An Interview With Psyonix, The Makers of Rocket League: The Defining Indie Game of This Console Generation

A delightful chat with Psyonix about what makes Rocket League tick.

Posted By | On 08th, Jun. 2016 Under Article, Interviews | Follow This Author @Pramath1605


Rocket League launched last year on the PlayStation 4 and PC, and it became a sensation- its addictive gameplay, hilarious premise, its high skill ceiling, and extremely great persistent post launch support have all gone on to make it one of the most successful games of this console generation. A later debut on Xbox One, earlier this year, followed, and it built up on its initial successes even more.

It would not be a stretch to call Rocket League the defining indie game of this console generation. Indeed, very few other games this cycle, indie or otherwise, have achieved the kind of breakout ubiquity that Rocket League did- this kind of success has to be overwhelming for the developers on some level, doesn’t it? When we spoke to Psyonix’s Jeremy Dunham, this, as well as many other topics, came up in our discussion. Strap yourself in for the full interview, reproduced below.

Rocket League

"We think that’s the combination of elements, the gameplay and our approach to it, that’s been the real determining factor in the game’s success."

So my first question is, at this point Rocket League’s success has really exceeded everyone’s expectations. What are your thoughts on the journey so far? Did you ever imagine it would get so big during the game’s development? 

Well, I like it! And I like it a lot. Um, we never thought that it would hit this kind of level, no. We were always preparing ourselves for a successful game, but not on the level that we did. We never expected to hit so many different awards, or to have as many players as we do. And the fact that we’re now going into ten months later, and we have so many players- more players now than we did at the starting, when we were giving the game out for free- uh, for us, it’s still an amazing journey. Our numbers have gone up month after month in terms of active players. Right now we are just happy that we cab maintain that. We could stop selling the game tomorrow, and we’d still think it would have been a fantastic run, and we would be really grateful for it.

Well, I really hope you don’t stop selling it tomorrow! More people need to play it!

Thanks! We won’t, don’t worry!

Why do you think people keep coming back to the game? What keeps them hooked?

Well, I think it’s a combination of factors, not just one element. Number 1, I think that it’s an easy to play game, there’s not a lot of complication to how it’s played. Hitting a ball with your car into a net into the other side of the field, and that’s how you win, and you can score the most points before the time is up, and that’s it. But where the game’s complexity comes in- you can jump and double jump and drive on the walls, and you have the rocket powered boosters, and you can demolish people. And once you start getting good, you figure out you can fly. And once you’ve mastered those mechanics, then you realize just how much of a team sport it is, and you are able too start communication with other players as well, and then tactics start getting derived from that. And then with time, regardless of your skill level, you realize that the game is more than just a simple reenactment of football, it’s quite a deep and complex game to play. I think that’s one of the big contributing factors. And I guess the other factor is that we have supported it so well and aggressively. We’ve continued to update the game for free, and we’ve got no paid DLC outside of cosmetic and optional stuff- and that’s how we’ll keep it, we don’t plan on introducing anything new to the game that will separate the audience or force them to pay money. We’re all about introducing items that people feel look different or interesting, and we always want people to play together, and we always want them to experience new things with Rocket League. Because they’re a hungry audience, and we love giving them what they want- we have fun developing this game. So we’re gonna keep pushing and keep doing what we can, to keep the game going for as long as we can, and as long as the fans want to keep it going. So we think that’s the combination of elements, the gameplay and our approach to it, that’s been the real determining factor in the game’s success.

Alright. So you’ve brought up this approach to community a couple of times, andI find that interesting, because there is so much about the game that works towards community building- like the in game chat is basically preset phrases that you can use, which is an almost Nintendo like approach. And it’s things like these I wanted to talk about- what was your motivation to develop the game’s community that way?

