Feature Articles

Sliced Gaming Feature: Spyro Developer Interview

Writer: Nick Schaedel
Posted: 26th July 2006, 4:44pm
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Yep, feature number three is with Scott Laing of Amaze Entertainment, who are busily finishing off The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning for the DS. Read the transcription of our live discussion below.


Nick Schaedel: Hey Scott! Why don't you introduce yourself to the Sliced Gaming readers?

Scott Laing: Hi Nick! I'm Scott Laing and I'm the game director for The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning for Nintendo DS. That's a mouthful!

NS: And you work for Amaze Entertainment. What's your position, and what games have you worked on before this?

SL: That's right, Amaze is one of the largest independent developers in North America. I'm the Creative Director for the game, so I oversee the creative side of things, including design, art, sound, and music. I've been working on games for about 10 years. Previously I worked on Spyro: Shadow Legacy for DS.

NS: Nice! So, how exactly is this new Spyro game a "new beginning"?

SL: It's a fresh start for Spyro. Krome and Sierra have have reinvented the character and his story. The game will tell the story of Spyro's origin and early adventures. The story is completely different from previous Spyro games - essentially all that has been placed on a shelf. I'd say the goal is to create a whole new universe for the character. Also, the gameplay has been completely revamped, moving the genre from a platformer to action. Lots of action.

NS: Cool! Would it be fair to say that it's darker?

SL: It does have a slightly darker tone, and the art reflects this. Spyro's backstory is mysterious and he grows up in a scary place, where dragonkind has essentially been wiped from existence. However, it's still a family title - no blood is spilled, but there's loads of what the ESRB calls "animated violence". Also, the antagonist in the story is pretty scary and truly evil.

NS: So, this is a prequel of sorts, right?

SL: Well, "prequel" implies that this story somehow leads up to the story presented in earlier games, but it doesn't - this story completely replaces any story that has come before. It's kind of like what Frank Miller's Dark Knight was for Batman.

NS: Yeah, that's what I was going to ask. I was going to say, is there a plot element that leads chronologically into the future titles, but you pre-empted me. So good for you!

SL: I'd say this game is certainly a set-up for future titles that will come later. Unlike the early Spyro games (which are near and dear to my heart), there will be continuity and multi-title story arcs from game to game.

NS: So does that mean that the evil protagonist isn't quite defeated when you complete it? ;)

SL: Ah, well, I can't say precisely. It's kind of a shocker ending, honestly. Kind of a "what the?" moment.

NS: Oooh! Like series one of Lost?

SL: Not quite so dumbfounding as Lost - that show confuses me more each time I see it, but there is a twist. More along the lines of ... (continued next page)

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