Gone Home uses an atmospheric, introspective exploration game to tackle one of the most mysterious, emotional and twisted phenomena of human existence – being a teenage girl in the 90s. Trust us, it's terrible.
Regardless of gender or decade, one thing that alleviates the confusion of adolescence for millions of teenagers worldwide is music. For Gone Home's narrative, a teenage girl discovering herself in the 90s Pacific Northwest, this means Riot Grrrl. Riot Grrrl is a feminist punk movement that hit Washington and Oregon beginning in 1991, which spawned an influx of new bands and written publications focused on female empowerment.
Developer The Fullbright Company – formed by three ex-BioShock developers – snagged two original Riot Grrrl bands, Bratmobile and Heavens to Betsy, for Gone Home. It's an important get for Fullbright co-founder Steve Gaynor.
"It's really goddamn amazing to have the opportunity for this music to be in Gone Home," he says. "Authenticity is our No. 1 priority, and the inclusion of tracks by Heavens to Betsy and Bratmobile really drives home the era and the place and the feelings surrounding the story of Gone Home. We're psyched." Getting the music right is as important to Gaynor as it was to those young girls growing up in Gone Home's era.
"How players interpret the soundtrack and the character of Sam are kind of a chicken-and-egg thing – we wanted part of Sam's story to be about the way that art and music open up the world to you as a teenager, and for a teenage girl in the mid-90s Pacific Northwest, Riot Grrrl was the music of that experience. So hopefully hearing Heavens to Betsy and Bratmobile in the game gives the player another way of understanding what's going on inside Sam's head, and her story lends more meaning to the songs.
"One big thrust of Gone Home's story is about Sam dealing with her changing understanding of the world as she grows up, and the music is a big part of that."
Check out how Gone Home's soundtrack influences the gameplay in the trailer, featuring "Some Special" by Bratmobile, embedded above. Gone Home is scheduled to launch for PC, Mac and Linux in the second half of 2013, and is a finalist in IGF 2013's Excellence in Narrative category.
The Fullbright Company is proud to announce that their upcoming IGF-nominated story exploration game, Gone Home, will feature the music of original Riot Grrrl bands Heavens to Betsy and Bratmobile.
"Gone Home takes place in 1995, and follows the story of Samantha Greenbriar, a teenager dealing with tons of uncertainty, heartache, and change," said Steve Gaynor, co-founder of The Fullbright Company. "In the game, Sam is introduced to Riot Grrrl music by a friend, and it changes her life."
The feminist punk music of bands like Heavens to Betsy and Bratmobile heralded the beginning of the Riot Grrrl movement in the early '90s. This scene fostered the creation of zines and festivals that championed the rights of young women. The musicians that gave rise to the Riot Grrrl scene would later garner even broader acclaim-- Heavens to Betsy was the first band fronted by Corin Tucker, who would go on to form the critical favorite Sleater-Kinney with Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss.
"It's really goddamn amazing to have the opportunity for this music to be in Gone home," said Gaynor. "Authenticity is our number one priority, and the inclusion of tracks by Heavens to Betsy and Bratmobile really drives home the era and the place and the feelings surrounding the story of Gone Home. We're psyched."
Six tracks from the albums Calculated by Heavens to Betsy and Pottymouth by Bratmobile will be included in Gone Home. The song featured in the trailer is Some Special by Bratmobile.
Gone Home is scheduled for release on PC, Mac and Linux in the second half of 2013. The game is a finalist in the Excellence in Narrative category at GDC 2013's Independent Games Festival.
The Fullbright Company is an independent game studio based in Portland, Oregon. It was founded by BioShock franchise veterans Steve Gaynor, Karla Zimonja and Johnnemann Nordhagen in 2012. Kate Craig joined the Company shortly thereafter, filling out the team that will bring you Gone Home.