Recently, we spoke to Mikael Haveri of Housemarque, the developers of the recently released Alienation, and are known for games like Resogun and Dead Nation. He had loads to tell us about the studio's plans for Alienation, their future game Matterfall, and an exclusive reveal of the mysterious "Jarvis Project."
Local co-op was a mode not included in the launch version of Alienation, a feature that we think the game sorely lacked. We asked Haveri about whether the team has plans to include it or not, and we got some good news:
"I think people really want it [local co-op], especially the vocal ones, so I have to say that it is in development, it is in the pipeline for the next patch. Nobody knows when it's coming out yet, but the next one is going to be bigger than 1.01, which we released earlier this week, so... hopefully next month?" (note: interview conducted in May, so it should mean later this month, fingers crossed)
Moving on, we asked Haveri if the studio has thought about bringing out any major pieces of DLC for the game, or whether it would be possible: "We have a lot of ideas, and the community has a lot of really cool ideas. For us, it comes down to how well the game is adopted by the community," Haveri said. "Currently, there is at least a really well-defined short-term plan, with which a lot of the focus is going into local co-op, and some other really cool things that will come out at the same time that we can't talk about. From there on, it's up to how do people adopt it; how vocal are they and saying online to us and Sony 'I'm going to pay for this content.' Also, what kind of DLC can we make? It's not always easy just selling a DLC, because there's also some stuff we want to give away for free, so it's kind of a balancing act. But we'll see."
We also know that Housemarque are working on another game, announced last year at the Paris Games Week. Entitled Matterfall, all we've seen is a brilliantly done cinematic trailer and little else, so we thought we could get some info about the game out of him; "What I can say is that there's so much information in the cinematic. Before we have anything new to announce, maybe you go through that cinematic with a fine-toothed comb and check it out. That's all we can say for now."
This hint about just how much information the cinematic holds piqued our interest to no end. After a little more prying, Haveri gave us a hint or two. "A lot of the camerawork works in 'unique ways,' and a lot of that is planned. On purpose, we've tried different camera things there," he said. "That's one thing, and then the sort of voxelised, particle system that's there; take that, then imagine the possibilities of using such semi-fluid, semi-stable thing in a game. Clearly from the trailer, of course you have the main character, the enemies, but then you have this 'entity,' this matter. These are the key components that people should hype up in their head a little bit. To us these are some of the core elements in the game."
Housemarque are also working on a new game with famous game design veteran Eugene Jarvis. The game is known right now as 'The Eugene Jarvis Project,' and will be a single-player arcade-style game that "caters to the Twitch generation." Haveri told us exclusively that the Jarvis project will feature a similar engine to that of Resoguns:
"The beautiful explosions and visuals of voxels, that kind of a unique look that we had with Resogun; we're taking that to the next level. Think beyond the voxel, think of part of voxels and combinations, and melding everything. We're putting that engine into the Eugene Jarvis project."
We don't know much else about the Jarvis Project, but this bit of news makes us even more excited about what's to come in the near future for the studio.