How XCOM’s Designer Went From “Marvel Dating Sim” To A Gilmore Girls-Inspired Life Sim

Jake Solomon is no stranger to creating complex games; his credits on XCOM, Marvel’s Midnight Suns, and numerous other strategy games over his 23-year career at Firaxis prove that much. And yet, Solomon’s next venture presents the veteran game designer with a challenge he’s never before encountered.

“With this game, I don’t even get hit points,” Solomon laughed.

On May 14, Solomon announced that, alongside Firaxis teammate Will Miller and former The Sims’ director Grant Rodiek, he was creating a new, independent studio: Midsummer Studios. With less than a dozen developers and a whopping $6 million already invested into the studio by a number of different production companies (including Trevor Noah’s Day Zero Productions), Midsummer offered Solomon a different approach to game development that feels “more stable.” However, this doesn’t mean things have been simple–and it’s not just because the studio’s upcoming game doesn’t have hit points.

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