Line Rider

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Line Rider
Line Rider Beta 2.PNG
Developer(s)Boštjan Čadež
Publisher(s)InXile Entertainment (remake)
Genius Products (DS)
Deep Silver (remake, Europe)
Designer(s)Boštjan Čadež
Platform(s)Microsoft Silverlight, Adobe Flash, Nintendo DS, Wii, Microsoft Windows, iOS
ReleaseSilverlight, Flash
September 23, 2006
DS
  • NA: September 16, 2008
  • EU: July 17, 2009
Windows
  • NA: September 23, 2008
  • EU: May 22, 2009
Wii
  • NA: October 7, 2008
  • EU: July 31, 2009
Genre(s)Sports video game Edit this on Wikidata
Mode(s)Single-player
Two-player (remake only)

Line Rider is an internet game, with versions available for Microsoft Silverlight, Javascript, Windows, and Flash. It was originally created in September 2006 by Boštjan Čadež (also known as "fšk"), a Slovenian student.[1][2] Soon after its initial appearance on DeviantArt, Line Rider became an internet phenomenon.

Line Rider has been featured by several websites, such as Yahoo!, but is mainly used on the website Linerider.com,[3] Time Magazine's website[4] and has appeared in several McDonald's commercials for the Snack Wrap in 2008. Line Rider was also selected by staff and voted by Jay is Games users to be the Best Webtoy of 2006.[5] A two-page article about the game was published in Games for Windows: The Official Magazine.[6]

Gameplay[edit]

The Line Rider character, "Bosh"

The basic concept is to draw one or more lines with the mouse on which a boy (referred to as "Bosh" by the creator[7]) on a sled can ride after the player presses the "Play" button. The game includes simulated physics, which means the track must be sufficiently smooth to prevent the character from falling off the sled. The author has said that he prefers the description "toy" to "game", as there is no goal to accomplish, nor does it have an end.[8] In spite of its simplicity, many complicated tracks have been created, which include loops and other stunts. New tracks can consist of unrealistic tricks such as "flings" and "manuals" both on and off the sled. Many tracks created by the community have been set to music, such as the video This Will Destroy You,[9] timed completely to the entire self titled This Will Destroy You album. Others use background art to fill their tracks with hand-drawn mountain slopes and trees. Tracks are typically shared among users by uploading a video to websites, such as YouTube or Google Video.[10] Revision 6.2 of Line Rider was released in August 2007, and was optimized to run more smoothly, and to have a higher-powered zoom tool. The game does allow created tracks to be saved, and shown to the public (only if creator wishes to do so). The storage is not on the Line Rider website, but on the user's hard drive, therefore allowing maximum storage implication and quicker access to stored tracks. In order to allow public viewing, the user must be logged into the website server.

On July 1, 2008, the original Flash version was replaced by a new one written in Silverlight. It includes a new feature that allows people to send tracks to other people via Windows Messenger. On October 23, 2009, this was replaced by Beta 3, which has the option to use dual players, a camera, trapdoor and deceleration lines. In 2015, a "Spiritual Successor"[11] to Line Rider was released for Windows, Line Rider Advanced, Which featured an in-game recording feature, selection tools, and advanced settings. Also in 2015, a new web version was released, Line Rider Javascript, which is hosted at linerider.com, and is still being updated as of 2021.

History[edit]

Conception and development[edit]

Boštjan Čadež, a student at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Slovenia, was assigned to do an art project by the school's illustration class in 2005.[12] He planned the project to be coded animation software from the beginning, as he had previous programming experience developing VJ sets, "little" Flash games, and presets for Advanced Visualization Studio.[13] With that plus pages of his sketch book drawings to look at,[12] his first idea was a mixture of pre-coding and traditional frame-by-frame methods of animation, where the user animated "by just drawing" and altered "on the fly."[13]

by Anderas Gysin named Cronodraw that partially matched this concept, and later placed the drawing and mouse control mechanics of Gysin's program into the final product of Line Rider.[13] Čadež then found a page in his sketchbook that consisted only of a small man sledding on a tilted line; this brought back memories of when he was a child doodling the man sledding on various "path" lines, and he decided this would be the basis of the project.[12] 

Line Rider was completed in non-consecutive periods for more than a year, the amount of work totaling to four months; the development process involved Čadež learning physics and vector mathematics through tutorials by N+ developer Metanet Software.[12] He explained that he wanted the experience of playing the game to be "like life," which was why he left out an eraser feature in his original version: "If you make a mistake, it’s there. You can’t just erase it."[12] inXile founder Brian Fargo conceived the name Bosh for the main character, although Čadež initially proposed Sanka.[13]

