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Nov 29

Nov 29

Embark on a Personal Journey to The First Tree, Out Tomorrow on PS4

A beautiful third-person exploration of life, death, and hope in a melancholy world.

David Wehle's Avatar Posted by Director, David Wehle, LLC

When I was in college, I decided it was time to finally play all the acclaimed PlayStation exclusives I had heard so much about. Like many college students, my main problem was money, so I did the next best thing I could think of: I went to an electronics rental store, filled out my three references for a background check, and took a PS4 home for only a week. At the time, I had no idea how much of an impact that week of binge-gaming would have on my life — but it has now led to releasing my own game, The First Tree, tomorrow on PS4.

The First Tree

The First TreeThe First Tree

The two games which had the biggest influence on me by far were Journey and Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture. I loved the visuals, music, and story that unfolded through poignant words or no words at all. I explored a new place and simultaneously learned something new about myself. I needed to make something beautiful like that. A few years back, my dad passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack. I wasn’t one to talk about it and had a hard time opening up, but I still wanted to communicate with others who had suffered loss — so that they could tell me it would be okay, and that I could tell them the same. I combined the inspiration I received from those aforementioned games and all the feelings of loss I had into my own story about a fox and a son.

“The awesome thing about indie games is that they almost always come from the heart, and I definitely poured mine into this project.”

The First Tree is a third-person exploration game centered around two parallel stories: a fox trying to find her missing family and a son reconnecting with his estranged father in Alaska. Players take control of the fox on a poignant and beautiful journey that crescendos at the source of life. Along the way, players uncover artifacts and stories from the son’s life as he becomes intertwined in the fox’s journey towards The First Tree.

The first impression some people have is that this is a fox simulator, which couldn’t be further from the truth. There are some simple puzzles and platforming sections the fox must overcome on her journey, but the game is mostly a relaxing opportunity to reflect in a beautiful, melancholy world. There are also lots of secrets to uncover in the colorful landscape…

The awesome thing about indie games is that they almost always come from the heart, and I definitely poured mine into this project. I’m grateful for all the talented artists, musicians, and programmers who allow their work to be licensed so a former film-student like myself could somehow finish a game. Big thanks to DO Games for helping me with the porting process as well. In the end each of us have our own journey to the first tree, and I hope you find meaning there like I did.

Add Your Own

spoonTRex said:

November 29th, 7:27 am

This looks fantastic, I’ll definitely be checking it out when it releases. Thanks for sharing your story, too.

    David Wehle's Avatar

    David Wehle said:

    November 29th, 10:37 am

    Thanks for reading!

navcomm81 said:

November 29th, 7:43 am

Absolutely gorgeous, hope it plays as well as it looks!

PsychoKillaJ said:

November 29th, 7:56 am

Hell yeah! I’ll definitely be checking out this 1! I do own both titles JOURNEY & EVERYBODY’S GONE TO THE RAPTURE. And enjoyed both if them. So I’m sure I’ll enjoy this one as well!

    David Wehle's Avatar

    David Wehle said:

    November 29th, 10:36 am

    I love those games! I think about them constantly to this day, so amazing!

Otterpoet said:

November 29th, 8:53 am

This left me absolutely stunned. Beautiful and emotive. Definitely on my To-Buy list (even before I read Journey being an inspiration).

saab01 said:

November 29th, 9:32 am

Looks interesting how much will it be ?

    David Wehle's Avatar

    David Wehle said:

    November 29th, 10:36 am

    The game will be priced at $9.99 (€9.99 for our European friends).

DaveedT13 said:

November 29th, 9:55 am

Impressive looking, beautiful art, great overall mood, I’ll play this.

Really appreciate the fact that it’s different from what 99% of games are nowadays.

VitaRG said:

November 29th, 11:15 am

Finally its out , cant wait to play

gioluc said:

November 29th, 11:55 am

Can’t wait to play It! It looks so gorgeous! Congrats and best of luck!

NeodeosX said:

November 29th, 2:03 pm

Glad this kind of game exist ! Thank you for sharing your story, I hope that creating this game helped you go through those hard times and find your inner peace. Will definitely buy it.

WyckedAnkh said:

November 29th, 3:25 pm

Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture doesn’t get enough recognition like it should. It’s truly a beautiful, haunting game that stays with you. If that was one of your inspirations, I definitely look forward to this game!

Notserp2814 said:

November 29th, 6:21 pm

I’m sorry about your father. I don’t know what that’s like, yet, but imagine it’s one of the saddest days a person can have.

But you sold me on Journey and Rapture being very influential to you. I can imagine people will be able to say the same about The First Tree. Looks beautiful, sounds beautiful, i’m in!

GunnerFCm said:

November 30th, 6:59 am

What a beautiful trailer. Can’t wait to experience it! Sounds like a perfect afternoon.

SoccerDude said:

November 30th, 12:52 pm

Your story is very touching. Having lost my dad 3 years ago, I still feel a sadness and emptiness that can never be filled or replaced. Your game looks beautiful and very personal, and I am definitely going to check it out.

therepublican34 said:

December 5th, 5:16 pm

Amazing and only 10 bucks i will be a purchaser.

fenrirofshadow said:

December 5th, 5:34 pm

Your expression of loss, transformed into a brilliant world, is a marvel indeed.

I look forward to your next project! ^_^

BungieBanHammer said:

December 5th, 7:18 pm

Very cool write up, thanks, will check out. I loved Jounrey but never played EGTR yet. I also love Everything on PS4 and Future Unfolding I bought from Limited Run Games, both different, non traditional games that just gave some personal meaning between the game and life…who says games aren’t art!?

thndrct said:

December 5th, 7:25 pm

Sorry to hear about your father. I also lost my dad to a heart attack unexpectedly 8 years ago. I’m excited to see how you have portrayed these emotions beyond just words – blending audio and visual components to express feelings as a dynamic experience. Looks beautiful so far! Congratulations on your release!

FishF00d__ said:

December 5th, 7:43 pm

I lost my dad 4 years ago and I know the difficulty of navigating through a death in the family. You turned that sadness into something beautiful, and I’m so excited to try your game. Thank you for sharing your story.

Bardodactyl said:

December 6th, 4:20 am

It looks great! Journey drew me back into TV console gaming when I played it on my buddy’s ps3 7 years ago. I haven’t tried Rapture yet, but I guess that’s next based on these accolades. Next will be your fresh masterpiece. Thanks for outlining the events which gave rise to your game. My daughter is a fox loving nut, and so there are two gamers looking forward to The First Tree in this household. I hope it garners a fortune in revenue, that you may bring us more of your art. Good fortune!

WoL-Shiver said:

December 6th, 10:27 am

This looks beautiful.

I just finished rime and it was amazing.

Can’t wait to try this and experience the story you want to tell.

Thank you for this.

OblivionKeyo said:

December 7th, 2:50 am

My sympathies on losing your Father. Today was the 47th anniversary of when we buried my Father. He died when I was 7 of a lifelong heart condition. Your game looks very nice and I think I will buy it since it is such a great price! Thank you for all the hard work you must have put into this game.

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