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LittleBigPlanet 3 - GameJam 2014

11 creators were invited to the Inox Dine at the University of Sheffield and they gave them full-access to the new LittleBigPlanet 3 tool set and features! Read about their experience and the info they gave us...
11 LittleBigPlanet-Schöpfer wurden zur "Inox Dine" der Universität von Sheffield eingeladen. Dort hatten sie vollen Zugriff auf alle neuen LittleBigPlanet 3 Funktionen und Werkzeuge! Hier ein Überblick ihrer Erfahrungen und der bisher verfügbaren Informationen...


Sheffield:


These are the awesome folks at the LittleBigPlanet 3 Game Jam:
    Rialrees on LBPCentral:

Create Mode Rehaul

With 16 freshly laundered layers to play around in, you’ll find a small shift in the feel of create mode. For the most part, it still feels very much like LBP2, but a few things have changed. For a start, the popit has a new layout, and some of your most used gadgets will have been moved to the global section. Don’t panic! They’re all still there.

Navigating through the 16 layers can get a little tricky, but there’s a handy tool for that – when hovering, you can use the shoulder buttons to pop back and forth between the layers (working close to the layer you’re editing will help the camera to focus on you properly). You can also use the L3 button to toggle preview mode, and the R3 button to activate a static camera, as opposed to the default which follows the popit.

Many of the vita tools are there, including Dephysicalise, static / dynamic materials, memoriser etc. All of the DLC pack tools are also there, including move, cross play and marvel. (You can even use Move paint with the dualshock controller now – squeee!)

And the thermo. Oh my, the thermo. We’ll get on to dynamic thermometers later, but I can tell you that the standard thermo already feels like a mighty improvement over LBP2. I built my entire level for the jam (which was admittedly pretty small and simple, but would have taken maybe 4-5 notches in LBP2 with sackbots etc) in under a single notch. Yup. I really think it’ll take a long, long time before we see any problems there.

Summery:
  - Handy new controls for navigating create mode.
  - Vita logic, and all DLC pack tools included.
  - Thermo, what thermo? I didn’t even look at the thermo!


Super Logic

Starting off the barrage of new tools, let’s talk about the Broadcasting Chip. This handy little microchip acts like any other, except that it will transmit anything you place on it, wherever you want. Send the logic to a character, a tagged item, an item in range, a character in range, the possibilities are endless. You want a player to have superpowers, for example, but don’t want to use a sackbot? That’s cool, whip out a broadcasting chip and send the powers directly to them! This tool is going to be as much of a game changer as the memoriser.

Another handy dandy tool is the Wave Generator. This tool will output an analogue signal which oscillates from +1.00 to -1.00, at a speed and frequency you control. No more fiddling with timers! What’s the point in that, you may wonder? I’m sure others can answer this better than I, but a few thoughts that come straight to my mind include easier visual and audio effects, utilising dimmer input settings on lights, audio objects etc.

A couple more to chew on – The new Force Chip can attract / repel items (whenever I say items, you may as well insert characters/players/tagged objects) at will – very handy for boss battles, special effects, and I imagine some very cool gameplay mechanics. The new state sensor will sense a players activity. Are they walking, swimming, running, grabbing? No more guessing or using fiddly controllinator signals to find out! As well as the memoriser, we now have an Object Saver tool, which will save the state of any object it’s placed upon. Say you move a piece of grabby sponge, leave the level, and come back. If this tool is used, it’ll be right where you left it. Another little one, which I have only played about with briefly - The Object Animation Tweaker can be placed on any animated material or animated object for you to tweak the animation speed etc.

Some small but incredibly handy tweaks to pretty much everything in create mode – Every tweaker (to my memory) now has an analogue input (as well as the standard on/off input), allowing for even more fine-tuned tweaking than before. Oh and pistons have outputs. Analogue outputs, which will send a signal depending on the pistons position at any particular moment. Want to synch a vertical platform with an in/out platform? Piece of cake.

Summery:
  - Broadcasting chip is so much awesome.
  - Wave Generator does away with fiddly timer fussiness.
  - Using the Force Chip to feel like a Jedi.
  - State Sensor senses what... state you’re... in?
  - Object Animation Tweaker adjusts animation speeds and settings on materials and objects
  - Object Saver makes for a very useful shortcut for Arrr-Pee-Gees.
  - Sooo many little additional tweaks my mind has just melted. I’m sure I haven’t included them all.


