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  1. #1

    Default Comprehensive Thermo Overview and Guide

    To view this guide as an external document, click here.


    The purpose of this tutorial is to be a guide for all things thermo. We hope to teach a few things, as well as clear up some common misconceptions. This should be a community effort in that if you have something to add to the tutorial that is of merit, then I will add it. We shall begin with the simplest of the simple.

    What is the thermometer in LittleBigPlanet for?
    Put simply, the thermometer in LittleBigPlanet's create mode is a visual indicator of the amount of "stuff" you are allowed to put in your level. Obviously, there needs to be some upper limit for the contents of our levels, or else we could run the risk of overloading and crashing our PS3's. This limit is there for a reason, so there's not much sense in kicking and screaming for Media Molecule to increase the thermo - the PS3 simply cannot handle it. We just have to deal with the limitations and build accordingly. MM recently released a video that teaches about some of the basics of dealing with the thermometer (only a day after starting this thread, no less). While they offer some excellent pointers, they don't cover everything. If you haven't yet seen the video, it can be viewed here:



    What the video fails to discuss in detail is the idea that the thermometer is actually several different thermometers. The way the system works, then, is that the highest of the possible thermometers will be the one that is displayed in create mode. We know that these additional thermometers exist by looking at the back of the game box, or by reading the various messages that pop up when your level begins to overheat. We can then consider all the different thermometers that are being recorded in create mode:

    LBP Thermometers
    • Complex Shapes
    • Materials
    • Stickers and Decorations
    • Collected Objects
    • Objects being too close together
    • Moving Objects
    • Objects and Shapes
    • Emitters
    • Creature Brains
    • Connectors


    Thermo Management
    The first thing to understand when trying to manage your thermo, and squeezing every last bit of level out of your allocated space, is that each thermo acts seemingly independently of every others. While this is not entirely true, it is a good way to approach the management of all your different thermos. This means that even if one thermo is close to maxing out, you may have an immense amount of space to work with in your other thermos. Note, though, that some objects will tax multiple thermos at once (the point bubble is a prime example), so keep in mind that this is not an exact science. We will occasional offer some stats as to how many of a certain object will fit in a level. These figures are merely to represent the amount of thermo that this object may take up (since we don't have a uniform way of measuring these things). Instead of using this guide as a be-all-end-all solution to managing your thermo, you should treat it as a set of guidelines established by your peers here at LittleBigPlanetCentral.

    "The key to maximizing each Thermo is to have a clear plan throughout every phase of building."
    -Me, just now

    To make things as clear as possible, we will continue by breaking down what each of these thermometers entails. Click on each thermo's spoiler to display the information:


    Complex Shapes
    Spoiler Spoiler - Complex Shapes


    Materials
    Spoiler Spoiler - Materials


    Stickers and Decorations
    Spoiler Spoiler - Stickers and Decorations


    Collected Objects
    Spoiler Spoiler - Collected Objects


    Moving Objects
    Spoiler Spoiler - Moving Objects


    Objects Being too Close Together
    Spoiler Spoiler - Objects Being too Close Together


    Objects and Shapes
    Spoiler Spoiler - Objects and Shapes


    Emitters (Contributed initially by goldenclaw13)
    Spoiler Spoiler - Emitters

    Spoiler Spoiler - Tricking the Emitter 1

    Spoiler Spoiler - Tricking the Emitter 2


    Creature Brains
    Spoiler Spoiler - Creature Brains


    Connectors
    Spoiler Spoiler - Connectors


    The Thermo's Initial Jump (as contributed by incinerator22)

    You may or may not have noticed that you sometimes get an initial thermo jump in certain situation. Precisely, we are referring to the initial jump in thermo when you first place a tool or object in your level such as a type of connector, sound, or material. It does not reflect the actual thermometer weight of an object when using a bunch of them, rather it indicates the thermometer usage necessary to load the texture/shape/whatever of that object, which can then be used more efficiently when subsequently used.

    The key is to make smart decisions. When you're about to place a new type of object or tool, be aware of a potential bump in the thermometer. Ask yourself if it is really worth it to use that object, especially you only plan to use it once or twice. It may not be worth the cost unless it is an important part of the level. It's all about being precise in your management. For example, two blocks of two different materials uses more thermo than five blocks of one material. After you place the initial object/material into the level, subsequent copies of that same object/material will be more efficient.