Well, technically there are ways to contact players in game as long as you are both playing on the same platform, you can communicate via typing, or the headset for voice chat. But that’s only for players on the same platform. But the main reasons we did it the way we did is because a game is only five minutes long- and the very important thing to keep in mind as you are playing a game is that team tactics matter, in particular who has the ball, and what they are doing with it. And we also, if you’ve noticed, all of our text, even the stuff that’s used to troll other players, so to speak, it’s all positive. They’re all positive messages, or informational, to keep the action going. We didn’t want people to stop playing the game just so they vet into the chat, and to slow down the pace of a really intense game, or just lose interest in the game. Or lose the momentum they had, or forget that the game doesn’t pause. So we wanted to keep things simple, which is a part of our overarching design philosophy- keeping things simple, approachable, understandable, and positive. And that was the main impetus behind taking our approach. And it’s especially useful once we’ve added cross network play, because now it’s a very good tool for us to say to all the first parties who might have apprehensions about us allowing cross network play- we can say, well don’t worry, if you’re worried that people in this other ecosystem will harass your players, they’re not going to. We don’t allow players to speak to each other across platforms. So we get rid of the annoying and unknown prospect of grieving from players from other platforms, while still allowing communication in some capacity. So we thought that was a great way for us to be able to deal with all sorts of different situations, without taking away from there speed of the game, or the strategy.

My next question was, are there any plans to give out Rocket League for free on Xbox One? Especially given that it was offered for free on PS+ last year?

Not right now. Um, I wouldn’t say that it won’t be possible one day. But we gave out more of Rocket League than any other game was given out in the history of PS+. And so a lot of people got the game at no charge, which was all part of the strategy at release, we wanted people to be able to get in front of our game and be able to play out, because we were convinced that once they did, that would then keep them around, and then word of mouth would take over- not just on PS4, but on other platforms like PC, and now Xbox One. And we right now want to sleep things going, keep adding to the game, keep updating the game, keep our servers going, which we right now have an enormous amount of servers all over the world to support demand for it. We need to be able to support a kind of more traditional business model, so we need to be very strategic about how we go about things. We did recently do a free weekend for the game on Steam- and that helps introduce players to the game, and it encourages them to buy it, so it’s the best of both worlds- and things like that are more along the lines of promotions we would be looking at doing to get the game out there for free, so to speak.

And you mentioned future content for the game. Could you give us some idea about what you have planned? Maps, vehicles, new modes…?

We have all of that stuff planned! We have new maps, new modes, and all sorts of new vehicles we are working on. We are making changes to the way the game’s interface works, in order to streamline and improve people’s access to the game, so they find what they are looking for in an easier manner. And there have been a lot of requests in the last few months in particular for us to support the idea of people being able to get more items quicker- so we’ve been investigating ways to make new items more accessible. And on top of that, we’ve been looking at adding more new elements to the game: new item drops are coming, several new game modes are coming- we haven’t announced them yet, but we will be over the next month or so. We do think they’re going to be real fun, and they’ll be different from the game modes we have seen so far. So I think there’s still quite a bit of surprise in Rocket League. And I think that’s part of the fun in planning for it- every time we hit a milestone, we reveal something or decide something, and we get amped up at the thought of seeing people react to it. And seeing them react to it positively, that’s one of the most entertaining and fun parts about developing for this game.

rocket league portal

"We actively go after brands and other games and movies that we think would be fantastic for our fans. And that’s all to it- we think it’s cool, so we go ahead and give it a try. They think it’s cool and they’ll approach us, and if we think it’s a good fit, we’ll set it up quickly. It’s been a fun process."

I wanted to ask you about your DLC- so you know how you have all this tie in DLC with stuff like Portal and Fallout,and all this cross media franchise DLC that you have- how do you decide which one you wanna go for in the game?

