Train2Game News: LittleBigPlanet PS Vita developer diary reveals community influence on game

Train2Game students can get behind the scenes of development for LittleBigPlanet PlayStation Vita in a new developer diary from Sony PlayStation.

LittleBigPlanet for PlayStation Via is being developed jointly by Tarsier Studios and Double Eleven, with the latter previously taking Train2Game coder Darren Price on a work placement.

The Making of video sees LittleBigPlanet Media Molecule’s Alex Evans and Mark Healey discuss their confidence in the studios that are making the game, while Tarsier offer a look at development, which includes getting input from LittleBigPlanet community level designers.

Watch it below here on The Train2Game Blog.

There’s more on LittleBigPlanet here, while be sure to keep reading The Train2Game Blog for more PlayStation Vita news.

What are your thoughts on LittleBigPlanet for PS Vita? Will it give Sony’s handheld a shot in the arm?

Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Train2Game news: LittleBigPlanet passes 6 million community created levels

LittleBigPlanet 2Train2Game Blog readers may recall that we’re fond of LittleBigPlanet 2, particularly because it allows anyone to build and upload their own levels for other to play.

And as previously reported by The Train2Game Blog, there’s a huge range of creative levels that have been made by the LittleBigPlanet community.

Now Media Molecule has announced that across all of the LittleBigPlanet games, over 6 million levels have been created and uploaded by users.

“6 Million levels! A Year ago this week we launched LBP2, since then you guys have made 2.5m levels – you are amazing! <3” read the Tweet from Media Molecule.

The Train2Game Blog has previously reported that Media Molecule have hired game developers, after being impressed by the levels they’ve made using the community creation tools.

And in an interview with The Train2Game Blog last year, Volition’s Jameson Durrall recommended LittleBigPlanet  and LEGO games as a useful tool for anyone looking to be a game designer.

“But the thing I suggest for people first of all is grab one of the LEGO games, like LEGO Indiana Jones, it has a full level building system built right into it. And LittleBigPlanet, those are things you can get in there, learn to play and just recreate something you experienced to see what goes into that.” he said.

For more news about how creating user-generated content can be a great benefit to you, keep reading The Train2Game Blog.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts about there now being 6 million community created LittleBigPlanet levels? Have you tried making them yourself?

Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Train2Game News, Media Molecule revealed as Develop Conference headliners

Develop Conference logo

Many Train2Game students already know that the Develop Conference is one of the biggest games industry events in the UK.

It’s been announced that leading UK games developer Media Molecule, the studio behind multi-award winning LittleBigPlanet, will headline this year’s Develop Conference, which takes place 19 – 21 July in Brighton.

Industry luminary Phil Harrison, co-founder and general manager of London Venture Partners, will interview Media Molecule founding directors Alex Evans, Mark Healey and Kareem Ettouney for the conference’s Opening Keynote session: Living Inside a Molecule.

“We’re delighted that Media Molecule is opening the conference this year,” commented Andy Lane, managing director of Tandem Events.

“They are the pioneers of user-generated content and remain one of the most creative studios around. It will be fascinating to hear their stories from the trenches – and who better to help them relive their tales than the man who helped them on their way: Phil Harrison.”

The Train2Game blog has previously promoted the potential importance of LittleBigPlanet 2 to Train2Game students, with a in depth rundown of why available to see here.

The user generated content tools allow LittleBigPlanet players to create their own levels, with the Train2Game blog reporting that the best community level creators even being hired by Media Molecule.

And in an interview with the Train2Game blog last month, Red Faction: Armageddon Lead Level Designer Jameson Durall recommended Train2Game students get their hands on the LittleBigPlanet creation tools purely for the experience of building their own creations.

The sixth Develop Conference will take place at the Hilton Metropole in Brighton, UK, from 19 – 21 July 2011. It attracts around 1300 game developers from over 20 different territories and has become firmly established as the leading conference in Europe for games developers.

The Train2Game blog will be sure to report on the biggest news to come out of Develop later this month.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on Media Molecule giving the keynote? Do you see them as one of the top British studios?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

More details about LittleBigPlanet 2 revealed

LittleBigPlanet 2 collectors edition

Media Molecule has revealed a checklist of things to do before the game that every Train2Game Games Designer should be interested in is released next month– LittleBigPlanet 2.

The US PlayStation Blog shows the full checklist of things Media Molecule have and haven’t done ahead of LittleBigPlanet’s release. It gives a little insight to Train2Game students to things away from games development that need to be completed before a new console title is released.

The final box art for both the standard and special editions has been done, and that smiling image of Sackboy you see above this Train2Game blog is what will be hitting store shelves in January. LittleBigPlanet 2 now also has its ERSB rating confirmed as E for Everyone. Be warned, the game contains comic mischief and mild cartoon violence!

Sackboy will no doubt be pleased LittleBigPlanet 2 contains only mild cartoon violence, given that during development of the original game, he was supposed to die in much more violent ways! You can read more about the development of Sackboy in this Train2Game blog post from November.

