A closer look at Skater XL’s controls, out today on PS4

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A closer look at Skater XL’s controls, out today on PS4

Take a deeper dive into the 100% physics-based controls.

Hey everyone! Skater XL launch day is upon us and we honestly could not be more excited to bring the evolution of skateboarding games to the PlayStation platform!

Without a proper entry into the skate genre in over a decade, and fans clamoring for a new title, the question that we had to ask ourselves was; what would a skateboarding game designed from the ground up today look like? We’ve spent the last few years looking to answer that question, designing and improving Skater XL through Early Access, and now moving towards the full launch of the complete game.

From early in development, we were very decided on bringing something new to the genre. We felt there was another big step that this genre could take and we were very well positioned to have a go at it. This is our interpretation of the skating game people really wanted the whole time.This is where things were moving to.

The most important thing to understand about Skater XL is that it’s designed to be fun in the same way that skateboarding is fun. The core of the gameplay is designed more as an expressive and creative tool than a traditional video game with pre-set challenges to complete. The game is unique in that it doesn’t have any tricks programmed into it, only control of the movement through the thumbsticks. Each thumbstick is connected to the character’s corresponding foot — the right stick controls the right foot, the left stick controls the left foot.

This control scheme is consistent through all parts of the gameplay, making it easy to learn and rely on when inventing new tricks and movements.

There are a range of basic movements, with a ton of freedom in how they are performed. Skater XL uses physics controlled by the sticks to drive all movement in the game, which is a huge shift from traditional ‘canned animation’ based systems which all past skateboarding games have been based upon. Precise movements made through the thumbsticks will make your tricks look and feel different each time, adding a level of expression, personalization, and style to the gameplay. There are so many ways to combine and style the same few tricks, and there are a lot of tricks possible in Skater XL.

The resulting gameplay is very much free-form, sandbox and creative in nature. Think of it more like a musical instrument than a conventional game.

And while much work was put into pushing and evolving the controls and game mechanics, careful consideration and testing were put in so that the controls were not difficult to learn. One of our goals in developing the controls and gameplay for Skater XL was to make skateboarding accessible to anyone with even a casual interest in skateboarding. We didn’t want the controls to be the challenge of playing the game, but rather have them be intuitive and allow the player and challenge themselves to develop their skills, allowing a huge amount of depth for those who choose to progress their skill-set and creativity. We’ve seen countless times in testing and through the game’s Early Access that once players have experienced the level of control available in Skater XL, they can’t imagine ever taking a step back to previous control schemes.  It’s that satisfying.

And while the core gameplay mechanic is at the center of everything Skater XL was designed around, the environments, pro skaters, customization, challenge system, and community content provide the authentic window into the skate world that make the game a must have for anyone with even a casual interest in skateboarding.

In building Skater XL we feel that we have really created something that gives people the tools to enjoy, express and appreciate skateboarding, and we can’t wait to see what PlayStation fans create with it. Thank you so much for all your support.

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