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Mark of the Ninja, Walking Dead Devs Team With Olly Moss

New superteam of developers setting off on their own.

The idea of Mark of the Ninja’s lead designer, the two leads on The Walking Dead, and profoundly talented artist Olly Moss working together on a video game sounds pretty cool. Thankfully, it’s actually happening, and their brand-new studio is called Campo Santo.

More specifically, that means we’re talking about Nels Anderson, Sean Vanaman, and Jake Rodkin working with Moss.

“Deciding to found and then actually CREATE a video game studio has felt like a mix of buying a winning lottery ticket and taking a brash detour that results in a near miss with a pedestrian” said Vanaman on the company’s blog. “Impulse followed by action followed by sitting in your car hyperventilating. The outcome is thrilling at best and disastrous at worst.”

Campo Santo is not looking for you to chip in, its first game will not be built on crowdfunding. Instead, famed software developer Panic has invested in the potential of Campo Santo. The game is not only backed by Panic but will be made in collaboration with the developer, as well.

“It’s an unlikely partnership that means we get to conceive of, make, and distribute a video game the way we want to and the way we know how, with no per-prescribed set of rules or formula for how it’s done,” said Vanaman.

There is no game to talk about yet, no concept art to ignite the imagination, but the sheer talent behind Campo Santo is exciting enough for now.

Chances are Vanaman and Rodkin will be spilling their guts about building a company and making a game on their own through the Idle Thumbs podcast, which comes highly recommended.

Patrick Klepek on Google+
80 Comments
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Posted by berniesbc

Pretty exciting, but I wonder what this means for Walking Dead Season 2.

Posted by BeachThunder

Interesting :o

Edited by spiketail

Whaaaaaaaaaa?! Insanity!

Next Idle Thumbs podcast will be super interesting!

EDIT: If Jake's and Sean's Idle Thumbs alias are 'Videogames' and 'Famous', what does that make for Nels and Olly? 'Stealth' and . . . well, got nothing for Olly. Kind of favoring 'The Moss'.

Edited by CaLe

They are just trying to get rich!!!!!!!!!

Edited by Sanj

IDEA: The game is an ultra-realistic crime thriller, BUT the main character is depicted solely as a 2D minimalist silhouette who interacts with the "real" people. It'll be the Who Framed Roger Rabbit of video games.

Anyway, I'm a big fan of Moss' work and I look forward to seeing what these guys cook up!

Posted by aceofspudz

Hopefully they listen to the MOTN guy, because he has actually made a game.

Edited by RazielCuts

Hmmm, so that's why Olly was over and on the last IdleThumbs cast, as well as Nels. What's the betting on Chris Remo leaving Double Fine and joining them too? With a splash of Brendon Chung after he's finished Cowboy.

Posted by tsiro

NO!!! Now there'll NEVER be a Puzzle Agent 3 :(

But, seriously, this is so incredibly exciting. I could not possibly be happier about this.

Posted by mbkish

Awesome! Great to see the Thumbs guys breaking away.

Posted by berniesbc

@spiketail: Someone on the Idle Thumbs Forum suggested that the company should have been called Famous Video Games Inc.

Edited by Sphinx

@tsiro I want Puzzle Agent 3 too! :(

Posted by fartGOD666

I hate to be cynical, but I'm pretty sure that this is one big ploy from the Thumbs guys to get Olly Moss to decorate their office walls for free.

Edited by theimmortalbum

Well, this explains why both Nels and Olly were on an episode of Idle Thumbs recently.

Posted by fartGOD666

Hmmm, so that's why Olly was over and on the last IdleThumbs cast, as well as Nels. What's the betting on Chris Remo leaving Double Fine and joining them too? With a splash of Brendon Chung after he's finished Cowboy.

Hey asshole, stop reading my dream journal.

Posted by yevinorion

I really hope whatever their project is actually comes to fruition and is great. Almost all sounds too good to be true.

Posted by Sergotron

Man this is a all star project. It very feels like a Captain Planets "by our powers combine".

Posted by masterpaperlink

Oh cool some amazing talent, ill be interested to see what sort of work olly does in a concept/lead artist role.

Posted by AlwaysBeClothing

Well, it makes sense why those guys were there for that Idle Thumbs podcast now. Still, we'll see what becomes of it.

Posted by MormonWarrior

Wait, so are they leaving Telltale then? Or is this just a side-project studio? I'm confused.

