Super Pole Riders will be an enhanced, extended version of my hit pole-vaulting polo game, Pole Riders. In Pole Riders, two athletic men pole-vault into the air to try to kick a ball, suspended on a rope by a pulley, into their enemy’s goal. It’s a no-holds-barred sport of launching yourself off your opponent’s head, kicking him off his pole, and flipping the other guy into orbit with your pole. It brings the awkward physics-based controls of my single player game QWOP to a local multiplayer battle.
Since I shipped the original Pole Riders, we’ve shown it at a number of parties and events around the world. It debuted at Babycastles in New York before the web launch. It was at Prince of Arcade in Montreal, Juegos Rancheros in Austin, Wild Rumpus in London and San Francisco, among others. I’ve heard from a number of game developers that they play Pole Riders tournaments in their office, at places like Maxis and Harmonix. The more I watch people play Pole Riders competitively, the more I’ve seen how it could be developed further. Now I want to make an enhanced edition that can do things that were technically impossible in the web version.
First, I want to make the game playable by four players at once, so that each game in the Sportsfriends set can be played by a party of four. More players means more poles, which will place more strain on the physics engine, but I think a downloadable title can handle it.
Second, I want to have a number of arenas with more interesting geometry. In some, you’ll only be able to reach the ball by vaulting into the air. In others, you’ll have to work quite hard to reach the goals, which will be at the top of hills or at the exits to a greco-roman amphitheater.
Finally, the most important addition of all: you’ll be able to impale your opponent on your pole, and wave his lifeless body around as a kind of club.
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