Saturday, July 18, 2009

Past week in Scribblenautics: July 12th - 18th

We're finally reaching a level of news and new media being released over the course of a week that a sort of "recap" post actually makes some sense. Every Saturday evening I plan on compiling all the latest and greatest news, screenshots and videos, articles, and whatever else I happened to talk about this week that you may have missed.

Today is July 18th. There are 58 days left before the release of Scribblenauts in North America.

Stuff you may have missed...

News

Media

Articles

Woodworm eats wood - the shocking twist of fate!

Well, not really shocking, I guess. After all, the game is built around the idea that every object behaves in game like it would in real life. Thus it's not a real surprise that the woodworm featured in this video (it's in Dutch) eats the tree just like the beaver would, but it does show yet another solution to the now famous "get the star out of the tree" level.

I wonder why they didn't try to make the elevator work. As far as I know Maxwell can jump. They should have had him jump from the elevator's "2nd floor" into the starite. It looks like it'd work, at least.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Copyright or Wrong: cameos and references

I've been holding off on writing a new article all week thinking that some other news might be released and overshadow it. First it was NGamer saying they'd release more pictures earlier in the week...of course, that never happened. Then today Edge said they were going to release the video for their contest which would show them using the winner's solution to solve 10-6...will that never happened either! I've finally decided to say, "Screw it!" and make a new article anyways...knowing my luck, this will prompt a news story to release.

Today we have another edition of Copyright or Wrong. This time, I want to look at references, and how they pertain to Scribblenauts.

Gordon Freeman is not in this game. That's a fact. He's a proper noun and a trademarked guy to boot. However, what defines Freeman's character? The hazmat suit? Glasses? Classic crowbar weapon? Probably all of the above when combined. Thankfully, because Scribblenauts contains (near) every item imaginable...


Separated at birth? Nah. The guy on the right doesn't have a cool rooster hat.

...well, you get pretty close to a Freeman clone! In fact, this reference was seen in the 2nd trailer, hinting that not only do the devs know this is possible, but they are in fact encouraging it. Indeed, one can imagine commercials or ads making use of this ability to do famous references in the Scribblenauts style. You can imagine the same idea is used for the now famous Scribbletars.

Those who are fans of Disney movies may recognize this next one without any sort of explanation:



Yep, that's the Fairy Godmother from Cinderella on the left, and a currently unknown Scribblenauts character on the right. One can only assume their likeness is no coincidence, and most likely you can summon that character by writing in "Fairy Godmother". Speculation, of course, but it does seem rather obvious once you compare their similar features. Red bow, blue cloak, white hair...well, it's just too perfect not to be it.

For something completely different, let's take a look at this next guy. Long hair, bare chest, distinctive headband...



Oh yes, that definitely looks like Conan the Barbarian to me. This was another character revealed in the Nintendo Power issue previewing Scribblenauts, so we're not entirely sure if this guy is simply summoned by writing "Barbarian" or perhaps some other word. But like the fairy godmother above I'd say the possibility is very real when you look at them side by side. The reference is pretty damn obvious.

So what does this mean for the average gamer? Well, to the disappointment of many, you're not going to be seeing Nintendo's famous Mario or House the diagnostician in this game. You won't be using Michael Jackson to solve a puzzle, and Snow White cares not about your starites.

But give the doctor a cane...give the plumber a red hat and mushroom...give the singer a single glove...and give that princess 7 midgets to look after...

I think by now you get my point.

I'd say a fair deal of people are upset that Scribblenauts will not be containing very many proper nouns or famous people, though I definitely think they have no reason to be angry. Some are confused as to why Mario cannot be in the game even though it's on the DS. Others seem to think because Einstein and Lincoln are in that means characters such as Chuck Norris (cough) and the like should have a free ride.

Thankfully I feel like no one is going to be disappointed once they get their hands on the game. Some references you might have to "work for" or use your imagination. As it stands, Scribblenauts at this point is basically one big cameo generator. Pick a stock character, dress it up in a familiar way and plop it into a familiar setting, and you got a do-it-yourself Easter Egg. Like everything else in this game, you're only limited by your imagination.