Edited by mrfluke

wonder what does this mean for walking dead now.

Edited by project343

Now they just need to steal Chris Remo and Nick Breckon. And then spend all their time podcasting. Until I tell them to stop.

Posted by I_Stay_Puft

Is Gary Whitta still going to be writing on Season 2. That's a huge hit for the walking dead season 2 but I'm sure telltale has enough talent over there to keep it going.

Posted by WateryFire

Very excited for this, a little disappointed that they didn't announce this on the Thumbs podcast tho, also maybe Hot Scoops will join them too?

Posted by finnith

Nick "Fuck Nick" Breckon isn't joining them?

Posted by MarkWahlberg

No Kickstarter? What, do they think they're better than us? Is that it? Our money not good enough for them, the snooty bastards?!

Posted by Thoseposers

First game is gonna be an I Spy typ eof game where you have to find objects hidden in pictures that olly moss draws

Posted by Hyuzen

Pretty exciting, but I wonder what this means for Walking Dead Season 2.

All I can think of now is that this will greatly impact how good Season 2 can be

Posted by Confirm4Crit

@finnith said:

Nick "Fuck Nick" Breckon isn't joining them?

"Fuck" Nick Breckon

Posted by spookytapes

♫♫♫VIIIIIIDEOOOO GAAAAAMMMESSSS♫♫♫

Posted by Zacagawea

So the next Walking Dead game won't be as good as the first? Got it.

Edited by Fleck0

Even if Chris doesn't immediately join the company I'll bet his music will show up on their first project anyway.

Now they can make a spiritual successor to Gone Home with ghosts like we all wanted.

Posted by mtfikhan

If the first game is not called WHIZARD, i will be bummed. But this is interesting

Edited by megalowho

Looking forward to Phaedrus: Origins

Posted by Olivaw

First game is gonna be an I Spy typ eof game where you have to find objects hidden in pictures that olly moss draws

GOTY 2014

Edited by AllanIceman

This is Rad!

Posted by Snail

Hmm... I couldn't help but think how supergroups are rarely ever good.

I wonder if that translates to video-games.

Or maybe the rule applies, but they'll be the ELP of video-games? What other good supergroups are there?

Posted by l3illyl3ob

@hyuzen said:

@berniesbc said:

Pretty exciting, but I wonder what this means for Walking Dead Season 2.

All I can think of now is that this will greatly impact how good Season 2 can be

Same. I really hope the guys at Telltale can pull of a good Season 2 of TWD. But I have a feeling that without Jake and Sean, it won't be nearly as compelling.

Posted by klinkcow

What happens when my favorite designers get together? Well see!

Posted by beepmachine

This has some exciting potential. With design and writing talent like that we could end up with something really special. The idea of Olly Moss's art style in game form makes me giddy. That's assuming he'll be handling that. He might be more interested in the conceptual design, but no reason not to assume he would oversee the look of the game as well.

Google tells me that Campo Santo means "Cemetery." I wonder why they went with that for a name.

Posted by Kidavenger

"The game is not only backed by Panic but will be made in collaboration with the developer, as well."

This is really off putting, Panic appears to be an iOS/mac crapware developer; a Kickstarter would have been better.

Posted by mostman

@kidavenger: you should do a bit more research. Panic is one of the premiere Mac developers in the business. They set the tone and the trend for many of the modern design you see around today. Probably one of the highest regarded developers in the business. But hey - your 2 seconds of looking entitles you to your opinion.

Posted by Matoyak

@mtfikhan said:

If the first game is not called WHIZARD, i will be bummed. But this is interesting

It's a game named WHIZARD in which you play through Far Cry 2 in the style of the Walking Dead only as a wizard.

Joking aside, this is some pretty crazy stuff. Could be really awesome.

Posted by BisonHero

When did those 2 leave TellTale?

Online
Posted by Pie

Yeah super interesting stuff

Posted by Nonentity

Super, super excited about this. Videogames and Famous back in the saddle!

Edited by Kraznor

Odds on Breckon and Remo joining them?

Posted by PXAbstraction

It's not called Phaedrus Games? Missed opportunity!

I very much look forward to seeing what they make but I do hope it is more game and less Dear Esther/Gone Home-style interactive story.

Posted by Fram

The Audioslave of indie game devs has arrived!

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