Resogun DLC on its way?
I was recently given the opportunity to interview Tommaso De Benetti Community Manager for Housemarque the developers behind Playstation 4 game Resogun.
Firstly congratulations on producing an amazing game in time for the launch of the PS4 in November. Was it a struggle to be ready in time ?
Thanks. We spent the last 8 weeks polishing the game until someone managed to steal the keyboards from the team’s hands. We knew what content would be there and we weren’t trying to add more, we just wanted to make sure what we had was sound.
You must be proud to have released the game in such a fantastic condition. You guys must have had an excellent QandA team prior to release, What was the secret to eliminating those bugs before launch?
There’s always something we could have done better, and after release we discovered some exploits we overlooked. Those are all getting fixed as soon as we can get a patch out, which should be soon. Regarding testing, we have an internal testing team that did an excellent job, but there’s only so much hours a team of 2-3 professionals can put in before release. When a million players pick up your game… well, they’re bound to find some bugs.
Some major so called triple AAA games launched with serious bugs causing players major issues. How do you think this impacts on the industry as a whole ?
To be honest I think all console launches come in a bit hot. Most games have been developed with incomplete tools, or on non finalized hardware, so all in all I think it went pretty well for PS4. There’s been some problematic episode but things are pretty much back to normal now. If anything, it would be great if games didn’t always have to the meet “the fall deadline”, or “the Christmas deadline” and so on, and be released when they’re actually ready, but that’s not always possible for different reasons. There’s the publisher needs, the studio resources allocation, the expectations of players… it’s a complicated problem to address.
I heard a rumor EA want your QandA team as they currently do not do any testing before releasing their titles. Any truth they are poaching your testers ?
I doubt EA doesn’t do any testing before releasing their titles, it’s just that their titles have such a massive playerbase that making stress tests on a server must be horribly complicated. Anyway, I’m pretty sure they’re aware of the importance of testing at this point – to be honest I think players underestimate how hard it is to make things run smooth when millions of players are all playing at the same time, in very different conditions from one another.
When we spoke before launch last year you mentioned their could be DLC on its way for Resogun. Are we any closer to a release date?
We should be very close to reveal. A few people probably hate me by now because I’ve been teasing it for a while, but things have been pushed back a couple of times. It’s for the best, I’m adamant that what we have in store is gonna please fans quite a bit.
Are you able to give us any details on what the dlc is and how the DLC will work?
Not until official reveal, sorry.
Do you have any stats you are willing to share for example :-
how many times the game has been downloaded
Percentage of PS users that have downloaded Resogun.
How many hours/levels have been played.
How many humans have died.
How many people have Platinumed the game
Most popular ship used
We can’t really talk about engagement or sales, but we’ve been really, really pleased. In-game statistics are something we’re looking into, and we’re planning to make them more transparent for users to check. So look forward to it!
Are you able to give us any info on the other title you are working on ? I am expecting this to be a no so next question is when are you able too?
The answer is obviously no
If things go according to plan, you’ll hear about it this year. There are a few bigger venues where announcements get made, some are in the US, some are in Europe, and some announcements are web-only. So if you check last year’s calendar maybe you can see a pattern. But honestly, we don’t know yet – it’s not decided. The game has to be where it needs to be before announcing it.
What difference’s have you come across developing for the ps4 compared to its predecessor?
I’m no engineer but all I hear from the tech guys is that PS4 just works, and they don’t have to waste time reverse engineering features. The previous generation has proven a bit too esoteric to work with, especially in an early stage. But we have really good professionals at Housemarque, some things we created for Super Stardust HD and Dead Nation were a novelty back then.
Have you received your Morpheus kit yet from Sony?
Will you be developing for it ?
Are you already developing for it ?
We don’t have a kit yet, we’ll get one eventually. At the moment, it’s just to check out the technology and figure out if there’s something we can do with it. There’s a couple of ideas floating around, but we need to test them first. So we might do something with it, or we might not, but we’re definitely interested in VR. We’ll do what’s best for our games.
Did you expect Resogun to so well received ?
Approaching launch day we knew we had something solid. Feedback from the fairs was good and our own people spent their free time after work playing the game. It was definitely a good sign. That said, I don’t think we expected it to be the highest rated game on PS4 (or, actually, across board for the exclusive nextgen titles), that was a great satisfaction for the whole team.
Any plans for Dead Nation 2 ?
We know the brand is highly revered. A port of the original has been recently released on PS4 by Climax Studios and Sony XDev, and the Vita version is on the way. That should quench the fans’ thirst for a while. The future is inscrutable… there can certainly be more Dead Nation, or something else.
As far as I’m aware there has been no patch for Resogun. Do you think with the ability to easily patch games post launch some companies are not releasing games when ready but when the dead is set ?
There will be a patch for Resogun. Release date is actually decided by the publisher, not us. Technically it can be done at any moment, provided the patch is ready. That said, creating a patch and testing it can take anything between one week and a few months, it just doesn’t happen by itself – it’s normal dev work. Sometime fans demand patches in 24h, that’s simply not possible.
Anything you guys would change about the gameplay if you had the chance ?
Nothing crucial. Details, mostly. Clarifying some mechanics for example, what’s the relationship between humans and multiplier, things like that. Most of what we want to improve will be improved very soon. When we want to really change things up, we create new modes (wink, wink).
How big is the team of Devs that worked on Resogun?
At the peak of its splendor it was around 15 people. Right now I think we are more around 7 or 8.
Whats next for Housemarque ?
I like that you keep trying but they’re gonna roundkick me if I don’t keep my mouth shut
Will you guys be taking to the stage at E3 ?
Isn’t E3 all about reveals? Why do players want to spoil things for themselves? Then everybody would complain that there was “no real news”… I myself like watching E3 without knowing what’s coming, that’s the cool part of big events.
That concluded our interview which I think went very well and I look forward to purchasing some DLC for Resogun and hopefully hear what Housemargue have planned for thier next game at E3.
If you enjoyed this interview please comment and share.