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Some of the biggest names in indie gaming are teaming up to form a new studio.

Sean Vanaman, Jake Rodkin, Nels Anderson, and Olly Moss revealed Campo Santo, their new San Francisco-based game studio. Mac and iOS app developer Panic is backing the new venture.

Vanaman and Rodkin are best known for their work as creative leads on 2012 GamesBeat game of the year, Telltale’s The Walking Dead. Anderson is departing developer Klei, where he acted as lead designer on stealth game Mark of the Ninja. Moss, meanwhile, is an artist known for his movie- and game-inspired posters.

In a blog post on the Campo Santo website, Vanaman explained how difficult it is to make a game and then how hazardous the game business is in general. He went on to explain why, in the face of that, he and the others decided to start the new studio:


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“To be honest, it’s because we think we’ve found the right group of people to make the [difficulties of producing a game] not just worth enduring but actually thrilling. As we talk to our friends and industry colleagues about “doing something indie” with us, there’s a shared pragmatism informed by years in the industry that melds with the lingering youthful enthusiasm that got us into games to begin with. Some of us want to tell stories, some of us want to build systems, and some of us want to create beautiful looking worlds, but we all want to make something. The stultifying difficulty of making a good game is instantly tempered and then squashed.

Campo Santo did not divulge the nature of its first project. The studio also didn’t reveal any of its programming talent, but it does have a job post on its website asking for a 3D environment artist that has experience working with multiplatform game engine Unity.

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