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'Video games are not all they can be,' says The Astronauts co-founder

Polish indie studio The Astronauts is interested in smaller, more creative games because its members believe that "video games are not all they can be," said co-founder Adrian Chmielarz in an interview with GamesIndustry International.

Chmielarz acknowledged that his studio's first game, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, is "evolutionary, not revolutionary." But he said The Astronauts hopes "it'll be one of the examples of a different kind of experience that video games can offer," as opposed to most other games, which "are the same formula in a constantly updated skin.

"And that's fine, but we think there's room for more variety, for paradigms challenged and for the formulas reinvented."

Chmielarz expressed similar sentiments about the lack of creativity in the AAA space in an earlier blog post on The Astronauts site, saying, "Shorter, cheaper games excite me."

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a macabre first-person title that Chmielarz had a tough time describing to Polygon, in terms of comparisons to existing games.

"I don't know of a game like this," he said. "Not that we're inventing a completely new genre — we use many established solutions — but the final mix is quite unique." Chmielarz was hesitant to call The Vanishing of Ethan Carter an adventure game; instead, he referred to it as "more of an 'interactive drama' than what people usually think when someone says 'adventure.'"

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is set for release on Windows PC this year.