UK gets release date, Edge announces contest winners

Got a couple of news pieces coming out of our tea drinking neighbors.

First, Eurogamer has revealed the release date for the UK copy: September 25th, 10 days after the North American release. You can check out the news right here.


In other news, Edge has announced the winners for their contest and promise videos - at least sometime in the near future. Here are the following winners and their solutions:

1st place
@shinibi - steel above starite via "grappling hook", "fire" to burn Maxwell's rope, and "termites" to eat the cage. Starite get?

2nd place
@Elecveg - Grappling Hook to Maxwell, shoot at right metal block. Pull up. Remove hat when over cage, release hook, use Drill to get in.

3rd place
@Synthic - 1) Summon a pterodactyl, glue a plank horizontally to its head, position it so plank is under the cage. 2) Give yourself wings, take off top hat, land on the plank next to cage. Get axe, destroy cage, get Starite that's on the plank


So congratulations to the above winners! You guys definitely earned it. Hopefully we'll see some new videos or screenshots up showing just how awesome (or not!) these solutions worked out!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

My new favorite Scribblenaut video. It's quite absurd

The guys over at Buttonmasher were able to get hands-on with the game and decided to do a preview video for it. Except this wasn't your typical type of preview. It's absurd, a bit incoherent, and reminds me of almost a documentary type video.

But it's definitely the funniest video I've seen in regards to Scribblenauts.

It's a YouTube video which I would normally just embed, but head over with this link to watch the widescreen HD'd version. It's worth it.

So then! What did we learn in this 3 minute video? Well...

-Feep, the author of the most incredible Post 217, spawns in...AS A ROBOT ZOMBIE. Oh man, what a great homage he turned out to be. Unfortunately he dies to a ray gun, the very item he claimed could not kill robot zombies!

-You can't eat things, such as spinach. Not sure why. Chef likes spinach because he can cook with it.

-The NeoGAF logo can spawn gamers or be ridden. I'm also not sure why.

-He put a dinosaur egg in a stove, and it fucking made a dinosaur egg omlette. A caveman then decided to eat it. holy fuck.

-Their "word challenge" succeeded. The word, a Grimlakin, is in the game. Check out the Wikipedia article if you have no idea what they're talking about. I sure didn't.

-Scribblenauts will make you hate your life, because it'll remind you that you cannot spawn whatever item you like in real life.

Man. What a great video.

Foreign news, video, and screenshots galore

Today has been a busy day in the foreign department. We've seen some new news, videos, and at least one new screenshot thanks to our friends overseas. I have compiled a small listing of things I've found here. Hope you find it useful.


Interview

Thanks to fellow affiliate @Scribblenaut for basically the entire part of this post. This interview, over at Nederob, is lengthy, full of info, but in Dutch. And though I could use an online translator it always misses most of the important info and wording. Thankfully he was kind enough to read through it and pick out the interesting and important bits. I bullet pointed them here:

-There is no "draw your own character" unlockable avatar. It crossed their mind, but Drawn to Life has two publishers now and could have problems associated with it.

-Scribblenauts was originally based on the idea of writing your own story.

-Hitler isn't it. Lincoln is. Napoleon the person isn't in, but the sandwich is

-Just because they CAN use WB licensed characters (i.e., Batman) doesn't mean they SHOULD

-A fridge can store items, and upon taking them out they're cold. Neat touch!

-Ollars are used to unlock new levels. Using "cheap" solutions will earn you less ollars and probably prevent you from advancing.



Videos

Pirate vs. Ninja - A short but cool video showing a pirate and a ninja fighting. Though I can't fully tell, it seems the Ninja didn't spawn with a weapon but the Pirate did, and thus that might be the reason why the Ninja died so quickly. Of course Maxwell fixed any problems with bias by simply blowing him the hell up with a rocket launcher.

