Returnal Gameplay and Narrative Conceived at the Same Time


Game developer HouseMarque is about to launch their next title Returnal for the PlayStation 5 soon. Game Director Harry Krueger, and Narrative Director Greg Louden explain what came first: narrative or gameplay.

Krueger revealed that both features were conceived in parallel and it all started way back four years ago. At that time, they called it Dark Planet, which does describe the planet and its tone. They were inspired by the procedural generation of roguelike games because it increases the replayability of the game.

Both concepts were “married” since the premise of the game is that the protagonist is reborn, which in turn changes the environment. It is part of the protagonist’s emotional journey on the planet she is stranded in.

Louden also spoke about how Housemarque would do story-telling. He revealed that it was all about creating a layered story. He compared it to how they do gameplay, which was easy to pick up, but hard to master.

Returnal will launch exclusively on PS5 on April 30.

Source: BBC