5 Minutes With... Stephane Roncada

April 9, 2009 3:43pm
Before Christophe Pourcel, Stephane Roncada was the last Frenchman to win the Eastern Regional Supercross Lites championship, which he did in 2000 as a member of Yamaha of Troy. Since then, Roncada’s career has gone in a totally different direction: he’s now a computer geek! Stephane recently told us about a cool project he’s been working on, so we decided to learn more and called him up on his iPhone (hint, hint).

  • Roncada was the 2000 125 East Champion
  • Stephane first rode for Honda of Troy before the team went blue
Racer X: Stephane, after seeing Pourcel win the Eastern Regional Lites supercross championship, rumors are that you’re making a comeback in 2010! True or false?
Stephane Roncada: [Laughs] That is definitely false!

What are your thoughts on Christophe? He’s definitely representing your home country of France really well.
I think it’s awesome what he’s doing. I don’t really know him personally—I’ve never met him yet—but I’ve known about him for a long time. I think it’s amazing, though, especially after what he’s been through.

I’m sure he’s a Roncada fan, though. After all, you’re the 2000 125cc East Coast supercross champ!
I hope he is [laughs]!

So I understand you’ve got a new game up your sleeve. Tell us what you’ve been working on.
I’ve been working on a supercross game for the iPhone and the iPod Touch for the past few months, and it’s finally out. It just went up on the App Store last night, so that’s what I’ve been up to lately.

How long has this game been in development?
We’ve been working on it for five months, I believe. We started back in November, and we had to rewrite our engine to work in the iPhone. So basically, we have the Xbox 360 engine and reworked it to work in the iPhone and iPod, which is pretty cool.

You’ve been working on games for the past several years, so in comparison, was this easier or harder than some of the previous games?
I would definitely say easier, because when you talk about the scope of the games, it’s a lot smaller than a console game. It was also a lot friendlier environment to work in. We didn’t have that much pressure and it was more fun to work on. It’s our own game and nobody was telling us what to do, so we did what we wanted and made our own schedule. So it’s been a lot more work to work on a smaller game, for sure.

What’s the name of the company you work for, Stephane?
When I retired from racing in 2006 I started working with 2XL Games—basically, the people who started that company are the same ones who founded Rainbow Studios many years ago. They left Rainbow when things got bad over there and decided to start their own company. So I’m pretty much working with the same people—it’s just a different company.

What’s your title over there?
I’m a graphic artist/track designer. So I design all the tracks, make 3-D models, textures, all that kind of stuff.

Tell us about the tracks.
Right now the game ships with twelve tracks—eleven supercross and one freestyle. We’re planning on making more and more tracks to put on the app store for a small price for people to download and add to the game.

  • Presenting 2XL Games' latest creation
I know it’s only been available for less than twenty-four hours, but have you had any feedback yet?
Yes, and so far it’s been great. We already had a lot of reviews and it’s five out of five. I really think people are going to enjoy this game, both industry people who are in motocross as well as people who have nothing to do with motorcycle racing. It’s pretty easy to pick up and play, and it has great graphics for being on the iPhone—it’s one of the best-looking games out there. So yeah, the feedback has been great and I really hope it stays that way. I hope many people enjoy it, because we plan on making a lot more games like this, like freestyle, outdoor motocross, stuff like that.

How much does it cost?
Right now it starts at $7.99.

Have you beaten the game already?
Yes, I have [laughs]. I really enjoy playing the game. You’d think after working the game many months you’d be tired of it, but I really enjoy playing it. And being on the iPhone or iPod, you can pretty much play it anywhere you are at any time. It’s really quick to pick up and play, and it has a really short loading time. It gets right into the action, and it’s really fun. I really think the controls of the game are some of the best on the iPhone; not because I made the game, I just think they’re really great.

Have you played a lot of other iPhone games?
Yes, I have, like, two pages of games on my iPhone. I have a lot of racing games, so that’s why I think the controls are awesome, because I’ve played a lot of the others.

What’s next for you, Stephane?
I plan on shooting photos at the Vegas Supercross, but I’d like to go to Seattle or Salt Lake too. I also plan on going to a lot of the outdoors too.

We’ll see you there. I’m headed to the App Store to download your game.
Thanks a lot, Billy!