GC '07: LittleBigPlanet Updated Hands-On

We sit down with Media Molecule's Mark Healy for a 15-minute sprint to the outer limits of LittleBigPlanet's creation tools.

LEIPZIG, Germany--While we were hoping to see something new from Media Molecule's upcoming platforming/creation game LittleBigPlanet, the build on hand here at the 2007 Games Convention in Leipzig was actually the same one we saw a few months back at E3 2007. That's the bad news. The good news is that, with a game as flexible and open-ended as LBP, there's always something new to see. So, in our brief amount of time with Media Molecule's creative director Mark Healy, we proposed a challenge: to see what the two of us could create in 15 minutes using the game's extremely flexible and easy-to-use creation controls.

Luckily for us, Healy was up for the challenge, and within a few moments had a few sketches of things we could try to make in the short amount of time allotted. While the ideas flew fast and furious, including a googly-eyed snowman and a conveyer-belt contraption, we finally agreed on a pair of mechanical boxers that we could then immediately set to battle. Following Healy's lead, we brought up the objects menu and chose a circular shape made from a cardboard-like material. To create the basic shape of our boxer's body, we would simply resize the circle and press the X button to stamp it down, eventually creating a makeshift body, legs, and head.

With the basic form down, it was time to add a bit of decoration. To do so, we accessed the stickers from the object bag and began laying down decals such as a pair of goofy-looking eyes, a luchadore mask, and a big set of teeth. Healy chose an entirely different set of eyes, a different mouth, and then went to work on the body of his created boxer--giving it a hairy chest and a couple of tattoos with just a few clicks of the X button. He also pointed out that in addition to the huge number of stickers that will be available when the game is released, players will be able to upload their own designs to their sticker albums for use on any object they create in the game.

One thing we discovered when building our cardboard boxer is that you'll be able to move objects into the foreground, center, or background of the level, something we hadn't tried before. For example, if you wanted to add wheels on either side of a piece of wood, you could do so simply by making sure that one set of wheels was set to the opposite (that is, far) side of the wood. The depth of object placement is fixed in the world, and you can choose between preset distances by pressing the shoulder buttons on the Sixaxis controller.

Using this technique, we were able to attach a makeshift shoulder joint to our created boxer, and then go about creating a slapdash arm, once again using the cardboard circle pattern. From there it was time to add the final touch: a mechanical gear that would give the boxer the ability to swing his newly created arm. You can choose from gears that move either left or right; given that our cardboard pugilists would be facing off in deadly mortal combat, we chose gears of opposite direction.

With the gears finally attached, it was time to let our created objects loose in the world. Immediately after dropping them into the map, they went to work, the gears turning with mechanical precision, causing the arms to swing with each rotation. Healy's creation was designed to have a deadly uppercut, while ours chose to swing overhand, delivering a punishing blow to anyone who dared come near. Unfortunately, our cardboard hero had a fatal flaw we hadn't foreseen when designing him: we hadn't evened out the bottoms of his feet and, as a result, the second he hit the ground and LittleBigPlanet's realistic physics engine kicked in, our cardboard boxer went down quicker than some of Mike Tyson's opponents in the late 1980s.

Lucky for us, once an object is placed in the world, your sackboy (the affectionate term given to the cute little heroes of LBP's gameworld) can interact with it by using a lasso tool of sorts that lets you manipulate objects. We immediately picked up our fighter, and set him on top of Healy's also-swooning boxer...we think we even managed to get a few good shots to the head at the same time. With another few buttons presses, we were able to more or less instantly replicate our created boxer and, in response, Healy did the same thing. Before long the screen was teaming with a mass of falling, swinging, cardboard Klitschkos.

As you can tell from the above, LittleBigPlanet is shaping up to be unlike any other PlayStation 3 experience out there. No matter if you've got three hours or 15 minutes to spend, it seems like every time you fire up the game, you'll be treated to something new. We're greatly anticipating our next hands-on time with the game--if only to see what insane creation we can come up with next--and we'll be bringing you the latest information as it becomes available.

