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 BLACKBERRY FEATURE

Biodroid talks MegaRamp, 1080s, and Danny Way's record-breaking jump over The Great Wall of China

Getting some air
Product: MegaRamp | Publisher: Biodroid Entertainment | Genre: Sports
 
MegaRamp Blackberry, thumbnail 1
It takes a special sort of courage to tackle the MegaRamp. Punch the extreme sport's impressive title into YouTube, and you won't have to scroll down too far to find bone-crushing footage of a skater or BMX rider falling foul of the unforgiving wooden slope.

In a way, the folks over at Portugese mobile studio Biodroid demonstrated their own brand of courage and bravery when they agreed to develop the official MegaRamp mobile game.

Though the consequences of Biodroid's failure are unlikely to manifest themselves in compound fractures, disappointed fans can deal all manner of damage to a budding franchise through their wallets alone.

Ready to roll

Biodroid's mobile producer Ricardo Flores is not even entertaining the idea of failure, however. In fact, when we arrive at the Lisbon-based studio, a mere month before Biodroid's MegaRamp game is due to launch on iOS and Android, he is the very picture of optimism.

"Since the first meetings, everybody was on the same page," Flores says of MegaRamp's genesis. "It was amazing the way everyone believed in the project."

When Flores says 'everybody', he's not just referring to the crew of coders dotted around the office. He's talking about MegaRamp luminaries like skating champion Pierre-Luc Gargon and BMX rider Vince Byron, both of whom participated in motion capture sessions to help lend authenticity to the game.

"We even have Danny Way, who is the godfather and inventor - the legend who created MegaRamp," Flores reveals. "He will be one of the last characters that you can unlock in the game."

Getting to grips

Just as the MegaRamp itself plays host to both BMX bikes and skateboards, the spin-off game will require you to switch between two and four wheels throughout. This led to some unique control issues, which ultimately resulted in the team opting for gesture controls over floating thumbsticks.

"We had buttons in the beginning," Flores admits. "It was our first approach. Then, we went to swipe mode."

The tricks list has also been a major focus throughout development, with Flores keen to ensure the special moves appear spectacular, albeit without breaking the laws of physics.

"There are a couple of games out there in which you can do things that are totally impossible. In the MegaRamp game, every manoeuvre has been pulled off at least once in the real world."

"The sport is evolving very quickly, and new tricks were appearing while we were developing the game. We now have the 1080, which was performed by a kid. So, we had to put the 1080 into the game."

Peaks and troughs

Biodroid hasn't forgotten about the ramps themselves, either. MegaRamp is a global sport, with ramps of varying scales and dimensions dotted around the world. The team has been working hard to recreate many of the most famous events.

"We have the Eco Cup, which is in California - one of the first ones - and then we have a a few from Brazil, Chile, and Zurich," Flores says. "We have L.A., we have New York, and in the end, we're going to wind up on The Great Wall of China."

MegaRamp fans will recognise that last location as the site of Danny Way's record-breaking jump in July 2005, which saw him become the first man to clear the famous landmark without an engine between his legs.

Though MegaRamp is expected to retail for around £1.99 / $2.99, Flores informs us that players will be able to choose to pay extra if they want to unlock ramps and tricks immediately.

As for customisation, personalising your bike, board, or avatar will be as easy as tapping the relevant icon and flipping through the various colour schemes and designs - the numbers of which, Flores assures us, will grow as the game is updated.

Expect to see MegaRamp leaping onto iOS and Android sometime in September. A BlackBerry version should follow at a later date.
 

Reviewer photo
James Gilmour 14 August 2012
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