Why the founders of Cipher Prime opened a new game studio

Deep Dark Hole will make "small, experimental games" that won't have to make money.

The team from Old City game studio Cipher Prime has a new venture.

It’s a game studio called Deep Dark Hole, made up of Cipher Prime cofounders Dain Saint, William Stallwood and ex-Cipher Prime developer Andrei Marks. Their first game, Elbow Room, is a finalist at Indiecade next week.

They’ll be focused on “small, experimental titles” that won’t be driven by monetary goals, Stallwood said. “It’s more of a purist thing.”

The crew started Deep Dark Hole for two reasons, Stallwood told us.

  1. Stallwood and Saint wanted to keep working with Marks, who left Cipher Prime three months ago.
  2. “Cipher Prime has a brand and makes a certain type of game,” Stallwood wrote in an email. “For instance, if CP made a title with characters and blood, people might be very caught off guard. DDH doesn’t have a boundary and we don’t want to create one.”

Cipher Prime is still going strong, though, he said. It just launched a redesign of its website, will be showcasing Auditorium Duet at GamerCamp in Toronto later this month and plans to release Splice, for Playstation 3 and Playstation 4.

Oh, and Stallwood just set off on a cross-country bike tour with Drexel game developer Greg Lobanov and a few others. You can follow along at

Companies: Cipher Prime

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