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'BioShock' designer founds new studio, The Fullbright Company

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System Shock meets My So-Called Life

fullbright company
fullbright company

Former BioShock designer Steve Gaynor is building a new Oregon-based independent studio, The FullBright Company, alongside fellow 2K Marin colleagues Johnnemann Nordhagen and Karla Zimonja.

Former BioShock designer Steve Gaynor announced today a new Oregon-based independent studio, The Fullbright Company, founded alongside fellow 2K Marin colleagues Johnnemann Nordhagen and Karla Zimonja.

The small team is developing a first-person exploration-based PC title influenced in part by atmospheric first-person games and the open-ended design of BioShock.

"Since we are a small team and we don't have a ton of resources, we wanted to take one part of that BioShock experience," Gaynor told Polygon in an interview today.

"Basically strip out the combat and all the life and death danger that comes with games that are about shooting or any kind of running from enemies, and make it exclusively about being in a place that's extremely immersive and believable, and letting the player explore the environment and interrogate it really deeply and pull the story out from there. It's about exploring a place and finding what's there and what happened there."

Describing his creative influences for the title in-development, Gaynor stated:

"I'm going to drop this on you without any further explanation but two of my biggest creative influences are System Shock and My So-Called Life.

"They are influences on two very opposite ends of the scale as far as the experience and the fiction and aesthetic."

Gaynor previously worked with Nordgagen and Zimonja on BioShock 2 DLC Minerva's Den before reforming independently under The Fullbright Company banner.

"I think that independent development has a huge advantage in agility and the freedom to try stuff that I guess is more risky. And we are doing a game that doesn't fit into a very clear genre, that couldn't be marketable I'm guessing on the scale of the companies that we've worked for before require."

The Fullbright Company is aiming to release the title next year but hope to have a showable section available for press later this year.