Chatting with Crosse Studios' Carlo Sunseri on 'Lacrosse '14'
It's an exciting time or fans of both lacrosse and gaming, as there are now two games in development with yesterday's announcement that Crosse Studios and Big Ant are hoping to launch Lacrosse '14 for the spring of next year. Previously, Baltimore developer Digital Steamworks announced plans for an iOS game on a similar timeline.
Crosse Studios, run by former Robert Morris player Carlo Sunseri, has developed several games related to the sport already, having opened with College Lacrosse on the Xbox 360's Indie Games Channel back in 2009. That product has been updated twice since, and Crosse has also developed an indoor version licensed by the National Lacrosse League (NCAA licensing is pretty much impossible and expensive, so the college versions have gone logo-less).
This new iteration will be made for the Playstation 3 and PCs as well as the Xbox 360, with potential for being programmed for the upcoming Xbox One and PS4 consoles. That all comes down to a planned Kickstarter campaign designed to raise the money for developing the title. The campaign, which has been approved but not yet launched, should be coming soon. We'll post the link for those interested when it becomes available.
Sunseri, who is active on twitter @LaxVideoGame, was nice enough to answer a few of our questions after the initial announcement:
You've made a few lacrosse games in the past – what keeps you coming back to the sport for new generations of your product?
My passion for lacrosse is most definitely the driving force... I grew up playing lacrosse, played through college at Robert Morris, started coaching directly after graduating, and now have spent five years building lacrosse video games... I'm very lucky that I still get to be involved with something I love...
How much has feedback from users colored what you're aiming to do with this game?
The feedback from the lacrosse community is huge... I do my best to read people's comments about the game and take into consideration the changes that people are asking for... Sometimes its not possible but overall, the direction of the game is greatly influenced by the supporters of the game... For example, the fans want better graphics and more realistic gameplay so that is what we are doing for Lacrosse 14... Once the Kickstarter is launched we need everyone to show their support... Kickstarter all comes down to the community... Is the lacrosse community passionate about a lacrosse video? I think so! Its going to be an exciting time...
Are there any substantial game play changes from previous versions?
The entire game is being rebuilt from the ground up, which is another cool aspect of Kickstarter... The people who preorder and pledge get to be involved with how the game will be created... For example, faceoffs, the backers of the Kickstarter will get to decide how exactly the user controls face-offs... Is it through the Right and Left Joystick? Or the buttons? The options are unlimited.
What do you think is the most important aspect of this game for users?
I think one of the coolest things will be the fact the people can actually have their name and face in the game... If someone pays $65 to support Lacrosse 14 on Kickstarter they get a preorder of the game, their name recorded into the game, and their face featured in the game.... That is a pretty sweeet deal!
You're partnering with Big Ant for this one – what do they bring to the table?
Big Ant brings years of experience developing awesome sports video games... They will help take the graphics, gameplay, and depth of the game to the next level... Its an exciting time for lacrosse video games!
You're doing it through a kickstarter campaign, why go that route?
Funding. Simple as that. We have everything we need to make an ultra-realistic lacrosse video game but we are missing the funding.... Video games are expensive to build and the major publishers think lacrosse is too small of a sport to support a high-end lacrosse video game... So that's why Kickstarter is perfect... If the fans want it bad enough, then they can help create an amazing lacrosse video game for PlayStation, Xbox, and the PC!
What are the details of the campaign – what do fans get for participating – besides the satisfaction of helping bring a new generation of College Lacrosse gaming to life?
Here is the basic overview of the rewards:
You'll be releasing the game for PS3, XBox360 and PC for spring of 14 but mention that Big Ant studios has experience developing for PS4 and XBoxOne, which come out soon. Is there a plan to simultaneously develop Lacrosse14 for those platforms, or just stick to what exists now and develop forward next cycle?
Currently, Lacrosse 14 is only scheduled for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and the PC. That said, if everyone supports us on Kickstarter and we raise enough money then Xbox One and Playstation 4 would absolutely be possible...
We'll be sure to check back with Carlo and the rest of Crosse Studios as this project progresses for LaxMagazine.com