To Infinity And Beyond

Soooo, how about them infinity levels? The term is a slight misnomer, as explained by StevenI in another thread the infinity levels are possible because of the new Dynamic Thermometer. By turning on a Dynamic Thermo, you tell the level to only load what is currently on screen (and you can set loading area sizes and shapes, choosing from standard rectangles to long rectangles, squares, etc) – this opens up the crushing limitations many of us face when we just want to squish all the logic, assets and pretties we can into one tight space. I don’t think many have had the chance to play with this feature extensively enough yet, but here’s the gist of it.

You turn on Dynamic thermometer, and select your loading area. Now, bear in mind that when you do this, objects off-screen are not ‘present’ in the level – much as though they are being streamed to the player’s system. So if you’re working with wireless logic etc, you’ll need something to help you. There’s a tool for that!

The Permanency Tweaker can be used to tell a level that an object is ‘always on’ – say you have a logic epicentre, filled to the brim with broadcasting chips for that yummy wireless logic awesomeness. Pop a permanency tweaker on it and the level will always listen. Without the tweaker, if this logic centre were off-screen, it would be ignored.

The Preloader is also a very handy tool where you can select items which should be loaded before the player arrives at them. A complex object, for example, or... I’m hoping someone else can shed more light on this one – but my guess is it will help the creator to reduce lag incurred by streaming a supermassive section as opposed to getting it prepped beforehand.

On a similar tangent, the Loading Linker is a tool which feels like an advanced glue tool – using it, you select pieces of the level which belong with each other, so that they always load together. Just imagine a character that you’ve lovingly crafted from materials is loaded, but only one half shows up at a time! This just won’t do – using this tool will (I presume) ensure that materials that belong together, stay together.

Summery:
  - Infinity Levels – are they infinite? In physical space... No.
  - They still use the same building area as other levels on LBP3, but you will be able to squeeze so much more epic into your levels!


Adding Some Character

Yeah, we’ve all heard about the new characters, and we’re pretty familiar with their abilities and how many gameplay ideas their existence is already bringing to the table. But how will it all work?? To be honest, every scenario I can think of about how to change characters, using their abilities etc, is doable in so many ways. So many tweakers, it’s incredible. The only way I can cover this section without going crazy is to list them.

The Character Change Gate is a level-link type object where one character enters, and emerges morphed into the character of your choice. As another option, you can use the character tweaker, which does the same job, but without the visual door-like effect of the change gate, allowing you to insert your own custom animation, cinematics, or whatever you choose

The Gameplay Tweaker allows you to fine tune the abilities of a character – so you can refine whether a player can climb walls etc. Perhaps you want to use LBP3 to create an old fashioned LBP1 level? None of those fancy powerups and new-fangled things? Use this on a broadcasting chip and take all the new stuff away!

The Kill Tweaker... Oh poor poor sackthing. The kill tweaker does what it says on the tin. Gas don’t kill people, tweakers do. It’s just a logic piece which will allow you a lot more fine control over when a player dies. No more invisible death gas etc – the other nice thing is that you can customise the death animation, either using the presets, or perhaps your own animation created with.

The Character Animator, at first, this too sounds amazing. Then, you pop it on a sackbot and open it up, and it’s beyond your wildest imaginings. Every Animation, Every single one – swimming, dying, climbing, emotions, layer shifting, jumping, running, everything. It’s all there, and it can be combined with rotation on any one, or a combination of the three axes.

Your sackbot / players can walk in topdown. No, you don’t need a controlinator. Yes, your characters can walk with their back to the screen. Yes, you can move them.

On top of all this, say you don’t want to use Toggle, swoop, oddsock. Say you wanted to use your own character, with their own custom costume and abilities. Like those amazing sackbot superhero demos that we see everywhere. You can capture a character of your own, and use them as if they were toggle etc – game sensors will pick them up, character change gates will work with them. Heck, you can even tell a checkpoint to spawn a player as that particular character. Amazingness.

Summery:
  - Character Change Gate – Swapping clothes, superman style
  - Character Tweaker – A sneakier costume swap
  - Gameplay Tweaker – The creator giveth, and the creator taketh away
  - Kill Tweaker – A million ways to die
  - Character Animator – for cinematic loveliness, and gameplay wonderfulness


Making an Adventure

A big change to the way that people publish levels has arrived in the form of the Adventure Crater. When you pop into your moon, you will notice a few craters that look different to the rest. When you open them up, you’re invited to create a mini-map, in which you can place multiple levels, linked together as a cohesive whole. Not only can you create a whole story in these adventure craters, but you can create and track your own custom quests, with the help of the new Organisertronand quest tools.

