Unsigned – Performance is a mindset in Roller Drama

This article is a part of MCV/DEVELOP’s Unsigned, bringing a spotlight to unsigned indie games in partnership with Unity.

Roller Drama is a story-driven game where you live with five Roller Derby athletes as their coach and hopefully friend; manage real-time full-contact matches on skates: performance is a mindset!



Developer: Open Lab

Pietro Polsinelli

Location: Florence Italy

Team size: The game is produced by Open Lab, a four-person company, collaborating with four external resources. Two people are working on the game (almost) full time.

Progress: The game is in production. Alpha will be released in Summer 2021. We plan to release the game on all platforms in the second quarter of 2022.

Contact details: Pietro Polsinelli, ppolsinelli@gmail.com

Tell us about your game and why you decided to develop it?

We wanted to continue the series on sports and narrative, avoiding the mistakes done in Football Drama (oversimplified mechanics, designed with only the mobile user in mind) and not focusing again on an all-male sport and environment set in the past. Roller Derby is cool, and the athletes playing it seem an excellent source for intriguing stories and is somehow by itself a partial representation of today’s reality. We like the idea of switching from a turn-based 2D sports game to a real-time 3D one. Also, we wanted to have a more structured and mature narrative dimension, even in a relatively small game.

Who do you think the audience is?

Players of narrative games, players of sports games, players of romantic games / visual novels, lovers of satire/humoristic games. It should be particularly attractive for women gamers, LGBTQ+ players (and allies).

What experience does the team have?

Open Lab has been designing and developing educational games for almost ten years now, for mobile and desktop, and we specialize in games for museums and health services. We released our first commercial game Football Drama in September 2019: a narrative and sports game for Steam, Switch and mobile. Football Drama has been featured worldwide several times on the App Store.

Why did you decide to use Unity to create this game, can you tell us anything about using the engine on this project?

We use Unity because it enables a quick prototyping loop and supports cross-platform development. Also, it allows developer tool customization, so with Daniele Giardini, we have created a powerful editor extension to manage the dynamic narrative elements so that the plot, missions and dialogue flows are not hard-coded. This enables a quick loop between coding and testing.

How long has the title been in development, how long will it likely take to complete?

We started working on the game concept in 2020, and we intend to release the game (with several localizations and a wide range of platform support) in early 2022.

What kind of support are you looking for from a potential partner?

We are looking for support for the final release and promotion of the game. Specifically, audio services, localization, console certification and launch promotion. The financial need can vary in function of the amount of localization and platforms, but it should be lower than 100k Euro, not including the marketing/PR initiatives.

About Chris Wallace

Chris is a freelancer writer and was MCV/DEVELOP's staff writer from November 2019 until May 2022. He joined the team after graduating from Cardiff University with a Master's degree in Magazine Journalism. He can be found on Twitter at @wallacec42, where he mostly explores his obsession with the Life is Strange series, for which he refuses to apologise.

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