Rollerdrome: A fast

Among the main releases of August 2022 we also find Rollerdrome, the new project of the authors of OlliOlli World (to learn more, here is the review of OlliOlli World) which was unveiled to the public only a few weeks ago, during a State of Play. If the exclusive PC and PlayStation has caught your attention due to its fast-paced gameplay and arcade imprint, then you might like to find out some additional details on the project from the words of Paul Rabbitte, creative director who joined Roll7 precisely for concretize the prototype he was working on. Before offering you our interview with the developer, we remind you that on our pages you will also find a trial of Rollerdrome.

How Rollerdrome was born

Everyeye: Since we’re not used to seeing Roll7 busy with a 3D shooter, can you tell us about how the project came about?
Paul Rabbitte: I was the one who created the initial prototype of Rollerdrome, then I joined Roll7 after the team enjoyed some clips I had shared on Twitter.

The game mixes some of the elements of the previous works of the software house – there is something similar to skate games like OlliOlli and it involves a violent futuristic sport like Laser League – so I think it represents a step forward for the studio. Regarding the three-dimensionality of the gamelay, I must point out that the very first prototype was in 2D with a top view, but it didn’t work that way.

Everyeye: One of the most characteristic aspects of Rollerdrome is certainly its graphic style. Why did you decide to set it in a retro-futuristic and dystopian world that, aesthetically, recalls the comics of the 70s? Were you inspired by any particular comics?
Paul Rabbitte: The overall theme of the game is mainly based on 1970s sci-fi films such as Rollerball, Westworld and THX 1138. From a stylistic point of view, we took advantage of our renderer called NoComply to create a product that resembled as much as possible the illustrations of a comic.

Among our inspirations are 90s Saturday morning cartoons like Robocop and the X-Men, but we’ve also captured some elements from French and Belgian cartoonists like Mobius and Hergé. It is an illustrative yet minimalist style.

Everyeye: Despite being an arcade shooter, we seemed to understand that Rollerdrome gives a certain importance to the narrative sector. How important will this aspect of production be?
Paul Rabbitte: It is essential for us that players can experience Rollerdrome even without focusing on the story. If you just want to enjoy the shooting and stunts, you can do it without any problem. Those who are attracted to the world behind this sport, on the other hand, can discover many background during the first-person sequences. The decision is up to the player, but I feel the story enriches the gameplay experience.

Gameplay and progression

Everyeye: Rollerdrome is not a product where you just shoot and the protagonist is able to perform crazy stunts around the arena. How much influence did OlliOlli have in managing this component of the game? After all, there are a lot of skateboard enthusiasts in Roll7.

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Paul Rabbitte: Roll7 follows the philosophy that gameplay must be fluid and based on simple and responsive controls. Rollerdrome fully respects this thought and, although OlliOlli is two dimensional and Rollerdrome is a 3D gamethere is without a shadow of a doubt a similar feeling in the movement system.

Everyeye: In OlliOlli World we were able to try the ‘flow state’. Will it be possible to complete an entire level in a single, long combo even in Rollerdrome?
Paul Rabbitte: Sure, you can complete any level in one combo, but it’s not all about what the flow state is all about! To get really good at this game, you need to juggle dodging, attacking, ammo handling and movement. After all, this is a game whose core mechanics is to always stay in motion. In the early stages we focus on survival, and then become more and more skilled in the various levels and bring the flow state to its maximum expression, also maximizing the combo counter.

Everyeye: Will there be some kind of progression for the protagonist in Rollerdrome? I’m curious if there will be an opportunity to improve her skills or expand her arsenal.

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Paul Rabbitte: The only element related to progression is the addition of new weapons over the course of the game. All the moves and tricks, on the other hand, will be available from the very first moment. The idea is to give the player the feeling that he is getting stronger because of his knowledge and not thanks to any power-ups of any kind. It is really worth trying to return to the first few levels of Rolledrome with the new weapons unlocked, also to find out how much stronger you have become!

Everyeye: In all the trailers you have shown, Kara Hassan is wearing a red colored jumpsuit. Will the game have a personalization system for the protagonist?
Paul Rabbitte: There will be only the characteristic red jumpsuit! Since Rollerdrome allows you to experience the adventure through the eyes of Kara Hassan, our protagonist, the whole experience was built with this idea in mind. From storytelling to combat, we wanted Kara’s style to be iconic and consistent in her arena contests.

Next-gen version

Everyeye: Rollerdrome is an exclusive Sony console and can be played on both PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5. Have you decided to support all the features of the latest generation console such as 3D Audio and DualSense?
Paul Rabbitte: Of course yes! Players will be able to enjoy Rollerdrome with features such as haptic feedback and adaptive triggers. Both add so much to the experience.

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Everyeye: Does the PS5 version of Rollerdrome include different graphics presets?
Paul Rabbitte: There is only one graphics option, which guarantees the best possible experience for all players and allows you to get to 120 Hz at 4K on the panels that support it.

Rollerdrome: A fast-paced extreme arcade game from the authors of OlliOlli