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Discussion

138 comments
Acidbrns
Acidbrns

Sounds like pretty much the PS3 version of Will Wrights SPORE. which is an instabuy for me.

Cono_2007
Cono_2007

haha BlueyesCyclone, send it and see what they send back. Hope they do something about the PS3 store (Even though i don't use it often) but still, i think they should do something.

swiftacegamer
swiftacegamer

BlueyesCyclone send that letter.. you are right and i.. probably every Playstation 3 owner would like to have equality with the rest of the world..

smarb001
smarb001

i have a ps3, so ill try it when it becomes available, but ill probly be too busy playing halo 3... seems interesting enough

Hellisunreal
Hellisunreal

seems interesting, I really hopes it as intuitive as it sounds

lrsp
lrsp

Sounds fun.

AKAkiwi
AKAkiwi

oh yay another game for my 6 year old :(

Textar
Textar

I cant wait for this - Looks pretty sweet...

Weapon_XE
Weapon_XE

i dont think you will actually ever get tired of this game it will never be the same each time u turn it on. and its multiplayer! i see that childhood creativity coming back

jandogg
jandogg

THIS IS BETTER THAN... pretty much halo 3 WOOT

FluxZero
FluxZero

Cant wait for this one, its something new easy to pick up and intersting. Cant wait to get my hands on it. Demo please or full game im easy

eminem_trick_01
eminem_trick_01

can't wait to see this game , it's looks awesome , i wonder how i will customize the world ??!

Zaibach
Zaibach

really looking forward to this game, theres nothing else like this on the market this is a potential system seller. this may sway me to purchase the ps3 . now all i need is a get away driver.

Sigil-otaku
Sigil-otaku

@haesuse: I didn't believe you were ranting I just took the list as unnecassery since I rarely find balanced posts on this topic (even mine lead to the 360 and I like the PS3), it was just a misunderstanding though so it doesn't matter. If I was offended I'd do a 360 list to defend the console. @ NinkaMunkey: I'm more worried about campaign levels than levels........and can you make a catapult? that'd be cool.

NinjaMunkey01
NinjaMunkey01

I cant wait for this game. it will be good but I am worried about how long it will last. hmm what should I make first? CATAPULT!!!!!!!! also for those who are worried about levels. people can upload their own levels! so you will have an unlimited amount.

ihs21596
ihs21596

Well i think that LBP has some significance even though it is a DOWNLOAD or something like that, but it's not as good as some of the other games coming out like assassins creed and supreme commander : forged alliance!

haesuse
haesuse

@ sigil-otaku: i wasnt ragging on 360 at all, and i did just now realized that i misunderstood what he was saying. so i hope i did not offend anyone. my apology if i did.

Sigil-otaku
Sigil-otaku

@ Darthpenkinjan: I have many cousins and two brothers (one is my twin brother) so quite frankly no I'm not an only child. I want space for other reasons. Useless ad hominem wretch. @ haesuse:The guy was saying this justified the purchase of the PS3 in itself and then went on to compliment 360 too. I thought it was balanced so why add the list?

haesuse
haesuse

my god the more i see of LBP the more i cant believe we havent invented a time machine yet. i cant wait for this! not to start any fanboy action but just replying to the envy comment a bit below: Lair, HS, Warhawk, LBP, MGS4, Timeshift, Haze, KZ2, FFXIII, and thats just of top of my head, i am sure if i actualy go back to the release lists i can add some 20 more that are going to be out in next 1-6 months! There is really no evny just patience ;)

arczero01
arczero01

Yea this does sound good so far except for the part where i don't have a ps3.

