Recently two young fellows joined Housemarque as a part of the mandatory local TET program (in short, work practice) that introduces high-school students to the ins and outs of what real work is like. Granted that we might not be the most ordinary representation of what “real” work is, it has been a joy to see some youthful enthusiasm around the office.
Apart from the guys wearing game related shirts, we didn’t have a clue about how much they played or what games they liked. We were very surprised to see them beat RESOGUN on the Veteran difficulty and that really gave us perspective on how gamers that had not lived in the long lost era of arcades could really hold their own when it comes to earning a spot on the highscore leaderboards.
This inspired a brief chat about games and the blog post that you are reading now. Apparently they love indie games and really seem to know game history down to the details.
When asked about arcades and what they thought about games that might have inspired RESOGUN, the consensus was that arcades need to be resurrected and that RESOGUN feels very familiar regardless of their age. Defender was not on their list of tested titles, but one of them was wearing a Galaga inspired t-shirt that very same day, so clearly influence from old shooters keeps lingering in the air.
It was a real pleasure hearing about the experiences and insights of the post-PS1 generation and really made us me feel like maybe the older generation doesn’t have to strut around like we are the only ones who understand arcades or “what games used to be back then”. Hopefully these guys can pass on the torch one day and indies can re-invigorate old genres for new generations to treasure. Maybe they will be the ones to bring back arcades for the next wave of revival.
Tell us a little about yourselves and what is this “work practice program” that brings you to Housemarque?
Well, as passionate “hardcore” gamers, this is not only an awesome experience, but also a great opportunity to get to know the video game industry, on which both of us want to work in, in the future. Any game company would have been a great experience, but to actually learn from the oldest game company in Finland is just amazing!
Why would you choose Housemarque and what did you expect it to be?
We didn’t expect to get our work practice jobs at a company like Housemarque, because we thought that it’d be super busy here. We applied anyway, and as it turns out, we did get to work here, and we’re glad we did, as the place turned out to be incredibly cool!
Was the reality different from what you thought and has it changed your perception of the games industry?
Other than the company being busy as hell, our expectations were very close to what this actually is. Everyone is really nice and helpful (although we are the ones doing most of the helping), the atmosphere is really chill and all in all it’s been really nice doing even the most challenging of tasks (which included game testing and game design, but also… ahem, helping to clean after a party – HMQ).
Are you any good at Resogun?
As a matter of fact we have unlocked the Master difficulty, and we’re in the process of beating it, so you could say that we’re at least… uhm… mediocre at it? (no they’re pretty good – HMQ)
Overall, it was a very important and entertaining experience, supplying us with a lot of valuable information. Hopefully the guys at Housemarque will remember us as helpful and cool dudes and not as annoying little kids. And of course, as the first people in the company to beat their own game on the highest difficulty!
We would also like to thank everyone at Housemarque for providing us with tasks that have helped us to learn what’s it like to work at a video game company.