We here at Housemarque just released an arcade twin-stick shooter called Nex Machina (PS4, PC).
PS4: https://www.playstation.com/en-us/games/nex-machina-ps4/
Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/404540/

This game was made in cooperation with a man that we've always been fans of, Eugene Jarvis (Defender, Robotron, Smash TV)

It's a really hard game that takes a lot of influences from the early arcade games (like Robotron).

Our journey was also filmed into a documentary movie (Name of the Game) that should be coming out later. http://nameofthegamemovie.com/

Ask Us Anything!

We will be answering with the following accounts:
u/HousemarqueTeam - Harry Krueger, Game Director of Nex Machina, Housemarque
u/Eugene_Jarvis - Eugene Jarvis, Creative Consultant, Founder of Raw Thrills Inc. http://rawthrills.com/
u/mbace - Mikael Haveri, Head of Publishing, Housemarque
u/MarvelHMQ - Aki Raula, Lead UI Designer, Housemarque
u/hmq_jari_k - Jari Kantomaa, Producer, Housemarque
My Proof: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DDVgG3oWAAIhHcM.jpg:large

Edit 1 : Eugene and harry enjoying AMA - https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DDVmv3sWsAMLFVb.jpg Edit 2 : Jari Kantomaa, our Producer joined AMA. Edit 3 : IAMA and dinner. Still answering and soon back to our desktops! https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DDV9wvWXUAI2LgU.jpg

Comments: 257 • Responses: 16  • Date: 

boersc13 karma

You guys are now twin-stick heroes, covering a sphere, cylinder and now a cube (somewhat). Are you going to stick to Twin Sticks, or do a Guerrilla Games turnaround, and do something drastically different next? (and what might that be??)

HousemarqueTeam18 karma

We are always up for a new challenge. In the end our motto is "Gameplay is King" and that is the direction we intend to follow.

HousemarqueTeam10 karma

Hi everyone!

We are here at the Housemarque offices in Helsinki. Talking about arcade games with Eugene Jarvis. Ask Away!

Byjingo797 karma

Hey guys, first gotta to say how much I've loved resogun and nex machina. Best games of this gen. How long do you take to balance difficulty? I think it's genius, rookie is a great warm up for experienced and so on. But a new player (like my bud) might just try experienced, get smashed and give up.

I love the difficulty (and this is a tough one) but do you worry you're giving up some sales to keep it savage?

HousemarqueTeam12 karma

We tried to make the game enjoyable for players of all skill levels. The end goal wasn't to make the game hard per se, but to make it genuinely intense, engaging and rewarding. I believe that without a clear challenge, there can be no real feeling of accomplishment. Some levels might initially feel hard or even impossible, but it's super satisfying to persist and prevail over them.

luciddre4m7 karma

Was online co-op ever a consideration? Also, did you find the publishing side of this project challenging?

HousemarqueTeam18 karma

Online co-op was considered, but we decided to spend our limited resources on polishing the core game for launch instead. If we get a chance to release more content it will be one of the first things we'll add.

popcrnshower5 karma

Awesome game, loving every minute of it. Question: Was the The Architect in Nex Machina inspired by the game show host form Smash TV?

HousemarqueTeam8 karma

The Architect was an original creation for the story of Nex Machina.

He was actually called the "Corrupt CEO" internally. He owns LiveCorp, which was responsible for creating the Supreme AI and manufacturing the robots that ended up taking over the world. He wanted to become God, but ended up being a mere biomechanichal puppet of the AI he helped engineer instead.

BatuqueGS3 karma

Hey guys, loved the game since the alpha! Do you plan to add online co-op in the future? Or it's not viable because of the "too many things happening at the same time" factor?

HousemarqueTeam5 karma

Online co-op is definitely viable, hoping we get a chance to add it in the future.

ocdaboutfps3 karma

Obviously, Nex Machina takes inspiration from Robotron/Smash TV. Are there any other favorite old arcade games that you would like to try and remake and make it your own?

HousemarqueTeam6 karma

One of my favorite arcade games of all time is Rygar, so I'd love to try making a side-scrolling arcade platformer in the same vein. Probably with more explosions and particles :) Rastan and Ghouls and Ghosts are also among my favorites in that genre.

I'd also love to make a traditional scrolling shmup, and DoDonPachi would be my closest reference for that. Though it would probably need to be a horizontal shooter to work better with modern aspect ratios.

