BioShock Veterans Form New Studio, Working On "Surreal" First-Person Game
Infinite writer Joe Fielder and Day For Night Games reveal The Black Glove; Kickstarter launching in July.
After BioShock creator Irrational Games effectively shut down in February, many wondered what the dozens of laid off staffers would do next. Some transferred to new positions at established studios like the nearby Turbine Inc. or Blizzard Entertainment, but not everyone moved to a well-known company. Others, like BioShock Infinite contributing writer Joe Fielder, went out to start their own thing. Fielder and a team of former Irrational Games designers have formed a new indie studio called Day For Night Games, today announcing their first project, a "surreal" first-person game called The Black Glove.
The Black Glove takes place inside of a "surreal theater" called The Equinox where the player isn't sure if what's happening to them exists in a real place, in their mind, or even another dimension. It's like the extradimensional "Black Lodge" from Twin Peaks, Fielder says. You'll play a character whose goal is to improve the works of an artist, filmmaker, and musician in the present by altering the past. "If we do our jobs correctly, it'll be unlike anything anyone's played before," Fielder said.
The game's bizarre teaser images, which Day For Nights Games has released through Twitter, were designed by Robb Waters. You may not know his name, but you're probably familiar with his work. He was a principal concept designer for System Shock's Shodan, Thief's Garret, BioShock's Andrew Ryan, and most recently, BioShock Infinite's Songbird.
"If we do our jobs correctly, it'll be unlike anything anyone's played before" -- Joe Fielder on The Black Glove
Also working on The Black Glove are a group of Los Angeles-based musicians, one of which is Many Embers. Fielder was able to attract musicians to his new project thanks to connections he made while writing for Los Angeles music scene website Radio Free Silver Lake.
Fielder and Day For Night Games are keeping specific details about The Black Glove, like the gameplay mechanic that lets you change the past, largely under wraps, at least for now. Come July, the studio plans to launch a Kickstarter campaign with far more details about The Black Glove, including the names of other team members working on it, what platforms it's coming to, what engine it runs on, what the space minotaur is, and how much money the company is seeking for funding to make the game a reality.
According to Kickstarter's own data, video game projects are one of the most likely categories to fail to reach their funding target. But Fielder isn't worried about these statistics. "I still think it's a viable platform and not only for games, but for any number of other media," he said. Fielder is also not concerned that his team will miss deadlines. "It's a team that's had a lot of experience making games. I can say that in my experience as a producer, I can ensure that we make [game design choices] on time and on budget," he said.
Asked for specifics regarding the surprise closure of Irrational Games, Fielder said he's not the best person to speak about this, insteading offering up his take on the studio's culture and the people he worked with.
"A lot of people who were working there were knocking on the door of being leads and directors or had thoughts about going off and doing their own thing. It was a very amazing place to work, when you work with people who were at the top of their game. Good folks," Fielder said. "I've learned a ton working at Irrational. It was an amazing but demanding experience. Looking back, I have no regrets. I felt like it taught me a ton about creating narrative-focused games."
Irrational Games is not entirely dead. Co-founder Ken Levine and about a dozen others are currently focused on a "smaller, more entrepreneurial" project for Take-Two Interactive, though it's unclear if they are going to keep the Irrational Games name. Meanwhile, 2K Marin is shepherding the BioShock series going forward. No new entries in the series have been announced, but Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick says the franchise is "beloved" and that it still has room to grow.
FULL DISCLOSURE: Joe Fielder is the former site director and editor of GameSpot.
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