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The strange and inspiring origins of Psyonix's Rocket League

October 31, 2016 | By Alissa McAloon

October 31, 2016 | By Alissa McAloon
More: Console/PC, Indie, Design, Production, Video

In the first episode of his crowdfunded documentary series Noclip, Danny O’Dwyer takes a look at the developer Psyonix and the different inspirations and experiences that led the team to create a game like Rocket League.

Part one of the series is packed with useful information for game developers and is an especially important watch for people heading up their own studio. The documentary features Psyonix CEO Dave Hagewood, who talks about how he kept his team’s work carefully balanced between passion projects and paying work. 

“We’re always going to keep the company stable. We always need to have work coming in that’s kind of our base, but we always have to have somebody working on original content," said Hagewood. "If you want everybody constantly burning the candle and making money come in, you’re never going to be able to make your dream game.”

The other extreme, working entirely on a passion project, isn’t sustainable either according to Hagewood. Working on contract work gave the Psyonix team both the money and experience they’d need to make their dream game happen.

The rest of the video talks about the events leading up to the creation of Rocket League including the foundation of Psyonix, Hagewood's origins at Epic Games, and the developer's first entry into the rocket-powered car game genre, Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars. Part two of the documentary is out tomorrow and will talk more about Rocket League itself, right up to and after the game's 2015 release. 

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