For almost as long as video games have been around, there have also been skating games that allow players to do incredible tricks and speed up from the comfort of their couch. The next independent title The ramp will be an evolution of this concept in a minimalist way, bringing a unique but specific feel to the player. When Paul Schnepf was doing The ramp, he wanted to focus on the sheer feeling of skating on a green ramp without the hassle of the extra bells and whistles that have become famous in traditional skating games like the Professional skater Tony Hawk series.
Schnepf was recently able to sit down with Game Rant to discuss the ins and outs of being the sole developer behind The ramp. During the interview, Schnepf made it clear that he wanted to recreate a specific feeling in his playing, intended to scratch a unique itch he was feeling. While it’s less of a full-fledged game and more of a digital toy, according to Schnepf, he hopes players keep coming back to his game to improve in the mechanics, creating their own personal goals. As things progress. The idea is that players then enjoy the relaxed feeling of a good relaxing flow to help them throughout the day.
No release or progression in the ramp
Once players have completed the tutorial level, they are free to access all content that The ramp has to offer. While the bigger developers might be concerned that this will prevent players from playing their game for long periods of time, this is how Schnepf prefers their games to be. As a member of the Grizzly Games team, he said every game he’s been involved in has a more minimalist approach, focusing on one thing exceptionally rather than a dozen things halfway through. It’s Schnepf’s hope that it gets to the players and they enjoy it the same way he does.
“I am almost proud to do nothing to try to bring the players back to The ramp. They should play it as long as they enjoy it and I totally agree that they play something else. That’s another thing I don’t like … when they’re trying to take as much time as possible. “
With The ramp, it was far more important for Schnepf to recreate realistic physics and precise vertical ramps than to make sure the player felt compelled to come back. In this way, Schnepf clarifies that his game is more of an authentic digital toy to play with than a full-fledged skateboarding adventure.
Hard to learn, harder to master
“I think this is something new to most people, especially if you’ve never skated in real life. It takes a while to figure out.”
As with real skating, the controls of The ramp require some coordination between the brain and the part of the body controlling the movement. This results in a game that looks simple but takes some practice before the player picks up speed properly. There is a certain sense of accomplishment the first time the player completes a turn, and that naturally comes outside of any system of grasping progression.
There are a number of skateboarding games that have inspired franchises, but none have done exactly what Paul Schnepf is trying to achieve with The ramp. While it doesn’t pat the player on the back or keep the score for every turn the player takes, there is a unique type of personal satisfaction that comes with learning the skills needed to play properly. The ramp.
The ramp will be released on August 3, 2021 for PC via Steam.
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