Co-Optimus: Skating as a whole is pretty much individual experience, so how did you approach this co-op/team based aspect and what were you all thinking about?
Chris: Part of it is, when we talk about the different teams that are out there in skateboarding, you know, Flip releases a video, or Zero is going to release a video – that’s a team. As a team, as a whole… you look at their work of art, and this girl does [this] and a guy does [that], you look at what they did and you’re just like “holy cow!” That’s a sick video and that’s a team producing art together… We had this one thing called “Freeskate Activities.” We had Freeskate in Skate 1; Skate 2 we said “let’s give people some goals while they’re freeskating around, no pressure, just give them some achievement points for it.” As we were playing those Freeskate Activities, we were yapping at each other the whole time anyways and it was like “yeah! I finished first!” “But… it’s co-operative.” “Yeah, but I finished first!” [With] the co-operative [parts of the Freeskate Activities]… one of the aspects of this list of tricks was that [some players] can’t do them. So you call-in your buddy and [have them do it]. We just let that evolve naturally and said “ok, let’s turn that into a competitive mode with the teams”… It’s the same sort of thinking, same set of goals, but now it’s who can finish first.
Co-Optimus: Will there still be non team vs team co-op challenges in the Freeskate mode for Skate 3?
Chris: Absolutely! You could also be playing the single player, and [maybe] there’s this team contest with challenges you may not be so good at, and you can call your buddy in to be on your team to help you with those challenges.
Co-Optimus: So will there be drop-in/drop-out co-op?
Chris: We already have something like that [with Skate 2], so absolutely.
Co-Optimus: We’ve heard some talk as well about being able to add your friends’ Skate 3 avatar to your game as a member of your team. Any more details about that?
Chris: That’s something I am so psyched for! So, if you’re playing with [your buddy] and you like him… you’ll get to a point in single player where it’s time to add a new person to your team. We’ll give you a default skater, or you can create a new skater from scratch, or you can import his “recipe.” You can import him as an avatar. He comes into your game as long as he’s on your on-line team or your on-line friends list so he becomes an AI skater in your world and on your team. So you go into a contest, and he doesn’t even have to be on-line, and… you and [your buddy] are going to be playing together even though he’s not there! Obviously he won’t have his voice, but he’ll skate with his tendencies, and we’re going to stat track and bring those things in so if he’s always doing [certain tricks], he’ll do those.
Co-Optimus: What are some of the co-op games your team is looking at as you build out the co-op for this game?
Chris: Everyone on the team has different ones, so I can’t speak for everybody else. But honestly? I played our game. I’m the dude on our team that plays our game incessantly; play [Skate 3] all day at work, go home at night and play Skate 2! I like seeing where the sports games are going, I play NHL all the time, I’m Canadian so I have to play NHL – and I like the fact that four or five of us can be on a team and go against four or five other guys… Call of Duty, the new Battlefield, Grand Theft Auto. Grand Theft Auto we had a lot of fun with; what they did was brilliant… And Burnout Paradise.
Co-Optimus: One final question: how many players will you be supporting on these teams?
Chris: I’m not the on-line producer so I don’t know for sure, but I’ve heard 12 slots on a team. Now having said that, [with players] playing at the same time, we’re also limited by XBox and Microsoft so it’ll 6 in a Freeskate area and in competition mode it’ll be like 3 on 3. But it could be like 3 [players] are representing their team in one match, and another 3 are competing somewhere else.
We’d like to thank Chris again for sitting down and talking with us about this upcoming title, as well as thank Ron Yatco and Josh Kline for setting up and inviting us to the Skate 3 Community Event. Be sure to check back at Co-Optimus.com for additional news and details about this title that takes the co-op beyond the confines of your console and into the virtual domain.