Another day, another group of successful game designers cry havoc and slip from the standard developer-publisher relationship. It’s kind of fun watching an industry sea-change as it happens, isn’t it? Today’s aspirant indie is Campo Santo Games, a new studio created by — among others — some of the dudes responsible for “Mark of the Ninja” and “The Walking Dead.”
There’s not much to Campo Santo Games yet — a placeholder website and one blog post — but it’s staffed by heavy hitters. From Telltale come Sean Vanaman and Jake Rodkin, who co-lead and co-wrote the first season of “The Walking Dead.” (You may also know them from the very funny, very worthwhile Idle Thumbs podcast.)
They’re joined by Nels Anderson, the lead designer of Klei Entertainment’s “Mark of the Ninja.” Rounding out the group is illustrator Olly Moss, perhaps best known in gaming circles for designing the box art for Insomniac’s “Resistance 3”.
Even without a game announced, it’s hard not to be excited by Campo Santo. “The Walking Dead” and “Mark of the Ninja” are two of the absolute best success stories when it comes to small, downloadable games made by small teams. If you’re launching a videogame studio in 2013, you may as well staff it with people who have already navigated the murky and mercurial waters of independent publishing.
In an introductory blog post, Vannaman explains that Campo Santo’s first game will be “backed by and made in collaboration with” Panic Inc., a firm that makes Mac and iOS productivity software. (They’re actually responsible for the FTP program Transmit, which I use all the time. It’s pretty great.) That said, the wait for Campo Santo’s first official game announcement begins.
Joseph Leray is a freelance writer from Nashville. Follow him on Twitter