An extract from WiiWare World's recent interview with Steel Penny Games about their upcoming WiiWare game, Bruiser and Scratch in the Case of the Puzzling Paw:
"WW: What was the inspiration for the characters Bruiser and Scratch? Is the intention to have a series of games featuring these characters?
JH: Bruiser and Scratch were originally intended for a kind of fun casual game that told their story in their very cutesy neighborhood. After finishing pre-production, we reviewed our progress. I liked the fiction and design, but the gameplay was to predict whether it had the fun factor to make the rest of the game stick, and the amount of time required to iterate on it could be larger than we could afford. For our first release, we had to make a hard decision to go back to the drawing board and make something that stands out more in style and makes better use of the features and limitations in the engine I'd built. This actually worked out well, because we had the back story to pull characters from when writing the story arc for this puzzle game. As for making a series, I would like to put Bruiser and Scratch in more than just a puzzle game context. But even if we stick to that, there are more parts of the story to follow, eventually.
WW: Can you explain the core mechanics of the gameplay in B&S?
JH: Hmm. Matching game pieces, sorta. But it's as much about planning and raw problem solving as matching pieces. The game is fully 3D, but the gameplay is essentially a sliding block puzzle with unusual properties. You basically control one of the heroes and walk around shoving game pieces into each other on a giant chessboard. The hard part is that the board wraps around, so there are a lot of possible moves that will baffle you at first, until you get the hang of it. Oh, and when pieces match, they combine into a single space, leading to fewer pieces and consequently fewer possible moves. If you aren't careful, you can run out of valid moves, leaving you at a dead end. There's a good bit more planning and thought involved in solving a puzzle in Bruiser and Scratch than in a lot of other puzzle games."