The true magic of LittleBigPlanet -- the PS3 debut from former Lionhead designers at then upstart Media Molecule -- wasn't fully understood until the game was in our collective hands for some time after its initial release.
What was then (mis-)understood as the videogame that would let us design our own videogames turned out to be one level abstracted from that. LittleBigPlanet had no intention of letting us faithfully recreate Mario's World 1-1 or Sonic's Green Hill Zone with pixel precision. Instead, what it does is take us back to the childhoods where we built those levels -- and every other bit of the world around us -- with the only materials we had at the time: markerpens, cardboard, felt and stickers.
And that's precisely what gives the game -- still continuing to grow and evolve both on the backs of its dedicated community (last reported to have created some 1.3 million levels) and through updates from MM themselves (their upcoming water pack has caused more excitement over a ubiquitous liquid than anyone imagined) -- its peerless charm.
That's not to discount the brilliance of its digital puppetry -- turning your tiny plush avatar into something you actually embody rather than simply propel forward -- or the delicate balance of its 'co-opertition' (as you attempt to hinder your friends' race toward score bubbles as evenly as you beg for their help). But it's the naive and innocent joy inherent in a game that's at heart about the arbitrary rules of the real-world games we created as kids ('you can only walk on the couch cushions, the floor is made of lava') as it is about its own crafted experience that's made it a modern classic.
So, in celebration of its recent first birthday, and its even Littler debut on the PlayStation Portable, below is a collection of the concepts and sketches (happily provided by its relaunched community site) that trace how the game's little pan-planet were cut-out constructed.
Snake 3D adds depth to the classic two-dimensional game; hold shift and you’ll move in and out rather than up, down, left or right. It takes so much getting used to–and is so difficult before you even get to the point where the snake’s length becomes a hazard to itself–that I suspect that the entire […]
Tetrolled is Tetris but with an additional layer of hostility: as time passes, obsctructions pop into existence at random spots on the board. Trasevol_Dog made it in just 2 hours for the Ludum Dare game-making contest. The source code offers a nice simple example showing how the Pico-8 “fantasy console” is coded.
The Basic Engine is a tiny but intentionally limited computer platform designed to be like a late-1980s game console or home computer, but with some useful modern benefits. In effect, it’s like Pico-8, but hardware instead of a set of abstract and arbitrary design limitations on software. The BASIC Engine is a very low-cost single-board […]
From self-driving cars to Siri, we’ve already gotten a taste of what AI can do, and now this groundbreaking technology is making its way to education and revolutionizing the way we learn new languages. Mondly uses state-of-the-art speech recognition to help you speak foreign languages like a true local. Lifetime subscriptions are on sale for […]
We’ve all used Excel at some point in our careers, but chances are most of us have only scratched the surface of what this ubiquitous program can do. From automating simple tasks to presenting data through beautiful charts and PivotTables, Excel brings a ton of utility to the table that can make a huge impact […]
Traveling isn’t always the most comfortable experience, but at least you have your music to keep you company on those long flights. That is, until your chatty neighbor and that crying baby three seats over drown out your playlist. These Paww WaveSound 3 Noise-Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones block up to 20 decibels of audio, so you can […]