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Skylanders Swap Force

Skylanders: Allowing for "a collection that's truly their own"

We talk to the head of Vicarious Visions about designing characters and building the Skylanders universe.

Gillen McAllister was joined by studio head and co-founder of Vicarious Visions Guha Bala as they discussed the new Skylanders Swap Force, the nature of the new characters and the work that goes into the toy production.

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"In Skylanders Swap Force you'll see 16 all-new Swap Force Skylanders, 16 new core Skylanders, 16 returning favourites that are either series 2 or series 3 as well as light-core Skylanders and exclusive editions. Now in all in the Skylanders universe there are over 80 characters and in terms of versions of the toys over 120 versions of the toys."

"We wanted to offer a kind of variety to players that they can find a collection that's truly their own. And with the Swap Force in particular, with 16 Swap Force characters where you can mix and match the top and bottom half, you can create more than 250 unique combinations of Skylanders with that."

Bala went on to describe the process of coming up with characters and how it's a back and forth process between the various parties involved.

"We're very integrated in the toy making process and so at Activision we do almost all of that internally and we work with the sort of initial character designs in the concepting phase and how we construct the game mechanics. But then we quickly go to how we are going to bring this to life in a toy format? How is that toy going to be a well creafted piece. How is it going to look like? [Do] I want to have this in my collection? How is it going to tell a story? With its pose, with the materials that we use and so forth. And how does that come back into the game and exhibit that same personality? How can we make one play off the other?"

"And with Skylanders Swap Force the swapability mechanic means that when you put a top half on a bottom half - that new guy actually looks like a Skylander. He doesn't look like he doesn't belong."

Skylanders Swap Force launches on October 18 on PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, Wii U and Nintendo 3DS with next-gen versions at the respective console launches.

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