Creating a quest in your organisertron can be done in any level, but when it’s done in an adventure crater, the quest can be tracked across multiple levels. Yes, your RPG dreams have come true.

Quests can be activated, completed in their entirety, or completed in stages by assigning objectives to each "mother quest". All this is triggered by the use of the Quest Tweaker, and quest destinations and guides can be activated with the Quest Tracker (which can even guide you to a level link if your destination is in another level). When quests are activated and completed, they are displayed with a popit-like notification (which can be automated or activated with the triangle button) which both looks very neat. Players can also refer to the quests they have active at any time by referring to their organisertron during gameplay.

Add in to this, the new Sackpocket feature, which has many uses, but I fancy it as an RPG style inventory. Grant your players items along their journey and demand they use it when necessary. Items in the sackpocket can be used as powerups (held in the players hand), or selected as an item for use. The Sackpocket Sensor will help you determine which items your players are using at any given moment, to activate other logic in your level.

Give items to players either using the Sackpocket Pedestal (a powerup-style pedestal which will show your custom item) or with the sackpocket tweaker for sneaky logic only item acquisition.

Another handy addition for all gameplay, but especially RPG style, are the new Collectabells. A score-bubble-like item which once collected, does not reappear, this non-farmable currency can be used at a Collectabell Shop in return for item purchase or prize selection – it’s a swap, use it for whatever you like. Perhaps a potion shop? An Inn? A weapon store? Your imagination is key here. You can also use scores as a currency, but bear in mind that score is not persistent, and will be farmable by players.

The Progress Board logic tweak is a new form of scoreboard. As well as the traditional scoreboard we all know and love, you could also use this tool to display a fancy drop-down screen, which will tell players any statistics you choose from the selection – score, % of items found, collectabells picked up, etc.

Summery:
  - Adventure craters – Make a story fit all neatly on your earth
  - Quest Tools – Arr You Pee Geeing Yet?
  - Sackpocket – Your friendly LBP-ish Inventory
  - Collectabells & Store – Because an RPG isn’t complete without a weapon shop
  - Progress Board – Finishing in style


Getting Around

LBP2 brought us the grappling hook, The Vita Crossplay DLC brought us the teleporter, and now LBP3 has a whole host of new travelling gadgets to keep us zooming and spinning around levels in a super sleek style.

The new Velociporters are a Portal-esque device which will allow players to enter one side and exit the other, while maintaining their movement speed and trajectory.

The Bendy Rails, allow players (and objects) to move smoothly along a vector-like curve of your choosing around your level. Wanna make a rollercoaster? Go ahead and use the bendy rail to make your track, then use a Rail Hook to attach your carts to it. If you’d like players to dangle from the rail using a strange helmet like device, you could grant them a Hook Hat, which players can attach and detach to the rail at will, making for some very awesome gameplay possibilities.

The new layer launchers are a fancy bounce-pad style mover where the target can be set to whatever part of whatever layer you choose. Too much fun. The slide we’ve also seen – the depth of the slide and the material used can be adjusted to your liking, and the speed of the player’s movement, and how much control they have whilst sliding, can also be adjusted.

The Advanced In/Out mover allows you to move objects smoothly between layers – just a smooth transition from your starting layer to your chosen destination layer. The other settings for the mover are as you would expect by now – speed, etc.

Last but not least, there is a Character Teleporter, which when activated will zap your player or chosen character from one end of your level to the next, logic only, allowing you to insert any animations or cutscenes you choose.

Summery:
  - Now you’re playing with Velociporters
  - Bendy Rails – make your rollercoaster dreams come to life
  - Movers and Launchers Galore to explore the full depth of your levels
  - Character Teleporter – poof! Where’d you go?

rialrees    Retrogamer7 on LittleBigNetwork:

LBP3 Game Jam

I was one of the lucky few to be invited to the Game Jam. I have been given permission to tell you about my experience but there are specific areas I cannot elaborate on. I understand that will be frustrating to you all wanting to know everything about the new game but its all top secret for obvious reasons.