Well, it’s a real complicated formula where I say ‘what are come cool things that I like that I want to see in the game?’ (laughs) And then I go and chat with these guys, and I say ‘I’m a real big fan of your game, so can I put something in our game for our fans, who are also addicted to your title?’ And that’s most of them. And the whole cross promotional stuff from me in the beginning was, prior to me being in the game development side for the last seven years, before that I was in the games media, just like you are. And I did that for 10 years, and in that time, one of my favorite things was games that occasionally make nods to other games, and make some sort of reference top other games or movies. I always found that stuff very cool, like in the old Sony games- Ratchet and Clank and Jak and Daxter, I thought that was the coolest thing ever. And some day, I wanted to see a Ratchet and Clank and Jak and Daxter title- I just loved the idea of two universes colliding.

And for Rocket League, because it’s a sport, and because the whole approach to it is similar to that of a sport, it kind of allows us to introduce things without having to worry about breaking the lore or overexpaining the lore. And there are a lot of iconic vehicles out there, particularly like the Warthog or the Batmobile, or the DeLorean from Back to the Future. There are also other game characters that fit- and so for me and for other team members, once they got on board with the idea, it came down to, what kind of cool stuff does our fanbase want, that we also want, and we would love to have in our game? And so we actively go after brands and other games and movies that we think would be fantastic for our fans. And that’s all to it- we think it’s cool, so we go ahead and give it a try. They think it’s cool and they’ll approach us, and if we think it’s a good fit, we’ll set it up quickly. It’s been a fun process, and just about every update has something new. It’s so nice to see so many other game developers also play our game, so- all in all, it’s been pretty fun.

Some of my favorite news to report on is Rocket League meets Fallout, or Rocket League meets Dying Light! You’re right, it is incredibly fun, so I hope you all keep doing this sort of thing. 

Oh yeah. We’ll keep it going, there is still more coming!

Alright, so I did want to ask you about a sequel. You have generally intimated that you plan on keeping Rocket Leaguegoing for as long as is possible, supporting it with new maps and modes, and so on. But what are your thoughts on a sequel? Do you think you’ll get around to one?

I think the chances of us having a sequel to Rocket League one day are pretty good. When we will see that sequel, I couldn’t say that yet, because one of the key indicators for when we would is where Rocket League is at the moment, and right now, people are still playing it in great numbers- like we had more people play it this month, than the month before, and more people that month than the month before that, and so on. So our numbers are generally going upwards. So there’s not a reason for us to really try and push out a new game when so many people are playing and enjoying the game we have out now. And then another consideration to have, at least for me anyway, is that we don’t want to have to release a video game sequel too soon, too quickly after the original one, especially when the game is community based like Rocket League is. Because then you basically end up competing with yourself, where you have the old players not yet ready to move over to the new sequel. And these are all things to keep in mind for when we broach that topic. And there is also the final consideration about, at what point would some of our content ideas be held back by keeping them in the existing Rocket League instead of a sequel? And right now, the current game is more than enough for our ideas, and we don’t want to intentionally hold our ideas back for the sequel. So I think that it comes down to our mental state as a development team and where our community is right now- and it’s all about Rocket League 1. Somewhere down the line when a sequel does happen, I would not expect it for quite a while, because for now we want to keep supporting sand updating this game, keep giving people things that they do want, and keep them happy and have fun. And then when the community is ready, and we start to see a shift and see them looking for things thatRocket League cannot provide, then we will start looking at making a sequel. It’s going to be a while, though. We want to do it right- we took several years to get this one right, and we will take the same exact approach to the next one.

Alright. And for the current Rocket League, do you plan to increase the community by bringing the game over to MacOS or Linux, or any other platform?

We’ve announced that we have a Linux and MacOS version of the game in development. We actually announced it last year. unfortunately it’s been delayed multiple times. We just had other pressing items that we had to get through first, because they were more important for the health of the existing game. So we had to prioritize, because there are new features that have to be added to the current game. So that’s been on the back burner, though obviously we’ve been working on it. We’ve actually been working with Valve Software to help us bring the game over, since they have access to some of the best Linux and Mac port masters in the world. So we have been working with them to help us with the porting since the beginning. And we’ve been getting at the point now where we can release the game in a short window from now. I can’t give you an exact date, because we’re sorts of perfectionists when it comes to announcing release dates for games, we just want to make sure that everything has been finished, like cross network play, and that players get the exact same experience on the MacOS and Linux versions that players of the current versions can, before we announce a date, but I would imagine that as long as things keep going the way they are right now, you should be able to see the game within the next 6-8 weeks. I said that 6-8 weeks ago, but that is always our plan, and always our goal. And we are getting closer to the finish line each time we are asked that question. I can tell you that the MacOS version will launch after the Linux version, but not by too much. But Linux will be first, and then Mac will follow- and these versions will also be cross platform, just like the existing versions are.

