"I think I was in second grade when I started programming on a Commodore 64," says Bob Johnson, half of the team behind the recently released survival game Miasmata. Bob and his brother Joe have been building games together since the mid-1980s, and they’ve worked in game development for around ten years. But Miasmata, which launched last week after being selected for Steam’s Project Greenlight, represents their first foray into high-end PC gaming. A first-person exploration game set on a beautifully rendered tropical island, it’s a big leap for a pair that got their start building PDA racing games and ports like Call of Duty 2 for Microsoft’s long-forgotten PocketPC platform.

Miasmata has been in development for the last four years, but its roots go back further. "We were inspired a lot by our adventures camping as we were growing up," Johnson says. "Our goal was to recreate some of the emotion and the feeling that we had when we were out in the woods as kids all alone... trying to reinforce that emotion of solitude." In some ways, the game is part of a thriving subgenre of exploration-focused mods and indie games, including Amnesia: The Dark Descent and — Johnson argues — Minecraft. But he also hopes its visuals can compete with AAA titles.