I traveled seven hours across the country to Sheffield, where the event was being held. On arrival I was greeted by Steven Isbell, who you all know; along with James who works for Sumo Digital and Deka1357 that flew all the way from Germany. They were very welcoming and friendly and I felt at home right away. We went into town to eat and discuss the weekend ahead. I couldn't fully believe this was really happening and kept saying so :) It seemed like a weird dream and I couldn't quite take it all in and what was actually happening. After a bite to eat we went back to the hotel to meet and greet some of the other arrivals. Riarees, Radio_Static and Sackinima; Lovely people and we ended up chatting until one in the morning before I decided to leave them to it. The early night I had planned had become a distant memory...

I was now in the room trying to sleep, this was not happening; my mind wouldn't shut down contemplating what awaited the next day. It had dawned on me what I was there for and what was expected from us all. All of us were so lucky to be invited to such a huge event, such an honour. I gave up on trying to sleep because it wasn't happening...

The next day after 3 hours sleep I was up and off to the Game Jam. Wow this was really happening, nerves and anxiety kicked in but then confidence was back as soon as I was greeted by the lovely Sarah Wellock from Sony. Then I was introduced to the film crew and shown around. What a venue, the room was huge and filled with Ps4's and Tv's. There was a huge balcony that showed Sheffield for miles. I also noticed lots of Bean Bags in one area but didn't fully realize the importance of these until later.

Then I was introduced to Sumo Digital's David Dino and some of the LBP3 programmers; lovely friendly people full of enthusiasm. It was time for LBP3 Story mode. I felt so privileged I smiled so much, how lucky I was to experience this. Sadly I'm not allowed to elaborate in any way about the Story mode. I will however say, it is far, far superior to anything I imagined and a must buy. If you love LBP then you wont believe how great this game is and how much they have crammed into this beautiful game. Playing the Story mode with some of the Creators and Programmers watching was an experience in itself. They are so passionate about their work and you could see the love in their eyes for their creation.

Create mode was awaiting me now, I messed around with the new tools that aren't on the Beta. In doing so I found a few issues that needed fixing but the programmers were right there watching. One great New tool is a Decoration tool that allows any Decoration to be expanded in all directions and grow and shrink. A great tool that gives you great power over decorations now. Streaming is the cure for complex level creators, it only uses the thermometer when the game enters the streaming area. So huge complicated levels aren't a headache anymore :)

I decided to create a simplistic survival level because of the limited time available to us to finish a project. It was just a level about a waterfall with logs falling down and along the river. Jump from log to log to survive as it gets harder and faster. I used the new broadcast chips instead of all microchips and I used the new player tools to animate Toggle and Swoop. The tools allow the Sack bots to be manipulated in any direction and if you combine this with the new Wave generator it varies the strength to your preference. Just like a clever battery but fluctuates to your command. So My Toggle's turning around became very simple by only using the settings for the strength of the signal. A great tool indeed.

My level was filmed in its early stages and I was asked about LBP and how I started Creating? All the other Creators had to do the same. More Creators had turned up now and joined in the fun. GlicthFish, SpaceMonkey187, Scarybisciutlbp, R2ooD2, Chimpanzee & Shropshirelass2. Again very nice friendly people. Honestly a great bunch to have enjoyed such an experience.

Food was set up and wow what a great selection, so, so much food. I got my food and sat with the creators to enjoy and chat. Then in that moment Steve Big Guns walked in, I couldn't stop myself and rather loudly called out his name. He came over to say hi and I said its an honour to meet you and I'm sorry I cant shake your hand as its covered in grease from the chicken and spare ribs. We chatted for a few minutes then I went to wash my hands. After washing my hands I went to the balcony to get some air before returning to create mode. After a few minutes I was just about to go back in but Steve Big Guns joined me. Now I shook his hand for real and said this is mad I cant believe its happening. We chatted for ages and he's so humble, polite and down to earth. We chatted about his work and LBP3 and his creations. I asked if Toggle was his idea because of LitttleBigMe that he created; he just looked at my and smiled but didn't comment. I then asked why LitttleBigMe was never Team Picked and we laughed about it. I said did he play test his levels himself and he said he never plays his creations because they aren't much good. We really laughed then. He then told me Massive Epic Raging Destruction(3D FPS Trailer) was made in one weekend. Wow I wasn't expecting that... Steve was exactly as I expected a great guy.