4 minute interview - This is an interview with Marius Fahlbusch , the Technical Director of 5TH Cell. Though it doesn't contain much in the way of new content it is interesting to listen to, so give it a watch.

2 minute interview - This is shorter but contains a very interesting tidbit I mentioned earlier today: Marius claims we can have 20-24 items onscreen at once, IN ADDITION TO items already present in a level. Wow. Think we can trust it?


Screenshots

Scribblenautic Fanart Gallery: Thursday Edition

Welcome to yet another edition the Fanart Gallery. Today we see the widest every variety in avatars and the people who are making them, so check it out!



Courtesy of imprecise!

MAGGOTS!

Team Fortress 2 is probably my favorite online shooter that's ever been released, and I log in pretty much at least once a week to play around. I love any sort of crossover between two games that I love, so to see the TF2 Soldier scribblefied makes me giddy.



Courtesy of Versipellis

Even inanimate objects look pretty awesome when Scribblefied. Here we see the phonebooth from the TV series, "Dr. Who"




Courtesy of Jocchan

Heh, this is a pretty unique take on Von Karma, chief prosecutor in the first Phoenix Wright game. Note the fire






Courtesy of Divvy

Divvy really, really outdid himself with this batch. As you can see we have several different version of Samus Aran from Nintendo's Metroid series. In most of her games she gets some sort of new suit, starting at the Varia up at top, and ending with the Fusion and Phazon suits shown at the bottom. Believe it or not he released all of these masterpieces at once, showing his dedication to this.

You are now manually wanting Metroid: Scribblestyle


Courtesy of Caddywompus21

Thanks to Twitter user @Octanitrogen I was able to discover this works done by Caddywompus over at IGN. Like the GAFfers this guy is taking requests for avatars and Scribblefying popular characters. Here we see Godot (to go with the Von Karma above?) and a very rich, very happy Miyamoto. You check out more his work in this thread.

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.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Over 100 objects have been added at the Scribblenauts Guide

Over 125, according to this recent blog post.

Scribblenauts Guide is one of our affiliates and has decided to take on the unique task of categorizing and organizing information and media surrounding Scribblenauts. Whereas I have the luxury to simply report news and write various opinion pieces, these guys have to record every object...all TENS OF THOUSANDS of them.

Yikes.

Thankfully it's a community effort. If you've never heard of Wet Paint before you can think of it at as Wikipedia. Anyone can sign up, do some edits, add some media, whatever.

So head on over there and see if you can help them break 200. Then 300. Then 400. Then...well...you get the idea. Better get crackin'!

More foreign screenshots show new level editor options and...ninja shark?

As usual we have foreign websites showing us some pretty badass screenshots that domestic websites have failed to produce. We've seen French and Dutch translations, and now we get to give a warm welcome to our German friends over at 4players.de for these. You can find the new screenshots here, and as usual I picked a few to comment on.




This is definitely one of the more important screenshots of the bunch, and we can see it showing off some new level editing stuff. Here we see what must be the "advanced" options, which allow you to set the par (how many items the level should be completed under), the level hint, the music that plays, and of course the name itself. I guess these are all options we could have expected, but being able to customize both the par and music gives a lot of power to the a level designer in controlling both the feel and difficulty of their level.




So here's a ninja shark...and I'm feeling very much like my parents who get confused during a Family Guy episode. Is this a reference I'm suppose to get? Some sort of easter egg? What is going on?!

A quick Google search shows up nothing. Can anyone help me out here? Either way I guess this is pretty badass. If I were Maxwell I'd be worried about the Ninja Shark jumping out of the water to kill me...



We've seen a lot of this level about. Basically it looks like Fallout meets Scribblenauts. Maxwell wanders some sort of post-apocalyptic world where he has to face mysterious masked soldiers wielding some pretty heavy weaponry. You can tell the game is really going all over the place (from rescuing beached whales, celebrating a wedding, to surviving the apocalypse?!) and I'm glad that lot of genres will be covered. I actually think this sort of level would be really amazing to play if done correctly.




These series of screenshots might be confusing without some context, so lemme explain.

