Enlarge / A quiet moment for two Tacoma crew members.

PORTLAND—At most offices, the employees don't take kindly to a stranger rifling through their personal and professional effects. But most offices aren't Fullbright.

You may best know this game-development studio as the makers of Gone Home, the 2013 video game that ushered in a new era of "interactive narrative" hits. Gone Home focused on characters and plot, not action and puzzles, as its audience slowly uncovered a mysterious—and personal—story through found objects. Delightfully, similar things can be said for the company's follow-up game, Tacoma, out this week on Xbox One and Windows PCs.

I was fortunate enough to be invited into the studio's modest warehouse office space just outside downtown Portland. And between interviews, I busied myself by being a total snoop. I opened up books, flipped through greeting cards, examined toy dioramas, peered at screens, and cataloged entire walls of private notes.

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