The US PlayStation Blog also reveals that a LittleBigPlanet 2 demo will be with us shortly. It’s currently being prepared and from December 22nd Train2Game students will be able to try out a little taster of the game.

We’re also shown that a Kevin Butler advert for LittleBigPlanet 2 is in the works, there’s a Sackboy costume and you’ll even be able to wrap gifts up in LittleBigPlanet 2 wrapping paper. The LittleBigPlanet 2 in-store displays for retailers have also been finalised and are ready to roll out for the game’s release next month. (Be sure to check out Gabe’s Thoughts of Train2Game blog that examines what it takes for a game to be a success at retail)

There’s also a new video that shows some of the new features Train2Game students can expect in LittleBigPlanet 2, pins and voice acting, which you can see in full below.

LittleBigPlanet 2 surely is a must for any Train2Game student, given that the beta test has shown that players can really let their creative juices flow when it comes to not only creating new levels, but entirely new games! Highlights include reimagining for classic games including Dogfight and Street Fighter and even more recent games such as Portal. Media Molecule even has a track record of hiring community designers who’ve made excellent levels, so Train2Game students really should look into LittleBigPlanet 2!

LittleBigPlanet 2 is released for the PlayStation 3 on January 18th.

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

LittleBigPlanet 2 Controlinator Featurette

LittleBigPlanet 2

Media Molecule has released another trailer for LittleBigPlanet 2, and once again it introduces a new feature.

This latest trailer introduces The Controlinator, which is arguably looks like the most important new feature in LittleBigPlanet 2. It’s a new gadget that lets Sackboy steer and control any new creation or mechanical object in a variety of different ways. In LittleBigPlanet 2, the controlinator will let sackboy drive, race, dig and fly any creation. The controlinator looks to be a key feature not just in the creation of levels, but in making whole new games.

You can check out the 1960’s style science programme controlinator featurette below.

The controlinator is just one of many new features that has been added to LittleBigPlanet 2. Previously we’ve seen how the Creatinator will allow Sackboy to shoot or spawn any item, while Bounce Pads give him a whole new way to move around levels.

LittleBigPlanet 2 will also see the introduction of Sackbots, which can be used to help or hinder the player in community created levels.  The game is truly shaping up to offer players plenty of scope for creating not only unique levels, but whole new games.

Interesting creations we’ve seen during the LittleBigPlanet 2 beta test include re-imaginings of games from classics like Dogfight and Street Fighter, but also more recent titles including Portal.

Train2Game students would be well advised to pick up a copy of LittleBigPlanet 2, not only to help their creative juices flow, but because Media Molecule have a record of hiring community designers who’ve made outstanding levels.

You can get an insight into what working for LittleBigPlanet 2 creators Media Molecule is like, by taking a look at the development of Sackboy.

LittleBigPlanet 2 is scheduled for release on January 18th and will be PlayStation Move compatible.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on the controlinator? Do you think it’s the biggest new addition (so far…) to LittleBigPlanet 2? How do you think you’ll use it?

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

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)

Shoot ANYTHING from the LittleBigPlanet 2 Creatinator

LittleBigPlanet 2

A new LittleBigPlanet 2 trailer has revealed yet another awesome new feature in Media Molecule’s upcoming title… the Creatinator. The Creatinator may look like Sackboy is wearing a television camera on his head, but it’ll allow LittleBigPlanet players to spawn or shoot any item they want.

Tools, weapons, anything, and as the LittleBigPlanet 2 Creatinator trailer says ‘If you can make it, you can launch it’ You can check out the LittleBigPlanet 2 Creatinator trailer below:

The Creatinator is yet another new feature that will allow LittleBigPlanet 2 players to be as creative as they can imagine. It’s yet another example of why LittleBigPlanet 2 should be on any Train2Game students’ wish list.

The LittleBigPlanet 2 beta has already proved that community designers can be extremely creative, with a recreation of Street Fighter and a LittleBigPlanet First Person Shooter, a user created version of beautiful indie game Flower, and perhaps most impressively, a reimagining of Portal complete with Portal Gun, all appearing online.

The latest awesome level to appear online is a re-make of old school classic flying shooter Dogfight, made using LittleBigPlanet 2’s creation tools. You can see it below.

LittleBigPlanet 2 is scheduled for release on the PlayStation 3 on 18th January, as revealed at the end of this trailer. With Media Molecule having hired community designers, its definitely something that Train2Game students should be looking to invest in!

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on the latest new LittleBigPlanet 2 feature? Do you think The Creatinator will be an exciting tool? What mad things would you fire out of it? And how impressive is that LittleBigPlanet 2 Dogfight video?

As usual, you can leave your thoughts on the latest addition to LittleBigPlanet 2 here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

LittleBigPlanet 2 Sackbot featurette reveals release date

LittleBigPlanet 2

Media Molecule has released a new LittleBigPlanet 2 trailer. It not only showcases the new Sackbots, but also reveals the new release date of LittleBigPlanet 2.