    ----------

    And this concludes the LBPCentral Comprehensive Thermo Guide. If you feel that something needs to be added to this guide, make a post in response. We will take a look at your suggestion and will determine if it should be added. If you don’t get a response within a few days, send a message to me [comphermc].

    Thanks.

    Comphy

    ----------

    Contributers:
    goldenclaw13, Rogar, CCubbage, rtm223, Burnvictim42, Teebonesy, SteveBigGuns, warlord_evil, ConfusedCartman, Treas, Xario, incinerator22

    Give these guys a hand for helping out.
    Last edited by comphermc; 06-09-2010 at 08:12 PM.
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  2. #2

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    Wow, this is going to be really useful for me, I am going to need it for my next (first big) project I never knew the different thermometers acted individually!

    Also, you should probably add a section on emitters - It is a very vital factor of the thermometer at times. Too many at the same time will result in more temp, as well as emitting complicated objects.

    EDIT: I PMed you an emitter section, may want to add it in there
    Last edited by goldenclaw13; 09-23-2009 at 05:46 AM.

    I haven't been on for a long time, but now I'm back :]

  3. Thanks!


  4. #3

    Default

    Good summary, nice work!

    Quote Originally Posted by comphermc View Post
    Many people will fore-go using sponge in their levels to reduce the materials thermo if necessary, by using dissolve instead (see next point about stickering). The efficiency of such a system is compounded by the fact that you are probably using dissolve somewhere in the level already. For most, this is a non-issue, but it is a point of interesting/suggestion.[/B]
    On the other hand, I really like using sponge for its rounding effects. You can save a lot on vertices, and thus the first thermometer, using them.


  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogar View Post
    On the other hand, I really like using sponge for its rounding effects. You can save a lot on vertices, and thus the first thermometer, using them.
    Thanks. I've added this to the notes below materials.

    I've also added goldenclaw's section on emitters, with a few grammatical edits. I think the format of that section is alright, but I'm open to suggestions. Now its own section.
    Last edited by comphermc; 09-24-2009 at 03:14 AM.
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  6. #5

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    Nice work there Comph, lets just hope this conquers all the same question threads being made about the thermo.

    I'm pretty sure they will remain as new members can find the entire forum a bit daunting and what better way to ask then by creating a thread, right? right?

    But at least now we will be able to redirect them to this thread.
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  8. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwollie View Post
    But at least now we will be able to redirect them to this thread.
    Exactly.

    Thanks.
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  9. #7

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    Awesome thread! I should have done this a long time ago instead of telling people over and over and over....

    Couple other points:

    Quote Originally Posted by CompherMC
    Unconfirmed - By gluing down an object with a DM staple, you are allowing the game to disregard the physics for that object, potentially reducing the thermo (not sure which category)
    Definately true.

    All separate, unglued objects (even if they are attached by a connector) effect the "separate objects" thermo. The system will actually tell you "Try glueing objects to dark matter or the base of the level". When an object is not glued directly or by proxy to dark matter it still is affected by physics.

    The "objects too close together" will also go down if you glue objects in proximity to each other with dark matter.
    Experiment - try crushing a piece of cardboard. Then, glue it to dark matter. Try crushing it again - it can no longer be crushed! (actually, very useful for some logic because you can glue dissolve to something to prevent, for instance, a piston from moving until the dissolve disappears).
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  10. #8
    Tarsier Level Designer comphermc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CCubbage View Post
    All separate, unglued objects (even if they are attached by a connector) effect the "separate objects" thermo. The system will actually tell you "Try glueing objects to dark matter or the base of the level". When an object is not glued directly or by proxy to dark matter it still is affected by physics.

    The "objects too close together" will also go down if you glue objects in proximity to each other with dark matter.
    Experiment - try crushing a piece of cardboard. Then, glue it to dark matter. Try crushing it again - it can no longer be crushed!
    Excellent, thanks for the additions. I will try to add them in when I get a chance.

    So, is there a separate objects thermo? I wasn't sure about that... or is it just included in the thermos already mentioned?

    Quote Originally Posted by CCubbage View Post
    (actually, very useful for some logic because you can glue dissolve to something to prevent, for instance, a piston from moving until the dissolve disappears).
    I've used this before, but had never considered that the dissolve was "stronger".
    Last edited by comphermc; 09-23-2009 at 01:26 PM.
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  11. #9

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    I don't think it is. There are 2 messages "Try using less shapes" (I THINK thats what it says) and another "You have too many objects. Try glueing them to dark matter or the base of your level".

