Thursday, July 16, 2009

New video makes big claim: 20-24 items IN ADDITION to what is already there

I always love waking up to new Scribblenauts videos and interviews. Thankfully, due to timezone differences, a lot of these videos that are coming out in Europe are all waiting for me as soon as I log onto the net. It's a wonderful thing.

Today, however, I was in for a shock. You might not know Marius Fahlbusch, but he's the Technical Director for 5TH Cell, and has been instrumental in its development. He's made some interesting comments in the past, such as saying 5TH Cell isn't ruling out bringing Scribblenauts onto different platforms. But today he definitely made the most interesting comment...and the most confusing.

Check out the video here. Around the minute mark Marius makes a rather interesting claim:

You can have around say 20-24 items at the same time in a level in addition to what is already there

I said "Wow", but I have to keep my excitement in check because I have a very strong feeling this is wrong.

We've seen videos and screenshots of the game from various builds and most seem to show you have room for 8-10 "small" items and 4-5 "big" items. The size modifies mostly refer to the physical size and complexity of an item. For example, a human isn't too big but he does have AI which eats up the memory bar.

Take a look of this screenshot from the preview build.

This is a shiv, a pretty small item. It's a tool, but it's not that complex. Yet we see that it's taking up about 1/8 - 1/12 of the bar. So I can spawn up to 12 shivs, which is exactly half of the upper value Marius suggests can be used in-game.

So there are a few possible explanations:

-His simply misspoke. I find this a bit hard to believe, as he was very specific in his comment that this 20-24 number is IN ADDITION TO what's already there in a level. He's also the Technical Director, not some PR-type person who might get confused or misinformed.

-He's only referring to the smallest and least complex items. I also doubt this. As you can see above even a small tool takes up anywhere from 1/8 to 1/12 of the bar, which barely reaches half of the limit Marius suggested.

-The final build can take more than we know. My heart hopes this is true, but my brain tells me otherwise. The DS is a powerful system for a handheld, but it is just a handheld. 20-24 items in ANY game on screen would be enough to lag it up, especially Scribblenauts objects which have a lot of code associated with them.

For now, I'm going to file this story under "Speculation" to play it safe. I'd say that this story has an equal chance of being true or false, so it's best to wait on further confirmation until then. It's hard to doubt the words of the Technical Director, but it's probably best for everyone to take this with a grain of salt before getting too excited.

1 comment:

  1. Just wanted to let yo know that you're doing a great job covering all this news!