Game News Xbox: Shredders developer wants to play Amped 4… or create it
Do you know Amped, this series of snowboard games developed by Microsoft (then 2K) whose first episode was released at the same time as the Xbox Original? Dirk Van Welden remembers it fondly. This extreme sports enthusiast who co-founded the FoamPunch studio released Shredders in March, a sliding game largely inspired by the title designed by the American giant. During an interview, he told us about his passion for snowboard games and the influence of Amped in its creation.
A good dose of Amped in Shredders
Whether in its balance of accessibility and simulation or its take on snowboarding gameplay, Shredders is reminiscent of Amped. The development studio, FoamPunch, made fun of this affiliation by playing on words in various social media posts. “I have always been a big fan” recognizes Dirk Wan Welden, co-founder and CEO of FoamPunch, interviewed by us during a videoconference interview. This fan of thrills in life and in games has always appreciated apps that try to find the right balance between realism and fun, like Skate. In his office, he owns all the Xboxes and all the Snowboard games released on Microsoft consoles such as Transworld Snowboarding or SSX Tricky. “Yes, we took inspiration from Amped 1 and 2, especially when it came to the feeling of gliding. And I think the guy who did the narration was a bit influenced by Amped 3, which was more goofy” he indicates.
“There may be an Amped 4 thanks to Shredders”
At one time, snowboard games were very successful, and the big names in video games were jostling to impose franchises capable of spreading the genre. We remember Cool Boarders, 1080° Snowboarding or SSX. Today, it is mostly independent developers who keep these styles alive.niche”. “We can just take a bigger risk on things that the general public doesn’t show much interest in.”says the creator of Shredders. He keeps on : “as an independent studio, you have to do better or completely different. We were sure there wasn’t such a specific snowboarding game. We were confident that we were able to have better physics and environments.”. On the influence of independents on the video game industry, Dirk Van Welden insists on the fact that small studios can help the resurgence of specific genres. “Games like Session and Skater excel despite coming from independent developers. Now we know Skate 4 is in production because they saw the success of Skater XL and Session”. In this case, would it be possible that Microsoft is considering the return of its snowboarding game following the arrival of titles of the same genre, produced by independents and appreciated by the target audience? The CEO of FoamPunch wants to believe it. “There may be an Amped 4 thanks to Shredders. I’m not sure of anything, but I hope there will be one, because I want to play it!” he exclaims.
An Amped by FoamPunch?
Rated 66/100 on Metacritic, Shredders has more or less mixed reviews. “We planned it because it’s a niche title. But if you look at our user base, like snowboarders, the ratings are really good” replies Dirk Van Welden. He adds : “people tell us they’ve waited 20 years since Amped to play something like this. This kind of feedback is great, it gives the team a boost to work on additional content“. After hearing about Amped all over the place, we directly asked the studio behind Shredders if they would like to develop Amped 4, assuming Microsoft gives them the rights. “(Laughs) that’s a very difficult question” laughs the co-founder of FoamPunch. “For this kind of thing, I have to discuss it with the co-founder and the whole team. I know, it’s a very strategic answer, I hope you’ll like it”. Before concluding : “but yes, that would be great”. The message got through.
Shredders is available on Xbox Series X|S consoles and PC. It is included in the Game Pass.