Yager was working on Deep Silver's Dead Island 2 until the studio was taken off the project in July. Since then, several former team members have founded their own independent studio, the recently announced Inbetweengames.

Their first game, The Mammoth: A Cave Painting puts players in the role of a mammoth as it tries to keep its herd safe from human hunters. In case the title didn't tip you off, it's designed to look like a cave painting come to life. It was created as part of the Ludum Dare 33 challenge, and you can play it at no cost now.

Inbetweengames was founded by gameplay programmer Isaac Ashdown, designer Jan David Hassel, and artist Rafel Fedro. Hassel sums up their relationship nicely in a blog post, saying, "These two guys happen to be a dream team of everyone I worked with over 8 years condensed down to the minimal team size that makes sense for us. For some reason they decided it would be OK for me to join too. I guess I fill up the middle of whatever isn’t covered by them. Overall we’re covering the major disciplines of tech, art, and design with 30 years of combined experience in professional game development."

Some members of the team worked on Spec Ops: The Line, while all shared experience on Dead Island 2. They're cagey about what they're working on next, though they agree that they want to make things that are appropriate for a small team. "It’s probably easier to say what kind of games we will rather stay away from: first-person shooters, MMOs, racing simulators, puzzle platformers, etc.," Fedro writes. "We want to explore various art styles like stylized 2d or vector art rather than realistic 3d or pixel art. We want to dig out and explore different gameplay mechanics and mix them up."

 

Our Take
It's always great to see developers stick to games even after getting bumped around in their careers. Selfishly, I'm glad they've decided to take the risk of working on weird little indie stuff than trying to create yet another shooter.