Tony Hawk is back in the game with Ride
... lean, kick it up or step off the board, it knows that. It has two accelerometers in it to track motion, and it has an infrared sensor so it knows if your hands are near the board or if your feet are off the board pushing alongside it. But I hate comparing it to a Wii Fit, because I don’t think they’re the same at all.It’s been two years since the release of the last Tony Hawk game. How did you go about making this one?
I brought this idea to Activision a couple of years ago. They put a whole team together just for this project. We first had to design a controller for the game. Once we got the board designed, we built the game around that. It was a backward process for me. And it was too much to do in one year.
What gave you the idea?
I felt it was the next step in interactivity. I felt the technology wasn’t ready for it in the past. They tried to create peripherals for existing games, and that wasn’t the right approach. In the past, you had the controller in your hands and you were doing the Simon Says thing with the buttons. Then I saw the success of Guitar Hero and the ability to hold on to a peripheral to play the game in a way that’s closer to the actual thing.
You switched developers for this title. Why?Neversoft did all of our previous games, but they were deep into the development of Guitar Hero and the sequels for that. To be honest, they felt they had gone as far as they could with the genre. And I felt like it could use some fresh ideas.
Do you worry that a $120 game may not sell well in the current economy?
I feel once people get on it and try it, they’ll understand it’s not a gimmick. We also created a hardware platform for other games to be developed around. Knowing that, people will understand its value.
Are you planning a sequel?As of right now, that’s the plan.
Were you trying to get kids to do more exercise with this game?
The initial goal was not to do that. But once we figured out the board, we learned that it is a physical activity. If you play a level over and over, you will get your heart level up. It is fun to think that we’re getting kids to get up and get active.
Congratulations on your new daughter, Kadence. Think she’ll grow up to be a skater?Thanks. She’s almost 1 1/2 now. She walks. She talks. I put her on the front of my board, and we skate around.
What does she think of that?She claps the whole time.
-- Alex Pham
Follow my random thoughts on games, gear and technology on Twitter @AlexPham.