There has been a lot of coverage regarding cross platform play, and I mean, you’re going to create history, because Rocket League will be the first game to ever do it.

Hopefully!

I mean, I guess we can all sort of guess the administrative, so to speak, hurdles towards achieving something like this- but from a development perspective, what are the technical complications behind getting PS4 players to play against the Xbox One players, and both against PC players?

From a technical side, it was actually not that difficult. The biggest hurdle was different server requirements, and security protocols- you know, the different ones that Sony uses versus what Microsoft uses versus what you have to worry about on Steam. But that didn’t take us long. Like… we don’t have a giant lever like what you see in Star Wars when they shoot the Death Star, but if we were to use that as some kind of approximation, then if all parties were on board, we could flip a switch very similar to that, only it’s more dramatic. And it would work. It would work like that. We’ve already performed tests on multiple configurations, and the technology works- we just need to be able to have the go ahead, and iron out the small little bugs, and things that pop up in edge cases that you aren’t aware of until you’re out in the trenches.

But the technical side didn’t take us long at all. Once Microsoft told us that it was a feature they were ready to support, we had it up and running very, very quickly.

rocket league uncommon item

"Both Sony and Microsoft really want your game on their platform, and they really want to give you a helping hand so you get what you need to get your game on that platform."

And when do you think you’ll have the go ahead to have the feature finally debut?
 
Microsoft is now waiting on us at the moment. We’re going through the final testing phase to make sure everything looks good. They’re doing a lot of testing on their side to ensure everything looks good from their perspective. We’re in a really good place right now, and everyone seems to be pretty happy with where it’s out. So now it’s just a matter of rolling it out in an official update. And I would imagine – the way we announce things is we make sure something is coming out in a window before we announce it – like we haven’t committed to a date for the Mac and Linux versions of Rocket League. This is closer than that, like we plan to have this out some time in May. But when in May, and whether or not it gets delayed for some unforeseen reason, all of that is possible- but we’re not counting on any delays like that. We think it’ll happen in May. And when it happens it will star as Xbox-PC, and not as Xbox-PS4-PC, because we are still going through the necessary steps to see what we can do to make a completely unified cross platform network a reality. All political stuff, basically.

Okay, so I did want to touch upon that political stuff you mentioned a bit. You are an unaffiliated game developer, and we all know that there has been a sort of movement towards independent game development this generation. As an independent game developer, how was it for you working with Sony and Microsoft?
 
It was great. We have a fantastic working relationship with both of them. So it helped that they have people on both sides that several of us have known for a long time, whether on previous jobs, or in the same jobs that they’ve just worked for so long. We’ve built some really solid relationships. And one of the great things on both sides, on the Sony and Microsoft sides, is that if we ever have a question that comes up, that we ever wanna talk about, like a promotion, or a patch, or a feature- they’re literally just a phone call away, we pick up our phone and call the people we need to. And we can chat about what we need to very quickly. And for me that’s the ideal relationship, that’s exactly what you want to see as a developer from a first party. The only complaint I would have as a developer about any of this right now would be, we put so much content in the game, and we have to go through so much of a process, is that the process that is placed can itself sometimes be a bit of a roadblock, compared to how on the PC, there is no certification needed. But at the same time, we understand the need for certification on consoles, and the need to have that process. Really, it’s just us being impatient more than anything else. In terms of how we get along with them, and how quickly they make things happen for us, and the opportunities that they have created for us, they’re great. And we like working with both of them, and they’re both very good at very different things. One company has strengths that the other company does not, and they complement each other very well for our game, and we are very glad to have a working relationship with both of them.

