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.

Team Fortress 2 to make adding user created content simpler

Team Fortress 2 Australian Christmas Train2Game Blog Image

It’s often evident on the Train2Game forum that Train2Game students are keenly looking for opportunities to get their work and ideas out into the open. Train2Game students may therefore be keen to know that the latest update on the Team Fortress 2 blog reveals that Valve are planning to make it easier for players to contribute their own items to the game.

Players will also be able to test their new items, be they weapons, hats or anything else, before submitting them for contribution. Interested Train2Game students can find full details on the on the Team Fortress 2 blog.

The contribution page really does provide Games Designers with the opportunity to see their work not only put in a game, but a very successful one at that with Team Fortress 2 having thousands of players online at any one time.

Readers of the Train2Game blog may remember this post about the Polycount contest which gave budding game designers to end up with the items they designed added into Team Fortress 2. The winners did indeed have their original items added to the game in the Mann-Conomy Update at the end of September last year.

Not only did the Polycount modders see their work enjoyed by thousands of Team Fortress 2 players, but the nature of the Mann-Conomy Update meant that players could buy the items if wanted to spend money on them. 25% of the income made from the user generated Polycount items went straight back to the people that designed them with each of them making a small fortune in just the first two weeks they were on sale.

Shaylyn Hamm, Shawn Spetch, Steven Skidmore, Spencer Kern and Rob Laro made between $39,000 and $47,000 each in just those two weeks. Who knows how much they’ve made from their user generated content now!

Speaking back in October about his new lucrative line of work, Kern said:

“It’s astounding that so many people want to purchase the items that came out of the community. The response exceeded my wildest expectations. There really is no doubt at this point that there’s a huge demand for community-created content in TF2 and, hopefully, more games will start to tap into this demand.”

The demand for community-created content in Team Fortress 2 didn’t stop there with further community items being added to the game in the Australian Christmas update. This update included many of the hats and weapons made by Team Fortress 2 community modder Mister Royzo. Given the amounts of the new items I’ve seen during games of Team Fortress 2, it looks like there’s been a high demand for them in the Mann-Co Store and that Mister Royzo will be following the footsteps of the Polycount modders and making himself a nice little sum of money!

Train2Game students may find themselves looking on with envy now, but in theory anyone could submit an item to Valve and see it added to Team Fortress 2. So if you think you’ve got the skills, why not try and design something yourself? It would make good practice for Train2Game Art & Animation students at the very least!

It goes to show that PC gaming could be a great asset to Train2Game students, thanks to the likes of Team Fortress 2 community updates and the vast opportunities to mod a wide variety of games. Why not have a go?

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on Valve being so keen to involve community developers with Team Fortress 2??  Will you try modding? Or have you produced your own user created items for games before?

As usual, leave your thoughts here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

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?