Game Designers' Tips for Creating LittleBigPlanet Levels

Game Designers' Tips for Creating LittleBigPlanet Levels

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If you've ever doubted your ability to design games, three top game developers are here to help with tips on how to create entertaining LittleBigPlanet levels.

Young Tristan, the son of Kotaku editor Brian Crecente, has been spending his evenings developing game worlds with LittleBigPlanet for the PlayStation 3. His dad noticed the 7-year-old's creativity and suggested he to write a letter to experts asking for advice, and their responses serve as basic guides for any wannabe developer.

Epic's Cliff Bleszinski (Gears of War), EatSleepPlay's David Jaffe (God of War) and Mark Pacini of Armature (Metroid Prime) commented on the basic design outline Tristan sent them while explaining their own design principles.

Bleszinski offered simple, yet profound advice: "When in doubt, add zombies and exploding barrels. Your review score is guaranteed to go up by at least 3 points across the board."

Jaffe outlined his four-point plan to game design success:

  • Reward players with treasures and secrets
  • Enjoy your own levels
  • Tell his father to improve the Kotaku website with a better commenting system
  • Put in more jumping

Based on the principle of "Try to not show the answer before the player knows the question", Pacini posed a possible puzzle scenario that he think would work well as an example of how to add intelligent gameplay to the level.

You have fire in your level, right? Well, imagine you had a pit of fire that the player could not cross. (It is too long to jump safely across) The only way to cross it is to shut it off by pressing a button. Well, where do you put that button? If you put the button right in front of the fire pit, the player will probably push the button and shut off the flames before knowing that's what he needed to do. One place you may want to put the button is above the fire pit, on a platform that the player can reach. That way, the player is more likely to run into the pit and realize he cannot get across. When he finds the button above the pit, he will probably feel more rewarded because he figured it out on his own. This is the basic principle behind building good, rewarding puzzles.

Inspired by these wise words, anyone can potentially join the ranks of the design community when LittleBigPlanet ships later this month.

Source: Kotaku

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"When in doubt, add zombies and exploding barrels. Your review score is guaranteed to go up by at least 3 points across the board."

I love it, but this right here is why Jaffe is my favourite public developer:

"c- Tell your dad to make commenting on his website easier. It really is a right pain in the fucking ass. I hope he will not show you those bad words."

Only he has the balls to swear at a seven year old and somehow still make it seem like it's the dad's fault.

"c- Tell your dad to make commenting on his website easier. It really is a right pain in the fucking ass. I hope he will not show you those bad words."

Says the report that turns up on Kokatu.

That means the whole thing epic simply by itself, regardless of actual helpful tips, which have really been around (on a basic level) since we all started tinkering with Garry's Mod, or stuff like RPG Maker.

Or, just watch how people make insane contraptions like this.

BleachedBlind:
Or, just watch how people make insane contraptions like this.

OH. MY. FUCKING. GOD.

As for the topic at hand (HOLY SHIT DUDE!!) any advice is good advice for me and my levels I'm going to make in LBP (SERIOUSLY! HOLY FRAKIN' SHIT!!)

BleachedBlind:
Or, just watch how people make insane contraptions like this.

How.... How...?

BleachedBlind:
Or, just watch how people make insane contraptions like this.

Okay... so what's the point, I know I'm not getting it, can someone tell me why it's so impressive.

BleachedBlind:
Or, just watch how people make insane contraptions like this.

That must have taken fucking hours...

darkstone:

BleachedBlind:
Or, just watch how people make insane contraptions like this.

Okay... so what's the point, I know I'm not getting it, can someone tell me why it's so impressive.

It's an easy to use level creator so advanced people can make functioning machinary in it. What part of that ain't cool, even if you don't like the game (and I've heard no one who's actually played it say they didn't like it)?

Cool, I'll keep those tips in mind when I go back to the beta tonight. I'll be sure to check out that video that you're all so impressed with....

TheBadass:

It's an easy to use level creator so advanced people can make functioning machinary in it. What part of that ain't cool, even if you don't like the game (and I've heard no one who's actually played it say they didn't like it)?

I didn't say it was bad I just didn't get it, I saw a working calculator, then it zoomed out to a bunch of pulleys and cogs, thats the part I didn't understand what was so great about all the cogs.

darkstone:

TheBadass:

It's an easy to use level creator so advanced people can make functioning machinary in it. What part of that ain't cool, even if you don't like the game (and I've heard no one who's actually played it say they didn't like it)?

I didn't say it was bad I just didn't get it, I saw a working calculator, then it zoomed out to a bunch of pulleys and cogs, thats the part I didn't understand what was so great about all the cogs.

That's like saying to someone when you see a skyscraper "All I see is a building with some support beams, what's so great about that?"

For one, it's the amount of levers, pullys, cogs, and stuff. It would have taken HOURS to make that!
Second, I think it's based off of science or something, but can't recall, but it's based off of science and stuff.
The person made something simple (calculating subtract and minus) from all these complex things with just the tools from the first level in LBP.

How can you not "get" it? If you've played the game, or atleast watched how the game plays, you should be able to see why the hell that's a huge accomplishment.

Ah now I get it, sorry when I watched the video I just saw the calculator thing and then all the pulleys and cogs and I didn't put two and two together.

That kid who made the calculator deserves a nobel fucking prize.

Lol guys, read the whole thing on Kotaku:

Tristan's Letter

Hi my name is Tristan. I am 7. I am making a level for LittleBigPlanet.

I have already started my level and it has flames. It has a giraffe with a tree. It has crabs. It's really fun. When I'm finished I want it to have flames everywhere and some ghosts in it. I want it to be really scary. I was thinking of making the whole level underground. I also want people to have to jump a whole bunch. I think I will call it The Tristan Level.

Do you have advice for me about building it?

Thanks,
Tristan

Fire, Giraffe, Crabs, Ghosts, and LOTS'O-JUMPIN'

Time to play "THE TRISTAN LEVEL!"

(I hope she's in my region though, I heard there are region locks and that's like, the worst thing that can happen to LBP)

Jaffe:
c- Tell your dad to make commenting on his website easier. It really is a right pain in the fucking ass. I hope he will not show you those bad words.

(BTW, why is Cliffy B's new nickname "dude huge"? I don't think I have to tell you why I don't want to call him that)

 

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