TFB Exposé & More Skylanders!

“What is the biggest money-making video game so far in 2012?
Is it Call of Duty? No!
Madden? Not even close!
Biggest game of the year so far is Skylanders!”
‐ Chris Kohler, Game Life,

“Our experience with Dungeons & Dragons and fantasy role-playing as well as our experience in making high-quality kid’s games really came together and allowed us to make Skylanders.”
‐ Paul Reiche III, Toys for Bob CEO

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Two videos of the Toys for Bob staff talking about Skylanders. What’s unique about these videos is that we see other members of TFB in addition to Paul Reiche III and I-Wei Huang: Alex Ness, Paul Yan, Jeff Poffenbarger and Robert Leyland. Though Fred Ford appeared in other interviews, he is not present here, though he can be like the Arilou and hide in the background and appear from time-to-time.

One thing that people notice immediately is that TFB’s work environment has an exotic island/tiki theme to it. In TFB’s old website, there was a hidden link that went to a page showing various photos, including a very large mural. Did you know that the TFB studio is also a pet-friendly environment?

I was surprised with the steps they took with prototyping. They used an Arduino, a popular electronics prototyping board that uses a programming language similar to C; I have one myself, but I haven’t used it in a long time. They even used a 3D printer for the character design process. 3D printers are still expensive and I cannot wait until they become cheap enough to have on every desk at home. In addition to coding, modelling and animation, they were able to combine toy-making and hacking to build Skylanders; all of this done in-house!

While it’s obvious that Activision wants to add Skylanders to their list of mega-franchises to publish for the masses, I’m glad to see videos showing more of the TFB crew and how their unique talents were combined to not only make a unique collectible/hack and slash hybrid, they also found a way to make the sequel more unique with giant action figures and toys that glow when placed on the portal!

Items powering on without batteries when placed near an object is nothing new. The electronic device receives power through “induction”, which uses magnetic coils to transmit and store energy in a very short distance. This technology is also used for access cards.

What do you think about TFB combining their toy-making and electronics experience? Do you anticipate more interviews with multiple TFB staff in the future?

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