LittleBigPlanet, which was revealed during GDC '07, allows players to create their own levels using the game's robust, streamlined and comprehensive creation tool set, mapped for ease of use through the PS3 controller.
The game is a 2D platformer in which the player controls the highly customizable Sackboy who is able to run, jump, grab and manipulate objects in the game world. LittleBigPlanet can be played in both single player and 4 player co-op modes in all of the developer's levels and all of the community levels.
One of the game's most important features is its multiplayer components, delivered and accessed through the PlayStation Network system. This allows players to share just about any kind of content, be it levels, objectsn or tools, and collaborate on various projects together. This figures into the game's emphasis on user-generated content, and the game will ship with integrated creation tool sets available at all times that will allow the player to manipulate everything about LittleBigPlanet, such as add, subtract, morph, rotate, connect, link, and generally change any object they wish. Additionally, players can place stickers onto anything in the game world. These stickers are comprised of just about any form of image media the player puts on the their PS3, as well as included example content from Media Molecule. The PlayStation Eye or EyeToy can be used to create stickers, objects, a customized Sackboy/Sackgirl character, and more to use in levels. Additionally, the game can be played locally or online with up to 3 other friends.
The online level creating co-op function of LittleBigPlanet was not be available during launch; however, it will be patched in a future software update.
LittleBigPlanet sorts its user-created levels by sorting them onto different pages of levels. There is also a system of bookmarking a level which then makes it a "hearted" level. These levels can then be seen by other people on friend lists, and there will also be a basic search function to find a level.
The goal of LittleBigPlanet is to guide Sackboy across the side-scrolling levels, along the way he meets many obstacles and enemies while trying to collect the game's currency, fluff. Sackboy can jump by using the X button and grab onto things by using the R1 button, along with these controls the player has full movement of Sackboy's arms with the R2 and L2 buttons. Sackboy meets many enemies along his journey. They range from simple robots that have a A.I. controlled path, to complex bosses. There are also be obstacles to avoid in the environment; players will freeze if they stand on ice for too long, and die when they jump into fire. Sackboy can move around the Z-Axis to get past certain obstacles. Sackboy can also equip a jet pack, swing on ropes, and use a variety of methods for getting around.
LittleBigPlanet incorporates a scoring system to rate a player's success in any given level. Players will be timed at the beginning of a level, and the quicker they accomplish their task, the higher their score. Scattered throughout each level are collectible items which also add to the score, such as bubbles and sponges. A combination of time and performance will come together to determine the final score on a level. The player can then compare their scores to those with their online friends who have played the same stage.
In the Metal Gear Solid content pack, the Paintinator was added, similar to the jetpack, only once Sackboy grabs a gun they do not lose it. Players use the R1 trigger to shoot, they can hold it down for a slow automatic fire, or tap it for quicker shooting. Sackboy can jump while he has the gun, however he loses the ability to grab surfaces while holding it. Also Sackboy's head stops moving with the SIXAXIS and instead looks to where the paint gun is pointing. The player can change the direction in which the paint gun points with the right analog stick.
Perhaps the biggest part of LittleBigPlanet is the total freedom players are given to manipulate the world, making it their own. A great emphasis has been placed on creating custom level content and sharing it with the world. Included in LittleBigPlanet is an in depth level design system, and it is accessible to players once they complete three levels of the main, commercial set of levels. In the level creator, players have access to a plethora of items to put in their levels. Snakes, skateboards, boxes, bubbles, and more are available, and players can even combine items to make something completely new. Joints, elastic bands, and glue are included to combine whatever the player imagines. Players can rotate objects, change their size, and place them anywhere. The game has it's own physics engine, which will effect all of these objects. Objects can be crafted from glass, metal, sponge, polystyrene (foam), and rubber, and each material will have true-to life properties.
In addition to the included objects, players can make their own or use objects created by others. The player can even make their objects prizes for completing custom levels. Other objects can be obtained by playing through the main game and collecting bubbles. The built in level editor includes a plethora of tools that allow players to customize every last detail of their created objects. They can use a variety of objects, textures and colors, and trim and polish their objects for hours. Joints, wheels, and other mechanisms can help players make objects that move, and special items can be placed to make them react when players reach certain areas.
