Ice-cool skate ’em up OlliOlli kickflips onto PS Vita this year

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Screenshot Mock Up Arizona Junkyard

Hello. I’m John. I’m the game designer at Roll7! We started in 2008, when I teamed up with two entrepreneurs Simon and Tom. The company’s initial mission was to try and combine Simon and Tom’s passion for training disengaged youth in video game design, with my love of making games.

The dream from day one was to make our own games, but as a business it seemed impossible to make it work, so for the next four years we worked for various clients, making everything from websites, to apps, to games controlled by your brain.

In the meantime I spent countless hours in the evenings making the games we really wanted to make, while Simon and Tom looked for viable ways to transition from an agency to an actual game developer.

By early 2012 we’d scraped enough cash together to take some time off from client work and we set about making a game for iOS called Gets to the Exit.

We got some nice reviews (an 8/10 in Edge), but not everyone liked it (Slide to Play: “We hope you have insurance for your iPhone, because Gets to the Exit may cause it to accidentally get ‘dropped’. Against a wall. Repeatedly”).

While I was at Develop conference showing off Gets to the Exit I met James Marsden from FuturLab. I had this super early build of a skateboarding game called OlliOlli that I’d mocked up in Multi Media Fusion and had running on my iPhone. He gave it a go and suggested I show it to Shahid Ahmad at SCEE.

Screenshot Mock up London

Fast forward a few weeks and we’re sitting in the SCEE staff café in Soho, with sweaty palms and no idea what to expect. While we can’t discuss the content of the meeting as it’s under NDA, we can say that they have teleporters instead of lifts, everyone wears clothes woven from pure awesome and they loved OlliOlli.

Shahid and his team have been behind us all the way and it’s been a total departure from client work. In terms of OlliOlli, SCEE has given us a really wide space to be creative with what we’re doing. You hear horror stories about big companies, but I think they’ve got it down. There’s a consensus that we all want to make the best game possible.

I don’t want to talk too much about the actual details of the game, other than to say that it leans closer to skater than infinite runner and that there is a lot more emphasis on tricks, combos and score than there is on distance!

You can check out a VERY EARLY video of the first playable build here and see progress on our Facebook page. We’re working on our E3 build at the moment so you will see some serious progress over the next few weeks!

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6 Author Replies

  • Looks real interesting. Can’t wait to hear more about it.

    Anything indie on the Vita is gladly welcomed by me. :)

    • Thanks dude! We’re really close to finishing our E3 demo, so we’ll get some new footage up soon! TONS of combos on the way…

  • James Marsden

    Thanks for the name check John :p Happy it worked out for you guys!

    Game is great folks, can’t wait to have it on my Vita! :)

    • Thanks dude!

      new velocity looks sweet too, but I’m so busy that I’m having to resist installing it!

      We’re close to having something pretty playable, let me know when you’re next in London and we can have a game of SKATE (for real).

  • I love games like this, i can feel the “just one more go” feeling in me just LOOKING at this. Great work and thank you for coming to PS vita!

  • It is really great that so many indie games are making their way onto the Vita.

    This looks right up my alley. I can barely stand straight on a skateboard for more than 2 seconds, but I am pretty confident I can hold my Vita for longer than that. I am loving the look of this!

    • Most of team here are skateboarders but we’ve tested it on non skateboarders and they seem to have just as much fun so hopefully you’ll enjoy it too!

  • Looks amazing, will certainly be picking this one up.

  • Tony Hawk games are not sastisfying me lately… and a buddy of mine agrees with me.
    Although it’s only screenshots I allready can’t wait for this game, it looks like a lot of fun!!

  • Not sure about the lasting appeal of this, but if Shahid Kamal Ahmad liked it, then it must be good.

    Are you guys going to be at Rezzed?

    • Thanks dude… we sure are going to be at Rezzed. Not sure if we’ll have a stand or just be rocking around with some VITAs, but either way come and find us for a play. We’ll be tweeting our whereabouts during the event!

      In terms of lasting appeal, it’s a simple game, but there’s a fair chunk of challenges and levels to keep you busy..

  • Damn, this looks rather cool! :D

    I’ll keep an eye out for this one.

    • Thanks dude (these posts have made everyone in the studio super happy), we’ll get a new gameplay video up next week :-)

  • I smell addiction all over so if I miss my train stop, on my way to work, I’ll tell my boss to rant at you guys LOL XD

  • As a skater who had to give up my passion due to injury a couple of years ago I can honestly say this will be a day 1 purchase for me, I was disappointed to realise that EA wouldn’t be releasing a SKATE game for the Vita so any chance to combine 2 of my biggest passions (gaming and skating) is a winner in my eyes :-)

  • Absolutely heroic. This is the sort of game I’ve been waiting for an ex-skater turned fat father . I’ve been a big fan of skating games though since I can remember . Something about pushing that combo meter,learning the timing and how far you can push it. This excites me. I would just like to thank you guys in advance.. I will thank you on release day by showing you the inside of my wallet ( which if you ask my wife and son,,is quite the privilege)

  • I think the screenshot captions need to be reversed. The image with London’s Gherkin Building has been labelled as Arizone Junkyard.

    And the image captioned London has canyons in the background.

  • I hope this has around 100 levels with a huge variety of goals (40+) such as collect letters, score, chain length, jump targets, land on and crush xxx, high risk jump (clear a certain distance, evil knievel style, score target), pick up pedestrians and skate while carrying them (affecting balance/physics), frogger style minigame to grab ‘board stickers’ as an intermission every few levels or as an unlockable minigame, HORSE mode where you have to copy 10 of a rivals trick combos without failing 5 times as well as “endless” mode, timed halfpipe mode, grind challenge (needing better and better trick combos to retain momentum for the grind), avoid elderly spread over a level, Chase mode (keep up trick chains without failure to stay ahead of chasing angry rednecks, police, aliens, living spraycans etc.

    Tagging mode (you must gain a certain amount of speed/height through tricks to tag specific targets (police station, mayor’s office, EVILMART) – if possible allow us to customise our tag using the Vita’s touch screen.

    With this game on Vita it could be an AMAZING game and show the difference between rushed mobile and console quality indie titles with the content and variety of a long term game worth £7.99 rather than £2.

  • I have no doubt you will think of 40+ epic level types. Boss challenges are a must at the end of worlds (Jump on their head? Trick on either side of a suspended plank of wood to lower that side and cause a boss to fall into lava? Use the frogger levels’ art to include an overhead shooter mode with spraypaint as the weapon?)

    I hope you get crazier as the game goes on with the level types – including the overhead mode for the frogger levels should be able to cover about 5 really creative skating levels if you guys are as good devs as I think. Pop in isometric mode for motorway skating through busy traffic (being able to clear moving cars with jumping tricks is a must)

    With the low res graphics presumably not taking up much memory you guys have the opportunity to go all out here and create one of the Vita’s best games.

    If it’s too far along please indicate that you will present all this idea to Sony and get funding for a sequel as I would absolutely love the above game. A lot of indie devs try to recreate the simple titles that have hit it big rather than forge their own path with creativity and variety – I have confidence you can make an amazing game that will be among Vita’s best titles and 9/10 at least.

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