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Kellee Santiago Leaves Thatgamecompany For New Discoveries

Kellee Santiago

Reflecting on the essence of the latest release from the game development company she co-founded, Kellee Santiago has said to Gamasutra that she is departing from her companions at thatgamecompany and looking for new opportunities and challenges.

It was six years ago that Jenova Chen and Kellee Santiago, after working together at university, decided to set up thatgamecompany with the mission of exploring new types of expression in video games. Fittingly, this journey comes to an end with the third and final contractual release for the Playstation 3, Journey, as Santiago reveals her departure. The previous two titles of course being flOw and Flower, both critically acclaimed but the third game, Journey, is best considered the studio’s most true title.

“After doing these three games, I think it was a really great opportunity for all of us to look at what we’ve learned and what I’ve taken from that experience, and go forth and take it into new arenas,” Santiago said.

She mentions that while she wouldn’t want to speak on the behalf of her colleagues, it seems that more departures from the studio would be “likely”. Her leaving is not met through disagreements or arguments, simply a wish to meet new challenges and discoveries, though Santiago said she would happily work with any of those at thatgamecompany again.

“While we want to continue the path of Thatgamecompany, Kellee has found a new direction in her career. Though our path in the future may be different, as TGC begins our next project, we wish Kellee a good journey and that our paths may cross again,” said the studio’s other co-founder, Jenova Chen.

Santiago hasn’t said whether she has any specific routes from here on but hopes to continue on some of that original essence founded in thatgamecompany, taking it to more teams and projects in order to help boost the growth of video games as a medium. In the meantime, thatgamecompany will carry on working on their next title, their first since having fulfilled and broken free of the contract with Sony.

Via Gamasutra


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Indie Links Round-Up: Honest to Goodness

Dustforce-Indie-LinksIndie Links is back with another playground for your eyes to run around on. In today’s round-up: Interview overload, Student developers should take the opportunity and one dev progresses by honestly reflecting on a failed game. Have fun and y’all come back n0w, ya hear!

A Letter To Students: Experimental Games Can Get You Jobs (Brandon Sheffield/Gamasutra)
“In this editorial, originally printed in Game Developer magazine’s special Career Guide 2010 issue (available for free online) editor-in-chief Brandon Sheffield asks that students use their time in school to try new game concepts — while they’re still in an environment that supports experimentation.”

An action game with sweeping: talking Dustforce with Hitbox (Andrew Webster/ars technica)
“Independent games often tackle subject matter that is very different from more mainstream titles. Flower is about the dreams flowers might have. Machinarium is about separated robot lovers. And the upcoming Dustforce is about… sweeping. It’s a unique concept, and if the demo is any indication, the team at Hitbox might just have managed to find a way to make housework fun.”

Xbox Live Indie-Dome: August 2nd – 8th, 2010 (Rob Thomas/Crush! Frag! Destroy!)
“Welcome back again, everybody. Rob Rich is taking a break this week, as he was a bit under the weather. So, being the good boss that I am, I stepped up to relieve his burden by handling the newest Xbox Live Indie-Dome…”

Global Agenda Six Months Later – An Interview with Executive Producer Todd Harris (iTZKooPA/LoreHound)
“It’s hard to believe the way I discovered Global Agenda. As I was stomping through PAX 2009 (that’d be PAX “Prime”) I heard a man shouting something about “No elves.” Mildly interested, I turned to see a booth lined with computers, which people were huddled around playing a game I had never seen. Turns out, I knew exactly what the game was. This was the game responsible for shooting an elven mage in the head while he was casting.”

Interview: Blitz Duo Talk Kinect Development, Indies Program (Brandon Sheffield/GameSetWatch)
“Blitz Games’ Andrew Oliver and Chris Swan talk to our own Brandon Sheffield on addressing challenges in motion controls for casual games, distribution portals for indie titles, and their Blitz 1Up program to assist independent development.”

Chockablock: Minecraft Revisited (Jim Rossignol/Rock, Paper, Shotgun)
“Gadzooks, it’s been over a year since I first ranted about Minecraft, the epic blocky building game by Markus “Notch” Persson. Clearly it’s well overdue a revisit from us. And there’s much to catch up on, too – including a Portal mod – so join me below decks, and we’ll explore the niche this game is carving out for itself.”

Midlife Gamer Meets: Mark Morris Of Introversion (Marconi/Midlife Gamer)
“Being flat is what I would love to be. How one little constanant could change my life persepective and indeed what benefits I would be entitled to. I would save a fortune on travelling costs by posting my little minimalist body through the post. For some their dreams came true when sleeping under a poorly screwed in notice board. For others they turn to Introversion Software to give them all their flat needs and more. So I took some time out to speak to Mark Morris and found out what it is like to hack, destroy and create a world of flat!”

The Ultimate Race Postmortem (Mandible Games)
“So, I made this game. And – let’s be fair – it sort of sucked.”

Interview: Zombie Cow’s Dan Marshall Talks About His Privates (Mike Rose/GameSetWatch)
“Continuing his interviews with independent game creators, Mike Rose catches up with Zombie Cow’s Dan Marshall, to discuss his new educational sex-related game Privates and his move into full-time indie game creation.”

Interview: Flower‘s Jenova Chen (Dave Cook/NOWGamer)
“The flOw and Flower creator talks about indie games and his new PSN project Journey.”