A group of Sonic Mania developers have banded together to make their own studio. Known as ‘Evening Star Studio,’ the LA-based “boutique game studio” hopes to design “fresh, fun games which will stand the test of time.”
The most notable name among its current members is Christian Whitehead, the game director behind the highly-successful Sonic Mania. He serves as Evening Star’s creative director and lead architect. The company is looking to use the Star Engine and Star SDK (a re-branded version of the Retro Engine and Retro Software Development Kit Whitehead made for a remaster of Sonic CD) to make their games. The other developers joining Whitehead are Tom Fry (art director,) Hunter Bridges (technical and audio director,) and Brad Flick (design director,) while veteran producer Dave Padilla will lead the company as their CEO. The other current staff members are environmental artist Elora Pautrat and general artists Gareth West and Kieran Gates.
On the website’s main page, the team describes what they’re about. The company encourages “strong technical foundations” in every part of game design. This helps the team members be able to participate in development and allow them to impact the video game industry in their own ways. A big part of the team’s M.O. is revitalizing game design techniques to boldly explore design decisions that have been long forgotten. With that unique approach, and a engine and tool set developed by Christian Whitehead, the company hopes to develop a workflow that tears down barrier between ideas and execution.