    So... even with glue AND using the same vertices, 2 separate AND glued pieces of material use more than 1 large. So having giant pieces of material will allow a much bigger level.

    And if you have a whole bunch of objects that are not glued to dark matter so that they EACH can be affected by physics, you will get the 2nd message.

    OH, by the way - I noticed in a recent patch they started listing ALL the thermos you are getting full on (while creating Splat III). So instead of just saying the top thermo killer, it will say something like "Try using less materials, use less stickers and decorations, glue separate objects to dark matter, and use less collected objects".

    VERY useful!
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  12. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by comphermc View Post

    LBP Thermometers
    • Complex Shapes
    • Materials
    • Stickers and Decorations
    • Collected Objects
    • Objects being too close together
    • Moving Objects
    • Objects and shapes
    • emitters
    • creature brains


    [SIZE="5"]
    A circle by itself does not actually take up a whole lot of thermo, but once you combine it with other shapes to make something irregular, the effects start to increase. remember the circle is actually treated as a circle rather than an icosagon when it is on it's own





    Other Points of interest
    • Many people will hold up sections of their level using "Dark Matter Staples" or little pieces of Dark Matter for support. There are many ways to use this method, but one way to use it efficiently. The most efficient way to use a DM staple is to create a triangle of it (triangles only have 3 sides...d'uh) and glue it to your object. Avoid putting a chunk of DM inside the object, as it adds edges to the object, as well as the DM itself.
    • I have a strong suspicion that using the offscreen DM with rod attached to object will make the object count as moving, but I haven't had chance to test that yet.
    • Open


    ----------

    Materials


    [B]Other notes:
    Unconfirmed - By gluing down an object with a DM staple, you are allowing the game to disregard the physics for that object, potentially reducing the thermo (not sure which category) Moving objects - this has nothing to do with materials


    ----------

    Stickers and Decorations


    Other notes:
    • Just like how each individual shape has its own Complex Shapes Thermo, each object has its own Sticker and Decorations Thermo. Last I heard, an object was allowed to have 100 99 stickers on it. That should be plenty of breathing room. Decorations take up more (x2??) thermo than stickers.
    • The paintinator is affected by your Stickers and Decorations Thermo in that each paintball produces splat stickers when they strike a surface. If your Stickers and Decorations Thermo is too high, it may result in the paintinator not working, and will "click" as if out of paint. Is this the only contributing factor?

    ----------

    Collected Objects

    This Thermo includes many different aspects, which we will try to break down individually. These include, but are not limited to, emitted objects emitters, community objects, story mode objects, and objects found in the tools section of your popit.

    Emitters
    (Contributed by goldenclaw13)

    This is in the wrong section - it needs to be on it's own, as it's not a contributer to a specific thermo
    An incredibly easy way to raise your thermometer is - can you guess? That's right, emitters! Emitters can be fun to play with...but also deadly to your Thermo. Emitting lots and lots of moving parts will cause the system to have to stop and think about the physics of each emitted object. They can be used efficiently, but only when you when you consider all the factors for emitted objects.

    An important part of emitters in how they relate to the thermometer is emitting too many objects for too long a duration Total number of objects and has no effect on thermo, the issue is number of objects at once. The number of objects at once means that you have the potential for that object to add it's edges and moving parts etc to the level. It should be as low as possible. The emitter calc has changed at some point so that frequency and duration are used to imply a low max at once if possible, which is neat.

    Quote Originally Posted by CCubbage View Post
    I don't think it is. There are 2 messages "Try using less shapes" (I THINK thats what it says) and another "You have too many objects. Try glueing them to dark matter or the base of your level".
    I'm pretty sure that's "objects and shapes" and "moving objects"

    Quote Originally Posted by CCubbage View Post
    OH, by the way - I noticed in a recent patch they started listing ALL the thermos you are getting full on (while creating Splat III). So instead of just saying the top thermo killer, it will say something like "Try using less materials, use less stickers and decorations, glue separate objects to dark matter, and use less collected objects".

