The Latest On Skateboarding Sensation Session
Montreal's Crea-ture Studios grabbed the world's attention with their skateboarding game Session at E3 when Microsoft showcased the title during their press conference. Session is coming to the Xbox One and PC, and will be in Steam Early Access and the Xbox Game Preview program in late 2018, with the first version of the title in 2019.
I met with some of the dev team at E3, and asked them about some additional game details since we covered it late last year.
Where Do We Go From Here?
Since we last saw the game, a mid-spin catch mechanic has been added, which is just the start of how the game is going to continue to evolve until it hits Early Access and beyond. At that time Crea-ture says it wants the game to be "almost perfect" despite being an Early Access title. Having said that, it doesn't intend for the feature set to be locked at that time per se, but it will continue to add bits and work on what's currently there. One of the examples of this is the game's skater customization feature, which has already grown. There are plans to allow you to change the tightness of your trucks, board concave and width, and more.
Beyond the game's launch, there may be DLC with future cities or parks depending on how the game does, but Crea-ture says the core gameplay will always be free, so they won't be selling tricks, for instance.
A Full Bag of Tricks
Session's tricks are performed by assigning each of the skater's legs to their own analog stick, making it more complex but also granting you more control.
There is no scoring system in the game, but Crea-ture is considering putting in an indicator telling you which trick you've performed. In general, the title aims to give anyone their due if they can pull off tricks in the game, but it also wants to pack in optional features to help out those who want it. There are different control styles in the game, but there are no tricks that are restricted to one or the other. There are also ways to tweak the experience so you may be able to control the speed of the flip of the board, but still have the option to use an auto-catch mechanic.
Because of the game's controls, players have the ability to practically create their own tricks due to the title's physics (take a look at some of the sweet tricks posted on the sub-reddit). While grinds at the moment are more input driven, giving you a specific outcome corresponding to your inputs, the studio is also working to make these more organic depending on the angle you approach the rail, for example.
Most of the animations in the demos players are playing are placeholder. Crea-ture is tightening the timing of tricks, and trying to normalize them so people know what to expect. For instance, right now kickflips and heelflips are at different speeds. The devs want to cut down on these kinds of unexpected variances so players can be more comfortable with their tricks where applicable.
For those situations when it all goes wrong, you can bail out of a trick, but there won't be a Skate-style Hall of Meat where players generate biffs for laughs. The studio is also considering requiring some sort of extra input or control compensation to land big drops like the one shown in the trailer at the Microsoft's E3 2018 press conference.
Skaters of Different Stripes
We've seen lots of street skating from the game so far, but ramp skaters worry not – Session has vert skating. Moreover, the team says it wants to differentiate how ramp and street skating feel, which makes sense. We don't know exactly how this will be achieved, but street and vert are different disciplines in real-life and should be treated as such in the game.
Speaking of different disciplines, I asked about flatland tricks, but those aren't being planned for the game at this time. However, Session is embracing different aspects of skating in that there is a filmer mode where you can contribute to skating's tradition of skating alongside someone and catching footage of their sweet stunts.
I hope to get more info on Session throughout the year, so stay tuned.
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