Irrational co-founder leaves to form his own studio

By Debabrata Nath, Tuesday, 19 July 2011 19:42 GMT

Irrational Games co-founder Jon Chey has decided to split from the studio in order to set up one of his own.

During an interview with Gamasutra, he revealed his newly formed studio, Blue Manchu, is currently working on a free-to-play PC strategy title called Card Hunter.

The game’s “a board game/card game hybrid that you play on a computer, mixed with an RPG,” according to Chey, before he went on to explain the title in detail.

“The best way to describe it is, imagine I take an MMO, and every time you fight a monster, instead of playing a timer game with pull downs and buttons that you click, you’re playing a turn-based strategy game,” he said.

“You have little pieces on a board, and you play cards to move those pieces around, and that’s the battle you fight. And at the end of the battle you win some treasure, which you then use to trick your characters like you do in an MMO, but those characters are actually pieces in the board game.”

The game’s a rather small project with Chey being the only full-time staff member; however, he is being assisted by several other Irrational vets including System Shock designer Dorian Hart, Freedom Force art director Ben Lee, and Might and Magic: The Gattering creator Richard Garfield.

For the curious, Chey started his career working for Looking Glass studio, the now defunct outfit which gave birth to series such as System Shock and Thief. He then went on to form Irrational Games along with Ken Levine in 1997. He looked after the Australian arm of the studio, which was absorbed by 2K Marin in 2010.

Thanks, Eurogamer.

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