Top left: They spawn in a gamer, which is a normal dude with a decal t-shirt and questionable haircut.
Top right: They then spawn in a "console", which seems to sort-of-kind-of look like a Wii.
Bottom: The gamer apparently likes consoles and runs to it to pick it up!

Now this might not be impressive, however I feel it really shows the power of Objectnaut. We know it has a fairly indepth "I like this/I hate this" system, but while that's easy enough to do for professions (yeah, cops like guns and donuts), a gamer isn't really a profession. Yet he knows he's suppose to like game consoles and such. That is pretty cool.

The "cans" and "cannots" of 10-6

Edge continues to update and answer questions about people trying to solve 10-6. They've clarified some things for people, so make sure you're taking them into account. You can track their impromptu Q&A session at their twitter page, but I'll also be updating this post throughout with any new clarification.

Scribblenauts: the most frequent questions and errors! You CAN have wings, steel boxes, attach things to the cage, and remove the hat.

Hmm, so you CAN remove the hat, and now it seems the rope holding you up isn't imprisoning you, but rather, it's saving you from death.
So this basically means your goal is to cut one rope, not two. Quite the plot twist! And you can attach things to the cage, ala grappling hook, and though we probably knew that it's good to get the confirmation.

You CANNOT cool the lava in any way suggested thus far, use vehicles without drivers, use a hovercraft, or put things inside the cage


This is a bit disappointing as I hoping some of the suggestions (namely, liquid nitrogen or tsumani) would be enough to cool the lava. Seems like it's a static obstacle after all, at least for now. It also makes sense that vehicles without a driver will plop to the ground. I wonder if you have enough time to spawn a heli and toss a pilot into it.

The hovercraft comment is expanded a bit below...

More S/nauts: Cupid's not listening to instructions. He just floats. Hover things aren’t floating on lava. 'Floating platforms'? Come on.


Cupid isn't smart enough to know how to solve the level for you...that's obvious to me at least. Though I wonder if they mean they're trying to tell him to fire but he won't. The hovercrafts apparently need ground to hover off of, which I guess makes sense by most typical definitions of a hovercraft. And floating platforms don't exist and would be too cheesy. Edge agrees!

Finally, chains or ropes fixed to the steel blocks do not extend below Maxwell or the cage. No more Qs, there's plenty for you to go on now


There seems like a rather obvious solution to this problem, at least to me. If the ropes or chains don't extend beyond Maxwell and the cage then you could simply make more chains to attach to the end of those. And if THAT is not possible, then simply attach some intermediate object (such as another steel block) inbetween.


Alright, you heard them! No more questions. You have a lot to go off now, so set forth and solve! Win some Scribblenauts!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

10-6 kicks the internet's collective ass(es)

Hopefully by now you've heard that Edge magazine is giving out up to 3 copies of Scribblenauts to 3 very lucky people. The catch? You simply have the help them solve a Scribblenauts level. The real catch? Well, the level is pretty damn hard. You can find all the details right over here.



This is 10-6, and it's probably one of the hardest puzzles we've seen to date. Both Maxwell and the starite are hanging from ropes suspended above some lava. Maxwell can't reach his own rope to cut it (arms are too short), and destroying the cage through most conventional means also means destroying the starite (as in, if you blow up the cage with TNT, there's a good chance the starite will also be blown to pieces...and also Maxwell). As far as we know nobody has been able to solve this level. Edge has been keeping us updated on what does not work, though admittedly they don't tell us what DOES work.

Because people have to tweet their answers to Edge it becomes very easy to track the answers people are submitting. I decided to take a look at a few of these and 'test' the imagination of the internet.

GanonsSpirit Jetpack. Put on Maxwell. Chainsaw. Give Maxwell chainsaw. Make him fly up and cut his rope. Fly to box, cut left side open.

