Sidescrolling skate ’em up OlliOlli debuts new footage at E3

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Sidescrolling skate ’em up OlliOlli debuts new footage at E3


Hello! I’m John, the game designer at Roll7. You may have seen a few snippets about OlliOlli already but as we approach E3 we wanted to go into a bit more depth about the game and let you know where the idea came from.

So, I’ve had a skateboard since I was about five. In my teens I actually got quite good and was sponsored for a while by Route One. Even now I still like to do the odd kickflip or whatnot (although breaking an arm is much more of a worry than when I was a kid).

I’ve played and loved all the skateboarding games from 720 and California Games to the more recent Tony Hawk and Skate games, but for me there was always something missing in the newer titles that meant it wasn’t quite the same as real skateboarding…. Skateboarding is hard.


While Hawk and Skate are awesome games, the thing that bothered me was that if you did a kickflip, you would always land it except for if you hit the floor while your trick animation was playing.

Now, any of you who have ever set foot on a real skateboard will know that it’s not making the board do a crazy flip that’s the tricky bit, it’s getting your feet back on the darn thing afterwards and nailing that perfect 360 flip after hours of practice!

From a game design point of view, this is a bit of a tough one, if you slammed 49 out of every 50 kickflips, you’d give up. I think this is partly because in a 3D skateboarding game there’s so much going on, that adding the extra element of “landing” your trick, on top of lining it up, choosing it, pulling it etc would make your head explode. So instead they satisfy you by letting you pull a multi-million-trick combo. With OlliOlli being 2D, there’s only one thing to trick on at a time. Don’t worry, we’re not getting rid of combos, they’re still there! But in OlliOlli, every time you’re about to hit the floor, you gotta hit the X button to land the trick. The closer you are to the ground when you hit X, the more points you score. Leave it too late and you slam. And if you slam, that’s your whole run over.


It’s harsh, but it means that you weigh up each obstacle you come across; do you go with something simple or go big and risk losing it all?

It’s this mechanic that carries across the whole game. For a 2D game we’ve gone pretty mental with the tricks, there are about 30 in total, each of which you can do in four different stances. You can modify these with spins too, meaning there are literally loads of different combo opportunities. If you want to play it like an infinite runner you can, but if you’re into your combos, you can go really deep with stuff like switch bigspin flips, to crooked grinds.

In Career Mode you’ll beat challenges based on distance, score and your ability to pull specific tricks and combos. In Spot Mode you’ll compete against everyone else in the world to be the dude that works out the best possible line at a Spot, then there’s Infinite Mode which lets you cruise for as long as you can, beating increasingly hard obstacles. We’ve got some other ideas too, but we’ll see where they take us!

Right now we’re working on our E3 demo, which we hope will give you a flavour of what’s to come. You can take a sneaky peak at the current build here:

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  • so this is pretty much a runner game just on a skateboard ? looks good for 5 bucks.

  • looks like a flash net game. all i just need on the vita is phantasy star online 2 na western release

  • Wow! This isn’t one of those stupid endless runners. It’s one of those endless skaters! That Shahid dude, the Vita propagandist, said this was one of the best Vita games he’s ever played. Indie games suck. And since there hasn’t been a SINGLE AAA game announced for Vita since last year’s Gamescom, I’m a sellin this here device y’all

  • Do you press a button to grind/slide or does it do it automatically? How much will it be? This looks fun.

  • Also, I’d like to point out how crappy the PS blog community is. “Indie games suck”. Seriously? Indie games are what make the vita great.

  • Jeez, lot of negativity here.

    This looks like a neat little game, something byte-sized to have on the Vita. Certainly more depth than the usual ‘dodge the stuff’ endless runners you’d find on mobile. The extra layer of landing the trick sounds like it’ll add a nice risk/reward mechanic.

    I’m hoping we’ll see a few different level background just for variety. Any plans for people as obstacles, maybe make them panic or applaud if you pull of a trick over their head?

    Rough idea on a price point or release date?

  • Looks great, and I love the back story! Hope it plays as well as it seems to.

  • To the guy that said Indie games suck….woooooow

    Don’t worry, COD: Ghosts and BF4 are coming out this fall!

  • This game looks like fun, seems like it would be great to play on my way to work. To those complaining about this game lets see what game you have made.

  • This looks really fun

  • Looks really fun, please make sure it: 1) comes to Vita; 2) is priced fairly; and 3) has Trophies.

  • This is my kind of game. I spent the entire ’80s on a skateboard. I haven’t skated much since, but I’ve been living out my trick fantasies through skateboarding video games.

  • I liked the old skateboard games too. Never even played the 3D ones so i am glad to see a new 2D skateboard game coming out. I’m just wondering. It looks like its an endless runner. Is that true?

  • PS4 still has time to implement retrocompatibility with PS3 games, PS2 games and PSX digital games through software emulation (which they already have in their Gaikai milk-off-more-money-from-players system) and decline Plus being mandatory to play online maintaining online playing free for everyone. If they don’t, I will give the thumbs down to PS4, use my PS Plus account to “buy” free PS4 games and only buy it after it has dropped it’s price dramatically or they add compatibility with PS3 in any way they want to. I encourage everyone that bought over 190 digital PS3 games supporting this company to do the same. RESPECT TO MY PS3 GAMES COLLECTION!

  • Hey folks, thanks for the nice comments and support! It’s awesome to get feedback/suggestions!
    Just to clarify some things, based on the comments above:
    You flick the left stick on the flat to pull tricks, in the air you then hold the left stick in different directions to do different grinds (it’s not auto, you can choose when and what grinds you do). You’re rewarded with bonus speed/points for holding grind at the last moment.

    There will be 5 locations in total, with stages within them (each with their own challenges).
    We’re hoping to get crowds of people in the levels. They’ll be used to mark out good points for combos.

    Release should be the end of this year, US price is not yet confirmed, but it won’t break the bank!

    Thanks again for the positive comments (it made everyone in the studio’s day) we really hope you’ll enjoy it when it comes out. 

  • Let’s get some AAA titles now! I hate to say this on this article but we NEED AAA games. I know I’m not alone when I say I’m sick of side scrolling game that scream mediocrity.

  • Hey Mr. Ribbins, you have my interest. What this baby needs to really sing is a killer soundtrack. Can you talk about that at all?

  • Not sure about this one, just seems basic.

  • When does it come out? It looks awesome!!

  • this game not worth $5 this should just be on tablets

  • looks… like a flash game… worse than mega man Xover….and that was reproduced in flash in a day…

    indie games don’t suck in general… but this one kinda does… I really can’t understand why people are excited for this… ever been to newgrounds? Vita’s can play flash games, no?

  • This game looks awesome. I can’t wait to hear more about it and eventually get my hands on the final product. Great fit for Vita!

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