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Digging Deeper into Diggs: Nightcrawler

Nathan Baseley's Avatar + Posted by Nathan Baseley on Apr 30, 2013 // Senior Producer, SCEE

Time for another update on Wonderbook‘s upcoming murder mystery – Diggs Nightcrawler.

Today, we get to know our hero: Diggs Nightcrawler, a bookworm private detective from Library City. Diggs is stoic, a dyed-in-the-wool character whose external cool is challenged mere moments after the player opens their Wonderbook and arrives in his office.

Wonderbook: Diggs Nightcrawler

He’s always worked alone, and that’s done him just fine… until now. As the new sleuth on the case, players will need to earn Digg’s trust through the course of the adventure, and as circumstances conspire against him, he’ll rely more and more on their help. Working in tandem, Diggs and the player will collaborate to solve the mystery of who bumped Humpty from his wall and strive to restore harmony to Library City.

Creating a truly narrative-driven game presented some unique challenges. The story, characters and world were crafted specifically with Wonderbook in mind. We knew from day one that we could use the PlayStation Eye camera to put the player into the same physical space as the game characters, and that the player would then have control over the game world by manipulating Wonderbook. This yielded a natural division of special skills between Diggs and the player, which we used as a foundation for gameplay – Diggs and the player working together to progress. As an autonomous character, our golden rule was that the player would never directly control Diggs. Likewise, we avoided any interaction that would undermine Diggs’ character – after all he’s a great detective and the player (at least at the start of the game) is new to the business!

Wonderbook: Diggs Nightcrawler

With these rules in mind, the story and gameplay were developed in tandem. We started from the key story beats – ‘Diggs meets player’, ‘Diggs chases villain’, ‘Diggs gets framed for Humpty’s murder’ – and so on. In each case we then challenged the beat for gameplay potential, asking what the player could do, what Diggs could do, where it would take place and how the environment could be constructed on the Wonderbook. Oftentimes we’d reject story beats which gave little gameplay opportunity and gameplay ideas which conflicted with the story or characters. The result? The story and gameplay are so tightly interwoven that there are no inconsequential interactions, and everything that the player does drives the story forward.

If you’ve ever wanted a starring role alongside a great detective (imagine being a Watson to Diggs’ Holmes), keep your eyes peeled for more Diggs Nightcrawler updates to come!

//Add Your Own

11 Comments

1

+ D-Squad3 on April 30th, 2013 at 6:09 am said:

Nice for the kids


2

+ Elvick_ on April 30th, 2013 at 6:31 am said:

I’m 24 (probably be 25 by the time this game comes out) and I’m really looking forward to it. Would like to see something new announced for Wonderbook though. There’s this and that Dinosaur game, and nothing else.


3

+ Bicgoozgetten-69 on April 30th, 2013 at 6:37 am said:

Grand theft Auto 5 3rd trailer is coming out on Rockstargames website @ 11am its a must see. Oh night craweler nice graphics the boy and girl look so real look like PS4 graphics.


4

+ GaMeR_bOi_83 on April 30th, 2013 at 7:36 am said:

@3 have nice time living the only good time of you day. And graphics don’t make a game my friend. Im paying Dragon Fantasy Book 1 and I like beter then that crap called FF-13. Game looks nice. I hope Wonder Book does good. I like the concept and the games look fun. Keep it up Sony.


5

+ Trioptical on April 30th, 2013 at 7:50 am said:

Looking forward to this and hoping that more Wonderbook stuff is on the way. The PS4 can definitely support this giant AR marker as well, but you guys know that.


6

+ lisatsunami on April 30th, 2013 at 8:54 am said:

I think the tech and potential are fantastic. I really enjoyed Book of Spells.


7

+ guitarded77 on April 30th, 2013 at 9:40 am said:

The PS4’s camera needs to be MUCH better than the PS Eye. The simulated images in the screens are total bullshots. The camera is TOO grainy. I want more innovative games like these, but without a decent camera, it’s just not immersive.


8

+ Pabloo1010 on April 30th, 2013 at 7:30 pm said:

Fantastic looking character and world here. Please, Please, PLEEEEASSSEEE bring this to the PS4. The PS4 HD Eye camera plus next-gen graphics would make this a staple in any home. Hope you guys are already working on a PS4 version. Plz….


9

+ hongthay on May 1st, 2013 at 6:36 am said:

Definitely going to be getting this. It’s a fun way to look at books and the story sounds intriguing.


10

+ plaztiksyke on May 1st, 2013 at 11:14 am said:

Great world and story. I love the idea of an adventure game where you solve a real mystery; we *LOVED* Blue Toad Murder Files.

Really enjoyed Book of Spells, other than the extreme digital noise from the camera even in my very well-lit family room. I’ll only be purchasing/upgrading Wonderbook titles on PS4 as a result. I might be convinced to buy for PS3, if the PS4 Eye could be used a replacement/upgrade for the existing PS Eye (and if largely solves the problems with noise at the same resolutions).


11

+ godsteve on May 2nd, 2013 at 8:45 am said:

The camera never looks that clear in low light. I’d have to bring the sun in my livingroom to get anywhere near that clarity.


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