The next project from Firewatch developer Campo Santo will be “totally different” from the team’s critically acclaimed debut, according to the game’s writer.
In a recent interview with Polygon, Campo Santo’s Sean Vanaman said that the follow-up is shaping up as a departure from their previous success, in part because the team has had “the opportunity to completely reimagine and re-examine every single aspect of [its] pipeline.” However, the project is still at a relatively early stage of development, so the feeling of difference may not carry through to the final product:
“Maybe when people play it they’ll be like, ‘Oh yeah, it’s obviously the follow-up to Firewatch.‘ We haven’t played it yet so we don’t know. We’re still building bits and pieces. But we have a real core.”
Beyond these vague hints, Vanaman is intentionally coy, refusing to be drawn on more specific details of the game, other than mentioning that an earlier, now-cancelled prototype was focused on being a “game” rather than an experience, which may indicate a closer lineage with Firewatch than his other comments allow.
Furthermore, Vanaman says that the new project will once again engage with real-world politics, or “social facts.” However, rather than offering an overt opinion on, for example, “the rise of Trumps,” the socio-political references will once again be in the backdrop, as they were in Firewatch. Speaking on this topic, Vanaman said:
“No one wants to hear me write about why I think we should have a national service program or the National Endowment for the Arts. But we’re always going to write stuff that’s aware of the social facts”
Whatever topics Campo Santo’s next game tackle, it has a strong legacy to match up to. OnlySP’s Benjamin James gave Firewatch a 7.8 in his review last year, while the team also discussed the ending and provided an in-depth narrative analysis.