Left 4 Dead and Portal writer confirms new co-op first-person shooter

(Image credit: Valve)

The studio made up of former Valve and Riot developers is working on a new game,  Left 4 Dead and Portal writer Chet Faliszek has confirmed. Stray Bombay was co-founded by Faliszek, who says the new game will be a "first-person network shooter" with what sounds like a fairly innovative new matchmaking system.

The new project was confirmed at the Reboot Develop conference (via VG247), where Faliszek spoke at some length about the game's new "social matchmaking" system and how gameplay will adapt to matchmaking and performance data. For instance, if the game recognizes that a certain group of players is doing particularly well, the system will automatically ramp up the difficulty to keep things challenging. “These people played four games together and they won so let’s have the game go crazy against them, let’s give them something that will kick their asses," Faliszek explained.

In terms of matchmaking, Faliszek says Stray Bombay is working to focus more on players' social habits rather than skill levels. He specifically called out systems that prompt you to add a friend you'd only played one game with, saying it's similar to asking to marry someone after just one date.

"But if you know from session to session what’s happening, you can say, ‘hey, these people play together, they’re looking for a game now on Thursday, so let’s put them in the room together and give them the opportunity to play again.' For us, the metrics are about social, it’s not about skill," Faliszek said.

Faliszek is responsible for penning both entries in the Left 4 Dead and Portal series, as well as Half-Life 2 Episodes One and Two, and Counter Strike: Global Offensive. Stray Bombay's other co-founder is former Riot dev Kimberly Voll, who Faliszek describes as "the smartest person" he knows and "an expert in AI and human-centric design."

Other than those details, we don't know a whole lot about what Stray Bombay is cooking up. However, Faliszek did confirm that it's being developed using the Unreal Engine and that the goal for 20-30 minute co-op romps where you complete an objective as a pre-set character, sort of like, you know, Left 4 Dead. I'm here for it.

In the meantime, prepare your wallet for a barrage of irresistible Black Friday game deals in just a few short weeks. 

Jordan Gerblick

After scoring a degree in English from ASU, I worked as a copy editor while freelancing for places like SFX Magazine, Screen Rant, Game Revolution, and MMORPG on the side. Now, as GamesRadar's west coast Staff Writer, I'm responsible for managing the site's western regional executive branch, AKA my apartment, and writing about whatever horror game I'm too afraid to finish.