Looking out of the windows at TSA Towers is usually a dull experience. Mostly it’s just a decent aerial shot of stabbings and rain. However, recently the building opposite has played host to a swarm of hard-hat wearing Jack-the-lads who’ve been busy erecting scaffolding. Keen-eyed observer of culture that I am, the metal poles and wooden walkways, bisected with ladders here and there, soon had me thinking about video games. And as more of the scaffolding went up and less of the latest podcast got written, I started to imagine SackBoy running amok along the scaffold planks, creating new paths out of the air like a magician.
LittleBigPlanet, desired and now dated, is going to be like a super-quick, high-def scaffolding simulator, the only bit missing being the lack of 25-year old dolly birds to whistle at. Although, given LBP’s flexible editing suite, maybe even that will be possible.
And it’s the editing suite and the cutely titled Popit interface that are going to propel LBP from rambunctiously charming platformer to a seminal, generation defining game.
Or should that be games, or even experiences?
You see, LBP’s Popit isn’t just a mechanism for pasting a few platforms and enemies onto a level and hitting Start. It’s about, well it’s about pretty much whatever you want it to be about. The inclusion of the function to add ‘speech’ in the form of speech bubbles gives the possibility of story-telling. But it’s the myriad switches that are cause for the most excitement. The recent Edge article highlighted some of these; notably the magnetic and proximity switches, both of which can be wired up to other objects to cause new behaviour when the switches fire. Simple cause-and-effect puzzles will be possible with a few clicks, but what about when people get really creative?
creating a game of table football – the first person to make chess – an RPG with level-up capabilities – using PlayStation Eye to create your own textures, it’ll be like CSS for LBP – you just know someone will remake Manic Miner and Jet Set Willy – a stabbings and rain simulator –
LBP has the potential to last as long as the PS3 does. User-created DLC will keep it fresh, not just with new levels of platforming, but new levels of experience brought to life by the exuberant simplicity of Popit.
At TSA Towers we’re already mapping out imaginary scenarios on the scaffolding opposite.
When LBP arrives, what will you create?