion, I doubled those chords and added some melody in between verses. Finally, to liven it up a bit more towards the end, I overlaid some piccolo embellishments for the final verse and choruses.

    At that point I figured I should just go all out. I set the entire track on top of some sounds of ocean surf I found on the ever-useful freesound.org. Background noise intended to evoke a warped and creaking wooden hull was created by recording a loud spot on our audio room’s floorboards, pitching it down, and adding plenty of reverb. For color, some sounds of clinking bottles, shattering glass, and falling coins are also sprinkled in there.

    So that’s that. I’m happy to have helped Campo acquire a company anthem that has basically nothing to do with the thing our company does. Around four hours of work on a Thursday evening. I hope you enjoy it. If you do, you can stream or buy it over on our Bandcamp page!

  3. Happy Friday! Here is a little video I made during our first week prototyping the game back in December.  Chris on the guitar, Jake on the PC, Jane on the trees.

  4. I spoke at the Game Developers Conference here in SF last week and did my best to unpack some of the goals of past and present video games I’ve worked on.  You can see all of my keynote slides right here. If you’d prefer a .pdf, I can do that as well.
(I’ve written out the bulk of the talk in the manner in which it was spoken in the notes, so they shouldn’t be totally indecipherable.)
I also had an uncontrollable fit of burping throughout the presentation so you get to avoid all that by going through the presentation at your leisure.
Furthermore, if you’d rather just get the tl;dr version, you can check out some of these write-ups.
Polygon! 
Game Informer!
Gamasutra!
-Sean

    I spoke at the Game Developers Conference here in SF last week and did my best to unpack some of the goals of past and present video games I’ve worked on.  You can see all of my keynote slides right here. If you’d prefer a .pdf, I can do that as well.

    (I’ve written out the bulk of the talk in the manner in which it was spoken in the notes, so they shouldn’t be totally indecipherable.)

    I also had an uncontrollable fit of burping throughout the presentation so you get to avoid all that by going through the presentation at your leisure.

    Furthermore, if you’d rather just get the tl;dr version, you can check out some of these write-ups.

    -Sean

  5. Original concept art by Olly Moss Untextured model wireframe Unmapped texture Final textured typewriter model

    Hello! I am Jane. This little guy was the first object I made as a test to see how I could translate Olly’s sketch into a 3d model. This is a good test because:

    • I love typewriters.
    • Olly’s sketch is super sweet.
    • It is likely one of our most “detailed” objects that is human scale and has to feel believable even after being abstracted, so it answers a lot of questions for me.

    Sometimes, though not often, your first stab does hit the mark. We all love how it turned out so this is now my model style benchmark for other man-made objects in Firewatch.

    The first image is Olly’s concept art. Next is an untextured model and wireframe, then an unmapped texture.

    The final image is a plain Maya viewport screengrab of the model with one diffuse texture on a Lambert, with no lighting, a quicky AO “shadow” on a plane, and plopped onto an orange background in Photoshop just to purty it up. It’s about 1400 verts.

  6. As you know, we announced our game Firewatch last week! Much to our relief, some folks in the press have acknowledged this fact with much-appreciated reports in their various fine publications.

    Foremost among those is this not-insubstantial early Firewatch piece from IGN. Writer Marty Sliva visited Campo headquarters to talk to us about what we’ve been working on, as well as to formulate some of his own reactions. We’re honored, thoroughly.

    Sean also gave a narrative- and character-focused talk at the Game Developers Conference here in San Francisco this week, and his session was covered over on Polygon. Sean also plans on posting his talk materials to the blog in the near future, so keep an eye out for that.

    Here are a few other pieces covering the announcement news—let us know in the comments if you saw any other good coverage:

  7. Hello! Olly here, writing to you from Campo Santo’s secret UK headquarters. I’ve been given permission from top brass to declassify these rough concept sketches from our first game, Firewatch. So here they are: early ideas for places you might see and things you might use!

    It’s all quite new to me, this video game lark. Thankfully everyone in the studio has been very patient and helpful. I’m learning so much! For instance, last week Jake offered to introduce me to the industry-standard Allard scale. Thanks, Jake!

    - Olly

  8. Official wallpapers of the Firewatch key art by Olly Moss! Enjoy them in these fine formats:
16:10 desktop (2560x1600, 1920x1200, etc.—The best large composition available, also a good format for many Android scrolling backgrounds)
16:9 desktop (2560x1440, 1920x1080, etc.)
5:4 desktop (1600x1280, 1280x1024, etc.)
Tablet (2524x2524—formatted for iOS7 parallax)
iPhone 5 and newer (744x1392—formatted for iOS7 parallax)
iPhone 4S and earlier (740x1196—formatted for iOS7 parallax)
If your specific device or desktop resolution isn’t covered here, just pick the next bigger size; it should scale down nicely.

    Official wallpapers of the Firewatch key art by Olly Moss! Enjoy them in these fine formats:

    If your specific device or desktop resolution isn’t covered here, just pick the next bigger size; it should scale down nicely.

  9. It’s been hard to stay quiet about what our small team has been working on for the last couple of months. 
That sounds like a cliche, but we’ve actually been having a lot of difficulty there. A couple weeks ago, Jake accidentally leaked some concept art on a Day Z livestream. We also not-so-accidentally hinted at the name of the game in our company newsletter. Then we almost-entirely-accidentally let slip the name of the game in a podcast episode.
So here it is! Our first game is called Firewatch. It’s a single-player, first-person exploration mystery set in the Wyoming wilderness, where your only human connection is communicating with your supervisor over a handheld radio. We’re targeting a Windows, Mac, and Linux launch in 2015.
You can read more about the game at the official site. And from this point on, we’re going to capitalize on our tenuous grasp on the notion of confidentiality. Here on the studio blog, we’ll be posting bits and pieces from the development of Firewatch, as well as general Campo Santo office shenanigans.
So let us know in the comments what kind of stuff you’d like to see—we’re looking forward to sharing it.

    It’s been hard to stay quiet about what our small team has been working on for the last couple of months. 

    That sounds like a cliche, but we’ve actually been having a lot of difficulty there. A couple weeks ago, Jake accidentally leaked some concept art on a Day Z livestream. We also not-so-accidentally hinted at the name of the game in our company newsletter. Then we almost-entirely-accidentally let slip the name of the game in a podcast episode.

    So here it is! Our first game is called Firewatch. It’s a single-player, first-person exploration mystery set in the Wyoming wilderness, where your only human connection is communicating with your supervisor over a handheld radio. We’re targeting a Windows, Mac, and Linux launch in 2015.

    You can read more about the game at the official site. And from this point on, we’re going to capitalize on our tenuous grasp on the notion of confidentiality. Here on the studio blog, we’ll be posting bits and pieces from the development of Firewatch, as well as general Campo Santo office shenanigans.

    So let us know in the comments what kind of stuff you’d like to see—we’re looking forward to sharing it.

  10. Everyone hard at work. Except for Sean who is taking this photo; obviously procrastinating. Will talks to Olly over Skype. Our buddy Patrick is working on some amazing tools with us. Our friend @AnnaTheRed made some amazing Campo Santo plushies for us.

    Working away on the game we’re announcing tomorrow!

    Be the first to hear about via our newsletter!