In late 2016, Noclip published a two-part documentary on YouTube that looks into the origin of Rocket League and how the game was developed. Around 17:13 into the second part, Corey Davis, Design Director at Psyonix, is asked how Snow Day was created. Not only does he explain how the mode was created but why it returned after being removed from the playlists.
“That one, again I wish we could say it was a master plan,” Davis says. “One of our artists had made this really cool snowy iced-over map version of the default map DFH Stadium. And we we’re going to release it as a holiday thing because that’s what you do right? When you’re a big game you have a holiday event! And we we’re joking…..we have these things on Fridays called ‘Beer Friday’ where we hang out after work, drink and talk.”
“We we’re like ‘It would be cool if there was like a puck’ and I think we threw that in, in two hours and then play-tested on Monday and shipped it out. It was very lightly designed. The puck wouldn’t bounce very much and it would kind of stick and it was fun enough. We said we’d throw it in and see what people think of it. We had no inkling that there would be this weirdly devoted subset of players that only play snow day.
“Our plan was to take it away to have it be, much like a brawl and other games, like a seasonal mode that would come and go every Winter. We took it out in February and there was this revolt on Reddit so we thought ‘well it doesn’t cost us anything to leave it in so…’. It’s a very hardcore couple thousand of people where that’s all they play.”
The documentary is well done and I encourage you to watch it in its entirety to see how Rocket League and Snow Day was created. You can watch part 1 and part 2 for free on YouTube. Speaking of the RHL, keep an eye out for a post in the coming weeks from the founders on the history of Snow Day and the origin of Rocket Hockey League.