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  1. #1

    Default A typed Playstation Article Aug. 2008 by Steveisboring

    Over at the Little Big Planet site forum a guy named Steveisboring has typed the entire article from the Playstation Magazine August 2008 article about Little Big Planet for everyone to read. It has some interesting stuff that I haven't read any where else. Hope it's o.k. to put a link here.

    (Edit) Hey, no problem. To make it easier though for the forum members to discuss here on the boards, I reposted the article below. LBP Admin)

    http://www.littlebigplanetguide.com/...le+August+2008

    If LBP/Admin feels a need to take it down, I would understand. Or if this has already been discussed in another thread some where let me know it has July 7 on the first post. If not I hope you guys find this an interesting read.

  2. #2

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    Nope, looks good. Thanks for posting, it's an interesting read.

    By the way, lbp is the only member of staff on this site. He's the only admin, and he doesn't have moderators yet, either(although he may need them when the interview goes live, as it may bring in a ton of members). The closest to that is people who are allowed to post news on the homepage, and rights are fairly limited there as well. It's good, actually, because people learn that being well-behaved and well-spoken isn't enough to be given power. [/rant]

    Anyway, I enjoyed reading it.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by BurlapSackBoy View Post
    Over at the Little Big Planet site forum a guy named Steveisboring has typed the entire article from the Playstation Magazine August 2008 article about Little Big Planet for everyone to read. It has some interesting stuff that I haven't read any where else. Hope it's o.k. to put a link here.

    http://www.littlebigplanetguide.com/...le+August+2008

    If LBP/Admin feels a need to take it down, I would understand. Or if this has already been discussed in another thread some where let me know it has July 7 on the first post. If not I hope you guys find this an interesting read.
    this is fantastic - thankyou!
    A few key things that stood out to me....

    . To hep you out, a number of the in-game levels will be available for you to tweak. Simply copy the level, then paste it to your LittleBigMoon (the location of all your levels-in-progress). Each save file is just 200K to 400K in size, so space shouldn't be an issue (unless you use the PS Eye to snap and import a huge number of your own photos).
    So that means there's not a limit to the amount of levels you can have on your PS3? I hope so - fantastic!!!!!

    ...one observer asked Shubel during his tour showcasing the game. Well, you can, if you must. But toensure objectable material is not freely availab to all users, any player will be able to "grief" a level, instantly removing if from download and flagging it for assessment by SCEA's custormer service team. Only one person needs to grief a level to have it removed, but serial griefers will also be flagged, and their ability to grief can be removed by moderators.
    I'm interested to see how this turns out.

  4. #4

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    No, it's all good.

    Here is a breakdown of that article. Thanks for the link!


    "What is fun?"
    Good question. A very, very good question to ask if you're working in the game space. Of course, it's been oft-asked and seldom satisfactorily answered. But it formed the basis of new studio Media Molecule's pitch to get their creative game concept signed, funded, and ultimately published. According to the game's U.S. producer, Kyle Shubel, SCE's president of worldwide studios (at the time), Phil Harrison, recognized the potential genius (or simply understood the fellow Englishmen's accents), and signed LittleBigPlanet into development exclusively for PS3. Good move.

    That initial pitch was supported by a video that posed the elusive question, but also tried to answer it.
    Fun, defined.
    According to Shubel this presentation focused on people having fun, casually. It incorporated social interactions, sitting on the couch with buddies, snowboarding, hanging out. It presented the environment that would allow LittleBigPlanet to capture the essence of fun gameplay blended with social interaction.
    Every tweak, change, and decision made in the seemingly ever-expanding development schedule has been to further that objective.
    It's fascinating, then, that with each iteration LittleBigPlanet displays features and functions deeper, more complex, more "hardcore" than its intially prescribed simplicity. Over a year ago, at SCEA's Gamer's Day, the first hands-on with LittleBigPlanet revealed a game that oozed cute from every fabric stitche of the stylized, user-defined sac characters. Manipulating the character's arms using the Left and Right triggers, moving the head around with the Sixaxis conrol (now with added hip controls, so you can shimmy from the waist) was a simple joy in itself. Jumping through the English Garden livel, collecting the worlds currency of sponge (if you felt like it). Grabbing objects (and each other) in four-player co-operative fun-ness caused gamers of all ages and stripes to grin like kids. I know, because I was one of them, beguiled by its simple charms.

