Creator Jason Guadalajara (who is also behind FP Insoles), built a game that feels like a combination of THPS, Street Fighter and the real-life scenarios that go down at Venice Beach skatepark. But rather than playing as Ryu or Chun-Li you get to fight as Weckingball, Neen, Brezinski, and Jaws.
As of now, Skatepark Smackdown is still in early stages but will be available wherever you get your phone apps. We haven’t tried the game yet (so we don’t know if it’ll actually be any good) but with a funny gag game like this, it’s kind of thought that counts. To learn a little bit more about developing a mobile game from scratch, we reached out to Jason to try to get some intel before release.
Q&A W/ CREATOR JASON Guadalajara
Have you ever gotten into a fight at a skatepark?
Not at a skatepark, but I socked a kid in the face for cutting in line at the handball court in elementary school. That was a little too harsh, looking back on it.
Who do you think would win in a real-life fight, Weckingball, Neen Williams, Jaws, or Joey Brezinski?
[Laughs] Putting me on the spot. All these bros are pretty tough. Obviously, Neen and Weck are buff bros, but Joey is psycho and I would pray for even my worst enemy.
Were you a fan of MTV’s Celebrity Deathmatch when it was on? Was this game inspired by that show?
I kind of remember that show, but it was definitely not an inspiration. I made this because I like to do new projects every year. I’m already deep into manufacturing the FP colors, and Crupie Wheels projects, and I wanted something new to do as sort of a hobby. Video games have always been my thing, so I was thought it will be so cool to start making games… and here we are.
Who are some skaters that you really want in this game?
I haven’t really thought of specific skaters I want. I haven’t asked anyone either really except the first guys. I assume a lot of guys are going to want to get in. I’m putting Dane Burman in as the first DLC character. I’m for sure putting a scooter kid in there. I mean that’s going to be hilarious especially beating a pro skater up with the scooter kid [laughs].
Does each character have a finisher special move?
Yes, they all have finishers. My favorite so far is Weckingball’s troll attack where he pulls out his phone and makes your Instagram followers go down. Joey Brezinski has an atomic wedgy, which is pretty funny.
Are any of the characters getting money or backend royalties?
Yes, of course. Everyone is getting paid.
What fighting game is better, Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter?
Well, I grew up on Street Fighter 2 and Mortal Kombat so it would have to be one of those. Street Fighter was always a bit more fun, but the fatalities in MK are awesome. When I’m in Tokyo, I like to play Final Fantasy Dissidia even though I can’t read anything on the screen.
Who is the hottest video game character ever?
I have a crush on Ada Wong from Resident Evil 2 remake. Tifa from Final Fantasy VII (sorry, Aeris) Lightning from Final Fantasy XIII, and Yukiko in Persona 4. But to be honest I dated all the girls at once in the Persona games.
THPS or SKATE?
Come on! EA Skate kills THPS, all day, every day.
Take me through the process of coming up with the idea and then actually going through with it and getting it made.
I downloaded Unity , and started playing around with it and doing tutorials to get a basic understanding. Then, I had a guy who I already work with doing 3D stuff for my brands, make some 3D models for the game. I hired a Unity developer to do the coding, and I basically work between my animator and developer. Everything needs an animation first, then we can program it into the game.
And I’m putting in music from Killah Priest who is one of my good friends. I’m lucky he’s down to back my projects.
“I just don’t think the game will hit right unless you can play your friend in class and get in trouble with the teacher.”
What is the best way for someone to learn how to make a video game?
I don’t think it’s as hard as people think, but it is time-consuming. Unity is free and there are unlimited tutorials and videos out there.
How much money do you need to start a video game?
It depends on the complexity of the game really. It can be anywhere from a few grand, to obviously millions and millions for AAA games. I’m definitely keeping a tight budget to get this operation going, but I have plans for a big-budget game after I’ve got a few games under my belt. Your biggest expenses are going to be custom 3D models and rigs, as well as animations.
Just consider, every movement of any character in a game is an animation that is programmed as a command response. If “this” happens then this animation plays, the health meter goes down by this much, and so on. It’s all just a bunch of rules, which setting up is anything but fun. It’s like the opposite of playing the game, but it’s cool to see your game coming to life.
There are also bugs and debugging which sucks. Currently, we have been having major issues with the “play with a friend” list on mobile. I just don’t think the game will hit right unless you can play your friend in class and get in trouble with the teacher.
How hard is it to make a game for a phone successful?
There are a lot of games out there and only a few are able to pick up enough steam to be successful. So what we’re doing is making this game with a function that you can look up your friend by Google Play or Apple ID and fight them online. I want people to play this on the way to spots, and I think it’s going to get better and better with each new character we add on. Finally, I’m now set up as a Playstation developer partner, so there will be a higher-end version coming to PS5.
What’s the goal with this game?
Blow up and act like I don’t know anyone? As Neen says, “Hawaii beach houses.”