Interview: 5th Cell

Nintendojo caught up with 5th Cell’s Jeremiah Slaczka to find out just why Scribblenauts Unlimited is the Wii U launch game to watch.

By Luke Brown. Posted 10/22/2012 14:00 2 Comments     ShareThis

Scribblenauts Artwork - Collage

Nintendojo: What were some (likely or unlikely) influences on Scribblenauts Unlimited?

image_scribblenauts-unlimited-boxart.jpegJeremiah Slaczka (Creative Director and Co-Founder of 5th Cell): Not many people know, but the art style of all Scribblenauts titles were originally influenced by explodingdog.com. As far as Scribblenauts Unlimited’s art style, the hand painted look of Wario Land: Shake It was a big inspiration. That game was gorgeous and we wanted to make something equally beautiful.

ND: Why is Scribblenauts Unlimited the definitive Scribblenauts?

JS: Scribblenauts Unlimited brings so many new features and fan-requested elements to the table; it’s definitely going to be the best Scribblenauts yet. It has full HD art, delves into Maxwell’s story, has a very robust object creation tool that allows you to share your creations online, an open world, multiplayer – I could go on. One of the things that I feel fans will really appreciate is the way we’ve created a whole new gameplay format that combines the puzzles with the sandbox title screen.

ND: What’s it been like working with the Wii U?

JS: The Wii U is a very powerful system, so it’s really allowed us to do all sorts of things with Scribblenauts that we’ve wanted to do but haven’t had the capacity to do in the past. Also, Wii U is the first system that really gives the user a reliable text input method that’s not a system peripheral to be purchased separately. At times it’s been difficult to keep up with the system updates, but honestly that’s just par for the course of developing for a new console. All in all, it’s been great.

ND: Have you been able to use the hardware in a way that will give us a completely new Scribblenauts experience?

JS: Thanks to the Wii U we now have local multiplayer, something no other Scribblenauts has had so far, but has always been something we were interested in doing.

ND: What part or element of Scribblenauts Unlimited are you most proud of?

JS: There’s a lot I’m proud of, to be honest. What’s instantly recognizable is the amazing new art; it really blows the earlier Scribblenauts titles out of the water. It’s just insanely beautiful – clear, colorful, and unique. And being able to share that on such a large screen makes it that much better.

screen_scribblenauts-unlimited.jpeg
Trust us, this is going to look incredible.

ND: How important is it to you that Scribblenauts Unlimited will mark the first home console title in the franchise?

JS: It’s a huge step for Scribblenauts! Something that we noticed with the DS titles, is that fans really enjoyed sharing their ideas and collaborating with friends on creative puzzle solutions. As you might expect, that’s not all that easy on a DS because of its size – a group of people can’t gather around and clearly view a DS. With the Wii U version, it will be so much easier to get groups of people involved – thinking together, getting creative, and coming up with crazy things – and that’s really what this game is all about. It’s going to show what Scribblenauts can really become.

ND: What do you think will make Scribblenauts Unlimited stand out compared to the other Wii U launch titles?

JS: Scribblenauts Unlimited is a very unique game. It doesn’t really fit the mold of any genre, so you can’t get this experience anyplace else. If you want to really put your mind to the test, there’s no better place to look.

ND: Can you tell us anything about where Scribblenauts will go in the future?

JS: There are lots of different paths we can take for future Scribblenauts and while we have ideas, we haven’t locked anything down yet in terms of what’s next.

ND: I often play Scribblenauts on my iPhone and it cost a fraction of the price to purchase a Wii U game. Why should I consider grabbing this Wii U title?

JS: Well, Scribblenauts Unlimited offers so much – hundreds of new levels, an Object Editor that you can create anything you want and share with your friends online, Maxwell’s story and beautiful HD art. It really offers so much more than the iOS version.

ND: If you could include any Nintendo character in your game, which one would it be and why?

JS: You have to go with the classics, so really anyone from the Mario and Zelda series would be a great, fun fit.

image_Mario-Zelda-Scribblenauts-Unlimited.jpeg
As if by magic.

ND: How tempting is it for you to throw in or suggest ideas that may be considered too mature or adult for your target audience?

JS: It’s not that tempting honestly, it’s a cheap laugh that some people will find funny for a few seconds and then move on, but could ruin the whole game for others. It’s not worth it.

ND: What’s your working relationship with Nintendo like and how closely do they work with you during development?

JS: Nintendo doesn’t work with us in developing the game, outside of hardware support. They’ve been great advocates of the game, though, and even included us in their E3 Wii U press conference which was an amazing experience. They’ve been great.

ND: Can you give us an idea of any upcoming projects you are working on for future release?

JS: Unfortunately, nothing I can talk about right now.


Thanks to Jeremiah and 5th Cell for answering our questions! Are you excited about Scribblenauts Unlimited? Let us know in the comments below!

2 Responses to “Interview: 5th Cell”

  • 9 points
    allengraham says...

    It could just be me, but one of the most exciting things in this whole story is Nintendo characters in a 3rd party game. Just saying.

    Thumb up 0
  • 1230 points
    lukas85 says...

    Yeah, this game looks pretty awesome, and the nintendo characters, cool! Looks like nintendo is more flexible with their licences and characters now, tekken and scriblenauts got their nintendo stuff and namco is making smash. I think the gamepad would be the perfect input devise for this game and the art and graphics looks very good.

    Thumb up 0

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