It’s been four weeks since Helsinki-based developer Red Lynx launched Trials Evolution for Xbox Live Arcade. One of downloadable gaming’s largest blockbuster releases of 2012, the game sold no fewer than 100,000 units on release day (which, at a cost of 1200 MSP per ‘copy’, equates to £1,020,000 in 24 hours) – a staggering achievement that has no doubt pleased Ubisoft, who acquired the studio in November of last year for an undisclosed sum.
Hookshot Inc. checked in with Antti Ilvessuo, Creative Director at the developer to find out how the team is feeling a month on, and where next for the game.
How do you feel now the game is out?
Generally speaking, I feel good. Obviously you only see those minor faults in game that maybe most people don’t notice, but you can’t help but nit-pick over the small things. There were also some server issues on launch day and we are working hard to release a Title Update that fixes some stats issues. They are not deal-breakers, but people notice them and we really want only best game out there.
Those things aside, the reception has been outstanding so I can’t complain. Sales have been wonderful too. Ultimately, people investing their own money into something you and team have worked on for a long time is the strongest signal of good game. And good games are meant to be played a lot…
You must have been expecting great things for Trials Evolution after the success of Trials HD. Has the game exceeded those expectations?
We expected a good reception and strong sales but yes: so far everything has exceeded expectations.
How many copies did you sell in the first week?
We sold 100,000 copies on the first day and we sold just over 500,000 in the first month. The first week is somewhere in the middle of those figures.
How many custom tracks have been uploaded to date?
There are more than one hundred thousand user created tracks. Obviously not all are top quality, but we try to be active and help the community find and create great tracks, and more and more stellar tracks are coming.
Also with Track Central, you can really find good levels. Just be sure to check the ‘RedLynx Picks’ feeds for the best of the best. We are active in finding and calling out the very best tracks.
What are the most creative tracks you’ve seen made so far? Could you name some of your favourites?
Everyone in the team has their own favorites, and we all work together to choose their favorites and put them on the RedLynx picks list. Those who are helping choose tracks include Sebbi, Lee, Konsta, Jorma, and Sipe. “Each weekday, some of our developers will select several exceptional user-created tracks and add them to the “REDLYNX PICKS” feed on Track Central. We will also post an update on this forum thread.
Are there any secrets in the game that the community is yet to find?
Well if I told, it wouldn’t be secret anymore!
Where do you go after this with the series?
That’s a tough one! We really went all out with Trials Evolution, adding many features that the series has never had before, like multiplayer and a central location for sharing user-generated content! How do you top Trials Evolution? That will take some thinking.
Could you give us any details on when you might be looking to launch some DLC?
Right now we’re focused on the first title update. We’re keeping our fingers crossed, with any luck it should be coming out next week. We’ve got a lot of important fixes for the multiplayer side, so we think people will be happy about that.
Can you give any details of what you’re looking at creating?
We haven’t announced any DLC plans at this point.
Yeah, but what about the DLC?
We haven’t announced any DLC plans at this point.
What if it’s our little secret and I swear on Beyond Good and Evil’s grave to not mention it to Ubisoft or anything?
I was not cut out to be this kind of journalist.
So, er… Is there anything that users have created thus far in the level creators that have really surprised you guys?
They have created working adventure games. A working twin stick shooter. Someone has even made a walking man and we DON’T even have walking as a mechanic in the game! Those are some of the things on the top of my list of awesomeness. And I expect the future will bring so much awesomeness and showing what the Evo players create! One amazing stage that I saw today is ‘WAAGH!’ made by´B0RG 1 OF 1. Its now on RedLynxpicks in Trials Evolution in track center. Two controller needed. Pretty freaking awesome!
Have any players found shortcuts in your levels that you didn’t realise existed?
Usually when people get better they will always find routes that we did not know were possible. In Trials HD there was one level where almost the whole track could be passed by an uber trick that we didn’t even know about.
That’s the beauty of physics games, and a curse too, because people will find exploits!
What are you guys going to do with all of the money?!
I just bought a Captain America replica shield and mask. It’s for my kids. Seriously! It just happens to be large size.
Can I have a photo of you wearing the shield and mask if I promise I won’t use it as leverage to get you to admit that OMFG OMFG there is going to be DLC for Trials Evolution?
You brought this upon yourself.