I was invited down to play OlliOlli by Roll7 in early September but I wasn’t able to attend so it was great to catch up with the chaps at the Eurogamer Expo and get my hands on the game myself there. For those that don’t know, OlliOlli is a side-scrolling skateboard game which is utterly addictive and focused on technique and timing. We have added the E3 video below for you to watch.
If you like the look of that we also caught up with Tom from Roll7 afterwards and asking him a few questions about OlliOlli and also the plight of the Vita, as well as giving us a few brand new screens to enjoy at the same time!
It was great to be able to play Olli Olli today guys. What inspired you to make a Skateboarding game?
Glad you enjoyed it 🙂 John spent his youth Skateboarding and playing Video Games, it seemed like a natural fit for him to combine the two passions! Beyond that we wanted to make a game that better reflects what its actually like to skateboard, i.e. really difficult, anyone can get the board to kick up in the air but landing is the hardest part and we wanted to reflect this which is why we have put so much emphasis on the timing of your landing and grinds. We feel this gives OlliOlli a unique feel and keeps the game on a knife-edge the whole time, no matter how good your combo is, you can always lose it all if you don’t time your landing right!
You were recommended to put this on to the Vita, what is it that you think makes the game suit the platform?
The original Demo that we pitched to Sony was built on iOS (never released) using touch controls, having the analog sticks on the Vita enhances the game massively. We’ve managed to implement over 120 tricks and by using the left and right triggers you can now add spins to any of your tricks. (there are a couple of levels you can pull 1080’s but we’ll leave you to find those for yourself!)
Pick up and play games have always felt at home on a portable system, but they can lack real longevity, what will keep players coming back for more with Olli Olli?
We’ve taken OlliOlli to E3, Gamescom and Eurogamer and we consistently get feedback that the game has so much more depth than people initially thought it would. I think in part this is down to the variety of tricks available. People tend to learn the basics and think that’s it, then they discover spins, nollie stance, switch, perfect grinds, there’s alot of stuff in there to learn if you want to master the game.
The 250 challenges are going to make people come back as well, there are 5 per level (50 levels in total) and as well as teaching the player new tricks they give you different ways to play the levels.
However, we hope the biggest draw will be battling for highscores with other players. You can compete over PSN for highscores on all 50 Levels as well as the 50 Spots. We probably would have released the game a lot sooner had we not have spent so much time trying to beat each other’s scores.
People like imaginative trophies these days and platinums it seems. Will you cater to these?
Oh yes! We are actually finalising these at the moment. Sadly there will be no Platinum Trophy in OlliOlli but to get the Gold Trophy you are going to have be SERIOUSLY good at the game and put in a lot of hours! I don’t want to give too much away in case they change but I think you’ll have fun trying to achieve them!
What has impressed you most about the Vita, in terms of the technology and games already on the system?
In terms of the techside, the SDK has been great to work with, we have built our own Engine for OlliOlli so to be able to hook up to Sony’s native SKD has been great and the support we get from Devnet has really helped us when we run into any issues.
In terms of games, we’re probably a bit biased but we’re loving the Indie games that have come out recently, Hotline Miami, Spelunky and Velocity Ultra to name but a few!
It is well documented that the Vita has struggled in terms of shifting units. Why do you think it isn’t performing as well as it had been hoped?
From what we have seen online, the argument around the ‘lack of games’ seems to be one of the main gripes, however, when you look at the recent activity in Europe and the US I don’t think that argument really stands up anymore. Yes there a load of indies coming through but there also pushing the AAA titles too. From speaking to people at Eurogamer I personally think The Vita has turned a corner and the perception amongst consumers seems far more positive. The recent announcements at Gamescom regarding cross-play and the Vita TV have helped, combined with a price drop I think the Vita is going to really pick up.
Have you played anything else on the Vita at Eurogamer? If so what has impressed you?
Tearaway looks really good though you’d expect that from the guys at Media Molecule! We spent most of our time touting OlliOlli but we did try out Velocity 2x, Super Exploding Zoo and Killzone Mercenaries on the Vita, away from the Vita we tried out a bit of Shadow Warrior, Foul Play, Sir You are Being Hunted, Volume and from the Indie Zone John found a great game called Myriad. Vlambeer’s up-coming Nuclear Throne looks awesome too.
Thanks for talking to us Tom! Roll7 will be in touch soon with a release date and for OlliOlli, and we will bring you this as soon as we can. I can’t wait for the game, I cannot stress enough how addictive and fun it is.