When Kendall Davis began work at 343 Industries, and got started on Halo 4, he probably didn't think he'd end up quitting the studio and branching out to create an ambitious comic game with the help of an all-star game development ensemble.
But that's exactly what's happened.
Fine Art has the pleasure today of introducing (and providing some concept art for, of course, as that's what drew me to the project) The Last Sleeper, an upcoming iPad adventure game.
It's the brainchild of Davis, who left his post at 343 as a designer on Halo 4 when he decided to follow his calling and build "a heavily story-driven game" that makes the most out of tablet devices like the iPad.
Inspired by games with a heavy emphasis on character-driven narrative, Davis wanted to develop on Apple's larger mobile platform because of its accessibility. "While my girlfriend won't touch my Xbox - she doesn't have the built-in proficiency to enjoy console games - she will pick up her iPad", he tells Kotaku. Also appealing is the fact you don't need the backing of a major publisher, something a game ostensibly about story would have trouble doing.
The Last Sleeper is about a man called Adam, who wakes up on an alien planet and finds that he's able to "bring light and life out of the planet". Davis says there's two parts to the game, a general section where you're "bringing hope to downtrodden people" by "wielding the light", and some "really cool interactive cinematic sequences that are a mixture of still images and moving 2D animation".
So far it's sounding like Avatar meets Swords & Sworcery, something that plays to the strengths of the platform instead of trying to bend existing games to a touchscreen. Which doesn't sound too bad at all. Where The Last Sleeper gets really interesting, though, is when you see who's involved in bringing it to life.
Some of the developers involved include:
Kendall Davis - Writer & Director [Producer & Designer: Halo 4]
Ethan Van Der Ryn - Sound Designer [Lord of the Rings, King Kong, Transformers, 2 Academy Awards]
Erik Aadahl - Sound Designer [Tree of Life, Transformers, X-Men]
Steve Jablonsky - Composer [Transformers, Gears of War 3]
Jeff Snow - Storyboard Artist [Head Story Artist, Dreamworks]
Pat Connor - Programmer [Bioshock 2]
William Gahr - Programmer [Red Dead Redemption]
Michael Cheng - Lead Level Designer [God of War 2, Dante's Inferno]
You can check out more about The Last Sleeper at its Kickstarter page, here.