News Article

Super Scribblenauts' D-Pad Controls are Thanks to You, Hardcore Gamers

Posted by James Newton

Complaining does pay off sometimes

For a game based on imagination, you wouldn't have expected Scribblenauts to have frustrated gamers in such a basic regard, but its touchscreen controls rubbed plenty of gamers up the wrong way, complaining they lacked the precision required to manoeuvre Maxwell around his sketchy world. Developer 5th Cell is confident there'll be no such complaints about upcoming sequel Super Scribblenauts, as it specifically included D-Pad controls to appease core gamers.

What seems on the surface like a simple change actually caused a lot of work for the team. Although Maxwell seems like a player-controlled character, he's actually artificially intelligent, having been programmed to react to the objects and events that happen within his world. Placing Maxwell under direct player control required much of the first game's code to be replaced, but the pay-off is for core players to have much clearer control when the game's launched later this year.


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User Comments (34)



edhe said:

I sold my original scribblenauts in preparation for this, and I'm quite looking forward to it. I might not buy it straight off though...



NeoRausch said:

i'm just troubled about the german was sooooo bad in the first part. i hope i works out this time.......but my short play at the gamescom ... ah well



Birdman said:

Well, at least we now know 5th Cell gives a crap about its fans now. Still hoping there's a thesaurus-type thing in the game, as that would make me insta-buy it.



HeroOfTime007 said:

To be honest the controls really weren't a problem for me and I was able to finish the whole game easily, the only thing I couldn't do because of the controls was run and gun in some action levels. The only real problem was that most levels was solved with pegasus and grappling hook.



Stuffgamer1 said:

I wouldn't even CONSIDER this game if it didn't have the improved controls, and I know I'm not alone in that, so I'd say it's to their own interest to fix that problem. It is good to hear that they actually recognized that fact, unlike a lot of developers who routinely ignore player feedback.



Punny said:

I KNEW complaining would pay off! Now I'm off to complain to Nintendo about not putting Yoshi's Island on Virtual Console!

But seriously, this game will be a major improvement over the first Scribblenauts.



V8_Ninja said:

Umm...wasn't the whole "D-pad controls for the people that complained" thing a news story when the game was first announced? Or am I missing something?



HipsterDashie said:


Yeah, but the reason Ninty can't get Yoshi's Island on the VC is due to the fact that they can't get the Super FX chip emulation sorted. Get the GBA copy instead.



Digiki said:

Yeah, but the reason Ninty can't get Yoshi's Island on the VC is due to the fact that they can't get the Super FX chip emulation sorted

Sorry Nintendo isn't that technically inept.



theblackdragon said:

@Digiki: for serious. there's no way they couldn't have figured it out by now, provided there really was a problem in the first place.



SwerdMurd said:

I know EXACTLY what this dev means in terms of that control difference--kudos to making it work.

@Dig - It's sad, isn't it? We aren't gonna get Megaman X 2 or 3 or Stunt Race FX or any of those games either...due to a problem that unpaid emulator-programmers solved in the late 90s with comparative-poop hardware.



ErrorSupply said:

I can appreciate that dpad controls may suit this game better (wouldn't know as I never played the first), but as someone who loved the controls for the two DS Zelda games, I find the demonizing of controls built around touch as not "hardcore" enough a pretty foolish notion.



SilverBaretta said:

"Complaining does pay off sometimes"

DON'T ENCOURAGE THEM!!! I do like the fact that they're catering to fans' and critics' negative points, though.



Shiryu said:

We should complain more about the lack of F-Zero on the Wii/DS.

As for this one, day #1 purchase!



Xkhaoz said:

Wait, wait wait.... So, do you mean the first Scribblenauts is a God game, and that you truly aren't Maxwell?



Birdman said:

@V8 Ninja - No, you're not hallucinating or something. They (the D-Pad controls) were announced at the beginning, but they're saying now that it was because so many people complained about it that they decided to replace a lot of the first game's code to be able to implement that. Hope that clears up some things for you.



bro2dragons said:

as an aspiring writer, i was really impressed by the original game, and it's word-wizardy form of creativity... i was even going to buy it despite its flaws just before the sequel was announced. now, this will be a launch day by for me. to give some context... i've never bought a handheld game on it's release day before. EVER.



Chunky_Droid said:

Jump button? Please? I hated mashing the touch pad above Maxwell and waiting for him to decide to jump.



mjc0961 said:

It seems a bit condescending of them to say it was hard for "core gamers" like that. It has nothing to do with how long, how often, or whatever criteria people use to define "core" gamers. It had everything to do with and only with the controls for the first game simply being terrible.

That said, even though they are being condescending twats about fixing the controls, they have suddenly put their new game on my list of stuff to pay attention to.



plankton88 said:

I am far from a "hardcore gamer" and there is nothing I hate more than a game where you can't use the d-pad to control the character. I quit playing many DS titles for this very reason.



LztheQuack said:

@dragon: Well apparently there is because even Japan doesn't have Yoshi's Island or Star Fox for that matter on the VC



LuWiiGi said:

I didn't see what was so bad about the first game's controls. They were a bit fiddly, but I got used to them. Don't get me wrong, though, I would rather have D-Pad controls. I am so hyped for this game.



Stuffgamer1 said:

@ErrorSupply: It IS wrong to demonize ALL touch screen controls, I agree. But if you'd played the first Scribblenauts, you'd know why we hated its controls so much. Zelda, it ain't.

@mjc: Very true, couldn't have said it better myself.

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