In The Vanishing of Ethan Carter you play occult detective Paul Prospero, who is able to visualize scenes of lethal crimes. You're investigating the kidnapping of a young boy.
You discover a trail of corpses, and use both paranormal skills and modern detective tools to uncover the mystery behind them, the roots of an ancient force ruling the area and the fate of the missing boy, Ethan Carter.
The trailer's focus is on mood and visuals. It was captured in-game, in real time. Note: This trailer has graphic images of violence and death. Viewer discretion is advised.
In The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, you’ll see some of the most realistic environments ever created for a video game. Assets are no longer simplistic approximations of reality – they are reality. Say hello to photogrammetry.
The American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing defines photogrammetry as "that branch of remote sensing which is defined as the art, science, and technology of obtaining reliable information about physical objects and the environment through the processes of recording, measuring, and interpreting photographic images, patterns of electromagnetic radiant energy and other phenomena. Photogrammetry employs the use of both interpretive techniques and mensuration methods."
According to The Astronauts: "With photogrammetry, we no longer create worlds while isolated from the world, surrounded by walls and screens. We get up, go out there and shot [sic] photos, lots of photos. And then some. Afterwards, a specialized software...looks at these photos, and stares at them until it can finally match every discernible detail from one photo to same exact feature in other photos taken from different angles. This results in a cloud of points in 3d space, representing real world object. From there, the software connects the dots to create a 3d model, and projects pixels from photographs to create a texture."
Whew. We'll skip the part about Lowe’s Scale Invariant Feature Transform (SIFT) algorithm. Let's get back to the game.
Here's an early teaser:
From what we've seen, it appears that The Vanishing of Ethan Carter will, indeed, be something special. It looks to be the kind of game that should be played at night, alone and wearing headphones.
The Astronauts is an indie development team comprised of industry veterans from People Can Fly (Bulletstorm, Painkiller). The game is being developed using the latest version of the industry-leading Unreal Engine 3.
They're looking to release The Vanishing of Ethan Carter for PC in 3Q 2014. Keep your fingers crossed!