OlliOlli: From A to Z

In recent months, Sony has pushed to position itself as the console platform of choice for independent developers. But why have so many indies 350-001 begun to gravitate towards PlayStation? And just what does it take for a young studio to take a great idea from concept to creation? Roll7″s Tom Hegarty details OlliOlli: from A to Z.

OlliOlli body 1

The dust has settled. With the squawking and flying feathers of the last few months drowned to a tinny echo beneath the sounds of jingling bells and ho-ho-hos, both Sony and Microsoft have probably, by now, shoehorned their respective new-gen consoles into either your living rooms, onto your Christmas lists or, at the very least, into your subconscious. Perhaps Microsoft”s family-friendly multitasking message caught your ear. Perhaps it was Sony”s unrelenting championing of their commitment to independent games.

For me, the latter applies. I find it hard to care all that much about canadian pharmacy online whether or not I can talk to my grandma on Skype while playing Peggle 2. I like Peggle 2, I also like my gran, but there”s just no applicable intersection between a woman in her eighties from Yorkshire and a viagra price bangkok bare-arsed yeti shaking its booty to Dance of the 350-018 Hours. Thankfully.

But why are indie devs beginning to gravitate so much towards Sony platforms and how does how much does viagra cost at walgreens a young development house go from concept to finished product? Perhaps more importantly, on creative terms at least, how faithful can the final release be to the original conceit when weighted by the demands of a console giant?

Recently added to Sony”s stable of indie talent is London-based developer Roll7. With several

irons in the fire, challenging skateboarder OlliOlli will be the studio”s first console release. Planned for a late 2013 launch on Vita, OlliOlli is now slated for early 2014, with the game undergoing final quality testing prior to launch next year.

OlliOlli body 2

“We were told it”s incredibly rare that you pass first time,” Roll7″s Tom Hegarty says of Sony”s certification process. “Generally it”s two or three times that you have to go through. Obviously one is always the aim but if you get it in two you should be happy. For our first console title we”re pleased with the way it”s gone, but it”s always annoying when you get bugs and stuff that you didn”t pick up.”

Game-wise, everything passed fine but a network issue within OlliOlli”s Daily Grind mode has ultimately forced the launch back. “One of the bugs, for example, only happens after fifty days… (Sony) America spotted it,” Hegarty continues. “They were testing concurrently, but Europe tested the Daily Grind for the first few days and America tested it in the last few days, and that was when the bug appeared.”

Meet Roll7

It”s easy to sympathise with Roll7″s situation. A hair”s breadth away from a release – their first on console and their most ambitious to date, no less – and last-minute hitches frustratingly hinder launch. Delays apart, though, OlliOlli has moved from concept to the verge of release in less than eighteen months.

“We had OlliOlli as an iOS demo at Develop conference 2012,” Hegarty adds. “We met James Marsden who runs FuturLab. We just randomly bumped into him, and said, “Oh, check this game out,” and he was like, “Oh, this is really cool, you should go and speak to Shahid (Ahmad) over at Sony.” He made the intro. I think the email was literally like, “Shahid, meet Roll7. Fight!” It just kind of went from there.

“Once we actually met with Sony – we had it on the iPad – and Shahid literally wouldn”t put it down for about 15 minutes. [He] let the other two guys who we were with, Lorenzo and Robin, just do the meeting. At the end we were like, “Can we cialis user forum have our iPad back, please?” and I think from there we knew

they were interested!”

Chance meetings apart, Roll7″s presence at Develop 2012 was one online casino of many conference appearances, a factor that Hegarty feels played a key role in OlliOlli picking up traction. “It did feel like, “right place at the right time,”” he explains, viagra use in females “But at the same time we”ve always been very active in making sure we”re at the right places and talking to as many people as we can. We kind of say we have to lose our shame when we 100mg viagra effects go to these events and speak to absolutely anybody – and if they tell you to http://genericviagraonline-tabs.com sod off then so be it – but you find most people are really friendly.”

OlliOlli body 3

His words carry weight. Roll7 and BeefJack have met up twice before in 2013: once at E3, the other time at Norwich Games Expo. It”s safe to say that those two events couldn”t be more different in scale. Nonetheless, I had the chance to http://kamagrajelly100mg-store.com sample OlliOlli at NGE and it felt very much at home on Vita. It surprised me to hear, then, that while OlliOlli had always been intended best online casino for console, it hadn”t necessarily been earmarked for handheld.

“Our mission had been to get on to console,” Hegarty says. “We hadn”t picked out a particular one, but when [Sony] mentioned Vita it just best online casino seemed like a perfect fit – especially with the demo that we had done on iOS. Although it”s not exactly the same kind of screen resolution and size, etc, we could see the way it could scale to fit the Vita give my dog viagra screen. When we started the developing of it, we were really pleased at the way it”s worked out. We cialis tablets uses feel that the game fits on it so nicely.”

Touches and tweaks

It”d be easy to imagine that a game built as a touch-based demo would be shoehorned into utilising as many of the Vita”s unique selling points as possible. Menu

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navigation apart, though, OlliOlli has in fact moved its inputs to the Vita”s analogue sticks.