This is an approach a lot of people took, and definitely seems the most obvious at first blush. You give Maxwell SOME ability to fly (jetpack, pegasus, etc.), cut your rope, then destroy the cage. However, the way the cage works might hinder some people's strategies. You cannot break open a certain side. Instead, the entire cage breaks at once. It's still possible to catch the starite in midair (at least I suppose), but you'd probably have to be faster than gravity, which might not be so easy.


chaosisover Liquid Nitrogen... cool lava into stone. Gun to shoot out ropes. Machete to bash open cage. Get star.

Another answer people used: cool the lava off somehow. This solution is definitely dependent on how "gamey" Scribblenauts is. If it's gamey then something like a large amount of water or cold liquid should cool it down. If it's more realistic...well...it'll be quite a bit harder. Edge confirms water doesn't cool the lava, though I wonder how much they used. Either way, this is an interesting approach, if only because is illustrates Scribblenauts quite well.

"Oh no, gamers! There's DEADLY LAVA below you! How do you pass?!"

"Well...get rid of the lava"

"Can...can you do that?"

"It's fucking Scribblenauts."

Now let's hope it's possible ;)


ScribblenautsDS Vacuum in maxwells hand to suck up the star after a Beaver chews the cage apart?

From what I can see this idea hasn't been used a whole lot, though it makes a lot of sense. Instead of getting Maxwell to the star this user thought of ways to get the starite to him. Destroy the cage then somehow suck the starite to you via the vacuum before it's destroyed.

Of course this brings up a few questions...will the beaver know what to do? Can the starite even be sucked up like that?


AHomelessHomie try get a grappling hook and grapple the cage closer to maxwell

A variation of the above, instead of bringing Maxwell to the cage you bring the cage to him. You gotta wonder where exactly you can go from there, though. Do you destroy the cage now? Perhaps find some way to get on top of it? Hmm...


robothobo 2 CHAINS attached to steel block to hang a NET below the cage, drop TERMITES on the cage, use a FISHING POLE to snag starite.

This last one is my favorite solution out of all of them. It's not overly creative, but it shows a line of thinking Scribblenauts really allows for. How do you stop an item from falling? Well...put a net under it. And that's exactly what this guy wants to do. By catching it before it falls Maxwell can take his time in reaching it, unlike the first example. And what better way to grab it than with a fishing pole? You don't even have to move from your perch! Stylin'

New videos showcase some Scribbleoddities

Props to @Scribblenaut for sharing these two new (foreign) videos with me. They show some rather...interesting things in Scribblenauts. You can check them out here. You'll find one video right below the other.

The first video shows the titlescreen sandbox mode. First we see him spawn in a vampire which immediately goes to attack him. He gets hit a good amount of times, but because this is the sandbox mode I have a feeling Maxwell can't die.

He then brings in a werewolf and surprisingly the vampire and werewolf don't fight. Then something weird happens...he spawns in a full moon, and the werewolf turns into a man! Clever joke or bug? You decide.

Either way, NOW the vampire wants some tasty manflesh and kills the man pretty quickly. This turns him into a ghoul of sorts, and they both begin chasing Maxwell around. The previewer thinks quickly and puts in the sun. Not only did this kill the vampire, but it actually turned him into dust! Amazing touch. The ghoul, however, did not succumb to the sun, so Maxwell had to improvise.

And what better way to improvise than a rocket launcher. It kills the ghoul, knocks Maxwell back, and apparently destroys itself.


The 2nd video is a good deal shorter but also shows off a new property of starites we're learning about today...starites can be destroyed. We've known that obvious things can destroy starites, such as nukes and blackholes and bottomless pits. But here we see Maxwell hopping onto a brontasaurus to get the starite out of the tree...and accidentally smashing it to pieces!

It brings up a lot of questions. What exactly can destroy it? If I attacked it with, say, a small creature, would it still be destroyed? Finally, we're seeing from level 10-6 that the fact a starite CAN be destroyed is actually used in some puzzles. In 10-6 the starite in in a cage suspended above lava. But don't think you can blast your way into the cage. The explosion, if it doesn't kill you, will most likely destroy the star.