It’s very nice to see that independent game development is being supported so enthusiastically now.
 
Yeah, it’s definitely come a way from- the entire ecosystem has really changed in the last decade. It’s a lot less of a climb up a mountain, and more of a helping hand. Both Sony and Microsoft really want your game on their platform, and they really want to give you a helping hand so you get what you need to get your game on that platform- be it support from their technical side, advice, information about how best to take advantage of their hardware, and so on. It’s actually, if you have the ability to develop on these systems in addition to the PC side, I recommend it. It gives you opportunities and access to audiences you wouldn’t have if you limited yourself to just a single platform.

I sort of wanted to talk about something that I understand you may not necessarily be able to talk about. I’m sure you’ve at least seen the rumors about the upgraded PS4 – the PS4K, PS4 Neo – 

It’s been on every gaming website I’ve read the last six months!

(laughs)

Yeah, you know? There is no escaping that!

I’ve written five editorials on the PS4K myself.

You’re part of the problem! (laughs)

I’m definitely part of the problem.

(laughs)

Well, my question to you was, given the alleged spec bump that the console will have – better CPU, better memory, better GPU – and speaking strictly in hypothetical terms, do you think that for developers, having two SKUs could be a problem? Developing for two configurations, getting certification for two builds, and so on?

Well, hypothetically in the situation you have raised, it’s no better than having any other additional platform to develop for. It’s- what’s interesting about the question, the hypothetical, is, would the introduction of this item change things severely? And the answer is, it doesn’t really change much if that is the case. Because it’s really just a matter of whether or not you can support another platform, and that’s really what it boils down to- how the pros and cons of the hardware, or the extra VA time needed, or the amount of new assets you have to build, those are all considerations that all developers have to make, any time they develop for any additional platform, be it Sony or Microsoft or even the iPad.

So really what it boils down to is, does the team, were they able to work on something like that, be able to handle coming to another platform? And so the broad answer is, if the team is prepared and willing to do it, I don’t see that being an issue. And if they can’t or won’t do it, then it would be an issue, so it would differ on a team by team basis, on whether or not that would be problematic.

nintendo nx

"We consider all platforms, and whether or not they would make sense for Rocket League."

And if this hypothetical PS4K were real, do you think you would release a version of Rocket League for it with enhancements?
 
Our whole approach to multiplatform game development is, if it makes technical sense, if it makes business sense, and our community wants us to developer for it, we will put it on that platform. We look at practically every platform imaginable forRocket League– after our initial PS4 and PC release, we looked at every possible platform you could think of, and whether or we could make it work. Everything form handhelds to other consoles, to everything else, our approach has always been- can we afford to do this? Would it allow our company to thrive if we did do it? Would our community want it? And those are always questions we ask with any new platform or hardware, hypothetical, real, or somewhere in between. And if it makes sense, we’d do it. And if it doesn’t, we wouldn’t. We’d have to wait till we knew more about what the proposition would be, and whether our community would want it, how we would be able to do it, and all those questions.

I also wanted to ask you about the NX, which Nintendo have now confirmed, and they are going to be launching it next year. And i guess my question was, do you have any plans to bring Rocket League to it if you have the chance? If you do bring it to the NX, would you strive to have cross platform play for that version as well?

Well, the answer to that would be identical to whether or not we would support a hypothetical PS4K. It is certainly something we would consider. We consider all platforms, and whether or not they would make sense for Rocket Leaguewhether or not they fit our timelines, whether or not we can afford to make our games on them. Every new brand new platform you work on, that is development time you take away from adding features to the existing versions of the game, for a version that the public isn’t even playing yet. So these are all considerations we have to make when we bring up new platforms.

