Yesterday I went to the Edinburgh Interactive Festival with two and a half hours and nothing to do but play and talk about Little Big Planet. Literally. Everything else there was actually pretty boring.
Last month, I asked visitors of Libipl.net to give me questions to ask the representative at the festival, and, surprisingly, got all but one answered.
1. Are there plans to have machinima tools available?
2. Can there be a flying machine?
No, but there is floating material.
3. Can you place a sackboy NPC?
4. Can you create an unbeatable level to put online?
Yes. No testing is required.
5. Is there a fedora or a kilt?
There is a fedora and there once was a kilt, but he's unsure of it coming back.
6. Is it possible to make a machine as easy to control as sackboy?
You can make a machine easy to use, but you cannot use it as easily as sackboy.
7. When is the demo/beta coming?
8. Can you make invisible objects or a very dimly lit room?
Yes. They've already made a level that's dimly lit.
9. Will level remakes be allowed?
Yes, but naming them after the real level might get them deleted due to copyright reasons. Media Molecule has already made Super Mario Bros. Level 1-1.
10. Can you make multiple spawn points?
Yes, but to respawn, you must be closer to the point you want to respawn from.
11. What will be in the first batch of downloadable content?
Mostly things to dress up your character and possibly some levels that were taken off the list. He says that they might also let you download songs for your levels.
The beta had plenty of glitches including spazzing characters and levels that can become incompletable, but not too much to be fixed in two months (they'll have to work hard, though!). They also haven't officially named the fluff yet.
One thing that I particularly liked was the mini levels. They could be anything from a marble puzzle to an infinite rodeo ride or Jetman clone. There was even a Line Rider-like level!
I was a bit disappointed in the control, though. I was expecting more of a Mario-like control in which the jumps are fast and are as easy to control as on land. It was not such and a bit floaty. You also have to tap the control stick up and down to change which depth sackboy is in, rather than free-running between them. Also, if there's a wall with empty space in a neighboring depth and you jump against the wall, Sackboy automatically jumps into the neighboring empty space. I don't know why this bothers me so much, but it does.
I also got to play the final boss; The Collector's Lair. It wasn't too hard, but it was well made and very cool. I'll post a video of it later.
I was saddened to hear that there would not in fact be any music importing, so all narratives in the game will have to be in text form. There will also be no picture importing, so everyone ready with picture files on their computer will have to resort to taking Playstation Eye pictures of their computer screen.
I am happy, though, to report that the game is confirmed for an October 24th release date worldwide.
Now, this preview may seem a bit negative, but I assure you that the game experience is amazing. I am convinced that Little Big Planet will become the Youtube for video games. It's just not quite perfect. The representative that I met was a graphic designer that got the game to test 3 months ago. He normally doesn't like or play video games, but he plays it every day with childish wonder, amazed at every nook and cranny of it. It's a definite system seller and revolution in gaming. I bought a PS3 for it already. Let's hope for a large and brilliant community.