Frobisher Says! is a collaboration between the independent developer Honeyslug, and the artist and designer Richard Hogg. Frobisher was a strange little man we met a few years back. At first, he seemed to be the imaginary friend of an artist pal of ours, Roger Kelly. But it turns out he’s real! And the next thing we knew we were making a game for him! Frobisher is a rather demanding person — and while not actually cruel, his demands tend toward the mischievous… and you really don’t want to get on the wrong side of him!
So the PlayStation team approached us to ask if we were interested in creating something for PS Vita that would demonstrate its unique features. We’d recently been to a PS Vita demonstration day at their offices, where the hardware was revealed to developers — and found the whole thing quite bewildering! PS Vita has motion controls, front and rear cameras, front and rear touch, a microphone, face detection and Augmented Reality powers, as well as all the traditional controls from a DualShock controller. So many options that thinking about what to do was confusing… until artist and Honeyslug-collaborator Dick Hogg said “let’s make a game that uses everything!” and it went from there.
Working with Frobisher to come up with the games was a lot of fun. Some of them came directly from PS Vita’s capabilities — we love that we’re able to have a game called “Look Away Now” where the game detects that you aren’t looking at the screen before displaying some of the strangest art in the game! Other times we based games based on Frobisher himself: he hates any kind of shellfish, so of course he would make the player “Pry Open My Clams” … and then refuse to eat them. The idea was to have as much variety as possible in the game types, the control mechanics, and the art styles.
One of the most exciting things about Frobisher is how many different artists we worked with, from comic book artists to print designers to medical textbook illustrators. Many of them had never worked on a videogame before, such as Martin O’Neill, an artist who normally creates collages from vintage magazines using a scalpel and glue. The comic book artist Johnny Ryan was great — he was like, “I don’t really get this, but sure, I can draw an otter running through a landscape…and I’m going to give him a liberty Mohawk and set the game in a derelict slum.” So even though he didn’t care about how the game worked, he made a massive contribution to the humor and spirit of Frobisher.
We worked pretty hard on making the games enjoyable for all types of gamers, and we really wanted people to enjoy multiplayer games of Frobisher with their non-gamer friends and family. Since it was released in Europe, we’ve had loads of reports of people having a fantastic time playing Frobisher with very young children or older parents, which makes us very happy!
Download Frobisher Says! for free via PlayStation Store on PS Vita today.