Riders Republic launch month if finally here – a game we have been anxiously waiting for since its announcement, even more so after playing the BETA and enjoying an exclusive walkthrough with the Ubisoft team.
We jumped at the opportunity to interview the game’s World Designer, Yann Fieux, to get some in-depth insight into the creation of the game. Read on to find out what Yann had to say…
Riders Republic launches on 28 October 2021.
Give us some insight into the choice of the US National Parks included in Riders Republic?
It forms super interesting terrain and variety for us to put under the wheels of our bike or under the board of our snowboard or skis. You can find everything from the snowy mountains from Grand Teton to the very dense forests from Sequoia in California, or even the steep red dirt areas from Utah, like in Bryce Canyon or Zion or even Canyonlands. So all the variety in the majestic National Parks.
With the featured parks being real locations, what went into the design and layout to ensure a realistic look and feel?
It was very key for us in creating this open world to bring the fact that if you had already been in any of those iconic places that you would be able to recognise the famous points of view. We researched data to ensure the feeling of size and to be sure we had all those famous silhouettes, and then with our creation tool we helped create the nature and manage the space between trees, the density, and to make sure we’re in control of all the gameplay areas.
Which is your favourite and why?
I think my favourite is the Yosemite Valley from California because it’s a beautiful area with huge places. There’s flat spaces to race your road bike, you have the steep area for the Wingsuit, which is perfect for some very engaged lines, there are also all the cliffs which are perfect for very tricky lines with your bike.
Explain the initial ideas of the world and how much it evolved during the creation of riders republic?
The attention was to bring the spirit of the National Parks to life and make it as real as possible. We were a team of three at the beginning to work just on the design of the world, and then to create this open world during the three years we were 15 people.
What were some of the key features you wanted make sure were included into the game?
We can speak about the Rewind, a new feature in Riders Republic, which gives you the possibility to rewind from your line, so if you make a wrong turn or miss a jump, you can just rewind to restart your line.
Take us through the collaboration with the other game designers to ensure a seamless world with good gameplay between the featured sports and their terrains?
Because we offer a lot of variety within the game such as just freeriding with your friend to enjoy the open world, or competing against other players in various contests such as mass races, etc. The objective was to create a lot of variety inside the environment and a variety of contests, so we had to communicate a lot with our design team. It’s not the same to ride your bike on a sand area or in the forest with all the roots and rocks, so we had to take all those type of feelings and aspects into consideration through all the sports. There was a lot of collaborations between the designs teams.
What were some of the more challenging aspects of the design and creation?
The most challenging was the variety because we wanted to bring all the details and quality. For example in Mammoth City, which is a city area in the Mammoth region, we wanted to bring all the aspects of freestyle into the middle of the city – it was a challenge to make playable features in the same place and to bring the game’s key play into it.
What can players expect to experience in the open world?
A lot of different experiences. You can just chill with your friends, enjoying and exploring the beautiful world, or you can be a very engaged player and run through the game mode competing in mass races and contests to try get the best scores and best times on all the contests.
Now that the game is near completion, what aspects of the design are you most proud of?
The fact that we were able to present the scale and reality of the National Parks. Not everyone knows about these places that are super beautiful and not everyone will see them once in their life, and to bring all those beautiful areas in one game, in one open world without any walls. Because those parks are super far from each other in real life but in the game they are just next to each other and perfectly blended showcasing the best of the National Parks in one map.
Which sports and challenges of the game to you favour the most and why?
My favourite one is the Wingsuit, especially the Wingsuit for proximity because I like how we can have very engaged lines – it’s a lot of adrenaline and exciting moments, and with the rewind it super easy to erase your mistake and continue to have a lot of fun.