New skateboarding game OlliOlli World will let queer players be their authentic selves

OlliOlli World

OlliOlli World will feature a diverse character creator so “you can make you, whoever you are”.

The skateboarding game was announced at the Nintendo Indie World Showcase back in April and will be the latest in the OlliOlli series.

World will feature a new hand-drawn art style and a focus on storytelling.

With that art style comes an opportunity to include a character creator too.

John Ribbins, creative director on the game, spoke with Eurogamer and explained how it’s something the Roll7 team had wanted to implement since the first game.

“One of the key pillars of OlliOlli World is being welcoming,” says Ribbins. “We want the game to feel welcoming to a larger number of players – and the reality is, in the previous two games you just played a white dude with no face whatsoever. We thought it would be cool if you can make you, whoever you are.”

There will be over 1,000 different items with which to customise your character in the game, collected through completing challenges. That means there are countless variations to ensure your character is personal to you.

Skateboarding has certainly become a much more diverse sport since its edgy 90s days of the Tony Hawk video games – particularly with the LGBT+ community.

Says Ribbins: “But I also think skateboarding has become way more friendly, incorporating LGBTQ communities as well – Vans did a recent collaboration with Cher Strauberry, who’s a trans woman, and there’s Leo Baker who’s non-binary, they started a company called Glue and most of the riders on that are LGBTQ in some flavour. And that’s much more of a part of skateboarding now.

“In OlliOlli World you can dress however the heck you want, and be whatever the heck you want. We wanted to be able to be like, what if you watch that clip of Nora Vasconcellos or Jennifer Charlene skating in a bowl in a full-on ball gown? You can do that in OlliOlli World, because that’s kind of rad too.”

OlliOlli World is due out later this year across PlayStation, Xbox, Switch and PC.

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