Taking a look back at the Develop Conference at 2009, Media Molecule shared some of the rough experiences and creative insights that went into the development of LittleBigPlanet and how it came to be the little wonder that we know today. Who would've thought that an innocent-looking game like that had a lot of drama behind it?
When it came to pitching and asserting ideas, the team experienced some tough times. After all, how do you tell which ideas will work better in a revolutionary game? "When deciding on 2D or 3D, there was also lots of bitterness and pain and arguing and talk of semantics, so pre-visulisation was very important to solving those disagreements," said co-founder Mark Healey, who even said that things went as bad as it "tested friendships."
Luckily, they managed to get through that without compromising the game. One of the things they kept it mind was to have a concept that was easy to reach. "Art and crafts and those things are something everyone can relate to," said Kareem Ettouney, art director and co-founder of MM. "Creativity with a budget; that handmade look is part of the language of the people. That handmade analogy was pivotal to the look we went with."
Since it was a developer conference, Healey pointed out that extra care must be exercised in developing games with user-generated content. "If anybody's planning to make a game that features user-generated content, and you plan to release extra content in the future, you have to be careful with what you include at the start, as people can begin to create things before you, with those tools. There's a lesson we had to learn," he warned.
Did you know that LBP was supposed to have another level? Unfortunately, it had to be taken out for a number of reasons. "It was seaside level," revealed Healey. "We had time constraints, and it was the weakest link, so it went. It was a painful decision to make." At the end of the day, all that hard work and arguing produced a fantastic game, and major props to the team for sticking with the project.
The work ahead for Media Molecule:
- Backwards compatibility for a possible LittleBigPlanet sequel
- Job posting points to Media Molecule's new PS3 project