Sunday, July 26, 2009

IGN discusses the controls in Scribblenauts

IGN's Game Scoop! Podcast covered a wide variety of topics this week, including answering a brief question on Scribblenauts (49:00 - 50:10).

Specifically, the question was about the controls of Scribblenauts. As you can see in different demo videos, you use the touch screen to tell Maxwell where to move to, while the D-Pad can be used to move the camera. They also mentioned that when you generate an object, you simply drop it into the field of play, which could cause the object to flip upside down or something like that. Therefore, when you pick the object up again, you can use the L and R buttons to rotate the object. The guys from Game Scoop! did seem a bit frustrated overall by the controls, which is something that has been heard before by other people playing the demo due to the ton of objects that could be at screen at once.

We'll see how the controls work out Sept. 15th.


  1. I think this is a concern a lot of people have for the game. Here's hoping 5TH Cell listens and comes out with something special

  2. It's the only concern I've got about Scribblenauts. I've already seen it's quite imperfect, the only question that remains is how much will it get in the way of the player?

  3. Keep in mind though that the builds that the most recent builds that people have played, have been special ''press builds'', so most likely it's all been ironed out.

    On a related more positive note though, in the video with Elisabeth, you can overhear her saying that if you want to shoot at something, simply double tap the screen (much like Miah saying that the Edge journalist could have double tapped the Pterodactyl while falling past) with the stylus, so here's hoping they implemented that more thoroughly.

  4. ^^^^ Hmm, so that's what the Preview button is for ^_^

    Anyway, to go along with my last post: I hope that double tapping an object works as a sort of context sensitive command that initiates the most common or logical function of said object.

  5. The control system is the only worrying point remaining. Sure, Scribblenauts is made of awesome, hilarity, and win, but if it's impossibly messy to control, you can't get to any of the awesome, hilarity, and win.

    In recent videos, such as IGN's 9-5, we didn't see the context menu at all. Presumably the double-tap feature was used to remove the stalagmite - since the mace was a weapon, it demonstrates that weapons can be used with a simple double-tap. Good.

    There's an issue with a complete context-sensitive double-tap, though - namely, tapping stuff while holding something else. Say you're holding a laser rifle, and create a time machine. You double-tap the time machine. What should happen? Should you blast away at the time machine with your sweet laser rifle, or travel in time and jump on a dinosaur and kill robot zombies? Suppose you travel in time and reach the dinosaurs. Will a double-tap let you ride them, or blast away and kill them?