Moonbot Studios announce 'Diggs Nightcrawler' for Holiday Release, Still Working on 'Golem'

by Joseph Leray

Over on the ever-useful PlayStation Blog, Moonbot Studios has announced a “Holiday” release for “Diggs Nightcrawler,” the team’s fairy-tale-meets-film-noir detective game.

The catch: “Diggs” is a Wonderbook game, the strangely under-utilized peripheral Sony announced almost a year ago at E3. Since then, only one game has been released for it: J. K. Rowling’s “Book of Spells.”

Still, “Diggs” seems interesting -- albeit a bit cutesy and kid-oriented -- if only for Moonbot’s pedigree. As the gameplay trailer and dev diary point out, the studio won an Academy Award for The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.

So, we can probably feel confident that the story -- which follows hardnosed gumshoe Diggs Nightcrawler through a series of literary investigations that look to answer, for example, who caused the Great Fall of Humpty Dumpty, and whether or not he can be put back together again -- will be well-executed and well-considered.

I’m also interested to see what kind of game mechanics and scenarios Moonbot comes up with for the Wonderbook system. Watching the videos, you can get a sense of how players will be able to lift parts of the Wonderbook to, for example, move a lamp around. Since they started out as an animation company, they might be a little less likely to rely on old controller-based ideas when it comes to “Diggs.”

We’ll find out soon enough, I guess: “Diggs Nightcrawler” will be available this fall on the PlayStation 3 Wonderbook.

In other Moonbot-related news, the Kickstarter campaign for the tragically ambitious “Golem” game -- which we’ve covered here before -- failed to meet its funding goals, securing only $96,000 of the proposed $750,000.

Development on “Golem” is ongoing, however: the last Kickstarter update promises, defiantly, that Moonbot is “still going to make the game. Doors are opening for us and we’re securing funding from a more traditional source.”

That’s good to hear! Your mileage may vary when it comes to Kickstarter campaigns, but I always thought that “Golem” was too cool an idea to pass up. What “Golem”’s funding source might be -- and what strings might be attached to it -- hasn’t been announced yet.

And finally, on the subject of Louisiana-based game development -- Moonbot Studios is in Shreveport -- Edge Online has posted a nice profile of the Lafayette campus of the The Academy of Interactive Entertainment, an academic institution that opened its doors to students last fall. Read it here.

[PlayStation Blog, Kickstarter]

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