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Oh, Hell Yeah: Minerva's Den Creatives Form Studio

Former 2K Marin developers convene in Portland to create something new.

I pulled this off The Fullbright Company's website, and it was labeled bulb.jpg. Deep, man.

If you haven’t played Minerva’s Den, an exceptional piece of storytelling delivered as downloadable content for BioShock 2, just stop reading this. Yes, even if you didn’t care for BioShock 2--Minerva’s Den is absolutely worth the price of admission.

Thankfully, anyone still reading has played Minerva’s Den, right?

When Irrational Games picked up Minerva’s Den designer and writer Steve Gaynor, I smiled. When Gaynor left Irrational Games last year, I frowned. Now, however, we know why he left: he’s formed his own studio.

Gaynor announced The Fullbright Company today, a development partnership with some of his former Minerva’s Den cohorts, programmer Johnnemann Nordhagen and assistant director and graphic artist Karla Zimonja.

“We missed working on a small team, on a small project, focused on telling a personal story in a player-driven way,” said Gaynor on the studio’s website. “We wanted to do that again. It was fun last time.”

And you have to love a company with a mission statement like this:

Our intent in the end is simply to make a great game. A memorable experience that you’ll be drawn into, and keep thinking about after the game’s turned off, and want to come back to again someday. An experience that gets away from the constraints of ossified game genres, while relying on what we’re good at as a team: creating immersive places to inhabit, and a deep, personal story to explore at your own pace. A nonviolent game in an unfantastical locale; an experience that not many games provide, built out of techniques that only video games can employ.

You tell me that several of the creative forces behind Minerva’s Den are coming together to produce something new, and you’ve told me all I need to know about opening up my wallet and saying “yes.”

Patrick Klepek on Google+
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Posted by patrickklepek
I pulled this off The Fullbright Company's website, and it was labeled bulb.jpg. Deep, man.

If you haven’t played Minerva’s Den, an exceptional piece of storytelling delivered as downloadable content for BioShock 2, just stop reading this. Yes, even if you didn’t care for BioShock 2--Minerva’s Den is absolutely worth the price of admission.

Thankfully, anyone still reading has played Minerva’s Den, right?

When Irrational Games picked up Minerva’s Den designer and writer Steve Gaynor, I smiled. When Gaynor left Irrational Games last year, I frowned. Now, however, we know why he left: he’s formed his own studio.

Gaynor announced The Fullbright Company today, a development partnership with some of his former Minerva’s Den cohorts, programmer Johnnemann Nordhagen and assistant director and graphic artist Karla Zimonja.

“We missed working on a small team, on a small project, focused on telling a personal story in a player-driven way,” said Gaynor on the studio’s website. “We wanted to do that again. It was fun last time.”

And you have to love a company with a mission statement like this:

Our intent in the end is simply to make a great game. A memorable experience that you’ll be drawn into, and keep thinking about after the game’s turned off, and want to come back to again someday. An experience that gets away from the constraints of ossified game genres, while relying on what we’re good at as a team: creating immersive places to inhabit, and a deep, personal story to explore at your own pace. A nonviolent game in an unfantastical locale; an experience that not many games provide, built out of techniques that only video games can employ.

You tell me that several of the creative forces behind Minerva’s Den are coming together to produce something new, and you’ve told me all I need to know about opening up my wallet and saying “yes.”

Staff
Edited by Buttmonk3y

This could be interesting

Edited by HeghmohQib

Nope, haven't played. Shortest article ever.

Edited by Freezer_Burn

Pretty cool, let's hope for some good shit down the road.

Posted by Morningstar

Sounds cool.

Posted by Zripwud

I loved Steve Gaynor on Idle Thumbs.

Posted by swordvan

Im sold, too bad the DLC isnt on steam. GFW I guess?

Posted by Animasta

a great game? that's a little bold...

Posted by kindgineer

But I love non-fantastical :(

Posted by Alphazero

Minerva's Den was amazing, and not just for the playable old-school vector graphics game included.

Posted by UncleBenny

PATRICK YOU ARE CLEARLY SHOWING BIAS TOWARDS XBOX BOO YOU ARE A TERRIBLE wait I lost my train of thought... Ok, fine, I'll go get a copy of bioshock 2 and buy minerva's den. the price of entry is a bit ridiculous, but it's way too late to ask 2K to make minerva's den a stand alone DLC.

Posted by bybeach

I'm a winner.

I both enjoyed Bioshock 2 and Minivera's Den.

Posted by jakob187

I loved Bioshock 2, and I thoroughly loved Minerva's Den. This has me so goddamn excited right now. Grats to these guys for getting a studio going when so many are shutting down.

Posted by cooljammer00

The absolute best thing is during the GOTY podcasts when Brad was arguing for Minerva's Den and Jeff guesses the plot twist immediately.

Posted by Ravenlight

@patrickklepek said:

This is driving me mad. Is that a shadow on the bottom right corner or is their logo a clever optical illusion?

Posted by Scodiac

I'm definitely interested in seeing what they come up with.

Posted by hermes

Best of lucks...

