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Opinion

PlayStation Access: LBP2 Dev Session

Play, Create, Share... with the developers!

LittleBigPlanet 2 is a great game. You should know that by now, considering that it’s been out for a month and we scored it a fantastic 9/10 in our review. What you probably don’t know is that the developers are equally as awesome as the game they have made.

Of course, if you’ve been keeping up with TheSixthAxis recently, then you should know that I attended the PlayStation Access event in Glasgow last weekend. You will be glad to hear that I had a very personal session with the LittleBigPlanet 2 community manager: Tom Kiss, in which he gave tips on how to create the best levels, played the game with me, Murdo (CaptainMurdo) and Alex (nofi) and discussed the game with us.

Before all of that happened, however, four of us were brought into a room with three other normal guys, three televisions and three copies of LittleBigPlanet 2 being played. They weren’t normal guys, however; they were three lovely guys that had taken time out of their busy schedule to sit down and play LittleBigPlanet 2 with us. The game wasn’t all that normal either; it was one of the fancy developer versions where they could do things from the menu that we’re never supposed to see. The televisions, sadly, were pretty normal; HD, though!

Murdo and I were then introduced to Martin, the Producer of LittleBigPlanet 2. All hell broke loose a few minutes later, when he tried to turn the volume up so that we could hear the music sequencer in action and LittleBigPlanet 2 disappeared off the screen and wouldn’t come back. It was up to Tom to take over, with his fancy, working television and copy of LBP2. He sat us down and we got talking; I told him that I was interested in what goes on in the game because of my Uni course, and Murdo pointed out that I write for TheSixthAxis (and that he used to) and showed him his lovely TSA t-shirt. Tom knew of TSA, so we were off to a good start. He asked if I’d write anything about it and I wasn’t sure. Well, here it is; I did write about it, Tom.

Tom loaded up one of his levels and started showing us how the controlinator works. Even though I’ve had Stephen Fry tell me how to do it, that’s nothing compared to getting shown by a staff member of Media Molecule and being able to ask questions directly. Watching him build a spaceship of sorts was incredible; he made it fly around using the left stick, stopped it from wobbling by adjusting the settings, it made it much more clear to me how people make the top down levels. It wasn’t long before he added an emitter to shoot out… cans. He took us through creating and modifying Sackbots and showed us all of the different things you can do with them; it was all really interesting and something I could use myself when making a level.

It wasn’t long before he was showing us how to get everything happening at the right time – by using sequencers. The music played, the lights turned off and on and it all worked brilliantly. He seemed really excited to be showing us the game, which was just great; he was really down-to-earth and seemed like he just wanted to play the game, getting excited about it as he flew around the level adjusting things and controlling Sackbots.

It’s really quite incredible to get LittleBigPlanet tutorials from the team at Media Molecule themselves; it all felt so surreal. What’s better than getting help with making levels from Media Molecule, then? How about playing the levels in the story mode with them? That’s right, Murdo and I grabbed a controller and Tom started up the basketball level. The level, which is some of the most fun I’ve had in LittleBigPlanet 2, was even more incredible due to the fact that we were playing casually with Tom.

Unfortunately, Tom won that round. I blame the fact that me and Murdo looked identical as Sackboys. After a quick costume change, we played the Rodent Derby (which I won) and Rocket Funland (which I also won) levels; I had quite literally beaten Tom at his own game. We decided that Rocket Funland was too fun to stop playing, so about 20 minutes after our session was supposed to end, we were still playing, and we had now been joined by Alex who also played Rocket Funland with us.

Tom also shared with us what he thought of the community levels; he said that it was great what people had done with Sackbots and the controlinator, mentioning the Iron Man level that uses a powered-up Sackbot. He seemed really pleased with the levels, and we were told that this is a great time to buy LittleBigPlanet 2, as people have had a while to create some incredible levels with the tools.

Robert (wick15) and Colin (Colinbarr66) had a chat with the other developers there, so I’ve asked them how it went for them and they agreed that it was great playing the game with Media Molecule. Robert said that “it was great to see how they make the story levels with the game’s tools, it’s incredible” and that they had a great sense of humour and that they were very down to earth. Colin said that “it was just fun” and I couldn’t agree more; it was a lot of fun.