Another one I'd like to take a stab at is a single-screen arcade platformer, like Bombjack or Bubble Bobble. For a game with "bomb" in its title, Bombjack is severely lacking in explosions, and I think we could address that :)

These are all just the top of my head. It will be a long time before that well of inspiration dries up.

ocdaboutfps3 karma

Would you guys ever consider doing a 1st person shooter, in the vein of the old Doom (not the new one)? I think you guys could make an amazing 1st person shooter.

HousemarqueTeam7 karma

I would personally love to make an action packed 1st (or 3rd) person shooter at least, so if the opportunity arised we wouldn't shy away from it.

LoSouLibra3 karma

You are elite developers, like Treasure and Platinum, but unique in your own way. How did you all become so gameplay oriented, as a discipline, and how do you keep your focus on what matters most during development?

Also, thank you for the amazing games, well worth the money every time, any time.

HousemarqueTeam4 karma

Thank you kindly! Our motto is 'gameplay is king', so the longest we took was with honing the gameplay as good as we got and added graphical elements on top of that.

I think that also it shows that we've been making arcade games for 23 years for now. Our roots a deep in the actual honest, raw gameplay.

LoSouLibra3 karma

Ha, yes, you are definitely visual masters too, unrivaled in your domain. That's why I'm amazed you're able to ply such visual eye candy without losing focus, or sacrificing anything to achieve it.

Thanks for the answer!

HousemarqueTeam3 karma

Pleasure! :)

xen_deth3 karma

(This is for everyone to answer, or just one, whatever you have time for)

What has been your favorite Housemarque game that has been made so far?

What is your favorite game of all time?

HousemarqueTeam8 karma

Favorite Housemarque game for me is Nex Machina, but I might be slightly biased :)

Favorite game of all time is the original Deus Ex.

luciddre4m2 karma

Harry, where can I get that shirt you're wearing?

HousemarqueTeam3 karma

The current T-shirt is the oldest design we have, so to get that, you need to beat Nex Machina. :)

We do, however have newer version in our merchandice page: https://housemarque.myshopify.com/?v=/forum/

and some new cool designs from our buddies from Fangamer: https://www.fangamer.com/products/nex-machina-shirt

TruePHombre2 karma

Hi all! Looking forward seeing the team tomorrow! I have only one question concerning The True Last Boss - do you perhaps plan bringing it to arena etc.? I'm kinda stuck because only way to fight it is to beat the game without dying completely. I would like to learn its patterns. Maybe even push some kind of boss run mode.

HousemarqueTeam5 karma

We intentionally disabled continues during the TLB battle, and there are no plans to make it more accessible. I like the idea of keeping some things outside the player's reach (a large part of Nex Machina was designed around this philosophy), and especially for the TLB it will help maintain its aura of mystery and grandeur :)

Mr-Stephen2 karma

Harry, in what ways did working with Eugene challenge you, push you, or make you think about game dev in a different way? Got any anecdotes that we might find interesting?

HousemarqueTeam4 karma

We hit it off from the first moment with Eugene and had some instant chemistry. It always felt effortless to just sit around and talk endlessly about game design, visual effects and how machines will inevitably take over the world, among other things.

It never felt like there was any challenge or friction from my end, perhaps because our goals and philosophies were aligned from the start. It was more like a continuous torrent of forward momentum and positive reinforcement for all the choices we were making for the game. I mean, I was making a modern re-imagining of Robotron - what could possibly boost my morale more than knowing that I have the blessing of its original creator by my side? :)

andy22xx2 karma

Hello guys! Just want to say I am a huge fan of your games. Resogun was the first game I had on the ps4 and my friends and I would play it for hours every night. Can't to play Nex Machina!

Anyway. I was curious as to what games YOU like to play when you aren't working on your own games. Anything released already in 2017 blow you away? Or anything shown at e3 get you super excited for what's to come? (If you like to do other hobbies besides games while your not working on your games, feel free to say what it is you like to do during your free time!)

Thanks for your work in the industry and thanks for doing the AMA! Wish you guys the best in all your future projects!

HousemarqueTeam2 karma

I haven't had a chance to play much more than Nex Machina lately, but hoping to address that during my holidays :)

Need to make time to play Breath of the Wild first - everything else can wait.

From all the games on the horizon, the one I'm most excited about is the new Metroid Prime, though it will probably be a while before that comes out.