As Jim highlighted in his hands-on preview of Skate 3, the focus for the latest game in the Skate franchise is on teaming up with your friends. While at the Skate 3 Community Event, we had the opportunity to talk with Chris “Cuz” Parry, producer for all three Skate titles and a skater himself, about how the co-op came about, the rewards for building a team, and how you can still enjoy co-op with your friend even if he or she isn’t around.
Co-Optimus: At the beginning of the event you talked about the progression of the Skate franchise: Skate was about making a name for yourself, Skate 2 was earning that back, and Skate 3 will be about establishing a franchise. How did that transition happen?
Chris Parry: For us it paralleled with this team concept, [which] comes together in a variety of ways. One, it’s a logical progression for the skater’s career because once a skater hits a certain level… some of them make their own companies. Mike Carroll started Girl with his friends, Danny Way did Planet B with Colin McKay… it’s just sort of a natural evolution of a career… So it made sense that way. The other way it made sense is that we were looking at what people did with Skate 1 and 2 and they were making their own teams – crews, clans, call it what you will. In skating, you know, your company gets a team of skaters that goes and promotes your brand. So all the challenges you do in [Skate 3] promote this fictional brand that you create and we want to help you create it and show it off. But if you want to do that online and say, “I skate with these 6, or 12, guys,” our community’s already doing that. [So we thought] why don’t we just help them and make it easier to enable them to do it? And reward and recognize them better than we have in the past!
Co-Optimus: So how has it worked in the past, and how will it work going forward?
Chris: Right now it’s like “yay, I posted a video and it went on the message board and it’s in the [Skate community] blog!” Some of them are psyched, but how can we do more? Well you know, you just killed yourself for a couple weeks [designing a skateboard in the Skate.com creator], people downloaded [your deck], and the more [it’s] downloaded, the more boards you sell in your single player experience.
Co-Optimus: How would this tie in with the co-op aspects of the game?
Chris: So we as a group created this piece of work – we created this skate park, we created a graphic – and if everybody starts downloading it? If your brand takes off? You [all] get credit for it in your game. Instead of going out, [doing all this work], and not having something tangible.
Co-Optimus: What are some of the rewards people are going to be able to see by doing this?
Chris: You can hit a lot of the milestones in your [single player] progression and just be playing on-line… racking [things] up and doing different things on-line. Then when you come back into single player – the goal is to sell a million boards – then because I’ve done so much stuff and had so much success on-line, I’ve already sold, say, half a million boards and I really haven’t [even] done a lot of the single player challenges yet!
Co-Optimus: So can you experience the whole game multiplayer, barely touch the single player, then go back into the single player and see you’ve opened everything up?
Chris: You will have advanced yourself, yeah. Now, you may not have done all the challenges, and [when you go in] you [will see you] have unlocked X number of challenges and opportunities [by completing things on-line]. Whereas if [you] just stayed offline and played single player, [you] would go through the progression of the game and go through it that way. [With the multiplayer on-line portion], when you get back [into the single player mode], it’s like “oh yeah, you got invited to so-and-so contest, or so-and-so wants to shoot photos with you.” Why? Well, because you’ve started becoming famous and you’ve started spreading your brand.