Scribblenauts Unmasked developer interview with Caleb Arseneaux
Scribblenauts Unlimited was a hugely popular launch title for the Wii U last year, so it makes sense that 5th Cell is returning to Maxwell’s universe, this time with DC Comics in tow. Scribblenauts Unmasked features thousands of DC Comics characters alongside Maxwell, as well as the powerful character creator that originally debuted in Scribblenauts Unlimited. I recently got a chance to ask Senior producer Caleb Arseneaux a few questions about the development of Scribblenauts Unmasked.
1. What made you guys decide to create a comic adventure for Maxwell?
Well, we love comics! Especially comics centered around heroes and villains with awesome powers. Scribblenauts has always had a pretty good cast of characters, but the DC Comics Universe gives us thousands of new ones that have never been seen before in a video game.
2. How many different combinations would you say there are for creating superheroes?
There are so many different colors, stamps, body parts, super powers and shapes you can combine to create your own unique super hero that I’d say that number is in the billions. In the Hero Creator on Wii U, you won’t feel limited at all by the tools we give you.
3. Scribblenauts Unlimited was your first title on Wii U, with Scribblenauts Unmasked being the second. How would you say your development perspective between the two titles has changed?
We’ll we’ve taken more advantage of the systems power by upgrading our environment technology and art with Scribblenauts Unmasked. In Unmasked, we have true 3D backgrounds which give the environment more depth and immersion. Our philosophy on Unlimited was to bring the Scribblenauts experience to Wii U (and 3DS) but with Unmasked we wanted to bring the player to the DC Comics Universe so the environment upgrades helped a lot with that.
4. What have been your favorite additions to the dictionary for Scribblenauts Unmasked?
All the green lantern corps characters! Did you know we have over 130 unique green lantern characters? Many of them are obscure such as Ch’p who is actually a squirrel/chipmunk character with all the powers of Hal Jordan himself.
5. Have you guys included any special easter eggs in the game that DC Comics fans will instantly recognize?
If you know who Mr. Mxyzptlk is, then you’ll have a great time playing through the content in our game.
6. Did you find it challenging revisiting nearly 60 years of comic book history, looking at some of the more obscure super heroes and villains to include?
We spent a lot of time putting in these characters, and it was way more challenging than normal Scribblenauts characters such as dragon, chef and policeman. These DC Comics characters all have backstories, superpowers, friends, enemies and interests. It was challenging to get the characters all designed and filled in with these details.
7. Do you have an interesting story about creating a scenario that didn’t quite pan out the way you wanted it to when you created the characters?
Well, I won’t give any spoilers away about the story in the game, but suffice to say that our narrative went through many revisions before finally arriving at the final version we shipped with. And every time the story changed, levels, scripting and sometimes even art had to change. The team worked really hard on every single revision until we were happy with the end product.
8. And of course, pick one ultimate super hero and one ultimate villain!
Mogo vs Ranx! Look it up!
We’d like to thank Caleb for taking the time to answer our questions about Scribblenauts Unmasked. Scribblenauts Unmasked will be available on September 24th in North America.