Why LittleBigPlanet 2 could be the Train2Game students dream.

LittleBigPlanet 2 will launch in the United States on November 16th. Sony have yet to announce when it’ll be released in Europe but it’s likely to be in the same mid-November slot. The follow up to the highly successful 2008 original will most likely be on the wish list of many PlayStation 3 owning Train2Game students.  Why? Well, a little lesson about the concept behind LittleBigPlanet will reveal all.

To the outsider, LittleBigPlanet may just look like your standard – if beautiful looking – 2D platformer. However, the story mode formed part of the game with, Guildford based indie studio Media Molecule focusing major parts of it around user generated content.

You see, LittleBigPlanet’s tagline was (and still is) ‘Play. Create. Share.’ and symbolised how the game was designed around the sharing of content. The simple to use, but effective, level designer allowed gamers to create their own levels and share them with the rest of the LittleBigPlanet community online. There are some amazingly creative level designs out there, with fans creating levels based upon almost anything you could possibly think of. You’re highly cute – and customisable – Sackboy could one minute be running and jumping through an impressively rendered version of the Mushroom Kingdom, before you load another community level and put him through his paces in Sonic’s Green Hill Zone. (Of course, the latter looks just that little bit better while using outfits from the official Sonic costume pack)

LittleBigPlanet’s sharing ethos meant that aspiring Game Designers – like Train2Game students – could put a level together for fun, then if it was successful, seeit played on and rated by thousands of fellow gamers. LittleBigPlanet 2 looks set to allow gamers to be even more ambitious through not only letting them design their own levels, but entire games. Demos have shown the LittleBigPlanet 2 creation tools being used to create real-time strategy, role-playing, puzzle, and racing games.

Being able to use LittleBigPlanet 2 to create whole games is something every Train2Game student – be they Game Designer, Game Developer or Game Artist & Animator – should probably be taking an interest in. For a start, using the LittleBigPlanet 2 creation tools would provide students with some great practice in building games. But that’s just the start, if someone just happens to build an excellent game that gets positive reviews from other players, it could be the start of something big. Adding ‘Created game played by over 100,000 people’ to your CV can only be a good thing, right?

So when LittleBigPlanet 2 is released – presumably in November – will you be using it to create games? Do you think it’s possible an aspiring Games Developer could use it to catapult themselves to the big time? Did you create any levels using the creation tools of the original?

As usual, leave your comments here or on the Train2Game forum. We’ll leave you with a LittleBigPlanet 2 video that was shown at Comi-Con. Are you impressed?

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