Creator Interview: MrGenji

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Hey, dragonvarsity here. I've posted a good amount of interviews here on LBPC but that's not all of them. I've posted a lot before doing them on LBPC...well....I did put the first up here but it got no comments then put the fifth one....although I accidentally put it twice and didn't startt pack until later. So I hope it's okay if I share some older ones in the meantime that you may or may not have seen. Anyway, here's one with MrGenji, my second interviewee. NOTE: This is an older interview so some questions have been changed some.

1. Out of all your levels, which is your favorite?

Generally I don't like my own levels. I'm somewhat of a pessimist and perfectionist (Perfecitmist?). Whenever I play my own levels I always see them as what they could have been like. On a less grim note I've always had a soft spot for HEIST 1 - It was my first real level and I'm still quite proud of it. It's aged pretty badly, but I learnt so much from making it.

2. Are there any levels your working on and if so could you give us some information about it? (This could be anything from the title, theme, plot or even pictures of the gameplay/teaser.)

Wow theres so many... My greatest flaw as a creator I s'pose is never finishing my projects (In fact there's a whole Cubeworld level that's only missing a scoreboard and some tweaks - It was built before 1 & 2!)

My current passion is with the cubeworld series and I'm drafting up ideas for no. 3 as I type this. Already got a name picked "Churning Canyons" - I'm sure you can guess the theme.

So keep an eye out for that when if it gets finished

3. Are there any creators/levels that inspire you to create or that you just think are awesome?

There are maaaaany great creators out there I admire. But I suppose I should go back to my LBP root and name NinjaMcWiz. His levels were the first I played that took my breath away, and awoke me to the fact LBP can be more than a quirky platformer. Well it's still a platformer at heart, but it can have so much more depth and atmosphere than you could imagine when you first pop in the disc.

4. Do you have any tips on creating/ keeping the thermometer low for other creators? If so, what is it?

Don't use cubes. Haha seriously though = Don't. Those things drain thermo like the vector vampires they are.

On less specific note - Reuse sections! It's something you don't see that often, but its a cheap trick that I think really make a level fun. If you have a set piece don't be afraid to re-imagine it later on. Even MM do that (look at the islands for example, practically every obstacle appears twice!). Not only does this tie your level together, but it allows you to increase the length for very little thermo.

I'll also take this as a chance to list some pet hates:

1. Arrows - Even though I used them myself, arrows always feel cheap. perhaps it's part of my "Perfecitmist" attitude. But I feel that if you need to use arrows to show people where to go the level isn't well designed. A level should flow, it should be instinctive where to go.

2. Instruction bubbles - Similar to the ones above, if you need to have a mouth that says "Don't let go" for your car sections - The flaw isn't with the player for letting go, it's with your car for letting them

Ok enough of that...

5.If you could add anything to little big planet that you don't think will be in little big planet 2, what would it be?

Hmm tough one, LBP2 covered a lot of mechanical things I wanted... But I'll take any atmosphere building tools. Be it weather, sounds or other special effects.

I've always imagined loading a level in LBP as being like visiting a small planet. As soon as I enter a level I want to be transported to a surprising new world, so anything that helps set the scene I would love

6. Is there anything outside of little big planet that inspires you to create or at least gives you some ideas?

Everything. I could be reading a book, or playing another game and see something I think "I could make a level out of that". Actually I'm more likely to think "could I make a level out of that?", the more unlikely the more chance I'll try it.

7.When and how did you get little big planet?

I grabbed my copy around Jan 09', I actually got it secretly to play with someone else, as they're not as heavy a gamer as I am and I thought it would be a nice old school platformer. I knew very little about it at the time and, to be honest, the level creator sounded gimmicky.

How wrong can one person be?

8.How did you get the name Mrgenji

This is a bit twisty but bear with me - About 10-12 years ago when I first got the internet AOL at the time) of course I needed a username. I didn't think ahead that much and my brother (who was setting it all up) threw the question at me.

I didn't know, I was a kid and I wanted something "cool". Recently being playing Final Fantasy so I dartboarded the name Genji. Made it Genji1234 (as numbers on a user name are the paragon of cool).

Stuck with this for a few years, started playing Online games. Used to play and old rougetype MMO called RPGWO. Named the character Genji and I went about my business. Sometime later I started playing on another server, but being a homebrew sort of game the names clashed on my system. What I did on one server started affecting things on the other... A mod randomly stuck a title in my name to stop this - Thus MrGenji was born.

On another forum I failed with an autoform filler-thingy and it stuck all the details in the wrong boxes, so my username was a mess. It still started with Mrgenji so another random mod changed it to Mr. G for me. This is usually the name I go by now, but my PSN is under Mrgenji so I figured I would keep it for these forums.

Phew, it's changed a lot over the years.

9. Are there any other games you play besides little big planet?

As I hinted in the last question I'm a bit of a MMO players, I try to avoid grindy ones but every now and then they suck me in - Currently in the waiting line for Guildwars 2.

But I play most things, I massive geek and gamer and this is the world I live in. So Intend make the most of it.