One day, the team at Frozen Codebase went to a roller derby event, and their lives changed forever. Watching the girls skating around the rink, exuding “personality, sexiness and vigor” – and, of course, beating the crap out of each other, it didn’t take long for someone to figure out it would make an awesome game.
[img_big]center,7400,2011-01-20/RG_SS_New2.jpg,Gotham Girls vs Dairyland Dolls[/img_big]
It also didn’t take long to figure out that the “mainstream” games industry probably wouldn’t appreciate the concept. Good thing Frozen Codebase are independent then, right? The team got chatting with local leagues – the Mad Rollin’ Dolls and the Brewcity Bruisers – and soon found themselves working with the American Women’s Flat Track Derby Association, to make sure they got everything just right.
More than a year later, the Wii version of Jam City Rollergirls is ready, and it’s pretty darn fantastic (or so we hear, from gamers who’ve tried it out for the first time).
Ben Geisler, President of Frozen Codebase explains:
“Derby, like any sport, is made fun due to a set of rules — the give and take mechanics that cause the players to play offense and defense at the same time and be mindful of strategy even as they are cutting through the pack at breakneck speed. We took the core fundamental tenets of this punk sport and turned it into an arcade sports game.”
Jam City Rollergirls has taken inspiration from super-addictive pick up and play kart racing games, and then added in power-ups to introduce more of an arcade action flair.
Ben would particularly like to thank skaters Bloody Mary and Suzy Hotrod for their contribution (as well as all the other girls who helped out).
“They are making a new sport and we are making a new type of game, and we’re glad that they were so enthusiastically helpful. What they love most about the game is that it draws out the competition in gamers just as much as it draws out the competition in derby girls.”
“As I look back, it’s amazing to see how one outing to a rink can inspire a whole game. And we’re grateful as indie developers that this sort of random inspiration can provide a living for us. We lived, breathed and died roller derby for more than a year creating this game. This is how games should be made.”
Jam City Rollergirls is released on January 24th via WiiWare (which Ben describes as a “perfect fit”). If you’re a fan of rollerskating, arcades, kart racers, roller derby, or you just want to see pixellated girls beating each other up, it should slot right into the top spot of your wishlist.