We have more details on some of the prototypes of Skylanders, and the more details on Spyro's Kingdom: [link]Skylanders
- Double Trouble was originally Haldor.
- Cyclops Snail evolved into Zap during production.
- Spyro was originally red and called Fire Dragon. While His Purple Majesty was originally going to be a benevolent and regal NPC, “it was felt that we couldn’t have a game called Spyro’s Kingdom without Spyro as a playable character, so Fire Dragon became Spyro."
- Originally, Camo was going to look like the Chinese Dragon Skylander during the development of Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure, bearing the same attacks as well. His design still looked like the Chinese Dragon when The Begnning trailer was made, and changes to his character design was made very late during production. The Chinese Dragon Skylander is now a scrapped character design, with Camo being his successor: [link]Spyro's Kingdom
Skylanders started life as a project called Spyro’s Kingdom, which Graham says still featured "the toys-to-life idea — taking your toys, putting them on a magic device, and having them come to life in the game. Spyro was going to be a full-grown dragon and the king of Spyro’s Kingdom. You’d go to him for quests, and he’d tell you where to go and help you on your adventures."
Graham says this version of the game "was very close to something we were going to go forward with. I think it was April or May of 2010 where we were almost ready to hit alpha with Spyro’s Kingdom, and it was time for the go/no-go call. That’s where we said, 'this is fun and cute, but it can be so much bigger.'"
At this point, one of Skylanders’ key elements — "toys with brains," which remember your characters’ progress as you level up — wasn’t in the mix. If the action figures had memory inside them, the save functionality would be hassle-free and invisible, plus they'd be platform agnostic — a huge win for kids who might not own the same game system as their friends. "The goal was to make it very reminiscent of something you would do as a kid,” says Graham. "You could put your toys in your backpack, go to your friend’s house after school, and you could play with your Star Wars characters with your G.I. Joe characters with your Transformers characters; it didn't matter that they were from different worlds. We looked at consoles that way too: How great could it be if you could share in an experience regardless of what console you were on? So there was this big idea of what this game could be."
With Spyro's Kingdom nearly at alpha but an ambitious alternate plan on the table, the decision was up to the top brass, including Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick. But as Graham reveals, "Bobby believed in it completely. He said, 'What do you guys need?' And from that point on, it was this little idea that continued to grow to what we have now, which is a team of fantasy superheroes — Skylanders."