Speaking with IGN on their "IGN Unfiltered" podcast, Gone Home developer Steve Gaynor delved into his past working with 2K Marin and Irrational on the Bioshock series. While the interview gave us some insight into how System Shock 2 inspired one of the greatest DLCs for Bioshock 2, Gaynor also discussed the reasons why he left in the middle of production on Bioshock Infinite. While one of the biggest reasons Gaynor left the production had to do with the timing, the other part might be a little bit surprising if you didn't actually read the headline of this article.
"I had worked on Infinite for a year and I knew it was gonna be another good year-plus before it came out," he said on the latest episode of "IGN Unfiltered." Gaynor also noted that he and his wife had never lived in New England before, which made working in Boston at Irrational was a new experience for them. Which, given the context, may not have been an enjoyable one. He later commented that both he and his wife were homesick for the Pacific Northwest, and were eager to return.
"I think aside from all of that," Gaynor continued, "the biggest thing was I was just sort of—I got to that point where I was working on Infinite and it was such a huge production and I just realized that I didn't—it was like I don't think I want to work on stuff that's this huge anymore."
As for his experience with BioShock Infinite in particular, "it's such a giant ship… turns really slowly, there's so many dependencies on everything that happens… If I don't feel confident in [shipping Infinite], the responsible thing to do is just say, 'Alright, I don't think that I can be here for ship so I've just gotta make a clean break now,'" he explained. Gaynor noted that oftentimes in development, if you decide to leave a project six months before launch, "you're putting the rest of the team in a way worse place than if you leave early enough so that they can find somebody to replace you." So with at least a year left in development, it was the best time to leave. Gaynor then returned home to Portland and founded The Fullbright Company with fellow Bioshock 2: Minerva's Den alumns Johnnemann Nordhagen, and Karla Zimonja. Fullbright's first game Gone Home released back in 2013 on Steam to rave reviews.