"Are you Ben?"
I was a bit taken back by the question, or at least who was asking it. I was face to face with Marty O'Donnell, the famed composer responsible for the music in the Halo series, among other games. The last time I had seen him, we were at the Bungie offices, where he was playing selections from Destiny's music for a few members of the press and discussing what it was like working with Paul McCartney.
I was here to see Golem, an upcoming PlayStation VR exclusive from Highwire Games, and being let into the building by O'Donnell wasn't the last time I would be surprised by the talent that makes up the studio. Jaime Griesemer had invited me, via Twitter, to check out the studio's first game. We had first met each other at Sucker Punch, where he worked as a game designer on Infamous: Second Son.
The two men have known each other for years, and shared a history at Bungie, where O'Donnell originally helped Griesemer get employed in Chicago. Griesemer left Sucker Punch suddenly, and O'Donnell was relieved of his duties on Destiny, a situation that led to litigation.
The two quickly decided to work on something new. "Jaime saw me right away and knew I was going to be in a little bit of shock but he said, 'Come on, let's do something,'" O'Donnell said. They linked up with Jared Noftle, who co-founded Airtight Games and founded Red Lens Games, among other companies. "Which means he has startup experience we sorely needed," Griesemer said.
Now they just needed some direction.