EcoJak
EcoJak

Sounds good I want 2 play it

lamplan
lamplan

The game seems to have potential, I don't quite get it, but I was not brought upon this world to Get It.

pavel_nedved_br
pavel_nedved_br

I'm looking forward to LBP. It's been a long time since I played an innovative game. Thumbs up for Sony.

supra2jzgte
supra2jzgte

Really looking forward to this game. Hope it doesnt dissapoint. :( -dad

JB2114ATHOL
JB2114ATHOL

Let me get this right- your 2 inches tall, you run around making dumb-a$$ rock-em-soc-em robots...meh

ctifer1
ctifer1

------------ haha i just saw the funniest thing. On the top right corner it has a picture of little big planet and a link that says 'We play with the creation tools.' ------------ Where's the funny part?

d3r7y
d3r7y

Sounds like crap!

Tylendal
Tylendal

Sounds incredibly fun. I look forward to it, but worry that it might get old fast.

jumboj99
jumboj99

haha i just saw the funniest thing. On the top right corner it has a picture of little big planet and a link that says 'We play with the creation tools.'

biller88
biller88

I'm with ya JimBob, but Lair, Heavenly and Warhawk will bring me back! :)

Sigil-otaku
Sigil-otaku

4 players would just annoy me, I'd want to create it all myself but it would be fun for those that like to share. My world is dark though and I'd just see it as having only a quarter of the level. @ DaveedT: Sure physics is pretty fun to play with but it's not gonna be something I care too much about unless they implement it really really well and even then it'd have to look and feel impressive without feeling pointlessly thrown in for effect (not saying LBP is like that).

DaveedT
DaveedT

Can't wait for this, sure buy, up-to 4 player on the same screen, online capable, infinite physics fun and levels from other players...some of you just don't understand what physics will do for games eventualy and LBP is a really good example for this generation, AWESOME!

jimbobb23
jimbobb23

Justifies the PS3 purchase, though I do have some envy for some 360 games recently

steff3121
steff3121

Is this gonna be on disk, or by download only?

DarthaPerkinjan
DarthaPerkinjan

@JOnesybOy They said there will be a large number of developer created levels that come with the game. A campaign. BUT, they said those levels are really meant to give you ideas and show you what's possible to create with LBP's tools. @Mertado The developers already said when you first get you hands on LBP it isn't the full game. LBP will grow and evolve over time. This isn't your everyday game where you have levels 1-10, beat that and and your finished. They are trying to do something new, never done before on any system including PC. We should be applauding them from breaking from the norm And some more FYI, LBP will feature enemies and bosses. They will be shown at the Tokyo Game Show

Mertado
Mertado

I don't see much of a game here. A great set of creative tools, but not much of a game.

lextexrex
lextexrex

I think this is something that anyone who played with LEGOs would like. They haven't made a single Lego game where you just make stuff like at home. It's always been themed with something.

loopyliger91
loopyliger91

idc how much creativity it has, without a story...it'll hold me for like a day or so. id build one level and then realize..."i just wasted a day of my life and have no purpose to this level."

Sigil-otaku
Sigil-otaku

Thats like saying why would I want a campaign in Okami cos it's so pretty. The more the better obviously. There's a lot of creativity no doubt but that would bore me eventually cos unfortunately remodelling small levels and sending my character back and forth every now and then on freaky creation and trying to see how high I can jump just feels like I'm playing around cos there's nothing else to do if there is literally nothing else to do. My own whacky level....how whimsical. It's a platformer so if I want a story I just make a bad guy mad and create something that has upset the space time continuem (or whatever other cliche I can think of) and have the good little people going over to stop him. It could easily have a side scrolling platformer kind of game wrapped around the sand box elements. just my opinion.

zskrabs24
zskrabs24

why would u want a "campaign" in a game that has an unlimited level creativity attached to it that only a player community could ever use. the game will come with a few preset levels but the whole idea of the game is to make your own wacky level to play around in, by yourself or with friends. when this game comes out there will be an endless flow of levels on the community network making the replay value of this game unimaginably longer than it would be if it just had a "single-player campaign. besides a campaign usually has a story tied to it and if u think u can come up with a story for this kind of game, be my guest and i congratulate u if u can.