I earned a student co-op position at Vicarious Visions, the developers of Sk8land. I was able to work on-site, full time, as a game designer on the sequel – Tony Hawk’s Downhill Jam for Nintendo DS.
The image above appears in-game, behind the credits.
During my co-op, I was still a community manager on Sk8land.
My unique position within the two companies allowed me to coordinate deeply integrated online features for Downhill Jam:
Pushed to include downloadable challenges as a web feature
Created all 100 downloadable challenges
Invented the community unlock website feature
Included Sk8land community art in Downhill Jam
As I earned my team’s trust, I was given a lot of responsibility and personal tasks:
First pass of the story (Tony gets served, gathers a crew…)
Helped create the villain, Antonio Segul
Voiced anime Antonio (Move it or lose it!)
Wrote most of the in-game dialogue quips for all skaters
Chose the voice actors who ended up in the game
Created and named most of the game’s trick gaps in 3DS Max
I made Tony Hawk laugh with the character select quip,
“Hi I’m Tony Hawk, Pro Skater!”
A lot of the trick gap names in Downhill Jam are references to Sk8land community members, and the Half-Life 2 mod Plan of Attack, which I spent a lot of time working on at Agora Games the previous year.
Because my role was so unique as community manager for Sk8land and game designer on the sequel, I was interviewed about it for German video game site Games Cathedral.
Tony Hawk’s Downhill Jam was named IGN‘s “Best Racing / Driving Game” for Nintendo DS in 2006.