Bioshock Developers Form Indie Studio ‘The FullBright Company,’ Working on Non-Violent Exploration Game

By Jeffrey Matulef

Three former Bioshock developers have left 2K to start up their own independent game studio, The Fullbright Company. The Portland, OR based outfit consists of Bioshock 2 designer, Steve Gaynor, alongside programmer, Johnnemann Nordhagen; and editor/researcher, Karla Zimonja.

Having collaborated closely on Bioshock 2’s wonderful Minerva’s Den DLC (where Gaynor was the design lead and head writer), they wanted to regain that sort of freedom again.

“In our time apart after that project, we missed it,” Gaynor said on the company website. “We missed working on a small team, on a small project, focused on telling a personal story in a player-driven way.”

While details are cagey about their first project, Gaynor said it will be in first-person and won’t contain any combat. He explains that the studio seeks to create, “An experience that gets away from the constraints of ossified game genres, while relying on what we’re good at as a team: creating immersive places to inhabit, and a deep, personal story to explore at your own pace. A nonviolent game in an unfantastical locale; an experience that not many games provide, built out of techniques that only video games can employ.”

He adds in an interview with Polygon, “Basically strip out the combat and all the life and death danger that comes with games that are about shooting or any kind of running from enemies, and make it exclusively about being in a place that’s extremely immersive and believable, and letting the player explore the environment and interrogate it really deeply and pull the story out from there.”

Gaynor then cryptically cites two of his biggest creative influences as System Shock and My So-Called Life (a prospect that leaves me very curious indeed).

Many have speculated that this might be a Kickstarter project because it seems these days ALL indie games are Kickstarter projects, so we reached out to Fullbright for comment. Gaynor replied, “We currently have no plans for a Kickstarter; while we love the platform, and some of our best friends have successful Kickstarters, we just don’t think it’s right for our game.”
The game is expected to come out sometime next year and Gaynor told us they’ll be “releasing more media and snippets about the game in the coming weeks.”
[Source: Polygon, Gamasutra, The Fullbright Company]

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