SNOW: An interview about skiing and stuff!

Okay everyone, this has been a while in the works. I am very happy to present you with our interview with the Gamer Director for SNOW, a new Open World Skiing game in the works by Poppermost.

SNOW is in the process of working toward Closed Beta so make sure to sign up HERE!

Had a great time emailing back in forth with this guy, and as a result, you have an awesome interview to read! Enjoy!

1. What is your role in creating SNOW?
I am the CEO and Game Director at Poppermost. As the CEO, I manage the studio as a whole, and make sure that everyone is as happy and productive as possible. I also work with business development and financing and manage the game’s production schedule. As Game Director, I work with each team to make sure a unified vision of the game is maintained throughout development. Thankfully I have two amazing co-founders who make my life a lot easier by leading their respective teams on a day-to-day basis.

2. How long has SNOW been in the works?
My two co-founders and I started development of SNOW in May 2012. The three of us came together over a love for action sports and also with a goal to create a development studio that was different – one that fostered creativity and didn’t rely on publishers or single-title success.

3. What is your favorite feature currently in development?
The most exciting feature to me right now is the Replay Manager. It definitely hasn’t been the easiest feature to build (so kudos to Marek, the developer who built it) but I think it’s one of the coolest things we’ve been working on. The Replay Manager allows users to pause and watch a replay of their gameplay session from various camera angles at anytime while riding down the mountain. Being able to scrub through your session and watch everything you’ve been up to is pretty amazing and will undoubtedly result in some incredible user-made videos.

4. When creating the mountain for SNOW, what was the main focus?
Building the open-world mountain has actually been one of the biggest challenges throughout SNOW’s development. Because something on this scale and level of detail hasn’t been done before, there weren’t many other games we could look to for reference, so at the beginning we were definitely flying blind. After testing a few different approaches, we decided to break the mountain up into a few dozen areas, each containing a landmark with unique features. Landmarks could be natural, like a frozen river or a pine forest, or man-made like a luxury mountain hotel resort or a crashed cargo plane. This not only allowed us to methodically develop specific areas but also ensured that players would enjoy unique, hand-crafted areas on their way down the mountain.

5. Will there be any structured multiplayer for the game or will it be all open world?
Once we have created a stable open-world multiplayer experience we will definitely be implementing some game modes with more structure. We already have a handful of different races and trick events in single player that we will be adapting to fit multiplayer. In real life, it’s just as fun to wander the mountain with friends as it is to race and compete – this is what we want to achieve in SNOW.

6. What is the biggest obstacle your team has run into, while making SNOW?
The biggest challenge was definitely getting the physics to work correctly. Game physics are immensely complicated, so creating a game that relies on complex physics calculations in every frame was not easy at all. Getting the player to simply ride straight down a piste took months of work, not to mention implementing turning, speed control, going off jumps and sliding on rails. Filip (our Technical Director) and his team of developers did an amazing job recreating the exact physics of skiing, so in the end this big obstacle has become one of our proudest accomplishments.

7. Are snowboards a distant idea or are they currently being worked on?
Somewhere in between, actually. Snowboarding is definitely not a distant idea, but until we nail down the physics for skiing and get more progression and retention features into the game we are not ready to start working on it. We want to release snowboarding when we have enough of a game in place that all the snowboarders who have held off getting SNOW will be blown away with what’s on offer. Everything we’ve created so far has been with snowboarding in mind, so when we finally add this feature it will be a relatively quick development cycle.

8. What is the best thing that has happened during the development process?
By far the best and most humbling moment during development was releasing the game on Steam Early Access. We wanted our community’s feedback throughout our development process, so we opted for an Early Access release. Even though our game was in such an early state, we were blown away by the incredible amount of love and support our community showed. We couldn’t believe the support we got on Early Access, which in large part allowed development to continue and our team to grow. We are eternally grateful!


 

Hope you enjoyed the interview, everybody! I want to thank the guys at Poppermost for being amazing.

Have any devs you want us to talk to? Let us know the comments below!

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