Even when Minerva's Den has the same constraints than Bioshock 2 and the twist was rather predicable, it was a great DLC and the execution brought tears to my eyes.

Posted by defcomm

Minerva's Den is so good; I totally support Brad strong arming it as DLC of the year for 2010.

Posted by Mr_Skeleton

That's great news.

Edited by Abendlaender

So can someone sum up the article? I wasn't allowed to read it through

Posted by beef_melody

Hot Scoops!

Posted by NeoAthanasius

I'm glad they are opening up in Portland. We need more developers here. There is also a very good game community here, so the more the merrier.

Posted by deerokus

IDLE THUMBS.

Posted by Scratch

Awesome news. I knew something was happening in the background by following him on twitter. Well, now it's confirmed.

Posted by nail1080

SHOCK NEWS: Bioshock 2 is a fantastic game regardless of Miranda's Den.

Posted by defenestr8ed

Baboo!

Posted by Masha2932

I loved Bioshock 2.

Posted by Fallen189

@beef_melody said:

Hot Scoops!

Posted by shaz10010

I dunno man...its no shadow broker

Posted by Kete

the wizard

Posted by Stubee

Minervas den is one of those things that can be ruined by a single spoiler sentence. Sadly I've read that sentence and now im never gunna play it

Posted by aceofspudz

@Stubee said:

Minervas den is one of those things that can be ruined by a single spoiler sentence. Sadly I've read that sentence and now im never gunna play it

Not true. I knew the spoiler and it was still great.

Posted by DeF

@aceofspudz said:

@Stubee said:

Minervas den is one of those things that can be ruined by a single spoiler sentence. Sadly I've read that sentence and now im never gunna play it

Not true. I knew the spoiler and it was still great.

yea exactly, if you didn't play it, how would you know if the spoiler you read about actually does ruin the experience.

do you force yourself through games just for the ending/plot twist?

Posted by Gamer_152

That's great news. I'll be very interested to see what they come up with.

Moderator
Posted by NumbThumb

Honestly, it's my favorite expansion/DLC of all time...even if it wasn't the longest/best. It's right on part with the first games story, just more compact and with a better ending. If you haven't played it...do so. They show how to do story right.

Because of that - I'm thrilled they'll be producing something on their own. Hope it lives up to their previous effort.

Edited by SaturdayNightSpecials

No, I haven't played Minerva's Den and I never will, because I own the game on PC.

It's too bad because I actually like the main game a good deal, unlike most of the people who seem to love Minerva's Den.

Edited by I_smell

I ctrl+F'd this article for the word "Gaynor".

Upon successful F'ing I ctrl+F'd the comments for the word "scoops".

I just downloaded Minerva's Den last week cos it was on sale for 400 MSpoints. Pretty excited to start it!

Edited by I_smell

Oh shit wait, oh my god, did Patrick just get the scoop on Hot Scoops?

Has the scoop-er become the scoop-ee? (unless it was Coop 'The Scoop' Cooper from Gamesradar, in which case Cooper would be the Hot Scoops scoop scooper)

Posted by Humanity

I dunno. Beat Bioshock 2 hearing how that last plasmid is so amazing like wow and I guess they meant the vampire drill but I hardly used it. Had an average time playing the game only this time around the story wasn't as captivating as in Bioshock 1. When I read the description for Minervas Den I was hardly interested in buying it. I'll chalk it up to the great internet hyperbole's.

Edited by Sooty

Still think BioShock 2 was much better than the first game, it just played better.

Posted by 234r2we232

@Sooty said:

Still think BioShock 2 was much better than the first game, it just played better.

This. BioShock 2 was just a much better experience overall. Seriously one of my fondest memories playing video games was playing through that game.

It just shows how jaded and bandwagony most internet folk are that they can even consider Shock 2 to be bad, let alone, inferior.

Posted by Little_Socrates

I must obey. (Also, read about this elsewhere, interested to see what comes of it.)

Posted by MarkWahlberg

@I_smell said:

Has the scoop-er become the scoop-ee? (unless it was Coop 'The Scoop' Cooper from Gamesradar, in which case Cooper would be the Hot Scoops scoop scooper)

It's the Scatman!

Posted by djaoni

The hipster.

He strikes again.

Posted by gbrading

@SaturdayNightSpecials: Minerva's Den is actually out on PC now. It's just a shame it took 2K so long to bring it to PC (almost a full year after 360/PS3), because by the time it came around I'd uninstalled BioShock 2.

Posted by benspyda

Bought Minerva's Den and Bioshock2. Have not played either yet. Will have to get to it before I forget again.

Posted by Larsa

The real Hot Scoops <3

Posted by I_smell

@sofacitysweetheart:

Bioshock 2 had way better weapons and traps and plasmids and stuff. But being in Rapture was more cool when you'd never seen it before.

They're both great, really. I do think anyone who says the 2nd one's bad is crazy.

Posted by FlipperDesert

Now that's a Hot Scoop.

Posted by GeekDown

Minerva's Den is easily the best DLC I have ever played. I will buy anything these guys put out. Really excited to see what they will do.

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