Release and initial popularity[edit]

Čadež first uploaded Line Rider to his Deviantart account fšk on September 23, 2006,[4] and it garnered 10,000 viewers within 24 hours.[13] However, the game's popularity escalated after a Digg user named Unconed posted about the game in the fall of 2006; this led to several users posting screen captured footage of the drawings to YouTube, which all totaled 15 million views by December 2006.[13][12] By October 2006, Line Rider was viewed more than four million times on Deviantart, downloaded more than 325,000 times, and reached number seven on Google Zeitgeist's search query chart (above searches about or related to Kim Jong Il and Mortal Kombat: Armageddon); the success of the game was acknowledged by Deviantart founder Angelo Sotira: "It's been amazing. Line Rider has become an event. It's viral growth at its best."[4] Several knock-off versions of the game, such as LineFlyer, Jeep Flyer, Line Boarder, and Chair Flyer were also created and published online within weeks of its original release.[4][14]

The New York Times praised the rejection of the eraser tool for adding challenge to Line Rider: "The difficulty of creating a great course using today’s crude tools makes you even more amazed at the genius of the best Line Rider artists’ work."[14] Wietse de Vries, a founder of a fan site for the game named LineRider.org, analyzed that the game's popularity was attributed to its ability for players to express their creativity, contrasted with many other games that "always looked the same and had too less features."[12]

Later years[edit]

On December 19, 2006, Čadež published an updated version of Line Rider (www.official-linerider.com) that added erasing and zooming features as well as more line variations.[12] He originally planned to release it a month before until he was contacted by inXile Entertainment founder Brian Fargo to purchase the rights for the game via Skype.[12] Fargo appreciated Line Rider as "another Tetris" in an era of high-budget, complex video games, and that the game made the player an artist.[12]

As an educational tool[edit]

Line Rider has been the basis for an article published in The Physics Teacher magazine concerning the use of computers in Physics education by members of the Physics Department of Southeastern Louisiana University.[15] The article uses video captures of Line Rider to explore the physics in the game by use of video analysis.

Remake[edit]

Line Rider 2: Unbound cover art

Line Rider 2: Unbound (Line Rider: Freestyle in Europe) is a remake released in September 2008 for the Nintendo DS, Microsoft Windows, and Wii. The gameplay is similar to that of the original revision 6.2, with the addition of a multiplayer puzzle mode, and has several added features including different vehicles, exploding lines and scenery. Players are able to share tracks with others through a Bluetooth connection and can send the files in texts to other phones and to the web.[citation needed]

On December 19, 2006, it was announced that InXile Entertainment had gained console rights for Line Rider, legally restricting copies and imitations of the game. Microsoft Windows, Nintendo DS and Wii versions were released in Fall 2008, containing new features.[16][17]

It was stated that a story mode featuring new characters Bailey and Chaz would be in the game. In the story mode the player competes against Chaz in hopes of winning the ultimate sled and the love of Bailey. This mode spans 40 courses, all of which were designed by TechDawg, a well known track designer. The player can also download other people's tracks off of the internet from the game's website.[18] The European version was published by Deep Silver.

Voice actors include Tom Kenny (as Bosh), Tara Strong (as Bailey) and Fred Tatasciore (as Chaz) in the cutscenes and credits.

A version has been released for the Apple iPhone called Line Rider iRide.[19] This version includes iPhone specific features such as accelerometer based physics and worldwide file sharing.

Reception[edit]

The game received "mixed or average reviews" on all platforms according to video game review aggregator Metacritic.[37][38][36]