It truly was a great experience; I’d like to say thanks to the developers for being awesome, thanks to Tom for putting up with us for so long and showing us how it all worked and I’d definitely like to thank everyone at PlayStation that helped make this happen. The developers seemed very down to earth and all they wanted to do was play the games with us. I’m sure we gave them some great feedback, too. It was just amazing being able to talk to the developers in such a laid back and personal way and, to me, it was definitely one of the best parts of PlayStation Access and one of the best parts of the year so far.

14 Comments
  1. ProjectJAY
    Member
    Since: Aug 2009

    My session was with Martin Lynagh, the producer. We had a game of Rocket Funland as well. I swear it was almost as much fun as Smash Bros. :)

    Comment posted on 21/02/2011 at 15:04.
  2. BrendanCalls
    Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc - YOHIMBÉ!!!
    Since: Forever

    Im wrestling woth the top down level view at the moment, Im not sure Ill be able to grasp the whole concept in time to build a TSA competition level before Killzone 3 is released, because after then LBP” will be taking a back seat for a couple of weeks

    Comment posted on 21/02/2011 at 15:24.
    • mynameisblair
      hisnameisblair
      Since: May 2009

      Basically, you need to make an object with a controlinator moving it up, down, left and right with the stick and turn off the gravity so it can move around freely. There’s also an option to stop it from wobbling.

      Comment posted on 21/02/2011 at 15:26.
    • R1MJAW
      Member
      Since: May 2010

      I’ve got a top down level published already bc, if you need help figuring stuff out just send me a psn message.

      Comment posted on 21/02/2011 at 16:02.
    • BrendanCalls
      Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc - YOHIMBÉ!!!
      Since: Forever

      Thanks guys, Im gonna have another look at it tonight before the meet, then I’ll on youtube, the how -to heaven
      Thansk for the offer R1MJAW, it something you may regret saying though LOL!!!

      Comment posted on 21/02/2011 at 16:21.
      • Voganlight
        Member
        Since: Jul 2009

        If that isn’t enough, I can always (Quite literally) help!

        Comment posted on 21/02/2011 at 16:36.
      • R1MJAW
        Member
        Since: May 2010

        No problem mate, I’ve been helping out another friend with stuff anyway. I’ve spent quite a bit of time just experimenting with logic stuff and although not everything works first time, I can usually get most things working as intended.

        Comment posted on 21/02/2011 at 17:18.
  3. TheShepanator
    Member
    Since: Nov 2009

    I took the time out of creating my competition level to read this. be grateful!

    Comment posted on 21/02/2011 at 16:11.
    • Voganlight
      Member
      Since: Jul 2009

      I nearly finished mine ;p

      Comment posted on 21/02/2011 at 16:37.
  4. spud_malinky
    Member
    Since: Apr 2009

    I had the opportunity to experience this too on Saturday night was great to get an insight into how excited and passionate these guys are from making such a brilliant game!

    Comment posted on 21/02/2011 at 17:05.
  5. CaptainMurdo
    In no way connected to TSA. No way.
    Since: Sep 2008

    This session was so much fun. Tom was just a genuine guy who wanted to have a good time.
    I need to buy LBP2 now, not just because it was great fun, but also because I promised Tom.
    I might not have beaten Blair, but at least I can say I’ve beaten part of the LBP team. :)

    Comment posted on 21/02/2011 at 17:10.
  6. Dange
    Member
    Since: Jan 2011

    Awesome read, no good at making levels myself but I will keep trying :)

    Comment posted on 21/02/2011 at 20:29.
  7. tantalus_blank
    Member
    Since: Nov 2008

    I’ve played that Iron Man sackbot level…and I made my own too! :D *grumbles* personally I think the mm pick one is too arcadey…

    Reading this makes me wish I’d gone to the event though – I’d love to meet those guys just to tell them what an utter masterpiece LBP 2 is, although I’m sure they already know that :P

    Comment posted on 22/02/2011 at 00:23.
  8. Colinbarr66
    Any tag other than 'Member'
    Since: Mar 2009

    Really enjoyed my session with Martin, was great fun to play the game. Going to pick up LBP2 now, can’t really go back on my word :)

    Comment posted on 23/02/2011 at 00:08.

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