Players can further customize levels by placing stickers on objects throughout their own levels. LittleBigPlanet includes a base set of stickers, however, using the PlayStation Eye camera, players can take pictures of themselves to plaster on their level for the world to see. Many have also used the PlayStation Eye functionality to create their own textures and characters to add into their levels.
When players create content, they can post it on the web for the world to see. The game features an in depth search system and rating system so that players can find levels tat serve a wide variety of interests. The main "moon" also displays a number of the most popular levels, which players can access with ease. Each level has a screen with key word descriptors to give players a basic idea of the stage, as well as lists of comments from players who played through the stage.
The editor has been proven to be quite flexible. Many have created levels within LittleBigPlanet that go beyond the intended platformer. The ever popular music levels have been created, along with scrolling shooters, puzzle games, sports games, and many others. Players have gone beyond the intended limits, creating some truly innovative and creative things. Some have even managed to re-create games like Contra and Gradius, games not much like LittleBigPlanet at all.
Metal Gear Solid Custom Content
On December 2008, Media Molecule released for 6 dollars a series of levels based on Metal Gear solid, along with the paintinator upgrade. These 6 levels focused on Liquid Ocelot's creation of a trophy level machine which would flood the world with his creations. Alongside with this: another 6 dollar pack of 4 MGS costumes was released, including, Meryl, Old Snake, Psycho Mantis, and Ninja Raiden. Release of this content has been received generally positively and exceeded expectations.
One of the more unique aspects of LittleBigPlanet is its character customization system. Players can equip their adorable sackboy or sackgirl with a plethora of costume pieces such as hats, shirts, pants, hairstyles and props (swords, wands etc). Players also choose an initial material for the 'skin' of the sackperson. In addition, downloadable costumes based on holiday themes and video game characters are added on for download on PSN on a frequent basis.
David Reeves, president of SCEE made quite a stir in the community when he announced that users will be able to charge for created content. Says Reeves, "What we're trying to do with LittleBigPlanet is almost iTunes meets eBay in the sense that once an individual or a developer has qualified by producing certain levels or certain add-ons, they will then be able in the future to exchange these and make money out of them." He added, "Eventually, it's feasible that you might well see the first LittleBigPlanet millionaire!". While quite a strong claim, it is still undetermined what exactly the qualification is to be able to sell content, and what the pricing structure might look like.
This was later clarified by both David Reeves and Alex Evans as being a possibility that may be done in the future: "LBP can do X, Y or Z - and that's where it was misinterpreted, that we will do X, Y or Z. " Evans intends to wait for the reaction of the community before putting any such system in place, but is reluctant to comment further on their plans. Evans states that "if we can find ways to incentivise people to make fantastic levels, we'll do it", but is quick to clarify that by saying "the last thing we want to do is piss anybody off, or reduce the size of the community".
In early August '08, Sony announced that pre-order bonus characters Kratos ( God of War) and Nariko ( Heavenly Sword) would be made available at various outlets across North America and most parts of Europe. The God of War skin is available from GameStop, and the Heavenly Sword skin is available at Best Buy in the US.
In the UK, the Kratos character was available as an exclusive free download which came as a free voucher with the PlayStation Official Magazine UK. Also announced was a sticker book, strategy guide, and game-carrying case. The Nariko character download was announced as an exclusive download attached to pre-orders of the game from Play.com. In 2009 however, both the Kratos and Nariko characters were released as DLC for all regions, negating all exclusivity. For those who purchased the game in the first week, there was a free spacesuit costume for Sackboy, only available for download in the first week. A special "I Was There Week 1" t-shirt was also promised, but ended up costing a whopping 5 dollars.
During the Leipzig Games Convention, Pete Smith, senior producer for LittleBigPlanet, revealed that user generated content published by users on the PSN will be region specific, due to the fact that each territory will be getting their own dedicated server. However, Sony would later deny this report by indicating that the issue of having content on their own dedicated server is being worked around, thus stating that LittleBigPlanet's content will not be region-locked.
It was announced on September 22nd, 2008 by a developer on the PlayStation.com Forums that LittleBigPlanet would not include the ability to create levels in online multiplayer at launch, although this feature will later be included in a free update. Players will still be able to create levels offline and share and play them online at launch.
