Fountain of Scribbles: 5th Cell's Jeremiah Slaczka Speaks
October 9, 2009 Page 5 of 5
You're branching out in terms of your publisher interaction right now. How is that going?
JS: With Scribblenauts, we talked to almost every major publisher. We chose WB because they're really large and they have a lot of money and they want to do a lot, and really want to be a player, but they're really new. They have the fervor of a much smaller publisher who's like, "Look, we'd totally be behind your game but we don't have money! We're sorry." WB had the best of both worlds.
Large companies figure, "Eh, we have 20 original IPs already. We don't really need your IP." Warner Bros. embraced it. They've been totally awesome. I don't know if you went to Germany at GamesCom, but half of WB's booth was Scribblenauts. That's never happened before. That's like Nintendo-esque.
Nobody does that for a DS game only. It's DS game only. It's not a multi-SKU or anything. They've really, really embraced it. There's been a big marketing push and stuff. But it's also grassroots. They basically saw it. They saw the press and the fans getting into it, and they were like, "Hey, wait. We have something really good on our hands." I think we made the right decision with WB. And we're also doing Drawn to Life: The Next Chapter with THQ.
Again, this is another PR thing that people think I say, but it's totally freaking true. We don't do products that we don't believe in. We're not a company that's has the mentality of, "Give me money because I just want money." We didn't do Drawn to Life Wii because we didn't believe in it in the sense that it could be done at a very good scale. But THQ wanted to do it, so it's like, "Okay, if you want to do it, that's fine. You guys own it. Do whatever you want with it. That's fine."
As far as us, it's like we weren't 100 percent. Especially if that's going to be our first console title? We didn't want to do it. And [Drawn to Life] SpongeBob? We didn't do SpongeBob. We turned that down. We could easily have just re-skinned it. With SpongeBob, if THQ wants to do that, that's fine, but it's not our thing. We can say that proudly, because we pick and choose what we want to do.
So, we really did want to do Drawn to Life 2 because we felt there was still more to do. The story is just way deeper. I'm really, really proud of the story. I really hope you play it and play the whole story. I'd love your opinion on it. I'm actually really proud of the story. Scribblenauts has no story, but with Drawn to Life 2, I'm really, really proud of the story. The art is all hand-drawn by Edison, who did the Scribblenauts stuff, so he hand-drew all these different villages and stuff like that. It looks really beautiful.
He's really got a good style.
JS: And his depth. He did Lock's Quest, he did Drawn to Life. He goes everywhere. It's crazy. I've never seen an artist that does that.
And the hero. You can add limbs, remove limbs, resize them, and stuff like that. The gameplay, we've actually had a lot more designers. We hired like a whole team of like five guys that are just doing levels. The original one just had one guy. We really just beefed it up every way we could.
We figured, if we're gonna make this thing, we're not just going to port, get us a little money, and then we'll make the backend again. We sunk all our money into it. We sunk our money into Scribblenauts as well. This is publisher-funded, but the publisher said, "Well, here's this money." And at a certain point we had a couple more months, and decided to just spend money because we wanted to polish it. It's kind of a Valve mentality, like, "We'll get it out when we can." Of course, we don't have 10 years like Valve does to make an episode. [laughs]
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