Former Irrational Games and Harmonix vets announce new game Dreadline
Eerie Canal Entertainment, the new studio from former Irrational Games and Harmonix veterans Bryn Bennett and Steven Kimura, unveiled its first game Dreadline this week, with aims to develop titles "too risky for large studios."
Dreadline is described as a frantic squad-based role-playing game in which players control a team of monsters and kill humans doomed to die anyway, such as passengers of the Titanic.
"It will be much smaller in scale than Diablo or Freedom Force, and will, in a lot of ways, play like a racing game," Bryn Bennett told Polygon. "The monsters want to kill as many humans as they can before the calamity, so they don't have much time!"
Describing the kinds of risks they hope to take with their studio, Kimura explained the free-form work ethic that drives Eerie Canal.
"For me, the only way to make a project interesting and creative is to just start building," he said, "and let it go in whatever direction it wants. Six months ago, there was no way we could have predicted what this game would be like. A truly creative and unpredictable process alone is something big studios and publishers aren't built to handle. We don't build to spec, we're just following our feelings and hoping for the best."
Bennett and Kimura first met in 2000 when working together on a number of titles at Irrational Games.
"We also played in bands around Boston," Bennett continued, "so we became friends both at work, and as being part of the music scene here. We went off on separate ways for a while when I went to Iron Lore, but we ended up working together again at Harmonix.
"We always shared a lot of the same tastes in games and music, so when we both left Harmonix it made sense for us to try to start something up. We had no idea what we were going to do, but we knew that it had to be something that we were both really excited about. We spent a few months throwing around crazy ideas while I put the base tech together. Eventually we were out at a bar one night with our friend Matt Derby when we started talking about how we should flip things around with our current game idea, and play as the monsters. Then we came up with the monsters in a time machine, visiting human calamities, and we were all laughing so hard we were crying. That was the point we knew we were on to something."
Bennett and Kimura's previous work includes System Shock 2, Freedom Force, Guitar Hero, Rock Band, Titan Quest, SWAT 4 and Bioshock. Also on the team are former Harmonix artists Aaron DeMuth, Mallika Sundaramurthy and sound designer Arthy Inasi.
Dreadline is scheduled to release on PC next year.