But the answer to whether or not we would do it is identical to the hypothetical PS4K- and that’s, could we do it? Should we do it? And does the community want us to do it? Those are all things we have to consider, and if the answers are positive, then we would. Now whether or not it would have cross platform multiplayer, our goal for any version of Rocket League going in is to make it cross network, no matter where you are. So really, it would be a matter of understanding our limitations, what they might or might not be in that situation. So in general we would always try to make it work- whether or not we would in this case would depend on whether or not we develop for the platform in the first place, and then whether or not it would be possible.

I did want to bring this up as well, you sort of hinted at this earlier, when you discussed each platform holder having their own individual strengths. What are your thoughts on the current industry landscape? We have the PS4 dominating, the Xbox being a viable alternative, the PC being bigger than it was before, Nintendo struggling, handhelds dying, and mobile gaming being on the rise- so in a scenario where you only have one or two platforms being a runaway success, and all other platforms struggling in various degrees, do you think that multiplatform game development makes much sense in a scenario like this?
 
Yes. For example, we launched Rocket League for the PlayStation 4, on PS+, a very good strategy to get the game in front of as many people as we could, with the intent of selling it to other players and other platforms, once they’d have had the good word of mouth from the PlayStation version, which would help with the sales. Plus simultaneously we would also use the audience we got on the PlayStation side to sell DLC, and to prove to them, and everyone else, what kind of community we wanted to build for the game. And so for us, it was all about creating a community around Rocket League, and not around a single system- and I think that is the right approach to take, because the biggest challenge for any game developer is whether or not they have the resources to run on that game platform.

The reason we started our whole marketing campaign on PS+ was because Sony has a very large user base, and PS+ was a great avenue to solve the problem we had, which was, ‘how do we get this game in front of all these people without a large marketing campaign?’ So my challenge was to try and figure out how to market this game with no cost to us. Because we didn’t have any marketing money, we spent it all on development. So that strategy, it turned out it worked for us, and the reason it worked on a technical level was because we started development on PC, and the toolset available to us as developers on the PS4 is very similar to the tools we used to build Rocket League on the PC, so it was very easy for us to do simultaneous development on those two platforms.

And that’s why you saw us hit those two platforms first, in the beginning, and then Xbox came later, because the Xbox tools, and the way the architecture of the system is built, is different than what we have for the PS4 and PC. And so it’s very key that you go through the platforms in the right order, to do multiplatform development properly, but had we not put the game on Xbox for example, that would have been over 2 million less players than we have right now. And so by not going to Xbox, we would have cut our revenue by many tens of millions of dollars. Plus we’ve added new players into the ecosystem, and we have the opportunity to bridge the gap between the previously closed Xbox ecosystem, and the very soon to be open Xbox ecosystem, and these are all good reasons to do multiplatform development from our perspective. From any development team’s perspective, the more players you put yourself in front of, the better- but you always have to weigh the time and resources that it costs to get there. And that’s always the challenge, that will always be the difficult decision: where do you draw that line? Because if you don’t draw that line, you’ll never focus on the easiest, fastest, most cost effective way to develop a product, and deliver it to your audience the way you want it to be.

I guess one of my final questions – and I am sure you get this one a lot – I wanted to ask, how did you get the idea of a game where cars play football? How did you come up with that, and why did you stick with it when, I believe there was another game before this that didn’t do that well? How did you come up with it, and why did you stick with it?
 
Well, the first game in the series, because you are right, Rocket League is actually a sequel, the first game was SupersonicRocket Powered Acrobatic Battle Cars. And that was, it wasn’t a massive success monetarily, because we didn’t charge a lot of money for it, and we didn’t get a lot of coverage at all. But it actually did pretty well, it had 2 million lifetime players, and for a downloadable title that came out in 2008, for its time, that’s a lot of players. And I was part of the press in that era, as opposed to being on the development side. And I can tell you, the climate for independent games was very different back then than it is now. PSN and Xbox Live games were looked at as afterthoughts, and coverage for those games was much less than for traditional retail games. So those games had trouble getting exposure, especially since avenues like YouTube were still finding their footing. And the rise of the individual voice as the power of marketing and just free vehicle for your game scene, that was not in place. It’s a much different climate now for games than it was when Battle Cars came out.

