SPOTLIGHT: BIKE MAYHEM
ARE YOU GAME ENUFF?
By now, many mountain bikers would have played the game Bike Mayhem. This game is enjoyed not only by the biker communities around the world, but also to non-bikers. What makes it so appealing is the realistic game play, fresh graphics and the flexibility to customize the player character. The game allows player to get a feel of downhill riding and to apply real-world techniques needed to overcome different obstacles and features. Weight/unweight, pumping and lifting are now put into practice. In many sections, accurate execution of techniques is what determines whether a player earn that one precious "star" for the stage. We like bike Mayhem for what it gives us when we are not with our bikes. For those who have not played the game, don't miss out on this great fun. For those who are regular players, play hard then ride harder!
Bikezilla spoke to Jared Fry from Goldmark Studios, the team who created this awesome game about (yes … you got it) gaming, mountain biking and more … mountain biking.
(Left: Jared Fry Right: Dejan Cecar)
Please introduce yourself to Bikezilla readers guys?
Hi Bikezilla! My name is Jared Fry, I am a 36 year old artist/game developer and an avid mountain biker. Dejan Cecar, the programmer and owner of Goldmark Studios, and I built the game Bike Mayhem Mountain Racing for iOS and Android devices. Goldmark is a boutique indie game studio in Vancouver, B.C. Canada that has produced multiple games including the hit game Moto X Mayhem, Sled Mayhem and our latest game Bike Mayhem. We are focused on making great games in the racing and extreme sport genres. Dejan and I have both been working in the industry for years now. We originally met years back working together at Rockstar on Bully. We went our separate ways and started working together again a year and half ago where I took on the job of Art Director at his studio. Since then we have down sized to the two of us where I have taken on the responsibility of the art creation, level design and the marketing/PR point person. Wearing so many hats has been a great experience.
Tell us your riding experience.
One of the best reasons to live in Vancouver is having the mountains and ocean in your backyard. I ride twice a week on our local mountains, Cypress, Seymour, Squamish, the Sunshine Coast and the Whistler bike park. I’m looking forward to getting over to the new Gravity Park up the coast soon. I will ride almost any trail on those hills as long as its downhill ☺. I am still working up to some of the big stunts and I don't ride skinnies anymore, I've bent too many disks slipping off them ☺. The local trails here are amazing. I really appreciate the time and energy that the talented local builders have put into these trails. We have everything from loam, rock gardens, rock faces and boulders, berms, roots, ruts, ramps, ladders and jumps. What more could you ask for other than a little less rain ☺.
My bike history is as follows, I have owned a Pace RC100, two Norco VPS1’s, a Foes DHS mono and my last bike was a Kona Smooth Operator. I just upgraded to a Specialized Enduro Evo Expert this year. It is an amazing machine! It has 7" of Fox and Ohlins travel, downhill geometry, 4 pot brakes and those beautiful 26" wheels :). For those pedally days it’s got 1×11 drive train, and a dropper post. I can ride anything on it. I am super stoked!
The game is very realistic and relates well with off-road cyclists. How did the idea of designing this game came about?
Being a game developer and mountain biker, I‘m stoked to have the opportunity to create a bike game. Besides being passionate about biking and wanting to spend my time immersed in it, there is a huge worldwide community of bikers that are potential players. It is a win-win opportunity.
We had the game engine that had been used to build Moto X Mayhem and Sled Mayhem, both side scrolling racers. We saw the opportunity to use it to build a great bike game. One of the main additions to the tech was to render and animate 3D characters and bikes so we could push the tricks further by adding whips and 360’s making the game much more exciting and authentic.
Where do you get the inspirations for the games?
I am inspired by the real world athletes, Redbull events and the World cup races and of course we pull from our own experiences and our previous games too.
Could you tell us about your team's creative process.
My creative process is to gather tons of reference images and videos and immerse myself in them and the culture then let it peculate for a while to see what sticks. I pick out imagery that speaks to my aesthetic and style and choose a variety of locations, colour pallets and hopefully use it to create something that makes the player can connect with. Everyone likes to customize their character so we added as much gear as we could within our time frame and gave the bikes and wheels game play attributes so there is progression and reward as you play through. We play it a ton and tune it until we feel it is worthy of an audience, then it is unleashed to the public. Once it is out, we get feedback from the fans and use it for inspiration of new assets and the fine tuning of game play.
There is a huge collections of bike and stuff in the game. Are there any sponsorship program or products placements/advertisements program?
We would love to have official sponsors in the game. There are so many great companies involved in the bike industry. I was inspired by some of the top brands and tried to make my art complement their designs. We are always interested in cross promotion opportunities.
Any future plans to develops it onto PC platform or gaming console?
We are interested in spreading our games onto more distribution channels like PC and console. It is on our list of goals but at this time we don't have the man power to do it.
Any advice for our readers?
I like to support the indie developers, they have more opportunity to take chances with new game mechanics and they will be the ones to elevate the art form and create fresh new gameplay experiences. The AAA market makes great games but they have to make safe choices because the budgets are too high to take any real risks. With the amount of 3rd party tools now available to indie developers now, we should see more games that compete with the AAA market. The content will not be as vast but the experience should be on par. It will be the marketing budget that will separate them.
My advice for riding? One thing that helped me was to read Brian Lopes book "Mastering Mountain Bike Skills". Brian and Lee cover all the essentials in it. It helped me practice my fundamentals and made big improvements to my riding. Also, ride with people that are better than you. Other than that, remember why you ride. Have fun out there. When you can’t ride, play Bike Mayhem ☺
( These guys are rad!)
All photos by Bike Mayhem and Goldmark Studios
Bike Mayhem is available in 2 versions – the Free version as well as the full version which sells for SGD$1.28 App Store and SGD$ 1.14 at Google Play