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November 2012 Retro Gaming Article

November 15, 2012 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Skater/Developer Jason Brewer tells us about his upcoming 8bit-style multi-platform game, RETRO SKATE @RetroSkateApp via Fryza

Retro Skate by Fryza Everyone fantasizes about their favorite passions or hobbies coming together in one glorious package that satiates the brain with everything that's good in the world. But these are fantasies, right? That sort of cosmic alignment never really happens. At least that's what we thought.

Jason Brewer of Fryza contacted me with a wild tale of a game he was working on. It was a skateboard game with a retro - think NES - feel to it. All the modern tricks of today's skate scene combined with the blocky pixels that formed my love for gaming in the late 70s. As luck would have it, he was for real and offered to tell us more about it and the kickstarter campaign for Retro Skate.

He has a unique perspective as a hardcore skater as well as a game developer - just the right combo!

  • Which came first for you - skating or gaming? Games. I started playing games casually at an early age. I started skating when I was 10 yrs old. Skating I thought would be just another thing I did, but very quickly grew into a passion that I will never let go of. Throughout the yrs I have always played games. And classic games such as Double Dragon, Battle toads, Pokemon on Game Boy color was something I always found myself reverting back to. Current games are sick, but there is a classic feel to 8bit art and 8bit sound games that just keeps you coming back. Retro games are sick! I constantly am jamming out to chiptunes as I work and when I skate.
  • I was an Atari kid and still remember the appliance store my Mom took me to where I bought my first Atari 2600. Got a "my first game console" story? Growing up I spent a lot of time at my aunts house beginning at the age of 5. Her kids were grown up and moved out. My brother and I spent our entire day there playing NES. Skate or Die, Battletoads, Super Mario Bros and Double Dragon. And for yrs thats what we did. Our parents eventually got us an N64, but it wasn't the same as NES. I ended up getting my own SNES and continued my Retro gaming days with my friends.
  • We're big fans of the THPS series but still play Skate or Die on NES. Is SOD a fond memory or still in your current play rotation? SOD is a fond memory. I quickly became a fan of the THPS series. HOWEVER!! Im picking up an NES AND SOD this week ;) I found a place that sells it and I was stoked to hear they had SOD. SOD will be thrown back into my current play rotation for sure.
  • How did you come to get involved with game development? My sisters husband Mark Price does app development. Since this idea for Retro Skate came up I've been studying app development and game design for the last yr. I want to deliver a 100% classic retro gaming experience for todays modern gaming platforms. Its been a lot of work and Im excited to see everything following through. With this new experience and profound love for Retro games and skating, you can be sure with the success of this game, I plan to develop an entire line of "Retro" games ;)
  • As a retro gamer from the NES generation, how do you feel about mobile games -vs- console gaming? Do you see these platforms as unique extensions of gaming or direct competitors? Mobile gaming and console gaming our 2 different gaming experiences. They both serve a different purpose I think. Mobile is more casual game play where console is more hardcore gaming. I do know the mobile gaming has an advantage over console gaming only because its widely available and has a larger outreach.

