Of all of the projects I have been involved with over the past 3 years Electronic Arts O.G. Skate Reel initiative was by far one of my favorites. It was our first really large initiative with EA and it was very ambitious.
From the start there were a number of different variables that came into play. In-game video then sprayed to the web that enabled community members to rate each others creations across gaming platforms.
With a lot of teamwork between EA (Strategy & Content), our team and Blast Radius (Creative & UI) Skate Reel hit the web prior to the release of Skate.
As with all great things you knew a sequel was coming. Skate 2 hit stores on the 21st (Be sure to pick up your copy!!!!) but the new & improved Skate Reel for Skate 2 was pushed out early this morning.
This time around the UI has been tweaked, the transitions even smoother and I am once again blown away by the work of our team.
Here is the Skate 2 Team… Left to Right (w/ gamertags except for John Balod & MJ) … Deryl “Moonboy Dallas” Dorsett… John “I need a 360” Balod, Jon “BROOMdoom” Broom, Elijah “Prairie Racer” Hardin and me Tom “TheBlackFin” Edwards. Not pictured are Rich “RichMercer” Mercer and Mike “MJ” Johnson.
As for Skate Reel…. The site speaks for itself.
I confirmed today that I will be attending the 2008 Game Developer Conference February 18-22 in San Francisco.
I am very excited about attending as outside of the networking and expo portion the key areas that I am interested in are the business and management topics of “Make the Community Part of Halo” and advertising and games.
The “Make the Community Part of Halo” discussions are very key as it talks about the bungie.net experience and how they worked to make community an integral part of the game itself.
I have worked with Microsoft Game Studios, Ensemble Studios and of course Electronic Arts on the Skate and NFS ProStreet titles fall along the same lines. So if you are attending the event let me know and we will schedule some time to sync during the conference.
The long awaited skate demo is now live on Xbox Live. Be sure to download the demo and give it a try. As I have said before all I can say is WOW.
For most of this week I will be in Vancouver, British Columbia. Today I was on-site at Electronic Arts Blackbox location. This is the studio responsible for the upcoming Skate release. If you recall back in June I posted about my first experience with the alpha build of Skate. Today I played one of the latest builds and all I can say is WOW.
The realism of the game is incredible. The movements are based on physics vs. animation so it gives the skater a natural flow that is not common in most of the current titles. The “flickit” controls are clean and really allow the user to have complete control but also gives you almost an unlimited ability to pull and sequence tricks.
The most impressive aspect of the game though was the ability to capture and manipulate in-game video footage from within the game. The game will cache the last 20 or so seconds of your run. If you pull off a wicked combo you can simply go to the replay option and begin adjusting camera angles, speed of replay, and apply different effects to your clip. Then the clip will upload to the soon to be launched Skate video gallery that is powered by community server. You will be able to share your clips with friends or for all of the skate community to see. You can also view some of the top clips from within the game.
The beta should drop on August 21st via the Xbox Live Marketplace. Definitely give it a go. You will be able to save video from the demo and it will carry over to when the game releases in September.
For most of this week I will be in San Francisco, beautiful city btw. Today I am on-site at Electronic Arts in Redwood City. It is always good to see the EA team, the core group that we work with are a great bunch of guys. We are working on a community project tied to the upcoming Skate game that is very impressive. The marketing site done by Blast Radius is already up and running.
I played an alpha build of the game today and was very impressed. Not only is it a fun game, but it takes skateboarding to the edge in terms of the realism of the game compared to other titles that are out today (Tony Hawk series). The “Flickit” controls were very responsive (Think Fight Night 3’s analog controls), I was able to pull a number of tricks but the level of difficulty is there giving it a feeling of real skating and not an arcade simulation. It is not simply hit a button perform a trick. There is a flow to the moves and a seamless transition between tricks if done well. The graphics were impressive and it has a real sandbox feel in terms of roaming the different cityscapes in freeskate.
One of the great features of the upcoming Skate game will be the ability to record in-game footage and upload it to the upcoming community server based site. It will allow a level of Web/Game integration that we have yet to see in a next-gen title.