On October 8th, 2008 Sony showed new costumes for Sackboy at the Tokyo Game Show. Players will be able to make Sackboy stealthy assassin Old Snake or Final Fantasy VII antagonist Sephiroth. On December 16, 2008 Sony announced the release of the first "Level Pack" for LittleBigPlanet. These "Level Packs" will bundle multiple items into one convenient download. The pack is the Festive Level Pack and will only be available until January 8th, 2009.
There are two different types of music tracks in the game: stand-alone tracks and Interactive Music. While simple stand-alone songs are pretty self-explanatory, interactive music are songs that the player can customize up to six different instruments to have the atmosphere proper for their level. More recent, orchestrated tracks have the option of low or high intensity.
In the entire soundtrack, two songs have earned their place in the history of LittleBigPlanet. The first one being "Get It Together" by The Go! Team, the song used during the first live demo of the game at GDC '07 and also the song most people associate with the game. The second one is Tapha Niang by Toumani Diabate's Symmetric Orchestra, which was the cause of a last minute delay of the game in 2008. Sony found that the lyrics of the song make references to the Qu'ran ('Every soul shall have the taste of death', 'All that is on earth will perish'), and deemed the lyrics could be perceived as offensive. The song is still in the final built, although now instrumental.
- Ananda Shankar - "Dancing Drums"
- Battles - "Atlas"
- Cafe Tacvba - "Volver a Comenzar"
- The Daniel Pemberton TV Orchestra - "Cries in the Wind"
- The Daniel Pemberton TV Orchestra - "Girly Goodie Two Shoes"
- The Daniel Pemberton TV Orchestra - "Leaders of Men"
- The Daniel Pemberton TV Orchestra - "Rainbow Warrior"
- The Daniel Pemberton TV Orchestra - "Rock the Jungle"
- The Daniel Pemberton TV Orchestra - "The Appliance of Science"
- The Daniel Pemberton TV Orchestra - "Tricky Business"
- DJ Krush - "Song 2"
- The Go! Team - "Get It Together"
- James Pants - "Rhythm Trax 07"
- Jim Noir - "My Patch"
- Kenneth Young - "Disco'n'Tinued"
- Kenneth Young - "New Delhi Dawn"
- Kenneth Young - "Saregama Sun"
- Kenneth Young - "Skipping Syrtaki"
- Kenneth Young - "The Crystalis of Eternity" (DLC)
- Kinky - "Cornman"
- Kojima Productions Sounds - MGS2 "Yell 'Dead Cell' (VR Remix)" (DLC)
- Kojima Productions Sounds - MGS4 "The Hunted" (DLC)
- Kojima Productions Sounds - MGS4 "The Hunter" (DLC)
- The Noveltones - "Left Bank Two"
- Paul Thomson - "Abomination Alley" (DLC)
- Paul Thomson - "Frantic Pursuit" (DLC)
- Paul Thomson - "Ghost Ship" (DLC)
- Paul Thomson - "The Tale of Jack Sparrow" (DLC)
- Sergei Prokofiev - "The Battle on the Ice" (from 'Alexander Nevsky', Op. 78)
- Toumani Diabate's Symmetric Orchestra - "Tapha Niang" (Instrumental)
- Kojima Productions Sounds - MGS1 "Encounter (Kenneth Young LBP Remix)" (DLC)
- Mat Clark - "Canyons IntMusic"
- Mat Clark - "Islands IntMusic"
- Mat Clark - "Metropolis IntMusic"
- Mat Clark - "Party Ghouls" (DLC)
- Mat Clark - "Savannah IntMusic"
- Mat Clark - "Tea by the Sea" (DLC)
- Mat Clark - "Temples IntMusic"
- Mat Clark - "Wedding IntMusic"
- Mat Clark - "Well Trained" (DLC)
- Mat Clark - "Wise Owl" (DLC)
- Mat Clark & Kenneth Young - "Gardens IntMusic"
- Mat Clark & Kenneth Young - "Wilderness IntMusic"
- Paul Thomson - "Deep Blue Quay"
- Paul Thomson - "Showdown"
- Paul Thomson - "The End Is Nigh" (DLC)
- When Media Molecule was looking for a publisher; Nintendo was extremely interested and had sighted them and were also planning to meet for a deal, but Sony got to them first and made LittleBigPlanet a PlayStation 3 exclusive.
- The game was delayed and copies had to be withdrawn from warehouses after lines from the Koran were found to be included in the soundtrack. The track, by Toumani Diabate, contained two lines from the Islamic holy book.
