Former creative director and People Can Fly co-owner Adrian Chmielarz says they’re going from AAA to smaller projects.
Bulletstorm was Adrian Chmielarz’s last game with his former development studio People Can Fly. It was a bombastic, creative and crass parody of AAA games like Gears of War and Halo that exemplified the Michael Bay approach people generally expect from those types of games.
It’s also the kind of game Chmielarz is no longer interested in making, which might be why he and several other People Can Fly developers started their own development company following Epic’s purchase of People Can Fly last year.
“We’re no longer excited by mammoth-sized games,” Chmielarz told GamesIndustry International. “We’re still very interested in high quality, but now and in the future we want to focus on smaller projects.”
The Astronauts is currently hard at work on The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, a “weird fiction horror” game focused on immersion, exploration and discovery. Rather than being heavy on combat, Ethan Carter will be heavy on atmosphere, drawing players into a world “inspired by the weird fiction stories and other tales of macabre of the early 20th centry.” Cast into the role of a detective with the supernatural ability to visualize crime scenes, you’re tasked with investigating the disappearance of a young boy.
“We think that video games are not all they can be. Actually, most of them are in the same formula in a constantly updated skin,” said Chmielarz. “And that’s fine, but we think there’s room for more variety, for paradigms challenged and for formulas reinvented. Ethan Carter is evolutionary, not revolutionary, but we still hope it’ll be one of the examples of a different kind of experience that video games can offer.”
We’ll be keeping an eye on The Astronauts as The Vanishing of Ethan Carter gets closer to landing.