Adrian Chmielarz was a co-founder, and at one time the creative director, at People Can Fly. Then, along with a few others at the Bulletstorm developer, they decided to leave and set up The Astronauts. Currently, The Astronauts are working on The Vanishing of Ethan Carter – a PC game that is scheduled for release later this year.
In an interview with GamesIndustry International, Chmielarz spoke of the studio’s desire for top tier titles, without that AAA mentality of “bigger is better”;
“…we’re no longer excited by mammoth-sized games. We’re still very interested in high quality, but now and in the future we want to focus on smaller projects.
We had a blast working on the foundation for Gears of War: Judgment, but after our part was done we just thought it’s time for us to go for, to quote Monty Python, ‘something completely different’. Quite literally, as the game we’re making is not a shooter.”
The terribly intriguing Ethan Carter is described by Chmielarz as a “weird fiction horror” and is certainly a departure for the start-up with tons of experience. Of course, Adrian Chmielarz isn’t the first developer to go back to a more indie route – see Peter Molyneux – and he won’t be the last. With AAA games costing a pretty penny nowadays, the thriving independent scene is somewhere that even the “big boys” can feel comfortable.