By Joseph Leray
If you’re part of the oddly specific diagram of people who don’t want to participate in Kickstarter campaigns but are excited for “The Vanishing of Ethan Carter,” don’t fret: The Astronauts are self-publishing the first-person horror-adventure title.
“If we don’t slip, we’ll have just enough money for this first project, and then it’s sink or float,” Astronauts lead designer Adrian Chmielarz told GamesIndustry.biz recently. “Kickstarter was tempting, sure, whether we like it or not it’s a great marketing tool and gives your project that extra visibility boost. But we think that Kickstarter should only be used by those studios for which there’s just no other way without losing their freedom.”
“We’re just old fashioned this way,” he continued.
Speaking of freedom, Chmielarz and other Astronauts’ co-founders Andrew Poznanski and Michal Kosieradski left their old company, People Can Fly (which they also helped found), when it was bought by Epic Games last year. “Working with Epic was the best school of professional game development one can imagine, but we are simply fascinated by different things currently,” Chmielarz elaborates.
Those “different things” right now include “The Vanishing of Ethan Carter,” a first-person adventure game that follows the story of a young detective with the supernatural ability to see crimes exactly as they happened. Despite the grisly subject matter, “Vanishing” is completely free of combat.
“We’re no longer excited by mammoth-sized games,” Chmielarz says. “We’re still very interested in high quality, but now and in the future we want to focus on smaller projects.”