Part 1 of the Interview with producer Sean Smillie who looks after the character and story design for SSX.
SSX is published by EA and set for launch in January 2012 on Xbox360 and PS3
BI: Hi Sean thanks for taking the time to talk to Bone-idle gaming here in Ireland, hows your trip over been?.
SS: It’s really good, I’ve been doing a lot of travelling lately but it’s been enjoyable.
BI: Excellent so I know your busy so let’s jump right into it.
BI: For people who are totally new to the SSX series can you explain just what SSX is all about, and how it differs from snowboarding games on the market.
SS: Well we are not a simulation game, that’s our first big one right off the bat. The way we look at it is that we have snowboarding super heroes, where you can pull off a 150 foot jump and land it no problem. We also add in a whole host of visual touches that separate us, like radial blur for example which is a crazy speed blur also when you pull off a crazy big tricks and land them you send kind of a shock wave through the world. It’s pretty intense and crazy so I guess that’s what separates us.
BI: For Fans of the SSX series what differences can they expect to see this time around and also what similarities will they pick up on from the earlier games in the series.
SS: So what we have done is implement three pillars of gameplay, Race, Trick and Survive. Race and Trick harp back to the older SSX games and lots of elements of those modes players will play and say “oh I remember this” but we have also updated those modes with some new features.
Then the third one, Survive is something brand new we have introduced to SSX that deals with avalanches and crazy weather. So that’s where we are in terms of gameplay, we also have a bunch of new gear Wing suits and Ice Picks etc.
BI: So is it more natural disasters you are facing this time?
SS: Not a huge amount, they are there but the core focus of the game is really racing and tricks.
BI: So the extreme weather conditions are in the game, but won’t be so over bearing that it ruins the game totally.
SS : Exactly
BI: You are using real world locations this time, are they exact recreation of the real thing and if so how have you approached that to add the SSX touch because in true SSX fashion they are not going to be insane enough?.
SS: What we are doing is we are going out and getting the most iconic mountain ranges from around the world and what we did then was we utilised Nasa data that is open to the public and we put it through our own software and that allows us to build a foundation to work with and then we can get our level designers to go in and… I always use this phrase …to go in and “SSXify it” it’s like we just built Everest but there are parts of Everest that are kind of boring.
BI : Ha ha like it’s not insane enough .
SS : Exactly so we will go in there and say put a giant chasm in there, and a natural half pipe here and give me a giant rock curve that I can grind along over there.
Because at our core we still want to tap into the old SSX games and they are known for crazy tricks and stuff like that.
BI: The insanity?
SS: Yea we are bringing that back, I worked on SSX3 so I’m fairly familiar with the world.
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