    That same level is quite different today. Though the gameplay remains true at its heart, the experience feels different now due to the addition of new elements, floating characters, and tweaked puzzles, along with the removal of the Polaroid snapshot that captured the joy of launching on the skateboard through the finish line. It's hard to say this change is for the best--though it's certainly not for the worst--but it illustrates the perpetual feature creep that this powerful, creatively driven toolset and engine can provide. One day, we hope soon, LittleBigPlanet will be finished to the point of being shipped...and then the real fun can begin.

    Even at this point the exact storyline that drives the experience through the 50 planned levels is being kept under wraps. In part that's due to some overly rigorous secrecy, but as Shubel suggests, it's also because the ongoing iterative process afoot inside Media Molecule's team means that it simply isn't set. What's clear is that you start in your sack character's pod--a sort of spacey location that you can customize with patterns and stickers (the kind on which you can paste images captured using the PlayStation Eye)--and look out at CraftEarth, the home of all the levels set in regions around the world. Up to three levels will be open for you to try. Each can be played alone or with up to three other buddies.
    Starting off, your primary goal will be the collection of "fluff" (formerly sponge), and you'll be ranked at a bronze, silver, or gold level depending on how well you do, giving you plenty of motication to replay levels if you don't achieve gold. Then, from one to three new levels will open up for you to try, potentially in different regions. So while you might start in England, you can end up in parts of Europe, Africa, and elsewhere.

    After completing a few levels, an intriguing new option will be available: the ability to choose a Player or Creator path. The player path is designed to take you through the levels that reveal the storyline. The Creator path will direct you down levels that let you unlock new items and objects that you want to acquire and accrue to use in your own level designs.
    As mentioned, the storyline isn't exactly clear, but we're pretty sure it will be inventive. What makes us say that?
    Were you really expecting to see pole-dancing meerkats?
    Were not kidding.
    An objective to rescue baby meerkat and return it to momma meerkat might seem overtly cutsey, but it's not without danger to yoru sack boys and girls. The addition of a piston mechanic to the physics model (also available for use in your own levels) allows for meerkat to pop up from their holes, sending you sailing through the air if you linger over a hole at appropriate time. This device gets you hopping thorugh the vertically designed meerkat warren, giving you access to areas that a simple jump won't let you reach.

    LittleBigPlanet's cute style disguises some keen gamplay challenges. Aside from straight puzzles (where to go next, now to get there), the addition of dangers really amps up the challenge. You might have already seen grim, green poison gans, searing-hot fire pits, and electrical currents that zap you like an X-ray machine (none are instant death if you touch them; you have a fraction of a second to leap out of harm's way), but the newly revealed ice effect is as, ahem, cool as it is deadly. Step on the ice for too long and you'll be encased in a cube, at which point you have a few seconds to frantically shake the Sixaxis controller to bust out of this potential frozen tomb.


    One level set in Russia takes full advantage of the slippery physics effects imbued by an icy surface. Jumping aboard a sled, you careen down ramps at high speed, over jumps that require you to use the Sixaxis to keep the sled level so it hits the next rap without losing speed. The speed is intense, and the replayability is surprisingly subtle as you'll whizz past fluff that you know you'll be able to collect...but how? You'll have to replay a few times to see if a different path down the mountain is available.

