It's been a little over four months since BMX Streets: PIPE dropped and it's been somewhat of a phenomenon. We've seen it popping up everywhere - from your favorite pro rider's Instagram to some of the biggest Youtube streamers' channels whose concept of BMX culture is something reminiscent of 1983's BMX Bandits starring Nicole Kidman. Well, prayers have been answered and we finally have a new BMX Streets Pipe Update.
We sat down with Matt Jensen, the creator, and developer of BMX Streets to find out how things have changed for him and just what changes we can expect to see in the new BMX Streets Pipe update and community center map.
BMX Streets Pipe Update
Q&A with Matt Jensen
– Matt, It’s been 4 months since BMX Streets Pipe has launched and it's safe to say it’s been a great success. Did you anticipate just how popular it would actually become?
"Honestly, I had no idea what to expect. I had really only intended it to be a taster of what I have been avidly working on. I had just been grinding away as usual and wasn’t quite sure what direction it would go."
– How have things changed for you since launch, has it boosted your enthusiasm to further develop the game? And have things changed much in your day to day life?
"My general lifestyle and work ethic have not changed drastically since the launch of PIPE. If anything though, I have been making more time for myself to get out and ride/explore the area I just moved to. Riding my bike still grounds me and sends me a quick reminder of how I got where I am today.
Now that I have more confidence in the idea that there are other people who share the same passion for my game as myself, it is easier to convince myself that I am sending things in the right direction. This is something that I wasn't so sure of initially. It is really cool to be able to see the number of hours that people put into my game (through Xbox/Steam portals). Stats currently reflect an average of about 30 hours per player, which to me is huge. It's the little things like these that motivate me more than ever, it's the dedication and involvement of the players of my game."
– With the new update, the game has certainly improved visually. Character animations and bike physics now appear much more realistic. What work was required in order to improve these aspects?
"I had been grinding away and really focussing on the artwork. This has been a priority for me because even though I knew it myself, I had feedback from players who really wanted to see the visuals being improved. I dedicated a good few years on the physics alone, and it was necessary to step the artwork quality. I have never really allotted time to improve the tools that are involved in game art, especially when compared to what I put into physics tools. The new character that I introduced has clearly improved a fair bit too. The character that you will be seeing in the next update is actually a progression of the initial character from the old school physics demos."
– Let’s talk about the new map that’s featured in the BMX Streets Pipe Update. How did the inspiration for this design come about? It feels like I recognise some elements from some famous riding spots. How do you draw inspiration for creating, do you think of famous spots and dream set-ups and use those as a foundation for your designs?
"This map has been created after one of my favorite skateparks. I basically create my own maps by recognizing and installing things I love about certain spots. I have been hunting and analyzing BMX spots for a long time now through BMX photos and videos but also brainstorming my own ideas as if I were a park designer. Researching cool spots definitely helps me start planning things.
While I was building the new map for PIPE, I was frequently finding areas that need attention in the level. I would then play the area a few times and the picture would become more clear for me. It is similar to the feeling of random thoughts you might have while at a skatepark and judging the space and making additions to it mentally."
– Is this the final update for BMX PIPE? Will you now be shifting all focus to development of the full BMX Streets game?
"Yep! This will very likely be the last installment for PIPE."
– How does the roadmap look moving forward with BMX Streets development?
"The end of the BMX Streets tunnel is definitely in sight! It has been incredibly exhausting to not really know when that exact day will be, and it's something I think about probably every day. As a first-time developer/publisher, I am really on my own to discover the joys of pushing a game onto consoles and all that, it hasn't been easy... Things are getting really close now nonetheless.
Right now it comes down to the addition of artwork. The artwork has been progressing favorably though for sure. It is likely that I could surprise myself with how close the release for BMX Streets will be. But more than half the battle consists of getting the artwork to render at a decent frame rate too!"
– Finally, any parting words?
"Thank you so much to those who have shown support to me by purchasing PIPE and the mobile game. It is such a compliment to me that you all care so much about one of the most significant goals in my life. I would also like to say a special thanks to the individuals who have supported me in my battle against piracy in general. I was skeptical of releasing on PC for this exact reason, but over Instagram and Discord, I have had a lot of support from gamers who have followed me through the development of my game. Major thanks to my immensely supportive girlfriend, family and friends. And thank you to everyone for helping me make my vision a reality and supporting the development of BMX Streets."