We're seeing a real layer of depth in this game that perhaps we weren't too aware of before. Not only will objects have some complex interactions with Maxwell, but also with each other. The first video in particular showcases this with the vampire. In one video we see that he was afraid of garlic, wants to kill people, turns others into ghouls, and turns to dust in the sun. And that's just one object in a handful of situation.

This game...is going to be epic.

A bunch of new screens of items in game, thanks to NGamer Mag

Yesterday NGamer Magazine asked for the Twitter crowd to suggest them items to try out in Scribblenauts. And try they did! You can find the full list of suggested words over here, but judging by how many "break the rules" (or just don't make any sense!) don't be surprised that the follow list is smaller the one I just linked you.

For most part, though, Scribblenauts passed with flying colors. Indeed, even in areas where it might have failed NGamer was able to use their imagination to make it work. Check it out...and warning...there's a lot of pictures.



Zweihander (type of sword, as you cans see)


Liger (Tiger + Lion...?)


Chukar


NOT Ruud Gullit on a shed, but this IS a football player (Ruud is a proper noun!)


Shiv


Ballista


Singer with a football and hotdog on a trampoline. The singer ended up toss the football and eating the hotdog.


Antimatter


Politician wired to a polygraph (for someone's suggest of, "an honest MP")


Blackhole


Hippo with saddle


Brass knuckles


Magazine


SirPenguin (hurrah! Unfortunately he couldn't wear both the monocle and the tophat. They're probably both considered "head pieces")


Cherry picker


Bowl/Cheese (someone wanted a bowl of cheese...)


There might be more of these throughout the day, so I'll be sure to keep you guys updated

Monday, July 13, 2009

Want to see new screens of items of your choice? Tweet these guys!

Update #2: User ilPokemon compiled a nice list of all the items that were suggested to NGamer Magazine

1-up
abatis
antimatter
armageddon
awesomesauce
baiji
beam sword/saber
black hole
Boobs (you never know, it might work under the definition of boob as "a stupid person")
bowl of cheese
brass knuckles
caltrop
a car in the shape of the number 7 (wut?)
casu marzu
cateran
cherry picker
chuck norris
chukar
desalination plant
desert
dog poop
fish
flamberge
football
girl band
golgi apparatus
gyascutus
hairspray and a match combined to make a flamethrower
An honest MP (wut?)
hot dogs
ipod
liger
light saber
Karl Pilkington
keyboard
mace
magazine
milord
mouse (both definitions)
NGamer
Ninja Cat
ninjas riding missiles while holding guns
O RLY
Penguin in a tophat and monocle
portal
potassium in water
Ruud Gullit sitting on a shed.
shiv
snowcone maker
space
Stratocumulus
tiamat
trampoline
wales
zweihander


Update
: Don't worry guys, they didn't forget. They gave us an update tonight...

We'll have those Scribblenaut pictures up first thing tomorrow. You'll be amazed how many of them we got...

Can't wait!

The guys over at @NGamer_mag tweeted something interesting this morning:

Tell us what you want to see in Scribblenauts and we'll try and get some screens up...

So then! You heard the nice man. Sign up for Twitter if you haven't already (and if you have, why not give me or one of our affiliates a follow? @Scribblenautic, @Scribblenaut, @Scribblenautfn, and @ScribblenautDS!) then go and message them with things you want to see.

My request? A penguin in a tophat and monocle to go along with my SirPenguin username. Obvious, right?

Watch as Jeremiah continues to own me

Jeremiah Slaczka has the habit of owning my sorry ass over at GAF. Basically the moment I voice even the most minor of concerns he's able to swoop right in and remind me why I should never doubt him or his company. Or his game.

You might remember a post I made about my concerns the game was too easy. Well, I'd hope so, given I made it only a couple of hours ago. I also voiced similar concerns over at GAF. Jackson was quick to respond...and respond he did...


No one has beaten the game, no one has come even close. No one has gotten to world 10. No one has experienced more than 20% of the levels. Period. Trust me on this if I say it.


