Laser League – Roll7’s Playbook

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By Simon Bennett – Director

Hi there! Folks here at Roll7 have been stuck deep in the development juju for the last 2 years, quietly crafting something new for your delectation.

See, in 2013 whilst on a train from Birmingham to London, our Creative Director John Ribbins and Tom Hegarty were playing around with a little prototype.

It involved some Lines and Dots on a screen, and frankly looked like something that might have been on my Atari 520st as a kid, but DAMN did it play well.

It had the simplicity of Pong, but with a seemingly never ending range of possibilities for expansion. The game was shared around local events like London Indies and John continued to refine it, even as we went into development on OlliOlli.

Over the next 3 years Ultra Neon Tactics sort of became the video games industry’s best kept secret, and was played behind closed doors by developers at conferences from E3 to GDC, from Gamescom to Rezzed (even when we were supposed to be finishing off NOT A HERO and OlliOlli2: Welcome to Olliwood)

People’s reactions were priceless, the game was totally pick up and play, but had advanced depth and team strategy. It was like the perfect storm.

We knew that this was going to be our next release. However, just how this game was going to be made and to what scale – we had no clue.

At about the same time as this, Hello Games blew the world away with their ambition on No Man’s Sky, and in 2015 a little known developer called Psyonix quietly put a game into PlayStation Plus.

We were inspired, here were small teams with smaller games behind them, that went up against AAA giants – and against all odds broke through the noise and got their games into millions of people’s hands the world over.
So, did we make a retro 2D top down local multiplayer game? Something small and simple? Nope, that would have meant a comparatively easy ride – and with the awesome support from 505, we opted to scale up from a team of 4 to 17 and build something EPIC!

That little game with Dots and Lines from 2013 has since been through a LOT of iteration since, we have;

– Made it in 3D in Unreal
– Added 6 unique player classes
– Conceived 6 Future Sports Brands with over 250 unique Player Models
– Made a ton of Maps
– Created over 16 Powerups
– Added a slick replay system
– Put the whole thing online with matchmaking for Multiplayer joy
– Worked with an awesome composer (Alan Myson AKA Ital Tek) to bring his vision of future bass music to the game

Quite the undertaking – and we are STILL working away on it…

In a nutshell, Laser League is the light speed, high-octane contact sport of 2150. It is the instantly accessibility of Pong, a nod to Overwatch’s class strategy and the seamless online experience of Rocket League. I guess technically you could call it a Sports MOBA lite? Terminology aside, really we don’t care what you call it. We just want you to pick it up, fall in love and then take on the world!

Like any great sport – we need our athletes (that’s you!) to help us refine the experience. As we have found, inventing a whole new sport isn’t easy – and while we are a long way in – we are still making big changes to how the game works.

We have a BIG list of things we want to add to the game in early access, including 2 new stadiums, a new Player Class, new Perks and Powerups and awesome new kits. For now though, the plans are pretty flexible – we know that this game will ultimately be shaped and polished by our players.

We cant wait to see what amazing ideas you have to make Laser League the defining Multiplayer Arcade experience of 2017 and beyond!

See you on the pitch…

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