If the stories in Dragon Age, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Baldur's Gate, or Neverwinter Nights ever left an indelible mark on you, there's a good chance David Gaider was involved. Gaider worked as a writer at BioWare for close to two decades before exiting to join some fellow BioWare alums at Beamdog. There, Gaider worked alongside Australian developer Liam Esler, and now, Gaider and Esler are opening Summerfall Studios in Melbourne, Australia.
As reported by Kotaku Australia, Summerfall will unveil its first project, an "illustrated character-driven adventure," on Friday October 11 at Gaider's keynote address to PAX Australia. Summerfall's website notes that the new company will run a Kickstarter campaign for the game. Gaider's keynote will be streamed live on Twitch, and folks who sign up for Summerfall's mailing list now will get "an exclusive preview" of the game next week.
Gaider ended his long run at BioWare to join Beamdog as creative director in 2016, shortly before the studio released Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear. During Gaider's tenure at Beamdog, the company worked on enhanced editions of Planescape: Torment and Neverwinter Nights, the latter of which Gaider wrote for back in his BioWare days. Gaider was lead writer on all the Dragon Age games as well as a few tie-in novels and comic books. This year, he received a credit in BioWare's Anthem for contributions he made to the IP before exiting the company.
In addition to his stretches at Beamdog, Obsidian Entertainment, and Surprise Attack Games, Liam Esler has worked on organizing GX Australia and Game Connect Asia Pacific events. Speaking with Kotaku Austrailia, Esler is hopeful that increased support from Australia's government could lead to "more and more [game development] investment" in the country.
Gaider, who will remain based in Canada for a while, says he came to "love how tightly knit and supportive" the Australian game development community was after a few visits. We'll know soon if the "illustrated character-driven adventure" Summerfall is working on has any overt Aussie cultural influences.
Disclosure: USgamer is owned and operated by ReedPop, which also runs the PAX family of shows.