It’s no secret that an outfit calling itself On A Roll Studios has been slowly building anticipation for a new console blading game. They’ve released screen caps showing game action, the process of generating motion captures, and now a full action trailer showing super-smooth blading with dynamic lighting associated with high-profile video game releases. In a word, it looks promising. A couple months ago we kicked some questions over to the game team to find out more, and now that the trailer is out they were willing to talk. Here’s what we learned about the forthcoming release of On A Roll.
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Hey On A Roll people, thanks for taking some time to speak with us. From the few screenshots that have been shown online, it looks like you guys have a cool gaming experience in store for bladers. But before diving into that discussion, I think we’d be remiss if we didn’t start with more information about the people making this game happen. Who is the On A Roll team and what “experienced skaters” have been consulting on the project?
Our team comes from various backgrounds in the entertainment industry, ranging from 3D animated feature films to television. Every team member has over 10 years of experience in these fields. On top of that most of us have been skating for 15+ years, so we know what we want out of a blading game.
As for the experienced skaters, we have a great little community of skaters here, a lot of them are in their ’30s or approaching 30 and they have been doing this for a while. We’ve used the most stylish skater as our reference for the mobcap.
There’s a screenshot on your Facebook page and website that shows a skater doing a freestyle backside backslide down a big curved rail. People like this image quite a bit, but there’s a statement from you guys saying that it doesn’t “represent the final quality.” Where should future users set their expectations as to what they are going to see and experience in the game? Is it gonna play like S.K.A.T.E. or Tony Hawk or…?
We’re definitely trying to push the graphics a bit further than what you got see in this screenshot. As for the gameplay, it will play like On A Roll, we’re hoping to bring you a unique experience which ideally will feel like watching your favourite skate video, only you’ll be controlling the skater.
I guess if we’d have to compare it to any existing game out there, the S.K.A.T.E. series would come closest, but we’re pretty much doing our own thing.
I’m sure you guys have played Blading the Game, Rolling, Aggressive Inline Skating, Jet Grind Radio and probably other blade-related video games I don’t even know about. What have you learned from the success/failures of these prior endeavors?
We’re all big fans of those games. Rolling, in particular, came closest to a realistic rollerblading game, but it still had a long way to go in terms of animation, controls and graphics. Of course gaming technology has advanced so much since Rolling came out about 11 years ago. So it really wouldn’t be fair to make any comparisons. I guess the main difference between us and the guys from Rage Software — the developers of Rolling — would be that we have been rollerblading for a long time and we started developing this game because we actually wanted to play it ourselves, whereas the Rage team started rollerblading as part of their research for the game, at least that’s what I gathered from one of their early interviews.
Besides the motion capture sessions described on your website, what influences have inspired your approach to the settings and aesthetics of the game environment? Can you tell us how the level structure might work?
Our influences range from any mainstream skating video to the more refined pieces of art which have been surfacing lately such as KCMO and the Mushroomblading videos. Coming from an animation film background, we definitely have a strong appreciation for moody lighting, so that’s something that’ll hopefully show in the end result.
On A Roll will not have any levels in the strict sense of the word. The whole thing will be one big open world in which you can skate from spot to spot, have online sessions with your friend, play a game of B.L.A.D.E. or just cruise around and enjoy the scenery. We will try to integrate a lot of famous spots from all around world — or at least spots resembling those locations — into our game world.
There’s a call on the On A Roll Facebook page for suggestions on which pro skaters to include in the game. How close are you guys to deciding the final game roster?
We’re currently speaking to various pros and brands, but we can’t confirm anything yet. More news about this will be announced soon though.
Well thanks for giving us some additional info. We know that there’s a lot of people out there that are excited to hear what’s next. Good luck!