If you’re familiar with the Steam Workshop for Rocket League, there is a high chance you’re familiar with the name French Fries. The Steam Workshop allows creators to upload maps of their own design, and allows players to download and try out these maps. French Fries has been making creative and challenging courses ever since the very first people began toying with the idea of custom maps in Rocket League. His most recent creation, titled “Dribble Challenge #2”, is the long awaited successor to his first Dribble Challenge map, and has seen lots of popularity since its release just over a fortnight ago. It has featured on many popular Rocket League streams, and has a lot of players competitively trying to get their best time and set the world record for the course.
We managed to get hold of French Fries for a short interview about his custom maps and their success.
Q: How did you start getting into map making for Rocket League?
French Fries: I saw a video on the Rocket League subreddit of someone just driving around on a custom map (it was pretty much completely bare) and started wondering about the things you could actually do. When I discovered /r/rocketleaguemods, I found some videos on how to get started and one video on how to make a teleporter. I got experimenting with teleporters and came up with the idea of the first obstacle challenge where you have to fly through a map without touching the walls or obstacles. I made a short video demonstrating the proof of concept and posted it on Reddit and received an overwhelmingly positive response and thought to myself, “I have to finish this map”, so I pretty much spent the whole next day making the whole obstacle course before releasing it to the public.
Q: Did you have prior experience creating maps for other games or was this your first?
French Fries: My favourite game when I was young and probably ever was Warcraft 3 which had a great world editor. When I was very young I used to spend hours messing around with it making things that made no sense or had no purpose. The game had an awesome collection of online custom games that I played all the time. From downloading some of my favourite maps and opening them in the level editor I began to get a very basic idea of how some parts of the map work and eventually made a few of my own terrible maps for fun. In high school I took some computer and software classes and learnt the basics of coding which prompted me to making some very low quality flash games. When it came to starting to make maps for Rocket League I had a pretty good understanding of coding, however I had never used a program like unreal engine and there is pretty much no coding involved in most of my maps so it was essentially learning it all from the start.
Q: What prompted you to start making the dribble maps?
French Fries: After making the first obstacle course map I knew that I wanted to make another map but of a different type. I liked the idea of these maps being used for training to increase player’s skills and the only thing I could think of was to add a ball to the map and use the same sort of concept as the obstacle course, but instead make the player have to get the ball to the end. From that came Dribbling Challenge #1.
Q: How long roughly did you spend on each map?
French Fries: I’ve made 5 different maps now and each took very different amount of times. Making physical objects in my maps has always been hard as they don’t work the way you want them to. The obstacle challenges I made didn’t really need any of these and so were much easier to make. The first one I probably spent like 10 hours making and the second one around 20 maybe. The dribbling challenges were much harder, particularly the second one. I believe I would have spent close to 100 hours on the second dribbling challenge with most of that trying to test and balance out the levels. As well as this there has been plenty of time just playing around with and testing concepts throughout making these maps and trying to find out how to get things to work in particular ways.
Q: How did you react to the success and popularity of these maps?
French Fries: It really is overwhelming how positive everyone has been in regards to the maps. I get random people thanking me or messaging me and saying how much one of the maps has helped them improve. I genuinely am amazed by the support I’ve received and am glad that so many people enjoy what I do.
Q: Do you have any ideas for maps you would like to create in the future?
French Fries: There are a number of maps that I’d love to make. The next one that I was planning on making was going to be an air dribbling challenge similar to stage 3 of my first dribbling challenge, however a lot more levels and a cleaner progression of challenges. If Psyonix change the workshop to allow multiplayer or limited boost I’d love to make either a racing map, a series of mini games to play with your friends or a map similar to the obstacle challenges but with limited boost so that it requires more skill and efficiency of flying.
I do, however, plan on taking a little bit of a break for a while as I’d love to make my own game outside of Rocket League and plan on working on that for a while.
We look forward to seeing and playing on the next creation from French Fries, and in the meantime mastering his currently available maps.
Follow him on Twitter for updates over at @FrenchFriesRL, or check out his maps on the Workshop over at http://steamcommunity.com/id/futcha/myworkshopfiles/?appid=252950