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Why Roll7 brought OlliOlli to PS Vita instead of iOS

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OlliOlli, the 2D skateboarding game from indie studio Roll7, launches today on PlayStation Vita, but it was originally intended to be an iOS game, said creative director John Ribbins in an interview with Gamasutra.

Roll7 had put together an iOS prototype of OlliOlli, which was even more difficult than the final PS Vita game ended up being because it was played with a touchscreen instead of physical buttons. But after James Marsden of FuturLab, developer of the shooter Velocity, played the prototype at a gaming conference, he advised Ribbins to show the prototype to Sony. The company was interested, and asked Roll7 to develop the game on PS Vita instead of iOS.

"As soon as we started thinking about physical controls, what it meant for doing tricks and stuff like that, it certainly made sense," Ribbins told Gamasutra.

Turning the iOS prototype of OlliOlli into a PS Vita game involved changing the mechanics. The prototype had no "sloppy landings," but in the full game, players must press X as they land in order to successfully complete a trick; hitting the button right as the skater lands provides a speed boost and a perfect score.

OlliOlli is exclusive to PS Vita instead of also existing on PlayStation 3 because it was "partly a suggestion on Sony's part," said Ribbins. But he added that "it's quite nice to be dedicated to this platform," since this is Roll7's first game outside of iOS and PC.

OlliOlli will be available on the PlayStation Store for $12.99 later today; PlayStation Plus subscribers can buy it for $10.39, a 20 percent discount, through Jan. 27. Our full review of OlliOlli can be found here.