Ex-People Can Fly Devs Announce Indie Mystery ‘The Vanishing of Ethan Carter’

By Joseph Leray

Last fall, a few things happened at People Can Fly, the Polish studio behind “Painkiller,” “Bulletstorm,” and the upcoming “Gears of War: Judgment”: Epic Games bought the studio, and the founding trio of Andrew Poznanski, Adrian Chmielarz, and Michal Kosieradzki left the company to go indie.

They went on to form a new company called The Astronauts, and they’ve just announced their first game: “The Vanishing of Ethan Carter.” The Astronauts describe their game as “weird fiction,” a literary term that refers to the supernatural and macabre stories popularized at the turn of the century -- think H. P. Lovecraft and Arthur Machen.

In “Vanishing,” players will control a young detective with the ability to visualize lethal crimes exactly as they happened investigating the kidnapping of a young boy. Your paranormal skills and old-fashioned detective work will form the basis of your investigations.

“What we care about the most is that the players feel like they’re really there. Immersion is our number one priority," said the game’s designer, Adrian Chmielarz, in a prepared statement. “It’s a game about exploration and discovery. We’re not abandoning the gameplay – on the contrary: we’re trying to strip it down to the bone and make sure it’s always meaningful and truly makes the experience better.”

While the mechanics at play in “Vanishing” aren’t clear, the premise sounds like a perfect fit for an adventure game. I’m sure more details will emerge as time goes on, but for now we’ll need to be content with one screenshot, a short teaser, and the knowledge that “The Vanishing of Ethan Carter” will be available for PCs sometime this year.

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