Interview by Jason Mousseau
So I think the question on everyone's mind is, when will there be a playable version of the skiing video game you're developing, Jib Life?
Man I would love to have a solid answer to that. To be realistic, I'm not even not going to give a time estimate for a drop date, because way too many companies do that and drop the ball. I will say that the game will step into large scale internal testing within the next year. And a small scale beta will follow soon after that.
It's been in development for eight years now, what the hell is taking so long?
The sport and how quickly it has evolved, combined with the technology just not being available to make this game the way we have wanted too. And humbly, my own inexperience.
What system will people be able to play it on?
PC/Mac at launch, and plan on moving to consoles in the future.
Why not launch on Xbox 360 or PS3?
Licensing costs, and the difficulty that comes out of making the game work on both platforms
Who is behind the game and working on it?
Check out our team bio at on our site – jiblife.info/about_us
Who is funding this game and paying for all the costs involved?
I have been funding the development out of my own pocket, but have been working with some sponsors and have been looking into a few government grants. You can also support us and Newschoolers by heading over and picking up a Jib Life t-shirt and some NS product in the store.
Who are the current sponsors?
Jiberish has been backing the project for two odd years now and have been incredibly understanding and supportive of it's development. Newschoolers has been extremely helpful with our project. Doug and Jeff definitely deserve a big thanks and have all contributed invaluable efforts to help make skiing what it is today. Ski the East and Meatheads, Tingas Hats, who might be a small brand but their support thus far has been incredible, Sick Stickz, Pangria Clothing, who are responsible for the shirts in the NS store as well as the tall t's which have been sent out to some of the athletes supporting the game while at the camps. The talls will also be available this winter for anyone to purchase. On top of this, our PR crew is working daily with a number of other brands who have asked to remain anonymous until further agreements are reached.
Is the game going to be free?
That's a hard question to answer. There will be an initial cost for the game, and I really can't go into more detail than that. You will never be forced to pay anything beyond the initial cost of the game to enjoy and play it though.
Why have snowboarding too? And will the game launch with both sports?
Because I believe the fusion of the two sports is inevitable and there is no reason they should not go hand in hand. We all love the same snow. Not to mention our sport has taken so much from boarding. The game will launch with both sports, and the main focus is not one or the other, but instead on building a solid community in which the game can grow. Oh and we didn't forget about the filmers/photographers who have brought the sports to the broader audience of the world...they are going to get some love in the game too.
"This is a major undertaking and something that is so very badly needed. The ski/snowboard combo gameplay is a great idea if for nothing more than it would allow snowboarders who are underexposed to newschool skiing to be put in a position where they can see it done alongside their sport. Hatred is fueled by ignorance and if this game can at least educate some folks as to what is going on over here then it is a success on a much bigger scale then even its intended goal." - Pete Drago, co-owner of Jiberish Clothing
Care to elaborate?
Well basically they are the ones who are responsible for getting our sports to the world, I want to provide them with the means to have fun in this game doing what they love. There will be a fully integrated system for filming and still captures unlike that of any other game.
What about you? Are you a skier or a boarder, do you film or take photos?
I've been a skier since I was 23 months old and got into jibs and jumps at a young age, hucking off trail transitions and finding any excuse to take air. I would definitely call myself a park rat until recently. I have also seen my fair share of injuries in the past four years. I overshot a jump and ended up impaling my liver, then this past season overshot and ended up lucky with a dual pelvis break and a torn rotator. I should not have gotten up from that. Just something about jumps and rails that gets my blood pumping unlike any other aspect of skiing.
Do you have any experience working in the ski or gaming industry?
I used to work in a ski shop tuning skis and then headed up the park at Ward Hill in Boston. I have been in the gaming industry since I was 14, I started out as an in game support tech for Ultima Online and worked up to an event coordinator, moved over to Sony for Everquest, doing the same thing then onto Asheron's Call with Turbine games. My last gig was head of design and theory for Galactic Village games and I have done contract work for numerous companies, indie studios, and helped on countless other hobby projects that have never seen the light of day.
"Overall the graphic renderings and stylistic approach that Ben and his team are taking demonstrates that they "get it". At the same time I hope I can exercise the patience that we need to let them do it right. As much as I want to play it right now, I also want it to be done the way he envisions it, and that takes time." - Pete Drago
Well then I gotta ask, what do you think about current snowboard, ski or skateboard games? What is your all time favorite "action sports" game?
Johnny Mosely Mad Trixx...pysch! Skate 1 was hands down a revolutionary game. I think that a lot of the companies making the games fail to put the time into getting to "know" the sports. Sure they do R&D, but Skate is a perfect example of a way to make games playable that had been overlooked for so many years. Even today games still seem to be missing the point. The SSX model is great for a younger crowd, but for those who are out there and love the sports, we want a game that when we are done playing, we feel like we just got back from the slopes.
So it's called Urban Sessions, does that mean it's only going to be urban?
Nope, the game will encompass all that is snow. We want to make sure that we do big mountain and parks properly which will take more time then just getting the urban stuff sorted out.
So can players expect the first playable version to focus on urban?
Yes and no, it will have a focus on jibs in general in an urban setting, so you can expect so see jumps, wall rides, bomb drops, rails and other unique features.
Whats the deal about a level editor? Will players be able to create their own spots?
“Spots" yes, but it will be a bit more grand then that. I really can't go into detail, so we will just leave it at "spots" for now.
Just wanted to thank all the people supporting our project! Without you guys we would be nowhere.
"If anyone is doubting Ben with regards to this game getting done, it simply cannot be for a lack of effort or drive. I actually have to make my username invisible on AIM because the second I sign-in I am bombarded with updates and details regarding the game. hrough NS personal messages, instant messaging, and email I am inundated with questions, comments, and ideas on a daily basis. After two years of experiencing this any doubts I may have had about his efforts and determination no longer exist for me. And anyone who had taken on a project with the scale and scope of this knows that you must have unwavering passion and borderline delusional focus." - Pete Drago
for more details on Jib Life check out: jiblife.info