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5th Cell – Scribblenauts would “definitely work on other platforms”

Friday, 10th July 2009 12:03 GMT By Patrick Garratt

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Starlet developer 5th Cell has never thought of puzzler Scribblenauts as a DS exclusive, technical director Marius Fahlbusch has told VG247, and has confessed that the puzzler could migrate between platforms.

“The concept would definitely work on other platforms as well and we’ve seen gamers from very different backgrounds pick it up and enjoy it equally,” said Fahlbusch.

He added: “We’ve seen both kinds of gamers instantly taking to the game, the casual gamer that played a few games before as well as hardcore ones that play nothing but the latest titles on PS3 and X360.

“But we never limited ourselves to the DS as platform in our heads and we’ll see what the future holds.”

Scribblenauts, a puzzle game in which gamers type in the names of objects to make them appear for play, was the shock story of E3 this year, taking away the official Best Original Game award.

Get our full chat with Marius after the break. Scribblenauts is out later this year.

VG247: You must be pleased with the E3 reaction – did you expect it?

Marius Fahlbusch: We knew we had something special with Scribblenauts, but to be up there with all the other great titles is a true honor. Being the first handheld title to win Best of E3 is just amazing.

Is there any chance of this ever coming to other platforms? It would work well on PC, for example.

Unfortunately, I cannot comment on it at this point. But the concept would definitely work on other platforms as well and we’ve seen gamers from very different backgrounds pick it up and enjoy it equally.

Do you find people are disappointed when they input a word and nothing happens?

Fortunately, that rarely happens once people understand that they cannot use proper names, copy-righted or vulgar words, but even if it does happen, the dictionary is just so vast, chances are there is a very
similar item to what you’re looking for.

Does the game have a “plot” as such?

We didn’t feel a story would fit this kind of game, but it does have a kitchen sink. And a hover board.

Do you feel a little like the little guy standing up for creativity in an industry dominated by “blockbusters”?

5TH Cell has always tried to fill a gap, to provide experiences that gamers couldn’t get anywhere else, so Scribblenauts just continues what Drawn to Life and Lock’s Quest have started. We’re really just focused
on making awesome games.

Are you concerned that you may cut yourself away from the “core” consumer by being restricted to DS?

We’ve seen both kinds of gamers instantly taking to the game, the casual gamer that played a few games before as well as hardcore ones that play nothing but the latest titles on PS3 and X360. But we never limited
ourselves to the DS as platform in our heads and we’ll see what the future holds.

How big’s your team? Are you able to keep costs down by concentrating on DS as a platform?

We are currently in the thirties in terms of headcount, consisting of two teams at the moment. So there were around 15 – 20 people involved in the development of Scribblenauts. While cost efficiencies are always
important, especially as an independent developer, we felt the DS was just the perfect platform for this game.

Have you got “sweary” stuff in there?

We did not include any vulgar items, so that first thing we know everyone wants to write in there… I am sorry! But who needs vulgarity if you can ride three panda bears on a unicycle while wearing a snorkel. There are just so many surprises in the game.

Finally, can you see the idea being replicated by other developers?

Every title out there is also in inspiration to all developers in some way, so why wouldn’t certain concepts of Scribblenauts flow into other future titles? But it will be interesting to see if and what kind of influence it could have.

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5 Comments

  1. Blerk

    They might actually have better luck with it as an XBLA/PSN game. I get the horrible feeling that it’s pretty much doomed on the DS because it falls outside of most peoples’ “comfort zones” and isn’t easily explained.

    #1 5 years ago
  2. mart

    iphone version confirmed.

    #2 5 years ago
  3. Blerk

    /facepalm

    Why didn’t I think of that?

    #3 5 years ago
  4. Robo_1

    iPhone is the obvious platform really. Although does it fall under the size limit? It must have quite a hefty database of items and graphics to work.

    #4 5 years ago
  5. mart

    There isn’t a size limit afaik.

    #5 5 years ago

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