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W.Va.: Home to next big app?

By Staff | Dec 28, 2010

The next big mobile phone app might come from West Virginia.

At least that’s the expectations of Bryan Stealey, president of Filter Publications, Inc., a Morgantown company that puts out Racer X Illustrated and Road Racer X.

“I expect to sell hundreds of thousands of copies of it,” he said.

The game in question — “Mad Skills Motocross” — is an arcade style app originally produced as a desktop game by the Swedish developer, Turborilla. When Stealey noticed the cult following the game had gained, he knew his magazine had to get involved.

“At first, I stumbled onto (the game) and played it a lot with my son,” he said. “Although it’s an amazing game on the computer, I think it’s especially well suited for iPhones because it’s an arcade style game and most successful iPhone games are arcade style.”

The game, which will be released Jan. 10 with a free and paid version, definitely has an addictive quality about it, Stealey says.

Motorcross racers such as Jeff Emmig, Wil Hahn and Adam Cianciaruo have already given their approval to beta versions of the game. Cianciaruo, in particular, has become a little obsessed with “Mad Skills,” he said.

“You want to talk about hooked, (Cianciaruo) is playing it a lot. It’s helped build a lot of buzz as this has approached its launch date,” Stealey said.

The desktop and app versions of the game are quite similar to the old Excitebike game for Nintendo. It’s a left to right scrolling game where you race other motorcross riders while going as fast as you can and performing tricks.

You can also create your own tracks, with as many insane jumps and ruts as your heart desires.

Stealey also said the game’s physical engine allows players to progressively get better and faster, ensuring interest never wanes.

Jayisgames.com called “Mad Skills Motocross” for the desktop “exceptionally fun” and a game that, combined with the online multiplayer mode, would “surely eat up a lot of your afternoons and evenings with your friends.”

That social component is one of the parts of the app game that has Stealey most excited.

The game was designed to work with OpenFeint, which allows players to race against friends who also have OpenFeint. It’s similar to Apple’s just released GameCenter, where “Mad Skills Motocross” will also be available.

After you beat your friend’s score, you can then elect to rub it in on Facebook or Twitter. The update will show how much you beat your friend by in addition to how many attempts it took you to beat him.

“I think it will result in literally hundreds of people Facebooking or tweeting this a day, if not more,” Stealey said.

The social component will also be pulled into Racer X Illustrated. Leaderboards will be posted on the publication’s website and be talked about in the magazine.

Aside from help with marketing the game, Racer X Illustrated has had a role in designing the graphics for the game and been heavily involved in the beta testing.

Turborilla, the Swedish development company, did all the game’s coding.

“I think the real props in this thing go to Turborilla in Sweden,” Stealey said. “These guys designed something I genuinely believe is special.”


Contact Justin at jmcintosh@graffitiwv.com