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LittleBigPlanet: Wow!

User Created Content Has one of Three Problems

  • Older Games from a Simpler Era Tons of old games had amazing ecosystems of user created content. In the 80’s there was Eamon and Lode Runner. In the 90’s there was Wolfenstein 3D followed by Doom and Marathon. What happened is clear, as games got more complex, the skills to create content grew more sophisticated, and it became unrealistic for non-professional hobbyists to create content. While it was simple for anybody to create a Lode Runner or Wolfenstein map, almost no one can create content for most current games.
  • Too Simple Some games like Syphon Filter or Halo 3 allow simple user-generated content, but they are basically just allowing users to make minor tweaks to the existing game content.
  • Too Complex Games like UT3 allow the user a wide range of freedom, but to do something beyond a minor tweak demands large amounts of time, patience, self-management and substantial technical skills. There are also plenty of hobbyist game dev tools such as Flash, Torque, Ogre, or XBLA that face the similar hurdle. There are several success stories, but most of them involve ridiculous quantities of unpaid labor and self-determination from talented programmers and artists.

What’s amazing about LittleBigPlanet

  • The Tools are Easy Regular game players can realistically make their own levels. Sure, it’s harder than playing a game and it takes skill and good ideas, but this is well within reach of regular gamers.
  • The user-created levels are actually something that other people will want to play Have you seen the user-created LBP levels that are popping up on the web? Wow! These aren’t just tweaks or new map layouts, these levels have completely original themes, visuals, and animations. They look surprisingly fun to play.