Well then. He put me in my place, that's for sure. So for those worried the game might be easy...well...don't. Not even the previewers have been able to touch the final product, and even with only 20% of the levels in place (and none from the last world at least) they're still having a blast. That's huge.

So gone are my doubts...and then some.

Double Dragon(s)

Game art has a way of changing throughout development. Of course that makes sense, given that every part of a game, from the code to the art assets, are constantly being polished and refined. Sometimes screenshots released during an early peiord show things that never make it to the final game for this reason. Perhaps that explains the discrepency that many Scribblenauts fans have found with the "Dragon" object. Take a look at these two pictures:


One of the earlier screenshots that debuted with the Scribblenauts announcement



One of the more recent screenshots from the preview build

Here you can see two very different dragon designs.

Now it's one thing to say the 2nd one is more detailed. It is, by a very large amount. But it also looks a lot more evil and fierce compared to the first. This has lead some people to think these two dragons are actually different objects, with the above dragon being perhaps a "baby" or "fantasy" dragon, whereas the 2nd dragon is the "adult" or "real" dragon.

My take on all of this? Most likely the 2nd dragon is the updated (and final) dragon model. In the latest Gamespot video we see that this is the model that shows up when you summon in dragon. But even with that rather boring answer, I gotta wonder...why do you think they updated the dragon so significantly? Most of the items we've seen from early screenshots, videos, and trailers all seem to be the same. And you gotta imagine that with tens of thousands of objects and assets you wouldn't even have the time to update one once you're done.

Was it updated because the style didn't fit? Or did it get updated because it's an "important" word and they wanted to make it detailed? Or perhaps...are those two different models? What do you guys think?

IGN UK gives us another - albeit kinda boring - preview

If you've been following the news on Scribblenauts the past week then you're not going to learn anything new from this preview at IGN. No new screens or levels or videos or anything - at least not yet. This lack of news, however, made me a bit more aware at the one negative thing IGN had to say:

There's still some question marks about how well the concept ties into a compelling long-term experience but the signs are promising – a week in the company of Scribblenauts and it has lost little of its charm, our DS still being bought out to silence doubters of its quite preposterous concept

They follow up that quote by saying that a week in it still hasn't lost much of its charm...but it does stoke the fire of some fears gamers have in regard to the challenge and staying power of the game. A lot of sites have had this game for a little over a week, and most have already "beat" it in the traditional sense of the word...that is to say, they've reached and (most likely) completed world 10.

Now, that could mean a couple of things. Maybe they didn't finish all the levels in both modes. Maybe the preview build is a bit easier or it's not fully done. I mean, who knows? There's over 2 months between now and September 15th for 5TH Cell to change levels around and such.

However, I'd say that it's one of the top fears most supporters of Scribblenauts have. What do you guys think? Will Scribblenauts be too easy?

It was all for naught

Found this over at @skoda, one of the developers of Scribblenauts.

Er, I mean, Scribblenaughts



It's confusing enough that they made a rather glaring typo on a fairly easy to spell name. But worst of all? The box art containing the CORRECT spelling is right above it. Guess I shouldn't be expecting very much from a company called Pink Godzilla.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Santa, Sea Serpents, and Sheep. Oh, and new Scribblenaut screenshots

Today we saw a pretty neat amount of new videos at the french site GameKlut. Well, seems like we were also blessed with a megaton amount of new pictures. I picked my 10 favorite out of all of them and decided to put them up to do a bit of speculation and impressions. There's a lot more than 10 for you to look at, though, and you should check them all out right here. Onto the speculation!



Santa! Wow, this is a pretty sweet looking level. We have some reindeer, a star constellation, and of course Santa himself complete with sleigh and presents. I'm not sure what is going on here, but because it is a puzzle level I assume it's something along the lines of "Help Santa out!". I wonder if you can ride the reindeer and fly around...or tether them to that sleigh.

On a personal note, I am so using Santa in every level I can.



This is a pretty neat screenshot for a few reasons. For one, we notice the preview guy is LOADED with money...100k+ Ollars, to be exact. Wow.

