SSX On Tour is the fourth in the series and promises to be even better than before. Featuring a Create a Rider mode, full ski and snowboard tour and split screen multiplayer, SSX On Tour promises to be one hell of a ride.
We caught up with Michael Thornton Wyman, who is the Worlds Producer for the game to find out a little more.1. How is development coming along? Are there likely to be any delays?
Development is coming along nicely. We are putting the finishing touches on the game - mostly tuning The Tour (Career Mode) at this point and addressing the final bugs, and we are on schedule for a fall release.2. Please tell us about the characters in the game? Have you cut any out from the last game?
We have 7 characters returning from SSX3 as well as a few new IP characters we are introducing with this installment.3. Can you please tell us a little more about the “Create a rider feature”? Do you get complete control of the look and feel of your character?
SSX On Tour has a fairly straightforward create-a-character feature - players can select size, height, facial features, hair color, etc. Our game is paced very fast this year, and we wanted to make sure that players could quickly get into The Tour and start building hype and trying to get on The Charts. One unique element, though, are Personas - these are part of the player's choice in creating a character. Basically, players can choose, from a handful of icons, one that will represent their character. This icon then becomes part of the player's profile and shows up in front end and the player's HUD during the course of The Tour. It's a cool way to customize the game and allows players to interject a bit of their personality into their create-a-rider.4. Can you tell us what career-mode will be like, and will upgrades to the players stats and equipment remain similar to SSX3?
Our career mode is totally different this year - in some ways to me it feels like the first real career mode in SSX. Once you create a rider, you need to break onto The Tour itself. You do this by completing shreds. Shreds are 1-on-1 challenges that take place all over the mountain. These are made up of literally dozens of rule type, not just racing or tricks but also outrunning or outscoring opponents, passing a threshold of air time, taking out ski school kids, etc. By succeeding at these shreds, players can build their hype, to eventually reach amateur status and get invited onto the Tour. The Tour itself is comprised of additional shreds as well as more traditional events - races and trick competitions - however with these as well there are new rules sets like double elimination, total time over 3 rounds, etc. On The Tour players continue to accumulate hype and cash, and can use this to buy new gear and clothes, get a new hair cut, and eventually buy additional attributes to max out their character.
5. What kind of courses will we see this time? Will any return from previous games or are they all new?
Our mountain is entirely new for this year's game. I could go on for hours on the variety and overall quality of the tracks this year. Let me just say that each track is built around key moments – both game play and visual – and that our mountain is divided into 4 areas:
1) The West Resort, which is more snowboarding-oriented, with terrain park, a boarder-cross track, etc.
2) The East Resort, an older, skiing oriented resort, once the home to international skiing competitions.
3) The North Peak, the extreme, backcountry area and ….
4) The Village Base, with courses that run through million-dollar homes, roads, etc.
There are some significant technical strides we’ve made as well, such as full streaming of our worlds data, which means that there are no more ‘spokes’ – the slow spots between the tracks in SSX3. This is important for players since they can now go literally top to bottom of the mountain on ride-able terrain – its thrills from top to bottom.6. How will the weather affect the player as we understand it is more than purely cosmetic this time?
Weather is mission-specific this year, which means that we have the opportunity to vary the conditions on the tracks on a mission-by-mission basis. So, although 2 shreds or medal events may be located on the same track, they can start at different locations within the track, one could take place by day and one by night and one on a crystal clear day and the other during a heavy snow storm. This adds dramatically to the variety of the events as well as to the overall quality of the worlds this year.7. What sort of multiplayer modes will be available in the game?
We've got split-screen head-to-head multiplayer, with literally dozens of event types taking place across the entire mountain. Players can choose to compete with their created riders, or with any of the boss characters unlocked through The Tour.8. Online gameplay, will this be available and will it be in all versions?
No. We decided to focus our efforts this year on the new features such as twin-tip skiing, The Tour and also to really blow out multiplayer - there are literally dozens of event types opened up for multiplayer play, and with full streaming we expect players to have a blast competing against each other on the split screen.9. What about Xbox Live, are you planning on releasing new content for the game through it?
See above - SSX On Tour will not be on XBOX Live.SSX On Tour is due out on PlayStation 2, Xbox and GameCube this Fall. The PSP version is still undated.