STORROR PARKOUR PRO: QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
We're stoked to confirm our Kickstarter campaign ended with the goal having been well and truly exceeded - STORROR Parkour Pro was 138% funded, with £75,764 pledged by a total of 1,837 backers!
Massive thanks to each and every person who contributed to this, either by backing it financially or by supporting it in other ways. And if you've no idea what we're talking about, read our announcement post here.
Naturally we received many questions while the campaign was running, so we thought it would be good to collate the most common here, together with our answers.
Plus we’ve persuaded the developers to let us include some game shots they’re labouring over right now, providing we remind you it’s still very much a work in progress! With this first image, they've given us a comparison between the game shot and a photo of the actual location.
Why did you decide to produce a video game?
It’s an idea we'd been thinking about for a long time. Of course, we’re all familiar with games that feature some parkour action, including Prince of Persia, Mirror’s Edge, Dying Light, and Assassin’s Creed. But apart from Free Running, which was released way back in 2007, none are dedicated to parkour in the way skateboarding games represent that discipline and culture. It seemed to us that a pure parkour video game was well overdue, and that it would be enormous fun for everyone!
The main barriers to us moving on this concept were, a) not knowing where to start or who to approach about it, and b) what we perceived to be the huge cost involved.
How did you choose the developers who are working on it?
In early autumn 2020, we were contacted out of the blue by someone who could make our idea a reality. Dado Pirola, who heads up a new independent video games studio called Hole In The Sleeve (HITS), emailed us outlining his proposal and suggesting we get together for a chat.
Soon after, we met up at a park in London for a socially-distanced discussion. Dado was passionate about the joint venture he was proposing. He really impressed us with his experience and ideas, as well as his appreciation of the art and science of parkour, and his personal ethos. All in all, the HITS team of game developers are a great fit to partner with STORROR.
What experience does the HITS team have?
They are developer veterans with a pile of AAA video games under their belts, including Burnout Paradise, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, Beyond a Steel Sky, Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon, Wipeout Fusion, Black, F1 2002, and many more. The core team has over 20 years’ experience in the game industry, including motion capture, and they have deep connections with key players in the industry.
How can you produce a high quality video game on such a low budget?
The aim of the Kickstarter was to raise start-up funds, enabling us to cover the budget for motion capture and sounds design.
Dado Pirola, together with his core team, has developed proprietary technology to render big open-world environments without the need for hundreds of artists to be involved. In addition, they are taking advantage of recent trends in democratising video game development, through the use of technologies such as Unreal Engine, Houdini, Character Creator and a new trend of semi-procedural semi-hand-crafted techniques. They call it Indie 2.0.
This means they don’t require 300+ developers, as would have been needed previously, so they’re able to run an extremely efficient and lean team to keep costs down. Dado can produce a high quality video game with his relatively small team, comprising a mix of veterans and raw talents assembled specifically for this project.
However, ultimately, we will require outside investment, and we’re already in discussions with a number of interested parties.
How will SPP be different from existing games that feature parkour moves?
What we're developing is a game that represents parkour movement and culture, and the way it is trained on the streets. No gimmicks, no combat, no pointless futuristic story, just pure parkour.
But you don't need to practise parkour to enjoy this game, that's kind of the point. It’ll be accessible and fun for anyone, and we’re aiming for an 'easy to learn but hard to master' approach. The appeal of this is obvious, not only for parkour enthusiasts, but for anyone that enjoys playing video games, from little kids who love running and jumping around, through to grandparents who wish they still could!
We’re aiming for STORROR Parkour Pro to have the same impact as Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater had. In terms of gameplay, we're focussing on fluid, convincing, and complex animations as they are crucial in real-life parkour. We intend to strike a good balance between realism and fun-surrealism, so movement is a touch super-human but not absurdly.
We want to create a sense of actually being there on the edge, facing potential consequences, and provide an experience that’s not so very different from reality. Controls will lean more towards a simulation rather than an arcade experience, sort of a mix between Mirror’s Edge and Skate.
Which platforms will SPP be available on and what features will it have?
The game will offer both third person and first person modes, and we’re planning on giving the player the option to toggle between these perspectives. That way we get the best of both worlds, you can see the movement animation in third person, and feel the sense of vertigo in POV.
All seven members of STORROR will be playable characters, plus you’ll have the option to build your own. Throughout the story and missions, we’re planning for players to encounter other big names from the parkour community to help direct them through the game. There will be stats for each playable character, and a video editor facility so you can make and share in-game parkour videos.
There are going to be multiple ways to overcome an obstacle, we want to give the player a high level of freedom in movements. Famous parkour spots will include the IMAX in London, the Manpower gap in Paris, and the island of Santorini, plus many others yet to be decided.
Cross-platform multiplayer will be supported, meaning that someone on a Windows PC can play with or against someone on PlayStation 5 or Xbox, and vice versa.
Our facial likenesses are going to be improved dramatically, which will involve accurate photogrammetry facial recognition studios. These you see above are only initial versions.
Very early access for Kickstarter backers (we call it ‘inception’) should be by spring. After that, the production phase proper will begin. However, this all depends on how quickly we can obtain the green light to start working on motion capture.
A Discord server will go live for all the game backers as soon as we obtain the final list of them via Kickstarter.
Got more questions?
If you’re wondering about some aspect of the development of STORROR Parkour Pro that’s not already been covered here, just email us with your question (please note, it must have the subject line ‘SPP Question’ so it can be identified easily). Although it’s quite likely we won’t be able to respond individually, we will update this post to reflect the most popular and interesting queries.