LittleBig Planet is going to upgrade my creative abilities significantly. I plan on using the game as a teaching tool for level design, building a portfolio of levels, and communicating/releasing/showcasing unique content to the world. For these purposes, there is a slim chance that LBP will let me down. Check out these videos to see what I mean.
- The loose and floaty physics: Everything in LBP seems to be physics based. Games like Boom Blox and mods on the Half Life 2 engine have demonstrated that a heavy use of physics interactions can add a lot of uncertainly within a game. Trying to finely adjust elements in Halo 3's Forge can quickly become very frustrating because everything acts according to physics even when you're trying to move things about. Instead of everything being quantified like in Mario or MegaMan, successfully landing on a platform in LBP is a matter of the physics calculations. This makes what would be successful jumps in Mario/MegaMan annoying slips in LBP. (at least, this is what I can gather from videos)
- Playstation Eye: It seems that this underutilized tool is required for snapping stickers and/or making custom textures in LBP. Since this is the biggest game I want for PS3 I don't really mind shelling out the extra cash for a cam. It still might be beneficial to have other ways of importing images. The PS3 is a media super hub after all.
- Camera: A properly positioned camera is essentially for almost all games. After all, even 2D Mario needs to see where he's going before he jumps. Hopefully LBP will come with a variety of camera manipulation tools. So far the camera works looks automatic often cutting off vital elements off screen. I wonder if there will be tools for organizing a split screen camera or a camera that takes advantage of internet co-op.
- The multplayer looks a bit goofy and strained: Everything from the respawn system, to the camera that either zooms out to try and keep all the players on the screen or only focuses on one player, to the faux cooperation looks a bit worrisome. Everything is more fun with friends in a way, but that doesn't mean the design doesn't suffer in the process. Of course, because you can do practically whatever you want in LBP, designing some true cooperative gameplay elements shouldn't be too hard.
- Music: In order to dodge copyright issues, LBP is offering creative custom music solutions. I don't know how versatile these tools are. If we can record our voice in to the game what stops someone from recording MP3s as their voice?
- The core mechanics seem to be JUMP, GRAB, PUNCH, SHIFT LANES, and MOVE. I'm not impressed with the JUMP mechanic or any of the other physics based interations in the game quit eyet. If the core mechanics aren't tight, then all the platforming gameplay suffers no matter how we build levels to compensate. I hope the gameplay side of LBP doesn't end up where players play around with the idea of playing a platformer. I can't stand pretending to play a good video game when playing a bad one.