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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.
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+