Skiing and snowboarding down a mountain is one of the most exciting and adrenaline-evoking activities on the planet – albeit not one that is frequently associated with gaming – and unfortunately for the true fanatics it is not always an all-year possibility. But SNOW provides continuous winter-fun with competitive and explorative gameplay, even for the ones who have never set a ski on a slope before!
SNOW is the first open world, free-to-play skiing and snowboarding game, which aims to recreate a realistic experience representative of the sport by using Crytek’s state-of-the-art CRYENGINE. It is created by Poppermost Productions, a small developer based in Stockholm, Sweden. It consists of CEO and Game Director Alexander Bergendahl, Tech Director and Programmer Filip Lundgren, and Art Director Markus Palviainen. SNOW is currently in the early stages of development and is planned to be released on Steam Early Access later this year.
Overlooking the beautiful CRYENGINE-powered mountain in SNOW.
At the heart of the production is the aspiration to create the most authentic experience possible. “We really want to bring the player a realistic experience,” says Alexander. “There is a freedom to explore the game however the player wishes without forcing them into a narrative; there is no game story, just free-roaming and many challenges for anyone to enjoy. Our single-player mode is mostly about the player and the mountain, free to explore and do whatever the player wants. The challenges and events are more structured gameplay, such as a race or score-based mini games. In multi-player we give the player the tools to play with friends or compete against others online.”
SNOW stands out from its competitors in many ways by sticking to this philosophy. “Both skiing and snowboarding are an equal element of SNOW. Other than open world, CRYENGINE provides us with the amazing graphics and power that many other games don’t have. Our authentic production of the game and our partnerships with over a dozen athletes and brands ensure that the experience is true to its form.” Thanks to these brands, character customization is a key part of SNOW, with real items from the latest catalogues – ranging from helmets and hoodies to skis and boards – available in the in-game store.
The choice for CRYENGINE was an easy and obvious one, according to Filip. “The technology really pushes us, which is exactly what we needed to create the world of SNOW. Realistic physics is absolutely key, and CRYENGINE was the only engine that could offer the tools and power to create a mountain this big and detailed. ”
Simultaneously, this became a challenge for SNOW’s development as well. “It’s such a large, powerful engine, it really took some time for us to get to grips with it completely,” Filip continues. “We really wanted to interpret skiing properly with a very physical-based approach. The physics system was tricky to work with in recreating that genuine feeling; it took some time to study the movements, but we did accomplish it in the end. We got a lot of positive and constructive feedback from the pro-skiers that partnered with us.”
The player can not only free-roam, but is also challenged to score points with jumps and tricks.
The game is planned to be an ever-evolving experience, with constantly updated challenges, events, and brand items and accessories. “Currently we are exploring multi-player to see what’s fun and what the technology can handle,” says Alexander. “Later this year we will release the game on Steam Early Access, and from there on we will take the community’s feedback and see how everything goes so that we can keep moving forward in bringing a unique and realistic gaming experience.”
Since all three are also avid skiers and snowboarders, it’s not difficult to imagine where the inspiration for SNOW came from. “We grew up in the mountains and personally I’ve always loved winter sports,” Alexander smiles. “But as I got older I found myself having less and less time to go on such trips, so I wanted to find a way to enjoy that free, wintery, genuine feeling – which could be done by making a game! I’m very happy with what we’ve achieved so far: we’ve already created a lot of unique routes, obstacles, and different areas; sometimes I will be exploring the mountain and stumble upon this great part, but I might not be able to find it again! It’s that authentic experience that I look forward to bringing to our players.”
To find out more about SNOW and Poppermost Productions, please visit http://snowthegame.com for the latest information, media, and more.