×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Half-Life,’ ‘Portal’ Writer and Riot Dev Form Seattle Game Studio

Game developers Chet Faliszek and Kimberly Voll formed a co-operative games studio called Stray Bombay, they revealed to Variety.

The new studio, which is based in Seattle, was formed to create games to better reflect players’ desires for social experiences.

“Players are smart, they are social,” Faliszek wrote in a blog post revealing the new studio. “But games often don’t reflect that and we think that can change.”

Faliszek is coming to this new venture after 12 years at Valve, where he worked on various franchises, including “Left 4 Dead,” “Half-Life,” and “Portal.”

Voll is leaving her position as principal technical game designer at Riot Games to start Stray Bombay. Faliszek wrote that Voll was an easy choice for co-founder, as she is an expert in AI and in human-centric design.

Faliszek, who was the co-project lead for the “Left 4 Dead” series, shared an anecdote of a married couple using the survival horror game to stay connected while the husband was stationed in Iraq, which the husband then shared in an email to Faliszek.

“The [couple] could spend time in each other’s company as if they were sitting next to each other on the couch at home,” Falizzek explained. “That is powerful and something only the shared experience of games can bring.”
With this in mind, Faliszek and Voll want to make games that reflect that co-operative experience that help players feel that they are working as a real team.
“As Kim and I talked over the years about the kind of games we want to make, we realized we want to create games that give players a place to breathe and live in the moment,” Faliszek wrote. “Games that tell stories knowing you are going to come back again and again, that change each time you play them without feeling completely random, and that help you feel like a real team that supports each other…not a bunch of folks in each other’s way. And where AI drives not just the enemies but helps drive the entire experience.”
While the two aren’t quite ready to announce any games in development, they are interested in meeting potential candidates who’d like to join Stray Bombay, which is why they chose to announce the week of the Game Developer Conference.
“If you are in town, drop us an email at chet@straybombay.com or kim@straybombay.com to set up a meeting,” Voll wrote. “If not, don’t worry, just send an email to careers@straybombay.com with your resume and we will get back to you.”
As for players, Voll asked them to stay tuned.
“And if you are a player, we aren’t ready for you yet,” Voll wrote. “You can join our newsletter to keep up to date, but we are going to go dark for a little bit as we start laying the foundation of our new world. Then we will share it with you, get your feedback and grow and create that experience with you.”

Popular on Variety

More Gaming

  • Google Stadia Game Streaming Service Launching

    Google’s Stadia Game Streaming Service Will Launch Nov. 19

    Google hardware chief Rick Osterloh gave us an update on the company’s game streaming service Stadia during the company’s fall hardware event in New York Tuesday: Stadia will be available to the public on Nov. 19. Stadia promises to stream games directly from the cloud, with no need to buy a full-blown game console. Consumers [...]

  • Fortnite Chapter 2

    'Fortnite' Emerges From Black Hole With All-New Island in Chapter 2

    After its previous world was sucked into a black hole, “Fortnite” is back — with an all-new island featuring a map with 13 different locations. The latest installment of the free-to-play battle royale game, which publisher Epic Games calls the first season of “Fortnite” Chapter 2, went live early Tuesday at around 6 a.m. ET. [...]

  • Fortnite-Season-X-Out-of-Time

    'Fortnite' Goes Dark: A Masterful Marketing Stroke by Epic Games

    On Sunday, “Fortnite” — the most popular game on Earth right now — without warning, imploded into darkness. At around 2 p.m. ET on Oct. 13, a meteor in Season 10 of “Fortnite” that had been biding its time set off a cataclysmic chain reaction that sucked up everything on the the island and eventually [...]

  • Hearthstone video game

    Blizzard Reinstates Hong Kong Gamer's Prize but Reaffirms Censure of His Speech

    Major U.S. gaming firm Blizzard Entertainment has reduced its punishment for a professional gamer who shouted a slogan in support of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests. But the company doubled down on its verdict about the inappropriateness of his conduct. In a Chinese language-only message on its official social media, Blizzard stated that it would “resolutely [...]

  • Activision Blizzard

    Activision Blizzard Stock Recovers From Hong Kong Fallout

    Activision Blizzard saw its stock recover Friday despite continued backlash over its decision to punish a “Hearthstone” player for publicly siding with Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters. The company’s share price was up more than 2% Friday, closing at $54.82. Activision had been in the spotlight ever since Ng Wai Chung, a player of its “Hearthstone” [...]

  • Mixer Co-Founders Leave Microsoft's Twitch Competitor

    Microsoft’s Mixer Streaming Service Loses Its Two Co-Founders

    Microsoft’s Twitch competitor Mixer has lots its two co-founders: Both Matt Salsamendi and James J. Boehm, who co-founded the startup that eventually became Mixer in 2011, have both left the company over the past 2 weeks. The departure comes just a few weeks after Mixer poached famed video game streamer Ninja from Amazon’s Twitch. Salsamendi [...]

  • Trump-Twitch-channel

    Donald Trump Is Now on Amazon's Twitch Streaming Service

    Donald Trump has joined Twitch, the game-focused live-streaming service, apparently in an effort to widen his unfiltered 2020 reelection messaging as the embattled U.S. president faces a fast-moving impeachment inquiry. Trump’s first Twitch broadcast was from his campaign rally Thursday in Minneapolis, where among other targets he lashed out at Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Somali [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content