Download link: Itch.io.
The entire intent of ‘The Ride’ was to try to convey some of the beauties of how it feels to ride a road bike. Overall for just over a two-week creation process I think it’s a pretty darn solid effort.
I intended on constructing this game as if someone else was in my shoes – Someone that might have never had the experiences I’ve had, or the emotions I’ve felt on various occasions. This wasn’t just put someone on a bike and make it move forward and lean. That part needed to be mechanically sound but still needed the polish to make it feel real.
Majority of the game was about actually riding so this needed to feel right. Right enough for player’s to feel the flow – without the real world repercussions to having a heavy machine beneath you. Having the camera positioned in the right place above the seat, the speed of which the bike lean transitioned from side to side.
A very big part of trying to immerse player’s and really give them a sense of being there was to literally make them ‘Kit Up’ and put them in a simulated situation. I reached out to collaborators early to try to get them on board. Their skill sets would be vital to feel the part.
I (roughly) modeled the bike based on my own FZ6R in about half a day’s worth of effort.
Bike Gear – Peter Buck: Blog Link.
Audio: With the exception of one song (Eleven8 – The Colour Of Distance).
All audio inside of ‘The Ride’ was recorded/generated/edited by:
The sounds of the bike gear in the garage and the bike audio itsself was recorded from my actual bike & bike gear.
As the players continue to pick up pieces of gear the playable characters movement speed increases. It’s to signify that as you get closer to riding, you feel enlightened and empowered, ready to be free. A small decision that makes a big impact is putting the helmet over the camera when the player has put it on. Makes the visibility quite the same as (but not as dramatic as) having a helmet on. Along with the sound of the footsteps going from: Having a dull no-shoe wearing thud. To when the boots are put on and changing the sound to the actual sounds of my boots hitting the ground.
Switching from placeholder primitive shapes to properly sculpted bike gear makes it apparent that you are literally kitting up with bike gear ready to ride. The sound effects that Ash, Chris and Johan made really hone in on that extra polish feel to put the player in the The Ride.
Once on the bike and when the bike audio has played – you are ready to ride out of the garage. I wanted this to be the moment that the player’s saw the garage door opening notice the beauty that lies beyond. From here the game has been in greyscale – It’s definitely not to convey sadness or any dark meaning but only to make the flow of colour feel more enriching. The moment that colour starts to decend and the bloom kicks in is to reveal the beauty of what it’s like to ride on a day like the one outside of the garage.
Have you ever driven on a road that has trees running parallel to it? Perfectly spaced trees which it makes your inner OCD cry with joy? Which makes it feel like for the duration of that stretch – as long as those trees are zooming past, nothing else matters? Absolute serenity.
This is what I wanted the initial road to be and what it became. Beyond the trees just needed feel like an open field of nature. Away from the busy construct that is the modern-day.
Eventually venturing into more abstract concepts to take them away from the reality that is earth. Make their mind and body feel as if this wasn’t its usual place. Into a tunnel that starts from being realistic and gradually changing into a weird tunnel that feels like you’re entering a wormhole – before being spat out into a never before seen nebula.
From there it was a matter of giving the player more space to flow from side to side. Make it a little bit more abstract by adding a few bikes riding either side that follow the exact same movements. Let them soak in the atmosphere, before bringing them back to the realization that although you are on a road and you feel as light as a feather and flow like a river – You are not alone. There are dangers – you to them, and them to you.
Until next time –