*Note that many of the following costumes are also available in packs.
In chronological order:
- Rare Week 1 T-Shirt (Only available one week, never released in the US)
- Spaceman Costume (Limited time)
- Pumpkin Costume (Limited time)
- Animal Costumes Pack: "Frost-E", "Great Blue", "Hugo" & "Lily Pad"
- Sack-Eating Plant Costume
- MotorStorm Costume
- Sack-in-the-Box Costume
- LocoRoco Costume Kit
- Sack-in-a-Box Costume
- Chimera n Hybrid ( Resistance 2) Costume
- Kabuki Actor Costume
- Street Fighter Costumes: Ryu, Chun-Li, Zangief, Guile
- Turkey Head Costume (Limited time, Thanksgiving)
- Santa Claus Costume, released in pieces (Limited time, Christmas)
- Festive Level Kit (Limited time, Christmas)
- Metal Gear Solid 4 Level Kit featuring Genome Soldier Costume
- Metal Gear Solid 4 Costumes: Raiden, Screaming Mantis, Old Snake, Meryl Silverburgh
- God Of War Level Kit
- God of War Kratos Costume
- Groundhog Day Costume (Limited time)
- Chinese New Year Costumes (Limited time, Chinese New Year 2009)
- Toro Inoue Costume
- Valentine's Day Level Kit
- Ape Escape Costume
- WipEout HD Costumes
- Leprechaun Costume (Limited time, St Patrick's Day)
- Killzone 2 Costume
- Buzz! Costume
- Patapon Costumes
- Rag Doll Kung-Fu Costume Kit
- Monkey King Costume
- Heavenly Sword Level Kit
- Creator Pack 1 Level Kit includes more tutorials
- Egyptian Mythology Mini-Kit
- Norse Mythology Mini-Kit
- Monsters Costumes: Sackula, Bride of Sackula, Werewolf, Zombie
- Monster Level Kit
- 2000AD Costume Kit: Judge Dredd, Johnny Alpha, Rogue Trooper, Hammerstein
- Team Ico Costume Kit: Ico, Yorda, Wander, Colossus II, Colossus III
- Solstice Costume (Limited time)
- Jon Burgerman Original Sticker Kit
- Sacktue of Liberty Costume (Limited time, Independance Day)
- Ghostbusters Costume Kit: Ghostbuster Uniform, No Ghost, Slimer, Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man
- inFamous Cole MacGrath Costume
- History Costume Kit: Ada Lovelace, Boudica, Genghis Khan, Mozart
- History Level Kit
- VeraBee Original Sticker Kit
- Watchmen Costume Kit: Nite Owl, Ozimandias, Rorschach, Silk Spectre II
- Media Molecule Music Pack #1
- Birthday Cake Costume (Limited Time)
- Rare LittleBigPlanet PSP Launch T-Shirt (Limited time, buyers received Rare LittleBigPlanet PSP Star Cap afterwards)
- Pirates of the Carribean Costume Kit: Jack Sparrow, Davy Jones, Captain Barbossa, Elizabeth Swan, Will Turner, Tia Dalma
- Pirates of the Carribean Level Kit
- White Knight Chronicles Costume Kit: Black Knight, Dragon Knight, Leonard, White Knight
- Sonic the Hedgehog Costume Kit: Sonic, Tails, Knucles, Dr. Eggman, Werehog
- Hessain Sackboy Fragrances (Limited time, April Fools Day)
- The Incredibles Costume Kit: Edna Mode, Frozone, The Incredible, Mr. Incredible Retro, Syndrome
- The Incredibles Level Kit
- LittleBigPlanet Cap (Exclusive to Qore subscribers)
- More Animals Costume Kit: Fly, Hippo, Turtle, Peacock
- ModNation Racers Costume Pack
- Heavy Rain Costume Kit: Ethan, Jayden, Madison, Shelby, Origami
- Marvel Costume Kit #1: Daredevil, Dr. Octopus, Iron Man, Mystique, The Thing
- Marvel Level Kit
- Marvel Costume Kit #2: Elektra, Ghost Rider, Human Torch, Spider-Man, Thor
- Marvel Costume Kit #3: Captain America, Invisible Woman, Rogue, Venom, Wolverine
- Marvel Costume Kit #4: Green Gobiln, Hulk, Magneto, The Punisher, Storm