And gaming is also much more accepted now in the mainstream than it was even then. So there were a lot of different extenuating circumstances around gaming culture as a whole, which really helped Rocket League. But the reason that Battle Cars really didnt do well, but we stuck with it, was because the audience we had from the original game- they kept playing that, and they played it every day. We had thousands of players playing this little known game, putting in hours and hours of play every day, week after week, for five years. And when you have an audience that dedicated doing something that often, that is a very strong indicator that you have something that people want to play.

Psyonix doesn’t have any marketing experience, we’re just game developers- they didn’t have any inside marketing staff, nothing beyond justthe people working on the game itself, which was part of our trials and tribulations of being a game developer. So the team learned a lot from the firts game, especially working with other publishers as sub developers on other titles, like Gears of War, and Bulletstorm, and other titles that the team has worked on. The team took all that knowledge that we accrued from working on all these AAA games on the side, and then supplement it with all the knowledge we had from the original Battle Cars, and meld that into a single product and say, ‘let’s try it again, we’ll be a lot more successful,’ and…

We had to stick to it. One of the most important thing that any game developer has to do is know when they have a good product. And it’s worth experimenting all you want, sometimes experiments fail, and sometimes they’re really successful, and other times they’ll fall in between. But the key is you have to be, as a team, have belief in your product, and know when to push it. Make sure that whatever you found out the first time was legitimate- are you a one hit wonder? Was it an accidental bomb? What happened? The team always believed in Battle Cars and Rocket League too, so we kept going, that was the major factor.

As far as the idea for it, Dave, who’s our CEO, he used to work for Epic back in the day on Unreal Tournament, doing mods and other things internally. And he worked on the onslaught mode if you ever played that back in the day. So he built the entire philosophy of Psyonix around the idea of taking vehicle based ideas and doing something really cool with it. This was before I joined the team, but in the beginning they were making a car combat title, something more traditional, like Twisted Metal or even Mario Kart‘s battle mode. Things of that nature. And one day one of our level designers decided to put a ball in there, and the entire team got hooked. They stopped working on the game they were working on, and started playing this faux football game, with this ball dropped in, to see what would happen. And this started taking over more and more of our time to the point the team realized, they didn’t want to make the game they were making, they wanted to expand on this idea instead. So really, the short way of putting it would be, it was an accident! It was a happy accident, an experiment that went the right way, and resulted in some very popular things for the studio!

Rocket League Snow Day

"One of the most important thing that any game developer has to do is know when they have a good product. And it’s worth experimenting all you want, sometimes experiments fail, and sometimes they’re really successful, and other times they’ll fall in between. But the key is you have to be, as a team, have belief in your product, and know when to push it."

And for everybody else!

Yes!

Okay, so this was all I had- I guess before I let you go, is there anything else you’d like to tell us? 
 
Uh, one more thing I would like to tell you and your readers is really, thanks for keeping the lights on. Thanks for supporting the game with so much enthusiasm. We really appreciate it, and we’re on Reddit and Twitter, and wherever else we fan be, we’re listening to your suggestions and comments and feedback. And we’re not done yet, we’re gonna keep updating this game, we’re far from finished with it. We’ve had a great first year, and we have a retail release coming, and all sorts of cool new modes, and new cars and arenas, some of them unlike anything we have seen yet. We’re really excited to see how they go, and hopefully, you’ll still want to interview Psyonix for Rocket League this time next year.

I’m looking forward to that interview!
 
Thank you!

Well, thank you so much for your time, thank you so much for answering all our questions. It was great chatting with you.
 
No problem, it was my pleasure as well!


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  • midmo

    I’ll reword my comment. This interview comes across as nothing more then a puff piece.


 

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