OlliOlli World Developer Roll7’s Switch No Look Interview Trick Leaves Us Gasping for More
Post by Steve Farrelly @ 04:20pm 16/07/21 | Comments
We spoke with a few of the devs from Roll7 about their forthcoming colourful skate epic OlliOlli World
Which is my clever way of suggesting the studio gave us the best of teases by basically giving us nothing. It’s not an unknown in gaming circles. I’ve had hundreds of interviews in my time as a games journo where I’ve had to guess more than I’ve been able to factually convey, but you kind of get good at learning how to discern even ‘nothing to see here’ responses into likely confirmations.
Part of the trick is giving them their answer in your own question, the sort fo shit that’d make Alex Trebek proud, or you can work out what a blanket response means when there’s no definitive cutoff to the line of questioning versus a ‘we’re just focusing on this right now’ response.
Watch our video preview of OlliOlli World embedded above
I recently had a chance to chat with a few of the cats over at UK-based Roll7, the studio behind one of my most anticipated releases this year, OlliOlli World, and copped a few flat-palmed responses, but on the whole got some pretty good stuff on the game’s massive visual shift over the first two OlliOlli titles, as well as how this is geared to opening up the surprisingly deep skate experience to all new audiences. As this was an email Q&A, responses from Roll7’s John Ribbins, Simon Bennet, Thomas Hegarty will be rolled (heh) into just Roll7.
AusGamers: The obvious first difference in OlliOlli World over previous OlliOlli entries is in visuals and overall presentation. These things, while aesthetic on the surface, often incubate for a long time and here it’s such a big shift. Can you talk about when this started and what influences may have crept?
Roll7: Yes! People have often said it reminds them of Pen Ward cartoons or some of the other new and wonderfully weird animation shows out there. We really wanted to create an illustrated look that’s welcoming; the soft, pastel-like gloopy graphics, the whole game, really, is built with that idea of flow in mind which comes through the art and into the gameplay. We actually reflected back on classic skate art from the 80s a lot as inspiration, too, as part of this process -- which was always very zany and goofy!
AusGamers: Was this shift in some ways also an effort to open up your audience potential and cut-through?
Roll7: One of the most common criticisms of the previous OlliOllii games was how they were just too hard for most people to play through to completion – so we really took that onboard this time and set out to create an experience that better captured the spirit of having fun skating (something which we feel very strongly should be for everyone!). So OlliOlli World was built with that idea at heart, to welcome more players than ever to explore the weird and wonderful world we've created in its entirety. With the art direction and visual style naturally playing a huge part in that.
AusGamers: What structural differences came as a result of the visual shift?
Roll7: Good question! So from a development perspective it certainly gave us a lot more freedom with things – for example, how we're able to animate tricks and rotation in 3D compared to before when we were using pixel art doing each one frame by frame haha! The new level features we’ve brought into OlliOlli World have probably been the most transformational though. And have really changed how you skate across and through the game. There’s a lot to explore with the multiple paths throughout. Our level designers certainly pushed themselves to the limit to create environments that flowed well across all those different paths and areas, weaving them into the gorgeous world of Radlandia.
AusGamers: The music you have is super-dope (we supplied our own for our video via our very own Kosta “Kbit” Andreadis, in case you needed to know), can you talk about the collaborations here - were any or all tracks written specifically for OOW?
Roll7: We’ve spent a lot of time curating the soundtrack full of awesome underground artists from across the globe -- we hope players not only love the tracks we’ve collaborated on for the game, but also find that they help them get into the zone and find their flow.
AusGamers: Will there be any multiplayer components that make it in, even if it’s from a ghost-data competitive perspective? If not, is it something you considered?
Roll7: Leaderboards have always been a massive part of the OlliOlli experience but there’s some new features in OlliOlli World that we’re really excited to talk about soon too, that will expand the ways you can compete against yourself and others!
AusGamers: What social aspects are coming to the game in terms of potential (baked in) content creation?
Roll7: Unfortunately we can’t quite talk about this yet but it’s another aspect of the game we’re very excited to share soon!
AusGamers: There’s always a concern around game length, and while Leaderboards promote replayability, can you talk to game-world challenges and the number of levels and areas/biomes you’ve crafted?
Roll7: While we aren’t quite ready to talk about final numbers -- we can say that there’s a whole host of challenges. One of our focuses has been to expand on the variety and types of challenges too, with many of them hidden on paths to be explored and discovered along with unique characters in the world itself!
AusGamers: Obviously you’re solely focusing on the game releasing, but is there a post-release support plan punters can expect as part of opting into the game? (Given seasonal DLC is such a big thing these days.)
Roll7: We are already thinking about great ways to support the game post-launch, yes! More will be shared when the time is right…
AusGamers: Last note (not a question): Just personally, as a skate and action sports person both from a real-world perspective, and a cultural one, I want to say thanks for OlliOlli World. Not only does it treat the sport and culture of skate with reverence and respect, but it’s also something I can comfortably play with my nine-year-old son, who is the future of those worlds as well.
Roll7: Thank you! This means so much to hear for all of us here as this is exactly what we’re striving for <3
OlliOlli World is due to release on all platforms later this year. Stay tuned for more from us and Roll7 as the game’s release skates ever-closer.