Speaking with GamesIndustry International, Adrian Chmielarz, People Can Fly’s former co-owner and creative director, had this to say: “We think that video games are not all they can be. Actually, most of them are the same formula in a constantly updated skin. And that's fine, but we think there's room for more variety, for paradigms challenged and for the formulas reinvented.”
It doesn’t ring dissonant to these ears, but it’s a bold enough statement when you consider how Chmielarz has backed it up. After the relatively well-received Bulletstorm and subsequent acquisition by Epic Games, Chmielarz , Andrzej Poznanski, and Michal Kosieradzki left the studio they founded to form a new studio, The Astronauts, intending to focus on smaller experiences.
"It's the same idea: get the best in business under one umbrella, have a studio with a very flat structure, be 100 per cent responsible for the glory and the shame, and work on games that get our hearts beat faster," Chmielarz said.
Now that’s what I like to hear. Too often in AAA development do you get an evident materialization of the old “too many cooks spoil the broth” adage, and kitchen sink game design. Talented folks leaving the comfortable, bombastic world of Bulletstorm and the gritty, emotionally repressed world of Gears of War to try something wholly new and exciting can only be a good thing in my book.
The Astronauts’ first title, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, is a first-person horror-ish game in which you play as a detective with supernatural abilities. And you actually have to detect and explore. No combat. I am all about this. It’s slated to drop on PC this year.