    With each addition, the potential for incredible LBP creations of your own devising expands exponentially. No doubt it also adds tot he learning curve you'll need to crest to muster the kind of creativity on display from Media Molecule's own levels. To hep you out, a number of the in-game levels will be available for you to tweak. Simply copy the level, then paste it to your LittleBigMoon (the location of all your levels-in-progress). Each save file is just 200K to 400K in size, so space shouldn't be an issue (unless you use the PS Eye to snap and import a huge number of your own photos).
    Trial and error will be a huge part of the creative process. You're not completely on your won, though; video tutorials scattered around various levels will show you how to create what you're seeing on the screen. No doubt when you see something cool--like the rampaging bull that chases you through one level--you'll want to know how it was done. These tutorials should help. In addition, you'll be able to copy particular elements out of these levels, and save them in your Pop-it (the interface that gives you access to all the menu options of customization and create tools).

    Though again it has yet to be determined, the number of save slots in your Pop-it will be limited (we're guessing it'll in at about a dozen). If that's not enough for a particular design, you can always save your level, open another, swap out your save slot items and objects, and bring them with you into the new creation. Expect expert creators to have a level that's a pure object gallery--all the pieces they've created or copied, stored in one mishmash place as a toolbox.

    To help tell a story you'll be able to place whiteboards with text details in your level (we saw this in the developer levels, explaining the story and objective behind the meerkat rescue, for example). With a starting gate, finish line, and video screen panced, your level will automatically provide ranks and scores. Getting all the components correctly placed, the physics to your liking, and each challenge and puzzle perfected will take time, but you'll be able to publish your levels for firends to beta test, adn lock any or all parts of it so that other users can't manipulate it. To assist the editing process, the VCR effect lets you pause the world physics (meaning make-shift cars won't roll off into the distance while you build other parts, for example). and even "rewind" essentially undoing your last action.
    In our playtest using the tools, we took a while to get used to the locations of objects in the Pop-it, as well as the placement of them on the world. Though levels look likey they're on a 2D plane, they actually have three dimention depth levels requiring you to stick object to the rear background to prevent physics taking over and them simply falling to the ground. While the developers raced through the buliding, sizing, rotating, and placing of blocks in the Pop-it menu like it's second nature, it's trickier than they make it look!


  5. #5

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    Part 2 of this article


    Throw in the new physics addition of pistons (which power the head-popping meerkats) and now rockets, along with their variety of uses --and just getting your head around the possibilities will be job one for level creators. Job two will be actually developing a plan, as the white canvas of a blank level is oddly intimidating. When yuo consider that our level is a personal representation of your own unique creativity, you can't hel but feel the pressure to try to do something spectacular!
    It's worth nothing that you can't need to create levels that are straigt platformers and puzzlers. What about telling a joke thorugh creative use of stickers, whiteboard text, and more? How about telling a story, a fairy tale, a parable? Producer Kyle Shubel already has his heart set on recreating the classic adventure game Pitfall---pits, traps, even swinging ropes can be built failry simply with these broad-ranging tools.

    Of course, other potentialextensions of the level creation tools have posed questions the games industry hasn't hd to face before. Sinceyou can take a picture of anything, like...anything, what happens hen you see a Sackboy who's, well, y'know, stickered with, er, a sack...boy.
    "Can I create a forest of penises?"
    ...one observer asked Shubel during his tour showcasing the game. Well, you can, if you must. But toensure objectable material is not freely availab to all users, any player will be able to "grief" a level, instantly removing if from download and flagging it for assessment by SCEA's custormer service team. Only one person needs to grief a level to have it removed, but serial griefers will also be flagged, and their ability to grief can be removed by moderators.

    A more fascinating conundrum faced by SCEA and the game's moderators is the use of cpyright material, even if used by the copyright holders. If I'm, say, the VP of Marketing at McDonalds, I'd take pictures of my Golden Arche, import them into a level as stickers, and craft an interactive ad for my brand. hat happens then? According to Shubel a user would have to grief the level for it to be brought to SCEA's attention, but then a decision--currently unclear--has to be made of what to do. It may not be ffensive, but does a levl like that impy ony or SCEA's edorsement of another company's brand or produts Thaking it one step further, what if the VP of Marketing at Microsoft created an Xbox-themed level? And why shouldn't Sony Pictures use LittleBigPlanet to market a new movie throuh an inteactive recreation of the next Spider-Man, for example?
    Parallels to MySpace, Facebook, and perhaps more relevantly, online game Second Life are readily apparetly. Bands are an obvious target for creating lebvels themed after their style. Aside from music created by Media Molecule, the game will ship with songs licensed from a wide variety of bands. Better yet, a mini-music mixer tool will let you manipulate those tracks, picking out certain elements for use in your own levels. Music packsare also an obvious target for downloadable content that Shubel confirmed would be part fo the long-term LB strategy.

