I had hoped In the Valley of Gods, Campo Santo's follow up to Firewatch, was going to adapt some of the magic of the Indiana Jones and Brendan Fraser Mummy films, and add a modern sensibility. The trailer looked promising:
From the team that brought you Firewatch, In the Valley of Gods is a sprawling narrative experience in remote, 1920s Egypt. You are Rashida, a disgraced former explorer and filmmaker given one last shot at the adventurous life you desperately miss. Somewhere, beyond the endless miles of dunes, ruins, and tombs lies an incredible archaeological discovery—but it can't be found without the help of Zora, the former partner you vowed never to work with again.
A thrilling adventure in first person
Navigate and rebuild a relationship with your companion, Zora
Utilize an authentic 35mm film camera to document the world and story around you
Climb, explore and traverse the wonders of the ancient world
Alas, Campo Santo was acquired by Valve, and a statement was put out today that the project was "on hold" since the team had scattered to work on other Valve projects like Half-Life: Alyx.
Duncan Fyfe, who had been thrilled to be working on In the Valley of Gods, tweeted a thread lamenting the apparent end of the project. You can read the entire thread about his time working for Campo Santo here. But the best part is Duncan's own adventure to read an obscure antiquity he needed to help his work on the game:
I spent so much time with 19th century maps and guidebooks, cartouche diagrams and tomb plans, theses and excavation reports, figuring out creative solutions to narrative problems. Where could a player go, what could they see, what could they do?
— Duncan Fyfe (@DuncanFyfe) December 4, 2019
I really wanted the 1929 edition of an Egypt travel guide that Thomas Pynchon used to write V. I found it as a PDF behind the paywall of a private Lovecraft enthusiast forum, & I had to pretend I was a Lovecraft devotee who designed Call of Cthulhu RPG modules in his spare time.— Duncan Fyfe (@DuncanFyfe) December 4, 2019