Travis Rice Goes On A Legendary Mission in Interior BC

The plan was simple enough: Travis Rice, accompanied by three of the world’s best out-of-bounds boarders were to head deep into the Interior of British Columbia to score some goods and scope some terrain. But with any good plan comes a curveball. Sometimes said off-speed pitch is a blessing and sometimes, a curse. In this instance, it was indeed the former, and the end result was one of the most epic lines ever ridden on a snowboard.
Rice was accompanied by fellow Mervin team riders Austen Sweetin—an all-terrain ball of energy exploding inside the frame of a snowboarder, Robin Van Gyn—one of our sport’s best and most accomplished big mountain riders alive, and Blair Habenicht—a rider who is hard to put into words due to the fact that the majority of his time is spent deep in the Mt. Baker backcountry where he is single-handedly reinventing the art of turning in powder. The crew was epic and the locale was even more so, as they loaded up into the heli and set out into the forest seeking adventure.

Pillow Talk in British Columbia

The terrain in the Interior of British Columbia is arguably the best in the world and the same can be said about the snowpack. According to Travis, “The unique thing about BC is the type of coverage and how much variability there is in the rock and the geology. It bridges this harmonious gap between the Rockies and Alaska. It’s unique because you get a somewhat coastal snowpack and you’re a thousand kilometers from the coast. You have these big mountain ranges that get a snowpack that sticks to them and for someone like me coming from Wyoming where it’s very rocky, I’m like a kid in a candy store because it gives me confidence. You just have to be a little smarter and more defensive about how you’re riding where I’m from but not so much in BC.”

There were two missions within one. First and foremost, it was a Mervin team trip to gather photos and video, but on the back end, it was a chance to check out a little something that Travis has had in the works for a few years now. Twelve years ago, Rice created an event called The Natural Selection—an off-piste all-mountain freestyle event with the best riders on planet earth. He hosted the inaugural event at his home resort of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. In the years to follow, Natural Selection would evolve and eventually head north to…you guessed it, Interior British Columbia. More specifically, a powdercat lodge known by every snowboarder on the globe: Baldface. Just last year, Rice officially announced that the Natural Selection was officially back, but this time, it has evolved again into a full-fledged tour rather than a one-off winter event. The second stop of the Tour will take place at Baldface again, so the crew accompanied Travis to take a peek at the course while scoping other terrain in the

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Interior Night’s mission to turn non-gamers into gamers

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As mainstream as video games have become, there are still millions of people who do not yet participate in the hobby. These people represent the future growth of the industry, and publishers, developers and platform holders alike are exploring new ways to get them engaged.

Whether it’s Google’s attempts to bring down the barrier to entry with cloud gaming service Stadia, hypercasual mobile developers focusing on accessible game design to get people playing, or Nintendo hoping to recapture the Wii Fit magic with products like Ring Fit Adventure, there are myriad ways of appealing to non-gamers.

But for Caroline Marchal, CEO of UK developer Interior Night, there’s a simpler method: tell them a story.

“I don’t think anyone has watched something like this anywhere – and they certainly haven’t played this”

“Story is a fundamental element of attracting people to play a game,” she says. “We focus 100% on getting a great script with flawed characters that people will find relatable and compelling.”

Marchal and her team aim to demonstrate this with their debut title As Dusk Falls, an interactive drama heading to Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC. The game centres on a conflict at a motel in the Arizona desert, in a story that’s “not about saving the world, but about deep and intimate relationships.”

“We’ve got two families we focus on across 30 years, so it’s got scope and it’s a really original story,” says Marchal. “I don’t think anyone has watched something like this anywhere — and they certainly haven’t played this.

“We confront [the audience] to ask questions about really relatable themes and real-life struggles. Can you break free from a toxic family? Can you start over by moving house or changing jobs? Will all your problems go away? When you have a family, how much of yourself should you sacrifice to meet their needs first? How do you balance your own needs with theirs? All of these are questions and themes that have not been in games before, but are universal and relatable in real life.”

In the above behind-the-scenes documentary, Marchal expresses a desire to bring TV audiences to video games, but there’s a significant difference between the two sectors. Watching television is a passive experience, with audiences simply absorbing the story. Video games require active participation, which means interactivity can be as much of a potential barrier as it can be a selling point.

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Caroline Marchal, Interior Night

Marchal says the key to overcoming this is how you manage tension: “You don’t want to have people really uncomfortable playing your game, feeling really stressed out. That’s the thing with TV — your mind is active but you’re safe because you’re not challenged too much with your reflexes or anything.

“With As Dusk Falls, we’re very focused on story first, bringing people into the world and connecting them with the characters. We make sure there’s no barrier. I can tell you more when we’re able

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