1080°: Avalanche (JP) is the sequel to the popular Nintendo 64 snowboarding game, 1080° Snowboarding. It was released on the Nintendo GameCube in 2003 and includes the characters from the previous game and some brand new ones.
Being a racing game, your objective is to get from the beginning of the course to the end in first place. The whole course is downhill, and there are no laps. As in most snowboarding games, you are able to perform special tricks while in the air, and doing so will raise your jump meter.
Ever since the original game in the series was released, the producer of the game, Shigeki Yamashiro of Nintendo in Japan, explained that the extreme sports genre had become very popular in America. Their goal when developing the game was to take the concept of the original and add a more "extreme" approach to it.
Because the new game was on the GameCube rather than the Nintendo 64 the developers over at Redmond were able to push the hardware and offer improved features from the original and brand new ones. They did multiple experiments and went through trial and error and eventually came upon the idea for the avalanche. When shown at E3 2002, the game was called 1080: White Storm, similar to the GameCube's Wave Race
The creators used motion capture for the playable characters in the game. The scenery was of course all made from polygons. In order to "strengthen the nature of the environment" (Trevor Johnson, artist), they included more animals. Initially, they planned to include weather and the time of day as they did with Wave Race: Blue Storm, though time constrains didn't allow for it.
Programmer Jonathan Johnson said that on the technical side of things they didn't have a problem since they had already created one game on the console and assisted in three others, they didn't have much of a problem, though including the LAN option, which barely any GameCube games have, it posed a challenge.
When it came to the avalanches, the developers had to work on various things such as music, programming, sound effects, and art. The team watched a documentary on snowslides and had to make sure the avalanches didn't make the processing too intense because they wanted to make sure the avalanches looked realistic.
Almost everyone on the team didn't know how to snowboard. Two designers, Jonathan Johnson and game designer Richard Vorodi, went snowboarding one week for research on the game. Jonathan ended up going to the hospital after being injured. He said that while he healed quickly, it was hard to use the keyboard which was required for programming for a few weeks.