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Breaking the Cycle: The Making of 'Returnal'


Housemarque is the oldest game development studio in Finland, known mostly for their fast-paced arcade-inspired shooters. With Returnal, they had a unique opportunity to take their craft to the next level and create a world-class launch title for the PS5. This retrospective-style talk will cover Housemarque's full "indie to AAA" journey of developing Returnal, from the initial concept and aspirations to its eventual critically-acclaimed release. nnThe talk will delve deeper into some key creative decisions and challenges the team overcame as they shot for the stars with Returnal: from transitioning their trademark neon-fused arcade action to a 3rd person experience; to building roguelite/procedurally generated worlds; to integrating a layered and haunting narrative, all for the first time, and all done while adapting to a rapidly growing team, a new platform, a relatively unfamiliar engine (Unreal 4), and in the end even shipping amidst a global pandemic.

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  • Game Developers Conference 2022
  • Harry Krueger
  • Housemarque
  • free content
  • Design
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