Eight months after joining Stardock, lead Civilization IV designer Soren Johnson has founded a new indie studio named after his haircut of choice, Mohawk Games. Announcing its first game, codenamed Mars, Johnson has said "The goal is to make games that will be played for years, based on elegant, replayable systems which are not limited by finite content creation."
Mohawk's still involved with Stardock, though. Stardock CEO Brad Wardell is president of Mohawk, doing business-y things, and the studio has financial backing from the Stardock Strategic Investment Fund. Mars is to run upon Oxide Games newly-announced Nitrous engine, which has also received Stardock money and has Wardell onboard.
"Mohawk puts gameplay first," Johnson said in yesterday's announcement. "Our goal is to make games that will be played for years, based on elegant, replayable systems that are not limited by finite content creation. Our development process emphasizes rapid iteration above all else, requiring our games to be playable as soon as possible so that we have time to find the fun."
Expanding on this in a blog post, Soren also explains that Mohawk's keen on all the cool PC gaming things, from crowdfunding and early access programs to mods.