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'Puppeteer' designed for parents who want to game with their kids, says director


Puppeteer director Gavin Moore designed the performance platformer with children's attention span in mind, telling the PlayStation Blog that idea stemmed from wanting to enjoy games with his eight-year-old son.

"I was looking for games to play with him, but nowadays you just can't find games like that," Moore said. "Whenever we were playing games together he would often get bored very quickly at doing the same thing in the same environments. So he'd put the controller down and go outside to play.

"I knew that I had to make something that was so bright and visual, and that would change all the time, that he would just have to see what's coming next," he added. "That's why Puppeteer was born, and that's why we change the sets on you every five to ten minutes to throw weird situations and different characters at you."

The game's puppet aesthetic was inspired by bunraku, a form of traditional Japanese puppet theater. Puppeteer uses the bunraku system of changing sets while characters are still on stage; rather than having players move through the game, Moore designed the game to move around the characters. Moore also added a virtual audience that reacts to the on-stage action, cheering players through situations.

While Puppeteer is made to appeal to an audience of all ages, it's the younger players Moore has chosen to focus on.

"I think there's a lack of games for kids because big studios out there don't see it as a market," he said. "They don't see that those kids have enough money to go out and buy a game. But if you're a parent and you've got a kid, and you want to buy them a present, and your hobby is something you want to share with them... well, I think it's something that many big studios out there have lost track of.

"You have to write it on two levels," he added. "You can't look down at kids, but you can't look down at adults either. The thing about Puppeteer is if you're a kid, it's a dark fairytale and you might not get the jokes. But if you're a 25-year-old, there's a lot of witty, on-the-edge stuff in there."

Puppeteer is coming to PlayStation 3 next year.

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