Ex-Valve and Riot devs set up new studio, with backing from Riot Games – Polygon

Former Valve writer Chet Faliszek and former Riot Games technical designer Kimberly Voll announced their new studio ahead of this week’s Game Developers Conference. It’s called Stray Bombay and, according to a blog post from the duo, the pair’s new studio will focus on cooperative multiplayer games featuring enemies and experiences driven by artificial intelligence.
Faliszek is best known for his work at Valve, where he wrote for games like Portal, Left 4 Dead, and Half-Life 2. After leaving Valve in 2017, he moved to I Am Bread and Worlds Adrift developer Bossa Studios, which he has since parted ways with. Now he’s teaming up with Voll “to create games that give players a place to breathe and live in the moment. Games that tell stories knowing you are going to come back again and again, that change each time you play them without feeling completely random, and that help you feel like a real team that supports each other … not a bunch of folks in each other’s way. And where AI drives not just the enemies but helps drive the entire experience.”
Voll’s work at Riot Games focused on in cognitive science, player dynamics, and artificial intelligence, according to her LinkedIn profile. Prior to Riot, Voll programmed games like RocketsRocketsRockets and Fantastic Contraption at Radial Games. Faliszek praised Voll as “an expert in AI and human-centric design.”
Voll said in the duo’s blog post that Stray Bombay has investment from Riot Games and venture capital firm Upfront Ventures. The pair added that they’re “going to go dark for a little bit as we start laying the foundation of our new world.”