If you don’t have Rollerdrome on your radar just yet, it might be time to give the game notice just before its launch on August 16. This stylish skater-shooter is from Roll7, the developers of the extremely fun OlliOlli World.
We got a taste of the game last month and were so impressed by its slick mechanics and flawless controls that we had to get into a conversation with Creative Director Paul Rabbitte to share his thoughts on Rollerdrome and how the concept came to be.
“The idea actually came out of a game jam I took part in, which was focused on ‘dual purpose design’ – design that uses one mechanic for two purposes. So that’s where the idea for a game where you do tricks to regain ammo came from,” shares Rabbitte.
Rollerdrome employs a genius solution to keep the action rolling – instead of picking up ammo strewn across the arena, players will need to perform tricks to refill their reserves. Roll7 took a liking to a prototype that Rabbitte created before he joined the studio, and the rest is history, as they say.
Doing tricks to regain ammo was one of the earliest mechanics in the game – it was in my very first prototype,” Rabbitte says. “There was a lot of iteration after that to make sure that we balanced the constant give and take of tricks and combat, but at its core the mechanic was there from the very start. It took a long time to get it just right – but we made it in the end!”
Rollerdrome is a great mix of these seemingly clashing concepts that make the game really stand out from the crowd, and this is further accentuated by smart level design that allows players to explore and figure out a way to conquer the level apart from simply relying on brute force or pure skill.
One of the goals from the start was to make each level like a small 3D sandbox. I like games where you can really express yourself within a small area – as you play and replay the game you’ll be able to keep exploring the space and finding new ways to beat the levels,” Rabbitte explains. “So it was a real balancing act to keep that sense of exploration, but also to balance it against having plenty of open space where enemies can really put pressure on you and challenge you to play at your best.”
Creativity is at the forefront of Rollerdrome’s design, and while these mechanics may not be immediately noticeable at first glance, one thing that is unmissable is the gorgeous comic book-inspired art style of the game. Rabbitte reveals that they had initially tried to portray the game using a more modern touch, but really didn’t feel unique enough.
“We always knew we wanted a semi-realistic illustrative style, but we did initially try a more modern aesthetic. It didn’t really seem unique enough for the game, and we eventually landed on a 70’s low-budget sci-fi movie feel which draws inspiration from movies like Rollerball.“
The good news is that we won’t have to wait too long to try out Rollerdrome, which is scheduled to release on August 16, 2022, for the PS4, PS5, and PC via Steam.