The art and design of Wonderbook: Diggs Nightcrawler – video

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The art and design of Wonderbook: Diggs Nightcrawler – video

Hello again everyone! In this latest development diary we’re taking a look at some of the art and design in Diggs Nightcrawler.

Our starting point for the game was the Wonderbook itself and it was from here that we arrived at a bookworm hero, a city made of books and cast of characters from fiction. We also knew from day one that we wanted the Wonderbook to be the key method of interaction, and so the physical nature of the book was intrinsic to the design of the game.

We wanted the experience to be intuitive and so we imagined every scene as if it were a real physical object on the book that would respond in the way the player would expect. Early on we have a scene where Diggs is looking for clues but it’s dark and he needs light. Overhead is a lamp on a chain which will swing if the player picks up the book and tilts it.

All scenes, including this one, were initially prototyped as foam models. Using these we could test interactions, experiment with scale and move scenery around. Given that the player is in full control of the book, we took inspiration from theatre in the round.

When it came to animating the experience we knew we needed very high quality animation to engage the player with the characters and story. We took the decision to create bespoke animation for every scene and approached production much like an animated feature film. Everything was storyboarded throughout, with storyboard artists attending all design discussions to visualise the experience in development. As in film, the actors’ performances were recorded before animation production began, and often the animators would bring elements of the actors’ physical performances to our Library City heroes.

Diggs Nightcrawler is released exclusively on Wonderbook for PlayStation 3 on 29th May 2013.

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  • If the game is coming out in 2 weeks time. Is the NA release the end of this year since you said ”This Holiday” for NA? If true, must be a long wait for them until like end of the year?

  • I love the art direction you took with the game, the music, the characters – they all seem to be filled with so much personality. I also like the idea of library city (sort of like Wreck it Ralph but with books) – each book could offer some really cool and varied stages (like for DLC). The books can also be used to provide a background behind the characters, how they came to be the way they are etc etc :) The concept you chose is unbelievably brilliant :)

    PS I think your idea could make a cool idea for an animated, interactive Kingdom Hearts recap – for when Kingdom Hearts 3 comes out :)

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