Will LittleBigPlanet Meet the Hype?


Sony has some big products coming out, but I don’t think any of them has gotten such universally positive buzz as LittleBigPlanet.

The concept is grand, but often games with such ambitious concepts don’t gel into great finished games. Some of those preview videos look great, but are regular people really going to enjoy creating these levels? Will user-generated levels really be good enough to compete with the flood of high quality profressionally developed games on the market today? Are gamers really going to fall back in love playing a traditional side-scroller? Can you see a vibrant community behind this game thriving or even lasting beyond the launch window?

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I’ve been rather skeptical on this in the past. When I heard this topping all the critics list, my hype alarm started ringing. The preview videos all seemed a little on the corny-side, with that annoying music, and it trying to be just a little too cutesy.

But the more they have recently shown of this title, the more it looks this game might actually become a genuine sensation. Some of the levels actually look cool, and from the brief shots of the 24-hour LittleBigPlanet GameJam, it really looks like regular people can make unique and exciting stuff.

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In general, user-generated content won’t match the technical expertise or production quality of professional content, but user-generated content will be able to deliver a certain type of personality, emotion, and diversity that professional development isn’t suited for.

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So, call the shot? Will this game kick off a resurgence of user-generated content? Will this take the concept beyond what we’ve seen in the past with the Doom/Marathon customization craze or Eamon modules?


Written by: Darrin - Contributing Editor


  1. #1 by Andy on September 25th, 2008

    It’ll rock!!!!

    I can see a whole new wave of advertising coming, whereby people like Coca Cola and Nike are doing levels where completing them wins you some sort of prize in the real world.

    I can see people becoming famous (ala YouTube) because of their level designs or characters they create.

    I can see plugins for Photoshop to help you create content that can be uploaded into LBP via your USB stick.

    Andy.

  2. #2 by Emrah on September 25th, 2008 [ 7319 Points ]

    I remember the 24 hours jam being done at a game development school, so it is not like they were ordinary people, but it was 24 hours alright. So regular joe’s would indeed take more time to come up with something good, but I’m sure there will be lots of gems.

    The only problem being is, locating those gems: the community aspect has to be really well done, allowing people to find existing good creations, while giving the newcomer levels a chance. (I think some trophies require people to actually try out new levels, which is a very good method to enhnance community features through trophies.)

  3. #3 by Paranoimia on September 25th, 2008 [ 1285 Points ]

    I was lucky enough to get a beta code, and the game is awesome. There’s absolutely nothing not to like. I tried the level editor and the sheer size of it made my eyes pop out. You could spend countless hours just creating levels, let alone actually playing the game.

  4. #4 by Segitz on September 25th, 2008 [ 1470 Points ]

    From my beta experience… YES it will…

  5. #5 by Henning on September 25th, 2008 [ 0 Points ]

    One beta review I read said that there’s a small disconnect between your actions with the controller and how long it takes the sackboy to respond. Does anybody here agree? How does controlling sackboy feel?

  6. #6 by Gary on September 25th, 2008

    Sackboy controls fine for me, there was no noticeable delay, especially no compared to any other platformers I’ve played.

    It’s a fantastic experience though and more than lives up to the hype.

  7. #7 by mcloki on September 25th, 2008

    The hype and marketing will be enormous.
    I’ll only talk about the marketing of the product.
    LBP has the potential to be the poster child for the industry.
    One. It’ll receive tons of press. Every Christmas news show will create their own level. You will see Breakfast Television LBP levels. You will se a “The View” Level, a Regis and Kelly Level. Local News shows will have their own level created. It’s a marketing dream.
    I’ll bet you a coke that before Christmas you will see a LBP level for the Fox NFL sports Show. Terry Bradshaw and Howie Long Sackboys. How about a downloadable Regis Sackboy. Not to your liking. How about a Jay Leno, or John Stewart Sackboy. And who is going to say anything bad about a game that they are in. 4 player View action with Barbara Walters. All the soccer Moms that bought Wii’s last year have something new, family friendly to play. Dad sees it as a way to get a Blueray player.

    Two. Emotional Connection. LBP is full of it. If Sony were to run an ad showing. dad/granddad playing with their son in creating a new level it would have something that just resonates with every dad. If Sony portrays this correctly and in the full Family positive way that it can be portrayed, they will have a monster success.
    Three. It can help sell the PS3. Play with your kids all day, Watch Blue Rays at night.
    The marketing aspect is going to be huge. This Christmas is going to be about choice for many households.
    Sony should position itself as the family choice. And I’m sure you’ll hear it on plenty of TV shows.

    “If I get a PS3 and LBP I can create a game with my child and have him use his imagination and creativity and I can help. What Dad is going to say that’s a bad thing? Or get him a 360 and teach him how to shoot people.”
    Is the above statement fair. No. But most people don’t have the level of sophistication with video games that PS3Blog readers have. So the generalization is going to stick.

    Three. It’s self marketing. When I create the PS3blognet level. Grabbing the Gravatar images of Henning and Tosh’s head and making little sackboys out of them.The mcloki level will all be text by the way. How do you buy that kind of marketing. The grassroots marketing of this are going to be huge.

    The user generated content is going to be better than you think. Sure some of it is going to be crummy, but the cream will rise to the top. And you will be astounded.
    People will stop playing Warcraft and endlessly grinding away their lives and start building and creating.
    I’m looking forward to it and it will be a day one purchase for me.

  8. #8 by Darrin on September 25th, 2008 [ 17143 Points ]

    Wow.

    That’s three rave impressions of the beta from reliable people who aren’t known for exaggerating.

    mcloki, that is a crazy post. LOL!

  9. #9 by Trieloth on September 25th, 2008

    Will LittleBigPlanet Meet the Hype? man that is silly question. The simple answer is YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I cant wait to get my artist hands on that game.

  10. #10 by Henning on September 25th, 2008 [ 0 Points ]

    mcloki: can I make a separate post out of your reply? Think it deserves it…

  11. #11 by Pc on September 25th, 2008

    Hell yeah it’s going to meet the hype ! I have a friend who is a die hard nintendo fan, and he is going to purchase a PS3 just for LBP. Me and every single one of my friends will be getting this title day one.

  12. #12 by Bobby Bodkins on September 25th, 2008

    I think it will meet the hype, and even exceed it in many ways. I went from skeptical to counting down the days until the release in a matter of a few months. The more I read about the game, and the more I see of it, only makes me want it more. I LOVE the concept of having free reign to create and share content.

  13. #13 by mcloki on September 25th, 2008

    Sure Henning.


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