    VERY useful!
    I don't get this on setbacks, and I have around 3-4 thermos on 99%
    Last edited by rtm223; 09-23-2009 at 01:46 PM.
    -- ? --


  13. #11
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    Thanks. I have some editing to do...
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  15. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by rtm223
    I don't get this on setbacks, and I have around 3-4 thermos on 99%
    Weird..... I've been watching it the last several days pretty consistently while working on Splat III - I've got 5 of the thermos at around 90%. Hmmm....
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  16. #13
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    Great job so far, thanks for poking holes in everything already RTM ;p

    um... only thing i could think of offhand is that for emitters, if you're not using it, you shouldn't be emitting it. If you hook up switches to activate emitters only when they're needed, you'll save a bit of space for the thermos the emitter is affecting, as things aren't being fired all over the place.

    Also, just as general advice, be sure to think carefully about what you need out at once when editing your emitters. Make sure to only have as many as you need at once, and that they only last as long as you need.

    Free feel to poke holes in those RTM :P I'm expecting you to come out of nowhere and prove me wrong

  17. Thanks!


  18. #14
    Grand Den Mod-er of LBPC Morgana25's Avatar
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    Default

    Brilliant idea for a thread!

    I'm always hit by the complex objects one first but after learning a ton from other creators (you know who you are) I think I'm getting better at managing thermo.


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  19. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burnvictim42 View Post
    Great job so far, thanks for poking holes in everything already RTM ;p

    um... only thing i could think of offhand is that for emitters, if you're not using it, you shouldn't be emitting it. If you hook up switches to activate emitters only when they're needed, you'll save a bit of space for the thermos the emitter is affecting, as things aren't being fired all over the place.

    Also, just as general advice, be sure to think carefully about what you need out at once when editing your emitters. Make sure to only have as many as you need at once, and that they only last as long as you need.

    Free feel to poke holes in those RTM :P I'm expecting you to come out of nowhere and prove me wrong

    This is why Emitters need an entire section to themselves... All the stuff like making sure they don't emit in create mode etc is really important.
    -- ? --

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  21. #16
    Toolmaster of LBPCentral v0rtex's Avatar
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    Yes, thank you for this - very useful. Much of it I've already learned - either from you lot, or from hard experience - but a lot of useful info in one location!

    BTW - I think the thread title is mis-spelled. Shouldn't it be Comphrehensive Thermo Overview?

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  23. #17
    Tarsier Level Designer comphermc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by v0rtex View Post
    Shouldn't it be Comphrehensive Thermo Overview?
    Ha ha. Although very clever, I'll try to stay professional and avoid puns. Thanks for the laugh, though.

    --------

    Thanks for the additions and refutations so far, guys. I've tried to update the OP with everything you guys have said, but I may have missed something. I will do my best to get this finished in a timely manner, but I've got other stuff going on (like, you know, real life, and all). I'm actually between classes right now. In this regard, your help is greatly appreciated and welcome.
    Last edited by comphermc; 09-23-2009 at 05:33 PM.
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    I just did a little experimentation with stickers and decorations, here are my findings:

    A maxed Stickers thermo consists of 6930 stickers (70 blocks with 99 stickers each).
    The sticker doesn't seem to make a difference, i tried the blue square, the stylized antelope, and the thin sketch bricks stickers (one a single color, one with many colors, and one with transparency) and they all had the same number of stickers. Size also made no difference.

    A maxed decorations thermo has different qualities

    I tried sticking a block full of the peacock feathers, and could place 41 of them on a block. I tried placing the glasses, and could place 51 on a block. I could place 16 blocks of both decorations. As a result, i think that, as RTM suspected, different decorations have different thermometer values.

    I didn't get the chance to test if size affected it at all.

    I'll be doing some more experimentation later, idk if it'll be with decorations though.

  25. Thanks!


  26. #19
    Tarsier Level Designer comphermc's Avatar
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    Wow! Thanks

    Added.

    If I can make a request for further testing it would be (in terms of priority):

    -Point/prize bubbles
    -Mag key switches
    -Pistons/rods/etc.

    That is assuming you're willing. I should have some time to do the same as early as tomorrow.
    Last edited by comphermc; 09-23-2009 at 10:40 PM.
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  27. #20

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    The list is looking very good, hopefully this will prevent some of those extra thermometer threads that seem to have been popping up frequently as of late.

    Signature and Avatar made by Rhyfelwr.

  28. Thanks!


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