The game was nominated for two Nintendo DS-specific awards in IGN's 2008 Game of the Year awards, namely, Best Puzzle Game[39] and Best Original Score.[40]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "News". Linerider.com. Archived from the original on June 18, 2008. Retrieved 2009-06-08.
  2. ^ "About Line Rider". Linerider.com. Archived from the original on October 17, 2007. Retrieved 2019-08-16.
  3. ^ Featured on the front page: November 9, 2006
  4. ^ a b c d Ressner, Jeffrey (October 19, 2006). "The Newest Time Waster: Line Rider". Time. Retrieved February 7, 2020.
  5. ^ Best of Webtoy 2006 Results at Jay is Games
  6. ^ Murdoch, Julian (August 2007). "Line Rider". Games for Windows: The Official Magazine. pp. 36–37.
  7. ^ a few things about line rider - fšk's DeviantART journal, December 11, 2006
  8. ^ Line Rider on deviantART
  9. ^ This Will Destroy You: A Line Rider Feature Film on YouTube
  10. ^ Movies Archived 2008-02-25 at the Wayback Machine at Line Rider official site.
  11. ^ "Home". Line Rider Advanced. Retrieved 2021-03-23.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Chuang, Tamara (December 19, 2006). "If you draw it, line rider will come". The Orange County Register. Retrieved February 6, 2020.
  13. ^ a b c d e f Wallis, Alistair (April 11, 2008). "Q&A: Riding The Lines With Bostjan Cadez". Gamasutra. Retrieved February 6, 2020.
  14. ^ a b Pogue, David (November 22, 2006). "Crazy for Line Rider". The New York Times. Retrieved February 7, 2020.
  15. ^ "An Analysis Of A Video Game". The Physics Teacher. Archived from the original on 2013-07-29. Retrieved 2013-07-29.
  16. ^ "InXile Entertainment acquires console rights to hit internet game Line Rider!". Line Rider. December 19, 2006. Archived from the original on June 3, 2008. Retrieved December 12, 2015.
  17. ^ http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=12167
  18. ^ Gamin, Mike (July 8, 2008). "Line Rider 2: Unbound Preview". Nintendo World Report. Retrieved December 12, 2015.
  19. ^ http://www.macworld.com/article/1136134/linerider.html
  20. ^ Grimm, Michael (September 17, 2008). "Line Rider 2: Unbound Review (NintendoDS)". 1UP.com. Archived from the original on June 6, 2016. Retrieved December 13, 2015.
  21. ^ a b Grimm, Michael (October 7, 2008). "Line Rider 2: Unbound Review (Wii, PC)". 1UP.com. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved December 13, 2015.
  22. ^ Edge staff (December 2008). "Line Rider 2: Unbound (DS)". Edge (195): 99.
  23. ^ Vore, Brian (November 2008). "Line Rider 2 Unbound (Wii; mislabeled as "PC"): A Flash Game Translation That's Not Worth Paying For". Game Informer (187). Archived from the original on September 27, 2008. Retrieved December 12, 2015.
  24. ^ Balistrieri, Emily (September 16, 2008). "Line Rider 2: Unbound (DS)". GamePro. Archived from the original on September 22, 2008. Retrieved December 13, 2015.
  25. ^ a b McShea, Tom (September 17, 2008). "Line Rider 2: Unbound Review (DS, PC)". GameSpot. Retrieved December 12, 2015.
  26. ^ McShea, Tom (October 7, 2008). "Line Rider 2: Unbound Review (Wii)". GameSpot. Retrieved December 12, 2015.
  27. ^ Aceinet (October 5, 2008). "Line Rider 2: Unbound - NDS - Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on October 7, 2008. Retrieved December 13, 2015.
  28. ^ Bedigian, Louis (November 13, 2008). "Line Rider 2: Unbound - WII - Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on December 20, 2008. Retrieved December 13, 2015.
  29. ^ Hatfield, Daemon (September 12, 2008). "Line Rider 2 [Unbound] Review (NDS)". IGN. Retrieved December 12, 2015.
  30. ^ Hatfield, Daemon (September 16, 2008). "Line Rider 2: Unbound Review (PC)". IGN. Retrieved December 12, 2015.
  31. ^ Hatfield, Daemon (October 3, 2008). "Line Rider 2 Wii Review". IGN. Retrieved December 12, 2015.
  32. ^ "Line Rider 2: Unbound (DS)". Nintendo Power. 234: 102. November 2008.
  33. ^ "Line Rider 2: Unbound (Wii)". Nintendo Power. 234: 98. November 2008.
  34. ^ Miller, Zachary (October 9, 2008). "Line Rider 2: Unbound (DS)". Nintendo World Report. Retrieved December 13, 2015.
  35. ^ Orry, Tom (July 22, 2009). "Line Rider: Freestyle Review for DS". VideoGamer.com. Retrieved December 13, 2015.
  36. ^ a b "Line Rider 2: Unbound for DS Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved December 12, 2015.
  37. ^ a b "Line Rider 2: Unbound for PC Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved December 12, 2015.
  38. ^ a b "Line Rider 2: Unbound for Wii Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved December 12, 2015.
  39. ^ "DS: Best Puzzle Game 2008". IGN. Archived from the original on January 15, 2009. Retrieved December 12, 2015.
  40. ^ "DS: Best Original Score 2008". IGN. Archived from the original on January 13, 2009. Retrieved December 12, 2015.

External links[edit]