    Though just a few months from shipping it does seem a numer of fairly important questions about the process, outline, and direction of LittleBigPlaet's many facets remain undetermined. Aside from illustrating the eolving, iterative creative style of the tight-knit developmentstudio housedin Guildford, England, it also reflects the level of originality the game delivers on an industr-wide scale. Many of these questions simply haven't been asked before, let alone answered. "Figuring out those question is why the game hasn't hsippe yet," chuckles Shubel.
    Yet, these kinds of creative conundrums ar exactly why LBP is such a big deal. What started as a concept dream is now neearing ship-reality; LittleBigPlanet's ambition, creative, style, and potental peg it as probably the most important game releasing on PlayStation 3 this year. What's why you need to know about it, and that's why you'll discover the definition of fun when it finally rleases on Blu-ray in October.


  6. #6
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    You guys shore are helpful around here!
    ryryryan and confusedcartman showed me how to embed a video the other day. Now LBP has moved the whole article over to this site for you guys to read. I'm not use to a site where everyones friendly.
    Thanks guys for the great atmosphere at this site.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by BurlapSackBoy View Post
    You guys shore are helpful around here!
    ryryryan and confusedcartman showed me how to embed a video the other day. Now LBP has moved the whole article over to this site for you guys to read. I'm not use to a site where everyones friendly.
    Thanks guys for the great atmosphere at this site.
    Yeah - i love it too! It's why i regular this site and none others really... no other atmosphere like it!

  8. #8

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    Glad to hear. I really want this site to be about having fun, sharing ideas, and the community shaping what happens.

    There are other boards filled with console wars, trash talking other games, swearing, heated debates. I just want this to be a place where anyone can feel welcome.


  9. #9
    28Days:6Hours:42Min:12Sec Frank-the-Bunny's Avatar
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    so true i love it here and i get to talk about one of my most wanted game like ever...

  10. #10
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    Loved the article. The creator vs player really appeals to me, I'll probably play creator first and then create some stuff and then play the player levels. I wonder if the story will be different for each.

    Also loved the really fast sled level idea. Can't wait to play it.

    I really just wanna get my hands on this game. One question I thought of was will there be sound effects in the game? Like if you have a volcano will you be able to add a sound effect when if erupts? Just so that if you don't want to put music in the level, there will be some cool sound effects to keep you interested.

    And in response to BurlapSackboy... you're absolutely right. I don't post here a lot but I read the comments a lot and the atmosphere is unparalleled on any forum I've ever been on. Being nice seems to be a lost concept on a lot of people these days especially online and it's great to be able to come to a place which has very little negativity compared to most forums. It's almost therapeutic. I commend everyone on making this forum the place it is and I hope it never changes.
    Last edited by Burrich; 08-03-2008 at 03:04 AM.

  11. #11
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    That was a fantastic read...thank you very much for posting it

    I am having some serious trouble waiting for this game...

  12. #12

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    Great read. Very interesting.

  13. #13
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    That was great! I'm especially interested in the ingame video tutorials on how to build things like the "Bull that chases you" that they mentioned!

    The Player vs Creator thing also sounds brilliant, and so does the rest of it..I might fo read it again just to take it all in :P

    Brilliant find

  14. #14

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    I really like the idea of tutorials at the beginning of the story mode.

    ^70's Disco Sack, Thanks Code

  15. #15

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    meh, I just bought the mag, great read.

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