Housemarque has been known for its deep roots in both PlayStation and arcade games and after Matterfall‘s reveal at Paris Games Week as well as Resogun turning 2, I thought it was high time I spoke with someone from Housemarque and what makes them so unique from every other developer out there.
One of the versions of Outland available on PC comes with an artbook that shows what the game was in the beginning: a new take on Pitfall / Indiana Jones. Uncharted was being developed during the same period, so we decided it would be wise to differentiate ourselves from what Naughty Dog was doing. That was probably a good call.
Alienation builds on the things we have learned with Dead Nation. There are elements that made Dead Nation extremely successful: the gunplay, the possibility to play friends, the way the physics engine was used at the time, the skill required to achieve certain scores. Alienation keeps all that, changes the setting (sci-fi allows us to do more), and adds a few things that are new for us: different classes, loot, XP system, metagame. We’re fans of Diablo and Destiny, and you’ll see some inspiration from those games in Alienation.
You can actually preorder it right now on PSN. Launch date is March 2nd, according to our publisher.
Outland is available on PC. We work well with Sony and we plan to do so for the foreseeable future.
Housemarque is owned by three people. Two of them are currently working at the company on a daily basis, respectively as CEO and Creative Director. Sony often expresses appreciation for our partnership, but I believe we enjoy being independent for the time being. There are certain advantages in doing your own thing.
A full switch to digital distribution seems inevitable. On PC most of the games are already bought digitally… as soon as the connections will be good enough in certain parts of the world, I don’t see a single reason why we would still need boxed products, especially in their vanilla form. Nobody complains that you can’t buy iOS apps on a memory card. The console space has a different history and different expectations, but I see the transition as inevitable. “Resistance is futile”, as the newer generations don’t care much about plastic discs.
Only if it added something really cool to the game, or allowed you to interact with the game when you’re not in front of the tv in a significant way. Doing it just for the sake of it is not what we consider a good way to invest time and resources. So far second screens have proven mostly an afterthought if you ask me. The only notable difference is the Nintendo DS/3DS, where the second screen is actually used by most games for useful stuff.
We have, and it will be used in Alienation, but mostly as a button. We tend to make fast games where removing your finders from the sticks is a bad idea, so we need to be careful on the features we use.
We’ll be able to speak more about it at the beginning of 2016, but you mentioned two games we know well!