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Diggs: Nightcrawler Brings Stylish Detective Noir to Wonderbook

Fred Dutton's Avatar + Posted by Fred Dutton on Aug 21, 2012 // SCEE Blog Manager

Wonderbook: Diggs Nightcrawler

While Book of Spells led off our Wonderbook announcement at E3 earlier this year, there are plenty more projects in the works for the forthcoming PlayStation 3 augmented reality platform, including Walking With Dinosaurs from the BBC, and an exciting partnership with Disney Interactive Studios. Diggs: Nightcrawler is a little different, however – unlike Book of Spells and Dinosaurs, it’s a brand new IP, promising quirky detective noir with style to spare.

Less than 24 hours after the game’s new trailer debuted during the Sony press conference at gamescom last week, we sat down with Adam Volker from Oscar-winning animation studio turned game developer Moonbot to find out what it has in store.

“So, Diggs is a detective bookworm and he’s really good at what he does,” he explained.

“He works for the godfather of Library City, Humpty Dumpty. And you know his story – someone pushed him off the wall, someone bumped him off – and the cops think it’s Diggs. So when you start the game he’s framed for the murder of his old buddy. The story unfolds from there, with you attempting to clear Diggs’ name and find out who actually committed the crime.”

Wonderbook: Diggs NightcrawlerWonderbook: Diggs Nightcrawler

So how exactly does this eccentric set-up translate into gameplay?

“Because Wonderbook is new, we’re still figuring out a lot of specifics about what the gameplay is,” said Volker, who lists stints at EA and BioWare on his CV.

“We’re trying to make the characters in the game self-aware that they are in fact in a book. The mechanics of Wonderbook are all very physical and we want to encourage players to actually pick up the book, turn it around, hold it upside down – so the game will focus on that a lot.

“We designed the IP to be a book about books, so that the characters can help the player. We give Diggs the user interface stuff, so he says ‘turn the page!’ when it’s time to turn the page, he says ‘Go back, you missed something’ when it’s appropriate to backtrack.

“Wonderbook is celebrating the really old and beautiful interface of the book,” he continues. “People know how to use a book, so we want to monopolise on that. It’s definitely celebrating the medium.”

Wonderbook: Diggs Nightcrawler

While the game is certainly aimed at a younger audience, Volker insisted that there should be something here for everyone to enjoy, especially those who appreciate classic adventure games. And although some onlookers might express surprise that Moonbot has moved away from animation – a medium it’s clearly very, very good at – and decided to try its hand at game design, Volker believes its a natural progression for the Louisiana-based studio.

“It’s the creative challenge that Wonderbook represents. The uniqueness of the interface is really exciting and getting to pave that road is a real creative challenge,” he enthused.

“I’ve always had a passion for gaming. Moonbot, as a company, is about storytelling and about characters. We like to be media agnostic and gaming is just another avenue to tell a story.”

Diggs: Nightcrawler is due out sometime in 2013 – we’ll have much more on the title over the coming months.

//Add Your Own

22 Comments

1

+ YouFromTheFuture on August 21st, 2012 at 6:26 am said:

Well played Sony… well played


2

+ JMB626 on August 21st, 2012 at 6:28 am said:

With content like this, I can only expect great things in the future.
My current question is how much will Wonderbook be?


3

+ detictiveconan on August 21st, 2012 at 6:32 am said:

I’m really exited to see how this turns out, I like books ,classic adventure games,noir style and I’m not scared off by the fact that it’s skewed towards a younger audience. I hope it turns out good enough to get me to buy in to Wonderbook.


4

+ Wayndawind on August 21st, 2012 at 6:42 am said:

This will be nuts, besides the books they announced just think of what and where they can go with this. Im loving it cant wait, I will be a wonder book collector. But do anyone know if they will update the Ps Vita to be compatible for the wonder book? That would kill any other company chances to compare there portable device to the Vita in the future.


5

+ PSmonkey on August 21st, 2012 at 6:48 am said:

If the final game is just like the trailer you have me day one for it and a wonderbook (and only for this game).

Hell it would be awesome if you extend wonderbook to vita. So multiple people can have their own view of the world with in the wonderbook.


6

+ Wayndawind on August 21st, 2012 at 7:01 am said:

Wonderbook Team dont fell us now. This could be huge due to the fact no other company hasnt even hinted at AR type play. Wwoo, Go Team :), sorry just love the AR idea its the future of gaming. Just think, Comic books you can read and play out along with your imagination. Comics is the biggest reading market to date, Playstation could shock the world with that draw in a bigger crowd to the gaming world. I really love this idea just because of how far this really can go.


