The Surprisingly Guarded Lore Of Rocket League

by Ben Hanson on Aug 09, 2015 at 10:30 AM

We recently interviewed the founder of developer Psyonix Dave Hagewood and received some tips for how to improve your Rocket League game. After playing an unhealthy amount of the game, we also had some questions about what exactly is happening in this insane soccer car-obsessed universe. It turns out that getting answers to these questions is more difficult than you'd expect, so what exactly is Psyonix hiding?

Do you have a lore bible for what’s going on in this world?
Dave Hagewood: [Laughs] That’s always been a big question for us. We thought about it for a long time. What is this world that we’re making? We don’t have a definitive answer on even big things like, “Are these full-sized cars in an insanely-large arena or are these small RC cars or micro-machines?” It says a lot that our focus is on gameplay and making the game fun for the fun of it. We have some ideas that we talk about that we haven’t really exposed to people, but for the most part we’ve always just kind of said, “Accept it for what it is.”

Are you willing to share any of those ideas?
No, I think the rest of the team might murder me if I said it without talking to them first…

Let’s get to some basics then. Is the ball inflatable? Is it steel? What is that thing made out of in your mind?
We worked out in the physics that it’s kind of leathery but with a solid core, if that makes sense.

So it’s kind of like a baseball?
Yeah, I think so. When you hit it – and the sound effects that we chose [to convey it] – we wanted to make it feel like it’s got something a little bit soft to it, but it’s future-tech stuff. We tried to really add a lot of techie designs to it, so we could justify whatever kind of physics that made sense for the game itself.

Another very basic question: Are those people in the stands surrounding the stadium, or are they other cars like in Pixar’s Cars universe?
Those Tic-Tac people? In the first game, they were cars. This time, they’re circles. [Laughs]

So are there circles piloting the cars on the field? Is that what’s happening here?
I think they’re really just stand-ins, because they’re so distant. You’re not supposed to be able to tell that much about what they are. Let’s continue our mystery of what this universe is.

Can you confirm that Rocket League takes place on Earth?
I actually can’t confirm that, no.

Sweet Tooth’s inclusion in the game is very confusing. Was his one wish for Calypso in the Twisted Metal universe to play car soccer for the rest of his life?
Certainly! I think that’s a perfectly fair assumption.

Originally published August 6, 2015.