When you do one thing long enough, it can be a trip to look back at your previous work and chart your progress. That’s exactly what a developer on upcoming snowboarding simulator Shredders, launching on Xbox Series X in 2021, did after his game was announced last week.
Shredders was an inevitability for I-Illusions project lead Dirk Van Welden. He’s long envisioned creating a snowboarding game, early indications of which can still be found on the Unity forums. In posts from 2007, Van Welden (under the pseudonym kaaJ) shared a video and screenshot from an early project he called FreeRide. The rough prototype is far from the beautiful landscapes shown in Shredders, but Van Welden made sure to revive the 13-year-old thread shortly after revealing his studio’s next game.
“I’ve made several other snowboarding prototypes over the past few years,” Van Welden told Kotaku via email. “Some I posted on my Twitter, like SNWPRK. It’s been a dream of mine to create something like Amped Snowboarding, but I realised it needed a big team and budget. Fast forward to the end of 2018, and I found another dev who had been working on a snowboarding game for several years. I had some calls with him and took the plane to meet him personally, and we immediately felt that we had a similar vision for our ultimate snowboarding game.”
The difference between those early projects and where Van Welden is today is that he finally has the budget (thanks to the success of I-Illusions’ VR release Space Pirate Trainer) and the team to finally make the snowboarding game he’s always wanted. They soon put together a vertical slice, and the Shredders trailer that debuted last week is an example of the “magic” that happened, according to Van Welden. As for how he even remembered the Unity thread so long after its creation, Van Welden considers it an important part of his journey as a developer.
“It was one of my first posts in the showcase area,” he explained. “That’s something a dev remembers.”