Media Molecule reveal development of LittleBigPlanet’s Sackboy

Two years on from the release of LittleBigPlanet, Media Molecule have revealed how the Sackboy we all know and love evolved from the original ‘YellowHead’ prototype. When Media Molecule showed the prototype of LittleBigPlanet 2 to Sony back in 2006, the character that would become Sackboy had already started to emerge – as you can tell by the animations in this video.

Obviously, Sackboy didn’t look anything like…a Sackboy…back then so how did he evolve? Well, to mark the two year anniversary of LittleBigPlanet, Media Molecule have decided to show us in this blog: From YellowHead to Sackboy. The article features an in depth look at how SackBoy developed from the Media Molecule developers, and is bound to be useful to any Train2Game student.

The YellowHead concept from the prototype video was kept in the early stages of the development of SackBoy as you can see below.

LittleBigPlanet YellowHead

Even at this stage you can see the concept of customising SackBoy was alive and kicking, with suggestions of different patterns, accessories and wigs available to create a unique character.

The YellowHead was eventually lost, and slowly but surely SackBoy evolved into the loveable little guy we know today.

LittleBigPlanet Sackboy Concepts 1

Sackboy Concepts 2

Even in these designs Sackboy isn’t the final version, with his legs becoming a lot longer in LittleBigPlanet. The designers at Media Molecule put this change down to Sackboy just not looking right while jumping and swinging around. Again, you can read more in depth comments about the evolution of Sackboy in this post on the Media Molecule blog

The article also shows that Sackboy’s deaths were originally going to be a lot more gruesome! He was to be squashed, burned into a pile of ash, and spill fluff when impaled on spikes. You can see Sackboy being killed in a variety of ways in this LittleBigPlanet concept art on the Media Molecule Flickr page. The video below shows some of death animations that Media Molecule experimented with for LittleBigPlanet. Of course, the final product ended up a lot more cartoon like!

The article was actually produced last year, but Media Molecule haven’t published it until now!  At that time, LittleBigPlanet 2 had yet to be announced so the knowing chuckles are obviously a reference to new things for Sackboy to do in the upcoming game.

In LittleBigPlanet 2, Sackboy will be able to do things including shoot anything from the creatinator, interact with the newly introduced Sackbots, and bounced like he’s never bounced before thanks to the introduction of bounce pads.

The LittleBigPlanet 2 beta has also shown that players can now be even more creative when it comes to creating levels. New LittleBigPlanet 2 levels created by the beta community so far include a recreation of Street Fighter and a LittleBigPlanet First Person Shooter, a user created version of beautiful indie game Flower, and, a reimagining of Portal complete with Portal Gun.

LittleBigPlanet 2 is set for release on January 18th 2011 for the PlayStation 3.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on the development of Sackboy? Did you realise how much effort can go in to creating a game character? And if you’ve been making your own games, how many times have you redesigned concepts?

You can leave your thoughts about the development of LittleBigPlanet, or LittleBigPlanet 2, here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

(Images: Media Molecule on Flickr)

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