After interviewing two pro skaters (Pat Duffy and Darren Navarrette), I was looking forward to chatting with Chris Parry to get more meat on Skate 2. Parry, also known as Cuz, describes himself as "some kind of producer" on the game. In addition to talking about the team's dreams for the Skate franchise, Cuz was pretty honest about how this game offers a rare appeal that should attract creative gamers and lazy gamers. If you happen to be creative and lazy, you might not need another game.
G4TV: Cuz, Skate was one of the most acclaimed titles of 2007 -- both by critics and fans. How do you follow that up?
Chris Parry: [laughs] You make it better. [laughs] I think what it is, is getting to do the stuff we still dreamed of doing originally. We dreamed of a lot more than was in Skate and even Skate 2, but the team feels like we're on the way -- getting to realize some of the stuff we wanted to have happen. It just so happens that our dreams are aligned with the stuff people seem to dig about the game. So it's all about keeping our heads down and keep following the dream.
G4TV: So out of all the dreams you've guys have had, what are the biggest dreams you've realized in Skate 2?
CP: Moving objects so that you can set up your own spots -- that's true to the culture of skateboarding. It just ups the creativity and allows Skate 2 to be a more creative game. It's like, how do you look at this garbage can, this flat bar, and this dumpster? What are you going to do with all that?
G4TV: How do you put it all together?
CP: Right! How do you put it all together? How are you going to express yourself on these things and with these things? That's one of the most rewarding things. And the fact that you have this replay edit system -- it's just blowing up! Just go to YouTube and see how many people are making video parks of their game. It's just like real skateboarding! It's like, "This is the kind of skater I am. This is how I'm going to express myself." And now when people figure out the power of moving all these objects….
Create-a-Spot is going to be a big sleeper feature that people are going to get really excited about. You set up a spot the way you like. It might have taken you half an hour. You can save that spot as is and set up a scoring volume around it, allowing you to be a bit of a game designer there. You upload it. Your friends download it. So if you're like me and you're really lazy, you just go and play other people's spots! [laughs]
So for an example, my friend and I were testing the game. He uploaded a spot and I didn't even know where in the game it was. It was great, since I didn't have to find it on my own -- being lazy and all. I just downloaded it into my game, I spawned there, and I was like, "Cool!" I think this is the feature that will really let the creativity flow.
G4TV: Great! So this is the skateboarding game for creative people and lazy people.
CP: Absolutely! Another cool option for lazy people is free-skate activities. It's an oxymoronic mode that allows for "structured free-skating". I know that sounds weird. These are cooperative activities for people to play together online and they're great for people that are too lazy to figure out what to do on their own.
G4TV: Out of all the new tricks, what are some of the ones you feel are highlights?
CP: Wow. There are so many. I'd have to say inverts. I really like doing inverts -- going in the pool, doing inverts, tweaking them around using the sticks. So you're holding onto the coping and start moving the stick around. You'll move from invert to invert -- that's really cool. A lot of it for me, being an old skater from the '80s -- yeah, I know I'm dating myself -- bonelesses and bean plants and stuff like that. Being able to do fast plants and bonelesses and doing them in unique ways…. The hippie jump is a lot easier now that you and the board are two separate entities. That's pretty fun and you can use that in unique ways. And like I mentioned before, being able to move objects to set up spots -- that's not really a "trick" trick, but I'd have to say that's one of the features the team is most excited about.
G4TV: Okay, let's talk a little trash now. Out of all the skaters you've worked with, who was the worst at the game?
CP: I'll say this because he's a good friend -- Alex Chalmers. It's not so much that he's bad at the game, but I just hate playing with him. When I play online with him, all he does is push uphill the entire time. I'm like, "Dude?!? Why are you pushing up the hill?" And he'll be like, "I'm just doin' it." It's not fun for me to play or watch.
The other thing is that he played the game for like seven months before he figured out how to unlock his own character.
G4TV: Okay, Alex is the worst. Who's the best?
CP: It's hard to say, because I mostly hear rumors. Lots of skaters tell me they play Skate and that they're really good at it. I know PJ Ladd is pretty good at Skate. We have a guy involved with the game now, Atiba Jefferson, he's a skateboard photographer. He's a master at it…well, at least that's what he says. They're all afraid to play online with me! [laughs]
I know a pro that isn't in the game and I can't reveal his name. He sent me a bunch of footage of his videos playing Skate. This guy has more footage of himself playing the game than he has footage in real life! In real life, your footage is your currency. A bunch of us have been trying to tell him, "Dude, you better get out there and skate! You've got more footage of you playing EA's Skate than you actually skating. Something's wrong!" [laughs]
G4TV: So that's an example of the lazy gamer you're targeting.
CP: Yes! Exactly!