Portal, Left 4 Dead writer Chet Faliszek co-founds new co-op games studio

With Riot Games designer Kim Voll.

Former Valve writer Chet Faliszek has co-founded new games studio Stray Bombay with Riot Games designer Kimberly Voll.

Faliszek is best known for his work on Valve classics such as Half-Life 2's episodes, Portal, Left 4 Dead and Portal 2 - several of which have a big focus on co-operative storytelling.

And it's this focus Stray Bombay will build upon as Faliszek and Voll seek to make games with shared experiences.

In a statement on the company's founding, Faliszek recalls hearing how a soldier based in Iraq would keep in touch with his wife by playing L4D together - giving them a way of feeling connected in a normal way without emphasising the distance between them.

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Faliszek and Voll.

"Players are smart, they are social. But games often don't reflect that and we think that can change," Faliszek wrote.

"As Kim and I talked over the years about the kind of games we want to make, we realised we want to create games that give players a place to breathe and live in the moment. Games that tell stories knowing you are going to come back again and again, that change each time you play them without feeling completely random, and that help you feel like a real team that supports each other... not a bunch of folks in each other's way. And where AI drives not just the enemies but helps drive the entire experience."

Stray Bombay's new site lists several job openings, with posts open for engineers, artists, designers and animators. It's announcing its existence this week to begin hiring during GDC, then will "go dark" for a while to get to work.

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Tom Phillips

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