The LittleBigPlanet 2 Sackbots video begins with a scientist Sackboy bringing a Sackbot to life in the style of an old school horror movie, and using the in-game creation tool to choose its size. The LittleBigPlanet 2 Sackbots aren’t just going to be limited to lifeless robots though, with the video showing how the bots can look like regular Sackboys and girls.

The Sackbot featurette also shows how the little blighters could be used in LittleBigPlanet 2 custom levels. Sackbots can be programmed to be rescued, to run from Sackboy, to follow Sackboy, to patrol areas, and to act in cut scenes. Of course, they can dance too, and the LittleBigPlanet 2 featurette shows plenty of that in a Bollywood style ending!

You can see the LittleBigPlanet 2 Sackbots featurette for yourself below.

As the video reveals, LittleBigPlanet 2 is now set to be released on January 18th 2011 after being delayed in September. It’s a date that should be firmly penned in to Train2Game student diaries given the scope available for creating community levels. Portal, Flower and Street Fighter have all been recreated by LittleBigPlanet 2 beta testers, and Train2Game students no doubt have some ideas of their own.

Last week, Media Molecule told Develop that they’ve hired developers after being impressed by their custom LittleBigPlanet levels. If that isn’t an incentive for Train2Game students to invest in LittleBigPlanet 2, I don’t know what is!

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on the LittleBigPlanet 2 Sackbots featurette? How would you implement them into your LittleBigPlanet 2 level? Will you pick up LittleBigPlanet 2 in January?

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

Media Molecule hire LittleBigPlanet community designers

LittleBigPlanet 2

Ever since LittleBigPlanet 2 was first mentioned here on the Train2Game blog, we’ve been trying to push home that the in-game creation tools could provide a Train2Game student with their big break in the industry. Now LittleBigPlanet 2 creators Media Molecule have revealed that the studio has hired developers after being impressed by their community designed levels.

John Beech is a level designer for the Sony Studio, and now uses his skills to help build LittleBigPlanet 2. Until a year ago, John was a self employed builder, but a builder who was good at designing user made LittleBigPlanet levels. Speaking in the latest issue of Games TM, Media Molecule Creative Director Mark Healey explains how the former builder ended up working on LittleBigPlanet 2.

“We’ve hired people from the community, people for whom LittleBigPlanet was their first chance to have a go at making games,” He said.

“John didn’t have a clue about how to make games but he got LittleBigPlanet, managed to alienate his girlfriend and was just making this stuff and really stood out in the community.”

Healey reveals that John isn’t the only member of the LittleBigPlanet community that has been hired by Media Molecule.  He added that he himself also skipped the academic route into the games industry

“I just taught myself, and I hated the idea that the only way to get into the games industry was through various degree courses.”

Media Molecule built LittleBigPlanet around the Ethos of ‘Play. Create. Share’ and the game is based upon the sharing of user generated content. There are many, many highly creative and excellent community built levels available to play.

Not only will LittleBigPlanet 2 continue to allow players to share their user-created levels, but it’ll also let players share entire games with fully formed stories and cut scenes. LittleBigPlanet 2 is currently in beta but plenty of excellent looking levels and games have appeared in videos online.

New games created within LittleBigPlanet 2 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 perhaps most impressively, a reimagining of Portal complete with Portal Gun.

And these are only a handful of user generated levels created during the LittleBigPlanet 2 beta, what can we expect when LittleBigPlanet 2 is released for PlayStation 3 in January next year?

However, one thing is certain. Any Train2Game student with a desire to create games should get themselves a copy of LittleBigPlanet 2. Create great levels, and not only could they be played by a vast audience, but if Media Molecule like what you’re doing, you could find yourself working for them like John Beech.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on Media Molecule hiring community developers? If you don’t own a PlayStation 3, are you tempted to get one for the chance LittleBigPlanet 2 could give you? And do you have any ideas for games or levels you want to create using the LittleBigPlanet  2 user creation tools?

Leave your thoughts about Media Molecule and LittleBigPlanet 2 here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

(Source: Develop Online)

Portal recreated in LittleBigPlanet 2 beta

More evidence has emerged of just how creative it’ll be possible to be with LittleBigPlanet 2. A video from the beta has appeared online, and it shows how one user has recreated Portal using the tools in LittleBigPlanet 2!

It reconfirms the fact that LittleBigPlanet 2 could be the Train2Game students dream with the Portal level just being the latest in a line of unique levels created during LittleBigPlanet 2’s beta test. Other games recreated using LittleBigPlanet 2 include indie game Flower, and Street Fighter.

You can watch Portal – complete with working Portal gun – recreated in LittleBigPlanet 2 in the video below.

LittleBigPlanet 2 is set for release in January 2011, after the original November launch date was moved back.

Meanwhile, Portal 2 is also scheduled for release near the start of next year, on February 9thYou can watch a Portal 2 trailer starring Stephen Merchant here. Alternatively, you can watch these trailers showing how the new inclusions of Faith Plates and Repulsion Gel work.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on the LittleBigPlanet 2 Portal level? And if you had to choose one of the two, would you go for Portal 2 or LittleBigPlanet 2?

You can leave your thoughts here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

(Source: Edge Online Twitter)