Housemarque, developer of games like Dead Nation, Resogun, and Alienation, recently addressed attendees at Reboot Develop 2017 and told the story of how their upcoming game Nex Machina came to be.
The studio’s co-founder Ilari Kuittinen said that the story of Nex Machina essentially began in 2014 at the D.I.C.E. Awards in Las Vegas where Resogun was nominated for action game of the year. It was at this same event where industry veteran Eugene Jarvis, developer of games like Defender, Cruis’n USA, and Robotron, had received a Lifetime Achievement award for his contributions to the industry. If you aren’t familiar with Jarvis, he was one of the key people who popularized the twin-stick shooting genre, which of course, is similar to the genre of many of Housemarque’s titles.
It is here that Kuittinen said that members of Housemarque began speaking to Jarvis to try and figure out if they could potentially collaborate on a new project. A month later, Kuittinen said that they spoke to Jarvis over the phone and he agreed to work with Housemarque on a new game — much to the delight of the Housemarque staff.
Jumping forward to 2015, the new project with Jarvis began to take shape as the DLC for Resogun had finished. Early ideas for the game centered around it being a spiritual successor to Robotron and Smash TV. Kuittinen said that the early project name for the game was “Resotron”.
Later in the year, Sony hopped on board the new project and partnered with Housemarque. Nvidia later partnered with them earlier this year in 2017 to help bring Nex Machina to PC.
Moving into 2016, Kuittinen talked about the naming of Nex Machina and how long that process was. Trademarking the title of the game began in March of 2016 and was applied to many different classes to ensure that it was trademarked around the globe. He said that the trademarking process is still ongoing, but they have locked it down in most major markets.
Finally in December 2016, Housemarque revealed the game for the first time at PlayStation Experience with a trailer during the event’s keynote address. It was also available to play on the show floor and fan response was incredibly positive.
As the game’s release nears in 2017, Kuittinen says that Housemarque is putting in their final weeks of development to polish and tweak a few more things. Beta testing for Nex Machina on PC also just began to ensure that the servers are good to go for launch. He also said that the game will be sent to Sony for certification within “the coming weeks”, which means the release date should be revealed within the next month or two.
Nex Machina has had an interesting development cycle and Kuittinen also talked about the documentary that has been filmed in conjunction with the game’s development to chronicle the journey. The movie will release later this year and you can go to the documentary’s website to learn more about it.
Nex Machina is currently slated to arrive in Q2 of 2017 for the PS4 and PC. You can watch the teaser trailer for the upcoming documentary below.