Walking Dead and Mark of the Ninja leads form Campo Santo studio

Lead designers behind The Walking Dead and Mark of the Ninja are forming a new studio of their own. Campo Santo, the new San Francisco studio from four indie-stry veterans, stepped into the spotlight today.

The studio's founders are Sean Vanaman and Jake Rodkin, who both led the design and story of The Walking Dead. Mark of the Ninja lead designer Nels Anderson and graphic designer and illustrator Olly Moss--you may know him from those Star Wars posters--round out the team. Santo himself seems to be absent, though.

"As we talk to our friends and industry colleagues about 'doing something indie' with us, there’s a shared pragmatism informed by years in the industry that melds with the lingering youthful enthusiasm that got us into games to begin with," Vanaman said on Campo Santo's blog. "Some of us want to tell stories, some of us want to build systems, and some of us want to create beautiful looking worlds, but we all want to make something. The stultifying difficulty of making a good game is instantly tempered and then squashed."

The studio will collaborate with Panic, a Portland, Ore. software design company, for both financial backing and design of its first title.

"It’s an unlikely partnership that means we get to conceive of, make, and distribute a video game the way we want to and the way we know how, with no per-prescribed set of rules or formula for how it’s done," Vanaman said.

Connor Sheridan

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.