Tymon Smektała, the lead game designer for Techland, was good enough to have a good chat with us at Digital Dragons 22 for a peak behind the curtain on Dying Light 2s development.
During his interview, Tymon told us about what games are impressing him in the industry. Returnal is a PlayStation 5 bullet-hell rogue-like action-adventure game that takes serious risks in blending genres by today’s AAA standards.
Techland’s Tymon Smektała Nearly Worked On Returnal
Tymon knows this more than most due to his experience in his field. He’s also keen on the title as he nearly joined Housemarque as a game designer, although he didn’t manage to play it on release due to only getting a PlayStation 5. Let’s face it; he’s one of the lucky ones.
Returnal is a unique treasure by Tymon’s standards. Whilst most think that taking risks is easier with bigger budgets, it’s a big risk. AAA sticking to their guns on annual releases also guarantees their income to a point. AAA games trying to push the envelope represent millions of dollars and the risk of not getting that back:
“From a tech standpoint, I’m not sure; I don’t even see differences in display resolutions (laughs). I’m currently playing Returnal on PlayStation 5 due to missing it when it was first released.
“I started with Xbox this generation and recently bought a PS5, so Returnal was my first choice given I was asked to work on the game by Housemarque as a game designer. It’s nice to go back and see how the game development could have been, specifically because they certainly didn’t need me, seeing as it’s an amazing game.
“The development team have done an amazing job, and it’s a unique game. I treasure this greatly with all AAA games as they cost a lot of money and resources.
“Putting unique ideas into a new AAA title is a huge risk worth millions of dollars on a game that can take up to four years to develop. Developers, unfortunately, just have to have their fingers crossed in the hope that this huge investment pays
“I get why AAA games tend to repeat the same patterns because they’ll get a safe business return. These unique ideas might also become useless two or three years into development, which is again a big risk.”
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