More Skylanders Info

Reiche is an old-school gamer, and his company has a solid history of development, including the legendary Star Control titles and 1996's Pandemonium.

Yes, there is another trailer, this time with a narrator. In addition, there is some gameplay footage, with commentary from Jeff Poffenbarger, executive producer at Toys for Bob.

Skylanders gives a new meaning to “multi-platform”.  It will be available for Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, PC, Mac, 3DS, iPad, iPhone and just about “any viable platform”.  In addition, the toys are platform-exclusive.  I can play Skylanders on the Wii, ake my toy and use it in another console such as the Xbox 360.  I wonder what a portal device connected to the iPhone would look like.  I think this would be the first commercially-developed game that spans across home consoles, handheld consoles (though PSP and DS are excluded), and mobile phones.

Mike Schramm has posted an article about Skylanders and quotes Paul Reiche, CEO of Toys for Bob.  Mike also wrote the article where Paul explains where the name “Toys for Bob” came from.

...when Activision first approached Toys for Bob about doing a Spyro title, Reiche and his company originally aimed for something much darker than Spyro has ever been before.

"Let's blow Spyro out," Reiche said at the time. "Let's raise up the age range for him, let's appeal to the kids over 16 up into young adults, let's make it tough and bloody. And we did all of this concept work and just lost our enthusiasm. That wasn't Spyro. That isn't what our passion was about. It was much more joyous and active, and so we sort of stepped back from that."

That was surprising to me.  I would love to see dark game with a TFB twist.  I guess we’ll have to wait longer for that to happen.  It may be possible that they might use that idea in the future.  It also shows that TFB has plenty of experience with working with publishers to appeal to a specific target audience and satisfy Activision at the same time.

Skylanders will also have RPG elements.  Paul has used his experiences with Dungeons & Dragons other RPG games such as Diablo.  I think this is a good point for Skylanders; maybe this is the TFB twist we’ve all been waiting for.

Reiche says that the parallels to more mature hack‐and‐slash titles like Diablo are definitely there, especially emphasized by his old‐school pen‐and‐paper RPG experience. "I love fantasy adventures," he admits, "all the way back to Dungeons and Dragons, so what we were trying to do was access an environment where lots and lots of monstrous heroes made sense." But at the same time, many of the design decisions that lean towards hack‐and‐slash co‐op titles weren't necessarily pushed by any other influence than just trying to make a solid game. "A lot of it is just parallel evolution," he admits. "The decisions that led people to make certain games before lead you right there as well."

Paul also mentioned that he has experience casting and making toys by hand which contributed to the design of 48 toys, 32 of which have been confirmed for sale in the future. This means that there are 16 toy designs that may or may not be for sale after the game is released.

It’s nice to hear that Skylanders will have RPG elements and goes beyond a co-op platforming game.  There’s no perfect scientific way of predicting how successful it will be; it’s a simple concept for kids, yet so different that everyone is at least curious about the game.  I read somewhere that this game is going back to children, just like how the original Spyro game started out.  As we get closer to the Fall season, I’m excited to see more gameplay footage and info.  There might even be an interview eventually.  I sent a tweet to GameTrailers about interviewing someone about Skylanders and they replied “stay tuned”.

Thank you Mike for the insight from Paul Reiche.

Joystiq - Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure preview: Babes in toyland
GameTrailers - E3 2011: Character Mechanics Walkthrough (Cam)

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