The Vanishing of Ethan Carter struts its stuff with “the least effective, most beloved video format of 2013.”

Screenshots? Trailers? Passé piffle for the masses. Game studios of discriminating taste recognize that there’s really only one way to communicate their works-in-progress to today’s modern, erudite gamer: through the timeless magic of the animated GIF.


Thus we have The Astronauts’ “tribute to the insanity that is animated GIF” in the form of three scenes from The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, each showing a (very) brief clip of the game’s environments. “A lot of what you see has been made using photogrammetric technology,” the studio explained. “Rest assured we will be talking a whole lot more about it in January, but in short, we believe it’s the future for a lot of indie studios interested in photo-realistic worlds. The technology does not eliminate the need for artists and never will, but it allows faster acquisition of high quality in-game assets.”


Cutting-edge technology rendered in animated GIF format: That’s art, people.


The images you’re seeing are actually smaller versions of the full-size renderings, which are themselves rather small but still ridiculously huge in size and too big to inflict upon you here. If you want to see them in all their slightly-larger glory, you may do so at

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