Psyonix – Masters of Multiplayer

George Kelion, Square Enix

Today, we’re going to be giving a bit of a better introduction to Psyonix, Nosgoth’s tireless developers, and explore their pedigree in multiplayer games.

As you may know, Psyonix are experts in both multiplayer gaming and Unreal Engine technology, having helped develop the multiplayer components for such high-profile releases as Mass Effect 3, Unreal Tournament 3 and Bulletstorm. In fact, their accolades run all the way back all the way to the extremely popular 'Onslaught' mode for Unreal Tournament 2004, a game mode that Psyonix concepted and designed that brought large-scale vehicular combat to the series for the first time.

What you may not know is that their heritage stretches back even further. Dave Hagewood, head of the San Diego-based studio, tells us that, “Psyonix actually started as a mod team for Unreal Tournament 2003. We made a vehicle combat game that caught the eye of Epic Games. They hired us to build it into what became the popular Onslaught mode in the UT2004 and that gave us the push needed to establish ourselves as a real studio.”

Like any good team, Psyonix are close knit bunch and have fostered a sense of family within the studio with each new triple-A title shipped. As anybody in the Closed Alpha will tell you, Psyonix have a strong presence on our feedback forum and the studio’s enthusiastic appreciation of the community is rooted in its own origin story.

Dave informs us that, “At the time we got started, we weren't big enough to attract veteran developers so we hired community modders and college grads looking to break into the industry. I believe this is one of the reasons we have such a passionate group of people today. All of those original guys are still here and have been part of growing the studio into a world-class game developer.”

This grass-roots approach to development has led to a fun-first philosophy that serves as the studio’s core mantra. Dave continues, “We began by making games for ourselves. We didn't start with a complicated design plan as much as a basic idea. We would experiment, playtest, iterate, and playtest again. When developers started running after-hours playtests just for fun we knew we were onto something. We still strive to develop using that same process even today.”

Of course, Nosgoth is an ever growing and evolving experience and Psyonix have been working closely with the team at Square Enix in London to hone and refine the game.

Bill Beacham, Design Director at Square Enix explains, “We work extremely closely with the development team – from day one we’ve had dedicated production, design and brand specialists talking on a daily basis with Psyonix about everything from gameplay ideas to the look of the world. With Nosgoth we’re breaking new ground in bringing multiplayer gameplay to the Legacy of Kain universe for the first time and so we needed to make sure our development partners were experts in that field. With Psyonix, we have one of the best multiplayer teams in the business, and it has been their expertise and passion that has made the game so much fun to play."

We’ll be revealing more information about the studio and the people behind Nosgoth’s development over the coming weeks and months. In the meantime, if you have any questions you’d like to ask them directly, check out their Facebook page and Twitter feed.