    Thats why I wanted to make Retro Skate available on multiple platforms, and each platform being unique to its game platform. EX- we will implement the touch feature into the mobile platforms and keep in mind the capabilities and advantages of using a controller with console gaming. Each platform will have its perks.
  • It sounds like you guys began with a passion to create a retro game. Was "skateboarding" the theme from the start or did it evolve into a skate game? Skateboarding was the theme from the start. I've had this itching Retro bug and it turns out Mark Price (CTO of FRYZA) is a Retro super fan as well. Im passionate about Retro games and Skating. I came up with Retro Skate and presented the idea to him. He loves it, I love it, and now we are on this epic journey to bring this classic Retro Skate game to life.
  • What percentage of the Fryza team skates? There's a handful of our team who enjoys skating. Many of us longboard, I am probably the only one considered who is a "hardcore" skater, but we have a few individuals who actually skate too. My involvement with the game is crucial to make sure real skate stuff exists in the game and nothing is left out.
  • Both gaming and skateboarding have evolved tremendously - from 8bit Atari and plastic banana boards to networked consoles and kevlar reinforced decks. How hard was it to replicate modern tricks while staying true to the 8bit feel of Retro Skate? We hired some amazing pixel artists who have done an incredible job recreating these tricks in 8bit graphics. The tricks range from 360 flips, hardflips, pressure flips too your traditional kickflips, heelflips and shovits. Plus a variety of grinds and grabs. Black Moon Design has done an excellent job making all this possible.
  • Are there any Easter Eggs or secret power-ups you can tell us about? Heck yes there will be! What kind of Retro game would this be if you couldn't put in those secret button combinations at the start menu ;)
  • What kind of terrain will Retro Skate offer? Street, pipes, parks? Currently Retro Skate will have street skating with ramps, rails, planter boxes ledges and stair sets. There are many version updates planned for Retro Skate which will include pipe and parks.
  • Will there be any classic skate spots in Retro Skate (Brooklyn Banks, Pink Motel, Trashmore, Skatopia)? Not in version 1. But something we are keeping in mind ;)
  • Tell us a little more about the world editor. How easy will it be for fans to jump in and create their own Animal Chin ramp? If we can hit our stretch goal of 100k this amazing world editor will be implemented. It takes a lot of work to do it, and we want this so bad! We have studied the best practices and techniques for implementing this and we will make it simple. This will be the first Retro adventure game that will allow a world editor + co op game play. And dont forget your created skate worlds will be shared with the world to play!
  • We love that you're developing for iPhone, iPad, Android, PC, Linux, Mac and Ouya, but it seems like an ambitious undertaking! What factors went into deciding which platforms to develop for? With todays technology and game tools is the only way this is possible. We will be using UNITY 3D which is a muli-platform game engine. Meaning essentially we build once and can publish to multiple platforms. As I mentioned each platform will have a few of its own unique perks and features so there will be additional effort there. But this game engine will make it possible to publish multi-platform without breaking our heads open ;)
  • We're excited about the Ouya's potential as both a new console and a wake-up call to the industry at large. What's your prediction on the Ouya's success? I believe OUYA is going to be a huge success. An inexpensive console with an Android platform making it incredibly "easy" to develop for. I have a feeling this new console is going to create a wide variety of games available. When you think about these other major game consoles, obviously you cant find Nintendo games for PS3 and Xbox 360 or vice versa. There are games specific to all these consoles. OUYA is open game for developers. Im eager to see the opportunities that come from it.
  • I'll bet there's a good story here... How'd you come to choose Danimal Cannon to do the music for Retro Skate? I wish I had a really cool story haha. We wanted a someone amazing at 8bit music. We reached out to several individuals and they just didn't cut it. In a game like this we would only want the best. We personally reached out to Danimal Cannon, told him what we were doing and he loved it. He's actually been playing our Retro Skate theme song for the past few months in concert on his tours.
  • When you strike a movie deal for Retro Skate (come on, think big), which pro skater would you want to play the lead character? Me....hahahahaha. I'm no pro skater. But Im at getting things done haha. To be honest I've always thought it would be cool to be on the big screen.

    But honestly if I had to choose a pro it would be Andrew Reynolds. Why? He's one of the most ambitious, perfectionist skaters I know and he makes it look dang good!! He will do a trick several times until it is perfect! He will do it again if his hands touch, arms looked weird or if his ride away isn't how he envisioned. It has to be perfect. Im a firm believer if you gonna do something, do it right. And Andrew does skating right. He accepts nothing less than perfect ;)
  • How many GameBoys got trashed because they were in your back pocket when you went skating? Haha none! Game Boy was kept in the camera bag ;)
  • My first "real" deck was a Vision - Grigley Old Ghosts, late 80's. What was yours? My first board was the classic wide fishtail board. It was blue...and had some type of tiger on it. I dont remember the brand unfortunately, I was young. I would ride that thing on my knees and cruise up & down my street. It was in my later yrs I learned to stand on it haha
  • Pick a preference: - 720 or THPS?       THPS

    - Half pipe or street?       Street

    - Joystick or controller?       Haha Joystick... Controller for me

    - Bolted down or loose trucks?       Loose

    - Cartridge or disc? Cartridge!       Blow that thing out haha
We want to thank Jason for getting us stoked on Retro Skate and giving us his skater perspective. Check out the Fryza website and consider backing the kickstarter campaign for Retro Skate. I think it's going to be an awesome kick ass game!

Here's a video to give you a vibe for the game and the team behind it...

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