Update: The online reveal happens this Monday, May 10, folks.
Original: GameInformer has revealed the contents of its next issue, which – besides an extensive Gears of War 3 preview – features a feature article on none other than Media Molecule’s LittleBigPlanet 2.
LittleBigPlanet 2 is a game creation title, like its precedessor, but this time allowing people to go further than platformers and this time create role-playing games, first-person shooters, racers, and any other genre, as well. You’ll be able to customize the game HUD as well as nearly every other feature of your creation. Talk about ‘Play, Create, and Share’!
NeoGAF member Crisis has provided a whole summary of GI’s preview. We’ve quoted it below.
Context about the first LittleBigPlanet
- The first LBP was never intended to be a simple platforming game
- Over 2 million levels available online
- About 56,000 new levels per week on average
LittleBigPlanet 2 Information
- LBP 2 has less of a focus on platforming altogether and it’s more of a platform to actually create games with.
- There is an all-new level creator and it is not just a tool to create platform games.
- As examples, the game 100% encourages the player to create game types and wants you to make a shooter, a racer, puzzle games, Space Invaders clones, even RPGs
- A player can even customize a HUD. The example given is a health bar for a fighting game.
- A Media Molecule developer has created a fully-functioning Command & Conquer Clone
- Media Molecule loves that a lot of user-created levels in LBP1 were homages to classic games and laments that so many manipulations of the creation tools were necessary to do them. Sackboy won’t need to be “hidden behind the curtain” when you make games with LBP2.
- There is a new super-important creator tool called “direct control seats”
- (from previous point) In LBP1, lots of people made rudimentary “hold R1 to accelerate” vehicles. Mark Healy created a car out of rubber wheels and a bottle, then placed a direct control seat in it. He pulled up an interface that resembled a PS3 controller and assigned commands to buttons.
- Example given was assigning Sixaxis tilt for forward and reverse, horn on the X button.
- You are no longer limited to the game’s stock sound effects. You can record your own sounds and voices, attaching them to characters or objects. Magic Mouth from the original LBP is gone
- Direct control seat’s control scheme is instantly accessible and you can attach it only to the part of the vehicle you want it to control.
- Example was given about the 8/16-bit remakes/tributes having to use the signature gameplay mechanics of LBP. That is no longer true in LBP2. A creator can place a direct control seat on their own platforming protagonist and complete it with a customized control scheme.
- Example of the previous was Yoshi’s Island. If a player creates the perfect recreation of the SNES-era jump they can share it with anyone in the community.
- There is an in-game microchip that functions as a calculator and it is a direct response/homage to PSN user Upsilandre (seriously, he’s mentioned by name)
- Enemies in the original title could only be programmed with super-basic commands and most resembled marionettes.
- Users will be able to take a template for an enemy called a Sackbot, tweak the AI and dress it in any way they choose.
- Creators can choose the weak points on the Sackbot, determine if it is scared of heights, and even program acting routines.
- A disco scene was set up by Media Molecule and two employees recorded together on a single Sackbot. They moved its arms and bobbed its head in a dancing routine. JUST the AI was copied and pasted onto twenty different Sackbots. Each Sackbot was given its own unique look.
- There are now movie editing options as well.
- Every LBP2 player will receive their own profile on LBP.me. It will display your activity feed as well as previews of their own stages.
- There will be user-created integration in QR codes as well. They can be printed on advertisements, business cards, and automatically load a level when held up to the PlayStation Eye. There is no special menu to do this. Any time the PS3 is turned on and running LBP 2, you can wave it in front of the Eye.
- If you are not near your PS3 you can take a quick photo with your smartphone to see an online preview of the level and add it directly to your level queue.
- For creators of multiple levels, you will be able to string your stages together so that they flow from one level to the next.
- Sackbots can be drastically increased or decreased in physical size.
- Sackbots can be controlled by direct control seats as well.
- There is a new gadget (like the MGS paintball gun). It is a big-ass grappling hook.
- Media Molecule says explicitly there are multiple more gadgets coming.
- All DLC from LBP1 transfers over to LBP2. Including downloaded content packs, costumes, etc.
- There is a major overhaul to the story level as well. There’s the same 3-plane perspective for the story mode and the levels so far have a similar run-jump-grab platform style.
- Storyline is not country-based like last time, but is based in periods of time
- Here is a list of levels and summaries so far:
- Techno Renaissance: Whimsical alternative take of the Renaissance period. Leonardo da Vinci-like character to guide him through a technology-based twist level
- Steam & Cake: Steampunk-style level based on a fucked-up tea and cake party
- Neon Propaganda: Cold-war era posters line a factory environment where Sackboy is liberating oppressed workers. There is a grim nature to the level that is totally opposed to the neon lights and signs.
- Fluffy High-Tech: Various high-end technology equipments like video walls are mixed with bunnies and fluffy sheep. It is a cold, futuristic environment populated by adorable creatures
- Designer Organic: Eco-architecture comes together around a designed and controlled version of nature. Described as “art noveau”. The closest to nature Sackboy gets in this game. Elaborate designs comprised of plants.
- Hand-Made Arcade: A super-tribute level to tons of arcade classics. Embraces the hand-made art from the first game. Pixels made of cardboard and wood.
- Circuit boards (like the calculator) can get extremely complicated and they have a very distinct interface
- Creators can make full-on cutscenes. Camera angles and voice-overs included. Creators can even make little five-minute short films. These levels are clearly marked on the stage select screen so you can tell whether you’re watching or playing the level.
The game releases this year. This is probably the game that OPM UK editor was teasing in mid-April.