The Unfinished Swan originally had a river-painting mechanic and a playable library full of unfinished books, but Ian Dallas and the team at Giant Sparrow couldn't figure out a way to make these aspects fun, he told Joystiq at GDC. The river-painting tool allowed players to throw paint and create puddles 10 feet deep, and "it seemed cool. We had a whole playable prototype, it worked, it was there," but it wasn't fun, so Dallas removed it.
The library of unfinished books would have been a space with "a million letters everywhere, running around," with tomes that contained the first chapter of brilliant novels, wonderful opening sentences or vague ideas only, nothing complete. While this would have been pretty, Dallas said, it didn't have a place in the game.
The blueprint mechanic almost didn't make it into the final build of Unfinished Swan, but it made the cut, so, "Yay!" Dallas exclaimed.
Giant Sparrow isn't in charge of the Unfinished Swan brand anymore, so if there's a Vita port on the way Dallas isn't aware. Sony isn't obligated to tell him if there's anything in progress, but it's generally up-front about these things; Dallas knew about the Unfinished Swan DLC for PlayStation All-Stars nine months ahead of time.
"I would be ecstatic if there were ports," he said. "If someone wanted to make a port of the game, it's awesome that we don't have to do that. I don't know if there are ports or what the plans are, but that's one of the nice things about having a publisher."
As for that leak about "Edith Finch," Giant Sparrow's purported next game, Dallas can't say much. "We may have contracts, there may be a publisher involved, they may have people with feelings that may get hurt from time to time," Dallas said. "We can safely announce that we have an unannounced game that we're working on. I'm very excited about it."
The publisher that Giant Sparrow "may" have might be Sony. Dallas said other publishers – Nintendo and Microsoft, specifically – are generally open to publish indie games but not fund them, while Sony goes all-in. "We've been so happy with Sony," he said. "It's amazing that Sony can do that and really put faith in these things. God bless Shuhei and Scott Rody and all these people ... They just really want to make interesting games."