There have been precisely 189 days between the launch of OlliOlli World on eighth February 2022, after which Rollerdrome on sixteenth August 2022. This implies little with out context, so what if the 2 titles have been made by the identical dev? What about if that studio is not precisely the most important on the earth, with out the budgets of an enormous AAA writer? That is precisely what Roll7 achieved in 2022, releasing two of the PS5’s best-feeling titles simply six months aside. To be taught extra about how and why the crew did this, we posed them a few questions.
Sadly, Roll7 was unable to get again to us earlier than the Christmas break to say who on the crew really answered our questions. Subsequently, the interview is credited to the studio as an entire.
Push Sq.: When did the concepts to develop OlliOlli World and Rollerdrome come about? Did you start growth of each on the identical time?
Roll7: OlliOlli World was the third instalment within the OlliOlli collection — after releasing the primary two video games, we’d had concepts effervescent away for a very long time about what we would wish to do with the third. So, once we sat all the way down to make it in 2019, we already had a reasonably sturdy concept of what we needed to do, how we needed to enhance on the sooner video games, and the methods through which we may broaden the ambition and attraction of the title. In fact, we found new concepts throughout the prototyping part, too, however quite a lot of the preliminary ideas had been floating round for a while.
With Rollerdrome, the sport really got here to us externally — we have been approached by a couple of publishers with this idea from Paul Rabbitte, who on the time was the solo dev on Rollerdrome. We cherished the thought, we bought on effectively with Paul, and we had funding to place a crew collectively — so it actually all simply fell into place. That was additionally in 2019, so, sure, growth for each video games began at a really related time!
Did you at all times plan on releasing each video games inside six months of each other? Was there a time once they may have been additional aside and even nearer collectively?
Initially, Rollerdrome was deliberate to come back out fairly a very long time earlier than OlliOlli, however as manufacturing went on that modified. There have been quite a lot of design components in earlier iterations of Rollerdrome that we actually loved as a crew, however once we took them to consumer testing we discovered that the large open environments made it more durable for gamers to essentially pull off all of the cool stunts and set piece moments that we needed them to have the ability to get pleasure from.
So we stopped and made a number of design modifications which affected the schedule and pushed the discharge dates nearer collectively — at one level they have been even going to come back out in the identical week! Ultimately, they did not come out fairly that shut collectively, however Rollerdrome did launch after OlliOlli World.
How did you strategy making each video games on the identical time? Had been there two totally separate groups or was there some collaboration?
So, for probably the most half, we did arrange two fully completely different groups for the 2 video games — that was a really deliberate determination. We needed every crew to have the ability to focus their full creativity and a spotlight on one recreation. Some individuals — for instance, Tech Artwork and QA — did cross over and work on each initiatives. There have been execs and cons to this. Leaping from the headspace of ‘cute fuzzy bees in a fantasy forest’ to ‘make a gun’ generally is a little jarring! Nevertheless, having this crossover did permit for the cross-pollination of concepts and processes, which had a very constructive influence because the groups have been in a position to be taught from one another’s successes. If we did this once more, I feel we would most likely nonetheless have a couple of individuals working cross-project, however we would work extra on making certain that course of was structured to permit them to accept longer durations in every crew and never should ping forwards and backwards a lot.
Do OlliOlli World and Rollerdrome share a lot tech underneath the hood? Are there components or options you have been in a position to incorporate into each video games?
They each have fairly completely different code bases and completely different lead coders — the groups actually adopted their very own paths, and we did not wish to disrupt their processes by forcing them to do issues a sure manner. Nevertheless, the NoComply renderer — which is what we use to create the comic-book/cartoon-style outlines — was shared by each groups. That being mentioned, it was really fairly extensively altered to be used on every challenge, so the top consequence continues to be fairly completely different.
Had been you ever involved the 2 video games have been releasing too shut collectively?
Yeah, as I discussed we did have one level the place they have been going to launch in the identical week, and that basically did really feel prefer it was too shut! However in the long run, them each releasing in the identical 12 months labored out fairly effectively — I feel that the hype for OlliOlli helped feed the hype for Rollerdrome, and visa versa.
How do you make your video games really feel so good while enjoying them? What is the secret?
At Roll7, we’re all about discovering the enjoyable — we begin with an addictive gameplay loop, one thing that feels actually good to play, after which we construct from there. For us, gameplay has at all times come first, and as we develop as a studio we have been in a position to construct our ambition and embody extra artwork, extra narrative — however gameplay continues to be the place we begin. We do quite a lot of consumer testing. It is actually essential to us that gamers are in a position to actually get right into a state of circulate the place one motion leads naturally into the subsequent.
A technique we allow that’s by specializing in telegraphing suggestions to gamers — we wish to be sure that they know what they only did, and if it was good or dangerous, as that helps reinforce the most effective and most partaking methods to play. On high of all of that, we’re tremendous meticulous about degree design, and our ranges undergo quite a lot of iteration earlier than the ultimate product. Once more, it is all about creating an surroundings the place gamers have the most effective alternative attainable to essentially enter that state of circulate.
Do you imagine launching two video games inside six months was successful for the studio? Would you’re taking the identical strategy once more sooner or later?
I feel it turned out effectively, however in future we’d most likely purpose to have a barely longer time frame between recreation releases. I’ve heard it mentioned that the final 5 months are the toughest a part of making a recreation and I feel it’s extremely true — that is the second the place you need to make quite a lot of remaining choices and actually hone in on that finish purpose. Throughout this era and into launch can be an particularly busy second for QA, and I feel having a crew roll off one high-intensity end-of-project scenario into one other is not preferrred.
So we actually wish to make sure that we make more room for cross-project members of the crew to have a breather between these busier moments in manufacturing. We would undoubtedly be very happy to proceed the two-team mannequin — it is actually simply the discharge home windows we’d wish to push a bit additional aside.
Can we anticipate OlliOlli World 2 and Rollerdrome 2 to additionally launch inside six months of one another?
I am afraid I’ve to ‘no remark’ that one — we’re engaged on some actually thrilling issues, however nothing that we’re able to announce simply but.
We wish to thank Roll7 for taking the time to reply our questions. Are you a fan of OlliOlli World, Rollerdrome, or each? Tell us within the feedback beneath.