Éric Chahi was the sole developer of cult classic cinematic platformer Another World (also known as Out of This World in North America). He developed everything himself: the programming, the story, the art style, and even the box artwork, in an era where that was more and more heading out of style with the 16-bit hardware coming out. Basically, every game required the development of its own engine, which made a solo effort much more difficult and time-consuming. With that perspective in mind, Another World was quite groundbreaking and is one of the key titles in the Cinematic Platformer sub-genre.
After Another World, Chahi also developed another cinematic platformer, Heart of Darkness, with a studio called Amazing Studio. It was released for Microsoft Windows and PlayStation in 1998. After that, he's had no other credits apart from the original design concept of god game From Dust, developed by Ubisoft Montpellier. On Tuesday, March 26, his new indie studio Pixel Reef was announced on Twitter.
The studio is based in Montpellier, France. As the tweet says, immersive indie games with a poetic touch will be their focus, which should prove an interesting niche. In another tweet the studio advertised a French book, Les Jeux d'Aventure en Pixels [Pixelated Adventure Games], written by Cyrille Baron. The cover of this book is from Future Wars, an adventure game that Éric Chahi developed with studio Delphine Software, released in 1989, two years before Another World.
Right now the Pixel Reef website shows a flickering gif with the words "Somewhere inside big data," and a countdown below it, set for nearly 13 days, hinting that their new project will be announced soon.
Quick TakeIt's always great to see an old-timer return to the industry, especially at a time when indie games are so popular. If you think about it, Éric Chahi's hiatus occurred during the period in the gaming industry where indie developers suffered the most with the 3D leap. So it makes perfect sense that he now believes there is a niche for his games.
What do you think of Pixel Reef? Are you hoping for more cinematic platformer games like Another World or something else? Let us know in the comments below!