Stray Bombay

Chet Faliszek, formerly of Valve, and Dr. Kimberly Voll, formerly of Riot Games, have teamed up to create a new development studio.

The studio, called Stray Bombay, aims to create games that focus on social experiences between players. In his time at Valve, Faliszek is credited for having worked on the writing for the Portal franchise along with bringing Left 4 Dead to the world. Voll is leaving her position as the principal technical game designer at Riot.

Faliszek shared a story that helped lead the two to form Stray Bombay. This is a story that he received from a man that was stationed in Iraq. The man and his wife back home used Left 4 Dead to stay connected while he was overseas.

They could spend time in each other’s company as if they were sitting next to each other on the couch at home

That is powerful and something only the shared experience of games can bring.
On the Stray Bombay website, the two shared more insight as to their decision to focus on these types of social interactions in a digital space.

As Kim and I talked over the years about the kind of games we want to make, we realized we want to create games that give players a place to breathe and live in the moment. Games that tell stories knowing you are going to come back again and again, that change each time you play them without feeling completely random, and that help you feel like a real team that supports each other…not a bunch of folks in each other’s way. And where AI drives not just the enemies but helps drive the entire experience.
Voll explains that they have the support and backing of "like-minded, patient investors." They also seem to want to buck the usual grind of game development.

We think now is the time to change the culture of game development. Make everyone equals, not just in their impact on the project but in how we divide the loot of our success. Relax strict PTO policies because we trust each other to take the time you need. We want to build games that reflect our culture.

We are supported by like-minded, patient investors with Kevin at Upfront Ventures as our lead, who has known us for years, working with Chet on a gaming startup board, as well as Riot Games. They love and understand games but more importantly, have time and again backed founder-led and employee-owned tech startups from the beginning towards long-term, independent success.
As of right now, there are no game announcements to be shared from Stray Bombay. The co-founders are currently looking for new team members at GDC 2019. They note that interested devs at GDC can email their resume to either or to set up a meeting. If you aren't a dev but are interested in seeing what Stray Bombay comes up with, you can subscribe to their newsletter to stay in the know.