7

+ Big_Smoke on August 21st, 2012 at 7:33 am said:

MOONBOT Studios!!!!!! Shreveport, LA. Shout out!! Go kill it guys :) Thanks, SONY :)


8

+ Berae on August 21st, 2012 at 7:37 am said:

This looks very good!

1 question tho, will it be translate in french (quebec)?


9

+ Xcaligamer1 on August 21st, 2012 at 7:39 am said:

sold on wonder book, when can i buy


10

+ polo155 on August 21st, 2012 at 7:59 am said:

i liked this once it started to play, cant wait to get it.


11

+ newyorkreload on August 21st, 2012 at 8:26 am said:

I can’t help but think of the Dixon Hill episodes from Star Trek TNG


12

+ MP_is_for_Chumps on August 21st, 2012 at 8:51 am said:

*reads comments*

>_>

<_<

….far be it for me to judge anyone, but allow me to quote a little definition from Wikipidiea:

"(redirected from Gullable): Gullibility is a failure of social intelligence in which a person is easily tricked or manipulated into an ill-advised course of action. It is closely related to credulity, which is the tendency to believe unlikely propositions that are unsupported by evidence.

Classes of people especially vulnerable to exploitation due to gullibility include children, the elderly, and the developmentally disabled."

:/


13

+ aro52 on August 21st, 2012 at 9:22 am said:

So is Wonderbooks gonna ship with an upgraded PS Eye…? Cause I have NEVER seen a quality image out of that terrible camera like you show here. Maybe it’ll let us the Vita camera. Much better camera.


14

+ sprodigy on August 21st, 2012 at 10:27 am said:

I agree with Post #13

Now if only the PS Eye looked THAT good.


15

+ SalMoriarty on August 21st, 2012 at 11:47 am said:

Are there plans to contract Bret Easton Ellis or Chuck Palahniuk for WonderBook creations?


16

+ ultimatepunchrod on August 21st, 2012 at 12:23 pm said:

This grabbed my attention way more than book of spells did. Even though I like Harry Potter a lot, Book of Spells just doesn’t look appealing to me which is unfortunate. We’ll see what this game looks like when it comes out. I hope Wonderbook isn’t stupid expensive (I’m not sure how it could be).


17

+ Elvick_ on August 21st, 2012 at 1:12 pm said:

I’d be down for an HD Playstation Eye… I mean, the PS Eye is awful and so impossible to get a decent visual on.

And even if you manage to get it at it’s best, it’s still SD and a little grainy. Mixed in with HD game assets. :/

I would throw that piece of poo out the window the second an HD camera was made available, preferably with some better motion tracking to compete against Kinect better. Sony could have had that success if you had just invested in it more.

Anyhoo, I really hope you don’t price yourself out of being successful with this. I’m curious how games actually will be sold. Is it going to be blurays? Or PSN games to go with the book?

Depending on how much it is, I might talk to my sister about teaming up to buy it (and a PS3) for my niece because of the Dinosaur game.


18

+ abhiram_33 on August 21st, 2012 at 3:08 pm said:

i actually want to try out this story, seems like a Pixar kinda flick


19

+ iiONyKz-_MaQuIrO on August 21st, 2012 at 4:40 pm said:

Please add the Ps Vita on this! = mega year!
add Pandora app! rushhh! + update and psOnes, yeah!


20

+ YungShep on August 21st, 2012 at 5:58 pm said:

HD PS Eye..oh i like the sound of that everyone! i agree with everyone else, i support the PS EYE and the quality of the eye does not replicate what is being shown above. the wonderbook has me wondering…and i like that detective :)


21

+ rjejr on August 22nd, 2012 at 8:24 am said:

OK, I’m confused. I see a photo of a boy staring straight down into a book. A book which will just be filled with blank pages and all of the action will only be view able on the tv screen. So why is the boy looking at the book? We have Eyepet and we love it, but maybe the advertising for this shouldn’t be so full of lies.

Disclaimer: I watched the E3 on stage presentation for Wonderbooks and all of the people on stage trying to play with this seemed overly confused. Either they couldn’t get it to work correctly or they had no idea what they were supposed to be doing or where they were supposed to be looking.

I realize tv commercials are meant to be full of lies – like stuffed animals that magically come to life, my niece was in complete tears when hers didn’t – but this is a video game site and I would like to see some actual gameplay experiences before I invest any time or money into Wonderbooks b/ call we’ve been shown so far is marketing BS.


22

+ S3V3N_0F_N1N3 on August 27th, 2012 at 12:01 pm said:

Looks pretty cool. I don’t think the pics are too misleading as rjejr comments about and I am sure trailers and screenshots will show the game as the player will see it.
Personally, I want to find out more about this Disney deal. That could be amazing! I hope to see the adventures of Mickey Mouse or something cool like that. Can’t wait.


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