Frobisher Says inspired by Vita’s “bewildering” control schemes

By Brenna Hillier, Monday, 31 October 2011 02:47 GMT

Frobisher Says, the indie Vita title with a deeply mystifying debut trailer, came about as a response to the Vita’s bristling array of control options.

“Earlier this year,‭ ‬we were asked by Sony Europe whether we wanted to submit a proposal for a Playstation Vita showcase app‭ -‬ ‬something which would highlight the unique features of the device,” Ricky Haggett of developer Honeyslug told GameSetWatch.

“Just thinking about the possibilities was a bit bewildering.‭ Then Dick Hogg‭‬,‭ ‬our collaborator on several other games‭ ‬suggested making a bewildering game which would use ALL of the inputs‭ ‬-‭ ‬and jump between them at high speed‭! ‬And so Frobisher was born.”

Vita features twin analog sticks in addition to face buttons, front and rear touch panels, gyroscopic and accelerometer motion controls, front and rear cameras, facial recognition, a microphone, a compass, and a GPS. Honeyslug has leveraged all of these to deliver “a surreal party experience”.

“Players must obey the instructions of a strange little man called Frobisher.‭ ‬Frobisher is spoilt,‭ ‬used to getting his own way,‭ ‬and his orders are often quite whimsical.‭ ‬You might be asked to deliver his pudding on a toy train,‭ ‬poke an otter with a stick,‭ ‬or face Antarctica and curtsey,” Haggett explained.

“‬There are over‭ ‬50‭ ‬different challenges,‭ ‬and each one uses different features of the Vita in different ways.‭ ‬We’ve also worked with over‭ ‬20‭ ‬different artists‭ (‬from all kinds of backgrounds‭)‬,‭ ‬so in addition to the input mechanism of the games constantly changing,‭ ‬so too do the way they are presented.”

No release date has been set for Frobisher Says, but the Vita launches on February 22.

The full interview includes some interesting discussion of indie development, how Honeyslug prototypes and builds games in flash to port to Vita, and communicating with users about the Vita’s unique control systems.

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