Former Valve writer & Riot dev form new studio Stray Bombay

Game developers Chet Faliszek and Kimberly Voll, formerly of Valve and Riot Games respectively, have teamed up to create new studio Stray Bombay.

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Two notable figures in the electronic entertainment industry are teaming up to create a fresh new studio. Chet Faliszek, former writer for Valve on games like Half-Life and Portal, as well as Kimberly Voll, the former game designer for Riot Games, have founded new studio Stray Bombay with intent to start putting together a larger team.

Speaking in a blog post published on the official Stray Bombay website, Faliszek and Voll spoke about the inspiration behind the studio. Faliszek said the idea of using a cooperative approach to game design came from a fateful email from a soldier stationed in Iraq:

"After the release of Left 4 Dead (L4D), I received an email that changed forever how I think about making games. It was from a soldier stationed in Iraq who said L4D had saved his marriage. It was simple—he and his wife missed each other and talking on the phone just made them realize this more and feel even more miserable. But jumping into a game of L4D let them forget that and just exist in the moment. They could spend time in each other’s company as if they were sitting next to each other on the couch at home.

"Players are smart, they are social. But games often don’t reflect that and we think that can change. So we’re forming a new studio in Seattle that is itself co-operative."

Chet Faliszek and Kimberly Voll of Stray Bombay
Chet Faliszek and Kimberly Voll of Stray Bombay

The duo haven't yet given an indication of what sort of projects they'd like to begin working on. However, a report from Variety states that the two are currently seeking applicants who would like to join the crew, and will be available to talk to interested parties at GDC 2019 this week. Voll additionally notes that game developers looking for new work can contact either of them on-site or through email:

“If you are in town, drop us an email at chet@straybombay.com or kim@straybombay.com to set up a meeting,” Voll wrote. “If not, don’t worry, just send an email to careers@straybombay.com with your resume and we will get back to you.”

In the blog post, Voll does mention that the studio isn't ready for players just yet — the notion likely being that the team doesn't have any announcement regarding projects to make just yet. With that said, Stray Bombay is offering up a newsletter to keep gamers informed, and will be paying special attention to fan feedback in the coming months.

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