What was your inspiration for making On a Roll?

On a Roll sunset rollerblading

I started rollerblading 17 years ago when the rollerblading hype was at its peak. My dad had bought 2 pairs of fitness type blades: one for my mom and one for him. I had never really cared about rollerblading, but my mom had the same shoe size as I did at the time, so I was able to try them on. Even though it took me weeks before I got the hang of it, I immediately fell in love with the feeling of having wheels attached to my feet. At that time third person 3D games were becoming increasingly popular and the thought occured to me, how cool it would be to be able to do rollerblading tricks in a virtual world and not get hurt. You could try the craziest tricks you could imagine.

Eventually around the early 2000’s there were 2 games that came close the vision I had for a rollerblading game, but neither of them quite got it perfect. So here I am about 10 years later trying to bring my dream project to life.

How did you know which controls would be most comfortable for the player when doing specific rollerblading tricks?

On a Roll jumping over a rail

I went through a lot of trial and error, but eventually I decided to keep it very simple and intuitive. Being a rollerblader myself I tried to look for controls that sort of resemble the type of movement you would perform in real life. For example rollerblading has lots of different grinding variations where the feet are being positioned in various ways. Now because there are so many foot placement possibilities, I figured it would be easiest to come up with a system that would reflect the actual orientation of each foot. So I ended up controlling each foot with a separate analog stick. All you now have to do is think of which direction you would want to point your foot and then just point the analog stick in that same direction. Same goes for flip tricks. All you have to do once you’re airborne is just decide in which direction you want to launch your flip, be it to the side to do a flatspin or backwards to do a backflip etc. This felt quite intuitive to me and leaves a lot of room for creativity rather than having to memorize lots of button combo’s.

Which setting did you choose for On a Roll? Why?

On a Roll doing a jump

On a Roll will feature an open world type of city with lots of different settings. There will be suburbs, a downtown area, a beach area, mountains, a forest, a flooding channel etc. All of it will of course be equipped with lots of grindable obstacles and ramps and other stuff to get your creative juices flowing.

How have you communicated with fans of On a Roll? Which ideas have they influenced for the game?

On a Roll rollerblading on a wall

Through the game’s Facebook page I’ve done some basic polls about what type of environments people would like to see in the game, which pro riders are their favorites etc. But after the Kickstarter finishes I’m looking to involve all of our backers very closely in the further development of the game. I’ll be asking for their opinions at a regular basis and they will of course also be able to send me suggestsions as they arrise.

What kind of obstacles can the player run into in On a Roll?

On a Roll keeping balance

Besides your standard handrails, ledges and ramps, there will be grindable chains which dynamically move and there will be pivoting metal gates where the player can also grind on. In the skateparks we’ll have Full pipes, loopings, bowls, a deserted waterpark and much more.

What is the next step for you and On a Roll?

On a Roll rollerblading down a stair rail

The very next step is managing to raise enough funding, so I can finally start working on this project full-time, because up until now this has been a one man spare-time project :). To speed things up, it would be great if I could also hire extra people to assist in the development. But without the proper funding this will be tricky. So if you’re out there reading this and you like what you see, feel free to have a look at our Kickstarter campaign over here, where you can pre-order the game: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/onaroll/on-a-roll

As for the game the basics are there, but it still requires a lot of polishing, the animations need to be smoother, it needs to become bigger and better all around and I would really like to add some more professional rollerbladers as well.



About Jelle

Jelle Van den Audenaeren has a long history of working in the movie industry. Over the past 11 years he has worked on several 3D animation movies as a senior lighting artist, shading artist, character modeler, texture artist and pipe line programmer. His skills and passion for rollerblading have set him on a mission to bring you the rollerblading video game everyone has been dreaming of.

About The Author

Andrew Ehrensperger

I'm Andrew, a Russian-Canadian dude living in Switzerland. I enjoy playing video games (obviously :P) and writing. I speak English, Russian, German, and I'm learning Spanish. My first console was either the GameCube or the Xbox. Both of them are terrific, but now I'm more of a PC gamer. I don't have a favorite game, but I spent over 2500 hours playing Garry's Mod and almost my entire childhood playing TimeSplitters: Future Perfect.