Next up we see what I presume is a sheppard with some sheep. You'll notice one of the sheep has no wool. Now...this could mean a couple of things. Most obviously it could mean we can shear the wool off of sheep, which is pretty awesome. There's ALSO a chance it could just be a lamb, which isn't as poofy as a sheep.

Either way, you gotta wonder what they're doing near the edge of a god damn volcano, and what can Maxwell do to help them?



I can't read French, but I think I can basically make out what it's saying...we must either take the patient to the hospital or somehow come up with a way to heal him. What I like about this shot, though, is that it shows us another world with 11 levels (further proof of the 10 worlds, 11 levels per mode idea) in addition to letting us see how diverse the game is.

All 3 shots I've done so far have been from the same world, The Summit, and they've all been puzzle mode levels. But we've seen Maxwell helping Santa, then chilling with some sheep by a volcano, and finally trying to heal an injured person in a snowstorm. We are going to be seeing a wide variety of levels, and it's something I'm very excited about.



What a great shot.

Now, I'm assuming the starite is below that chamber and the mammoth already exists. By tieing the rope from the mammoth to the star and then scaring it away with the mouse, you cause the starite to be pulled up as the mammoth flees.

Amazing. I love that not only are elephants scared of mice, but so are mamoths. It reminds me of how vampires are scared of both garlic and garlic bread. The mouse is a bit confused with what exactly is going on. I don't blame him.



This is the same serpent we saw in Nintendo Power. A lot of people wondered if he was a dragon or something else, but this screen shows he's a "Sea Serpent".

I chose the screenshot because of how...ominous it is. Hope you brought a big (underwater) gun...



Here we see a couple of screenshots of what I assume is the shop where you can spend your hard earned Ollars. It seems like with the left option we can buy new music, houses? (backgrounds?), and...brains? But with the other option we can buy new avatars, which is what the shot on the right shows us.

My limited French knowledge tells me we can be a zombie, pirate, wizard, and alien. You gotta wonder what type of avatar we're looking at. Does it simply replace the Maxwell model with a zombie? Or is it a zombified Maxwell? I'm going to assume the former, which is kind of a shame, as I had hoped Maxwell would remain an iconic figure in the game.

I also love that you can apparently buy music, because out of all the music I've heard in this game, I've loved every last piece.



...you're doing it wrong.

Regardless of Maxwell's rather...curious choice of landing, we can see that this is one of the "training" levels, set in World 0, the University. From what we've seen so far each training level basically walks you through the different things you're going to be doing in game. This one seems to be teaching you how to fly.

...though I do say it might not be doing a very good job at that



This seems to be a very "classic" Scribblenauts level, and was shown at E3. A starite is on the other side of this strip of land. You can either go through it, over it, or under it (which means you'd have to go underwater).

Of course, I doubt many people thought of "Nuclear Bomb" in order to get through that strip of land. I also wonder if Maxwell thought his plan all the way through...you might want to run...or at least build a bomb shelter.



I saved thus one for last because it is honestly the best screenshot I've ever seen for this game. For any game.

This is a level from the last world of the game (Mish Mash), and assuming every world has 11 levels, it's about in the middle. It's also an action level.

Now you might be thinking to yourself, well then, how did he end up in THAT situation? Well, notice the "Objects" counter on top is 0. The player didn't get himself in this position...this is how the level begins.

The developers made a note to say that levels would be getting more difficult as the game wore on...and I think we're definitely seeing proof of that. You have a number of challenges to overcome here...first you have to save yourself, of course. Then you have to somehow make it to the cage. Then, while in midair, you need to find a way to free the starite without breaking the rope or the cage, as you'd all fall.

Further, I'm actually wondering if perhaps you and cage are tethered together via a pulley at the top. This would mean that if you cut your end of the rope, the cage would fall. Hmm. Perhaps not.



This game is going to be amazing, and every screenshot hypes me more than the last. So what do you think? What are some of your favorite screenshots? And how would YOU solve 10-6?