From Whitethorn Games and developer Brian Wilson, The Forest Cathedral is a dramatic reimagining of the events leading up to the true story of scientist Rachel Carson’s 1962 environmental science book, Silent Spring. Launching on Xbox Series X|S and PC this Fall, players will be thrust into a world of scientific discovery, deadly environmental effects, and corporate manipulation. But who was the real Rachel?
Brian first learned about Rachel Carson and Silent Spring in a college science class in his senior year, which ultimately put him on the path to creating a psychological thriller based on the harrowing events she lived through.
“Our professor focused on topics such as invasive species local to us and current events that we could be informed enough on to have a conversation about as non-scientists,” said Brian Wilson, developer of The Forest Cathedral. “Learning that Rachel grew up near Pittsburgh piqued my interest because that’s where I was living at the time. After learning that, I noticed her inspiration throughout the city, with her mural on the sides of buildings, bridges named after her, and even a 45 mile hiking trail honoring her.”
“The story of Rachel Carson is a David vs. Goliath story,” he continued, “where in the process of writing Silent Spring, Rachel was being silenced by giant chemical companies, all while battling breast cancer. Over the years she also kept secret a relationship where the primary form of communication was hand-written letters. The fact that she was queer would’ve ruined her career.”
“If you haven’t read Silent Spring or don’t know who Rachel Carson is, you won’t be left out. I aimed to respect Rachel’s story, but also fictionalized it in different ways to make sure that it’s engaging and interesting for players,” Brian said. “Since a game about someone writing a book doesn’t sound like the most interesting thing, The Forest Cathedral acts as a prequel. I thought it’d work better if the player is actually completing scientific tasks and learning about DDT first-hand.”
Countless hours of research and development were put into bringing Rachel’s story to life. Here you’ll find some insights into the process, including concept art, reference photos, and development notes and screenshots: https://uberstrategist.link/Forest-Cathedral-Development-Press-Kit.
The Forest Cathedral sees players take on the role of Rachel, who has assumed a field research biologist position on an expansive and vibrantly rendered forest on a remote island (inspired by Cook Forest State Park). While completing her weekly tasks she quickly realizes things aren’t as they seem. Players will slowly uncover the horrific effects of the pesticide using advanced environmental technology to complete puzzles that weave together 3D exploration and 2D platforming. What secrets will Rachel discover on this island? Many will try to silence her, but somehow, the truth must come out.
Key features of The Forest Cathedral include:
• Hey, Little Man: Switch control between Rachel Carson in the 3D world and the Little Man inside the 2D world of her advanced environmental scanning tools in order to solve puzzles and platforming challenges
• Nature in Peril: Explore a meticulously crafted forested island, dense with trees, animals, fish, and insects, all impacted by the dangerous effects of DDT
• The Sound of the Silence: The game features a fully voiced narrative to invest players in the harrowing history of the attempted silencing of Rachel Carson, backed by an enchanting original soundtrack
The Forest Cathedral will release first on Xbox Series X|S and PC via Steam this Fall.