Behind the Wheel Part 1

With the development of Downhill Xtreme 2 in full swing, we thought we’d give you a little behind the scenes insight on the development, progress and the cogs in the DHX2 Machine. This week we will introduce Nigel, Distinctive’s MD and Tom, Producer for DHX2.

Nigel Little, MD of Distinctive Games

Nigel Little and part of the Distinctive team
Nigel Little and part of the Distinctive team

I’m the co-founder and CEO of Distinctive. We’ve been developing games for a while now and focus on making the best sports games for smartphones and tablets. My job is to basically make sure our games are as good as they can possibly be and provide the funds to make it all happen!

What was the inspiration behind the original Downhill Xtreme?

As a developer known for creating a number of great sports games I’m always on the lookout for exciting, unique sports to transform into games. On visits to San Francisco I’d seen people with these really long skateboards and I set out to find out more. Then one day I was browsing YouTube and came across a really stunning Longboarding video called ‘Let’s Go’ by Kyle Chin / Orangatang, and I was blown away by the mixture of danger and the pure beauty of the sport.

With the success of the first Downhill, there is a lot to live up to - what sets this apart from its predecessor?

The original game was released in 2012 and we’ve been wanting to do a sequel ever-since. However, we really wanted the sequel to be a big step forward in terms of gameplay and technology, so we had to wait until mobile phones/tablets got to the stage where we could fulfill our ambitions for the game.
With the new game we’re going to be improving every single area of the game. Visuals, controls, physics, artificial intelligence, board upgrade are just some of the areas will be vastly superior to the original game. It’s certainly shaping up to be a stunning game experience.

What are you most excited for about this game?

Where do I start… I don’t want to give too much away but the roads are going to be amazing with changes in gradient, much more variety of corners and generally much more extreme. A particular favourite of mine are the outlaw events which are going to be extremely outlawish (probably not a real word!).

Original Downhill Xtreme
Original Downhill Xtreme

Can you provide any teasers or snippets about the game so far?

One of the really cool things is that the courses will have alternative routes, meaning there is more than one route down a hill. So, to get the fastest time you not only have to skate like your life depends on it but you have to find the fastest route too.

Work In Progress Menu
Work In Progress Menu

Thomas Savage, Producer, Downhill Xtreme 2

Thomas Savage, Producer, DHX2
Thomas Savage, Producer, DHX2

I’m Tom, the producer for the DHX2 project. I’m responsible for the organisation of the development team, making sure we progress with as few problems as possible and that we solve the problems we do have. I work with the team every day to make sure we’re making the best game we can, so I’ve got an intimate understanding of how the project overall is coming together.

What is the biggest challenge on the game’s development so far?

We’re working with a lot of new technology for the first time on this project, so we’re learning as we go the right and wrong things to do. This obviously means we spend a little longer on each feature than we might have previously, but overall the process is going to give us a much better end result.

What do think are the most important elements are to getting a longboarding game right?

For me it’s all about the feelings associated with longboarding, the thrill of racing down hills at high speeds combined with controls that feel like an extension of your body, just like any kind of boarding in real life. If we can get the core experience of longboarding right, the rest of the game will build on that to create something awesome.

The Longboarding community are notoriously vocal about riders safety – have you taken that into consideration for this game?

We’re very aware of the need for safety in longboarding and plan to include safety gear in game for riders to wear. DHX2 is an exaggerated version of longboarding where the rules are bent for the best gameplay experience, we want to provide players with the freedom to customise their in-game character as they desire even if in real life it might not be safe or practical. That being said, if you’re planning to go out longboarding in real life, always wear your safety gear!

Work In Progress Helmets
Work In Progress Helmets

Some players of the previous game wanted more board/character customisation options – can we expect more?

We’re really delving into the board customisation aspect in DHX2, players will be able to own and upgrade multiple boards each with their own advantages. For example, if you want to have a board for stylish drifting, smooth cornering or pure downhill speed, you’ll be able to customise a board for just that.
More involved character customisation is something we really want to get into DHX2. We’re going to be launching with a much wider range of starting characters than the original DHX which should give us a great foundation to build on with more customisation combinations than ever before.

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Check out PART TWO next week, and keep up to date with all things DHX2 by signing up to our AWESOME NEWSLETTER