Community Spotlight: Extreme Road Trip 2

On the surface, Extreme Road Trip 2 appears to be a fun take on the endless runner genre that has rapidly filled the iOS App Store. What Etienne Giroux could not have imagined, however, was his game surpassing a million download. Giroux has been a member of the Shacknews community since 2002, under the name barichnikov, and was happy to talk about Extreme Road Trip 2.

"Extreme Road Trip 2 is an Endless Runner with a twist: You have to keep performing stunts to stay alive," said Giroux. "The one problem is, performing stunts is dangerous and can, and probably will, kill you. The goal of the game is to get as far as possible, but also to get to specific distances as fast as you can, like 2K, 5K, etc."

Extreme Road Trip 2 has been in development since February, with Giroux only joining the team recently. Roofdog's founder, Guillaume Germain, created the first ERT by himself in 2011. He recruited a small development team in June of this year for the game's sequel, which Giroux became a part of in September. The team now consists of five people.

Stunts in Extreme Road Trip 2 consist of standard flips, high jumps, near misses, and tumbling moves. Players can expand their abilities by upgrading their car. Every car in ERT2 has five levels of upgrades, all of which grant such abilities as higher speed, better spin, and additional gas. It's proven surprisingly deep for a free app, so I asked what went behind the decision to launch ERT2 as a free-to-play game.

"We want our games to be played by the highest number of people, and free games are the way for that," Giroux answered. "That was the way the first game was released, and it was a real hit for Roofdog, so we're not fixing what ain't broke, as they say. There is, of course, a way to pay for better cars and more power-ups in the game, which we hope many people will do."

So far, it appears people have taken to purchasing those premium items. Only weeks after its release, ERT2 has reached the top 50 grossing games on iTunes. The game became such a quick hit that it passed one million downloads in a matter of days, something that stunned the entire team, including Giroux. "We always hope for the biggest hit, but it happened in only a few days, and that was awesome," he said. "By now, the number of download has just about doubled."

The future looks bright for Roofdog Games, as the team continues to work on ERT2. The game's first major update, containing bug fixes and new cars, is currently running through Apple. In addition to that, Giroux says that Roofdog currently has a few new projects that they're presently evaluating. "We do have other games in the works, and we're toying with a few really cool prototypes right now," he added. "And of course, we're also working on implementing new features for ERT2."