“What we had was a touch control system,” Hegarty continues. “You”d use your right thumb to flick various tricks; moving that on to the analogue stick has made such a big difference. It really gives a proper

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feel of tactility to the game that it just didn”t have on touchscreen.

“We did actually explore a number of options. Sony, when we first met casino online with them, were open about the fact that they would like to see what could be used. Obviously, when you look at Tearaway at the moment, you can see how that touchscreen can be used to really good effect in a meaningful way. So

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we explored some stuff: we looked at whether you could flick tricks with your finger on the back-screen to affect the player on the front-screen, and all the time it seemed like it was just complicating the game. The game otcviagra-norxpharmacy.com is quite tough and when you add in the complexity of tricks… shifting your hands about to different positions doesn”t work with this style of play.”

OlliOlli body 4

Hegarty points out that far from forcing the issue, Sony has been receptive to Roll7″s feedback. “We went back to Sony and said, “Look, we totally understand you wanted us to look at this stuff but, from the game”s perspective, it just needs this analogue stick on the left and this X button,” and they were totally cool with that.

“Obviously they want to push certain aspects of the console, which is totally understandable, but at the same time they don”t want to let it get in the way of casino pa natet a game – which I thought was a really nice process to be a part of.”

Collaboration and evolution

Perhaps Sony”s accommodating nature canada pharmacy dexilant speaks to how they”ve managed to capture so much indie interest in recent months. Although Sony is funding – rather than publishing – OlliOlli, Hegarty points to a collaborative development process that has left Roll7 with plenty of wiggle room, but ultimately

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enhanced the game.

“The dynamic to it is slightly different because although they”re funding us, they”re not publishing us,” he explains. “They can guide and give us advice but when it comes to price-points and actual release dates they can go, “We”ve got X, Y and Z for you,” but it”s up to us to make that decision.

“It”s the same with gameplay mechanics as well: for example getting the rhythm right, pressing X just before you land. When we gave them the initial first playable (version), if you didn”t get a perfect landing you slammed; there was no margin for error whatsoever. They said to us, “You should always land,” and we were like, “Well, we want the game to generic viagra sildenafil citrate be difficult.””

Hegarty laughs as he explains how one of Sony”s top QA testers” repeated fails gave Roll7 cause to reconsider the difficulty.“The good thing about it was that they didn”t tell us we had to,” what does generic cialis look like he says. “They said, “Look, it”s your game but this is our advice. Here”s our list of things but you go away and do what you want with it.” I think after each meeting we”d come away going, cialisotc-norxcialis.com “Aw, they can”t tell us what to do,” and then we”d digest it and go, “Actually, do you know what? They”re making sense; we probably should make some tweaks.”

OlliOlli body 5

“The whole scoring system has developed because of Sony”s input. Originally it was, “Do your combos and land at the right time.” Now, depending on when you press X, you get the Perfect, Sick, Sloppy or Sketchy landing and that determines your score. It actually brought a whole new depth to the game that we would have missed out on otherwise.


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think it also allows people to access the game much more easily – which is a problem we had on our previous title. It just started out obstinately hard, whereas now we”re back to a mechanic where you can see, “Yes, I”m pressing at the wrong time but at least I”m progressing

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and getting points.””

Community feedback

As helpful as Sony has been during development, perhaps the most significant benefit of signing on with the Japanese hardware giant has been exposure to the pool of studios and developers already under Sony”s wing.

“FuturLab have been very helpful to us, not just in introducing us to Sony, but since then we”ve been able to talk to them, pick up the phone and ask them about certain bits,” Hegarty explains. “Simon Credland as viagra 100mg dosage well, who released Total Recoil on Vita recently, he was introduced to me through Sony. He”s been really helpful for us actually – taking us through how the Japanese FQA process works [which is] very different to the European and American one.

“It seems people are very willing to give up their time and knowledge to help everyone else. Curve are another studio who we know well and tadalafil online they”ve been helping us out and advising us on how to get press releases right, how to time them correctly and when to put stuff out – little tweaks that we can do. So yeah, it”s been really good from that point of view. [Sony has] been very keen to introduce us to people and vice versa.”

So there viagra vs cialis vs levitra reviews you have it. As OlliOlli makes its way through the final few hurdles before launch, chance meetings, amicable negotiations, collaboration – and some hard graft – have all seen the original conceit evolve without ever changing drastically. Now all Roll7 has to do – with a few final tweaks pending – is wait.

“It”s interesting because you do all cialis 20mg cost that work and it”s then completely out of your hands which is good and bad really,” Hegarty opines. “It gets to that point where we can have no more effect on what people think and what people write about it. I can”t wait for that day, it”s going to be pretty exciting to see.”

Leo McCloskey

Author: Leo McCloskey

Leo owns a full set of Winnie the Pooh cuddly toys and has watched all of the first two series of Glee, yet is totally married to an actual woman. The adjoined picture was his first ever selfie.

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