What’s up Xbox fans! My name’s Dain and I’m one of the creators of Skater XL, a new skateboarding game which we are excited to announce will be coming to Xbox One on July 7, 2020.
It’s been 10 years since a new, authentic skateboarding game hit the market, and a lot has changed in that time. Skateboarding franchises were some of the most played and beloved video games of the 2000s — many of us have fond memories of Friday nights chilling on the couch with a few buds, passing the controller around playing EA’s Skate or the original Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series.
Fans of the genre have famously been clamoring for Skate 4 and a revival of an old franchise, but the question we’ve been asking ourselves at Easy Day Studios is – what would a skateboarding game designed from the ground up today look like? We’ve spent the last few years looking to answer that question, designing and improving Skater XL through Early Access, and now moving towards the full launch of the complete 1.0 game.
The most important thing to understand about Skater XL is that it’s designed to be fun in the same way that skateboarding is fun. The core of the gameplay is designed more as an expressive and creative tool than a traditional video game with pre-set challenges to complete. The fun in Skater XL comes more from riffing on how you execute, combine and nuance those basic movements. Subtlety, style and expression of how you do a trick become as important as the trick itself.
The game is unique in that it doesn’t have any tricks programmed into it, only control of the movement through the thumbsticks – each thumbstick is connected to the character’s corresponding foot: the right stick controls the right foot, the left stick controls the left foot.
There are a range of basic movements, with a ton of freedom in how they are performed. Skater XL uses physics controlled by the thumbsticks to drive all movement in the game, which is a big step away from traditional ‘canned animation’ based systems. Precise movements made through the thumbsticks will make your tricks look and feel different each time, adding a level of expression, personalization and style to the gameplay.
With these controls at its base, Skater XL allows you to create, combine, and style tricks with unparalleled board control as you hit iconic California locations where street legends have left their mark. Play as skating icons Tiago Lemos, Evan Smith, Tom Asta or Brandon Westgate or create your own character with customizable features and hundreds of gear items from real skate brands.
The freedom and depth in the controls is something we think that every skate game fan has been wanting since the birth of the genre. When we saw a Skater XL modding community spring up with more than 50,000 players and thousands of “very positive” reviews on Steam – with some playing for more than a thousand hours – we felt humbled, but also that we were onto something.
We’re constantly finding amazing new things that the community has created, including an online zine, video parts, “fakeskate” brands and hundreds of mods. It’s crazy and awesome.
Our work on the core game is just one part of a bigger ecosystem and our goal is for Skater XL to be the home for digital skateboarding. We can’t wait to discover where the players, modders and content creators will go next, and are really excited to bring Skater XL to Xbox One July 7, 2020.