Back to Create mode and L1ghtmare and DaaMonkey was watching me and informing me about the new tools and what they are working on. Both great people and so,so relaxed and welcoming. DaaMonkey is really funny and was suggesting off the wall ideas to include in my level. He said hes working on a bomb shark survival level. I laughed as he elaborated on his idea; no ones ever made such a level :) Steve Big Guns joined us and a few others. Can you imagine creating being surrounded by such Talented Creators? Then they were playing my level trying to beat each others score. Wow I still cant fully believe it really did happen; something to remember for ever and to be proud of. The lack of inspiration I had reached as a Creator had now returned more than I could ever imagine. A weekend beyond belief that changed playing LBP for ever.

A cab journey away to get some much needed sleep. My mind wouldn't switch off though; I couldn't stop thinking about what had happened today and I was really there. I gave up trying to sleep and found the most boring thing on Tv to send me off to another dream world.

Morning and just enough time to pack check out and be whisked back to the Game Jam. The Bean Bags were put there for a reason; L1ghtMare was trying to wake Dr Jaeyden up as the creators were back again. StevenI hadn't even slept at all and some creators only went back to the hotel to freshen up and check out.

A Bacon roll and a coffee and back to create mode again. Less nerves now and I felt very comfortable. The Tv Crew called us over one by one to ask us questions and see what we thought about the experience. Oh and informed me later Id have to play my finished project in-front of the Sumo Digital Team along with all the creators watching while being filmed. No pressure then?

More of the Sumo Digital Team came in throughout the weekend and everyone of them was so nice and welcoming. It was such a lovely atmosphere and felt like a true family of people had come together to produce a game. They are all passionate about LBP3 and all love what they do; you can see this in their eyes and how they all laugh and joke in a friendly manner. Being there to witness this event and see how they interact with the team members was just awesome and a lovely experience.

The time had come for all of the Creators to show off their work in front of everyone while being filmed. For me this was a lot of pressure because I had made a survival level; It would have been embarrassing if I died right away not being able to show my level for more than a second. Thankfully even at the angle I had to sit at due to the filming I got the highest score I had ever got; beating all of Sumo Digital's scores to :) That's an achievement in itself. I was then able to relax and enjoy watching all the other creators show off there creations. They all did a great job and some great levels were made. Sitting with the Sumo Digital Team watching was an amazing experience. Something ill always remember.

After all the creators was filmed StevenI gave a speech thanking everyone and saying some kinds words. I could see the emotion in his eyes while he talked. He really does care, he along with James and Sarah put so much effort into the Game Jam. It was a huge project and it showed. So much organisation involved and so many things to take care of. Everyone involved should be proud. I'm proud I was there and still cant believe I was. Thanks for inviting me and allowing me to part of LBP history. LBP an amazing game that changed gaming for ever.

Trust me if you love LBP this is far Superior to anything you've seen before...

Happy Gaming :)

Videos:

Localized water swimming with a bit of logic. Here's a quick look at swimming in localised 'water' to end on.

Localized Water will be in LBP3, looks like a material

Biking, riding with Big Toggle and Small Toggle is the coolest thing ever!

Crab-killing snowman by ScaryBiscuit

Some Entwined/Resogun-inspired cleverness

Pictures:

Check out what Rialrees and RadioStatik were making

Some of LBP3's Decorations

Top Down Race Gates will make a top-down racer more cooler

Advanced In-Out mover is a definite game changer as it lets you smoothly transition through all the layers or any certain ones that you want

The Broadcast Microchip allows you to broadcast whatever logic is inside of it over to anything within a specific range, character, or tagged object

A Wave Generator tool is a new addition in the Tools Bag, it probably generates a wave judging by its name

Different Decoration Shapes are also making an appearance along side the 3D Object Shapes, they are re-colorable as well

Effects are inbound to make your levels just eye-dazzling in any awesome form! Water, Smoke, Lightning, Fire all that can have their opacity and transparency tweaked and color changeable


A chock-loads of Tweakers will be a part of the vast amount of creating toys for you to play with! Shardinator, Attract Tweaker, Material Tweaker, Gravity Tweaker, Opacity Tweaker and so much more

Static and Dynamic from Vita and Karting is now in LBP3! Switching to Static with make the object stay in its place and Dynamic will let the object move

Organisertron allows to track quests that you obtain and/or create for completion. There are quest tweakers that can be used to make any type quests you want, quest sensor to sense the status of a quest, and a quest marker to give you aid in a certain quest



Interactive Live Stream Sensor, probably only on PlayStation 4. This innovative tool will look in a player's stream chat and trigger when a certain keyword of the player's choice has been used many times

Decoration Mounts will allowed you to alter a decoration such as stretching, rotating, animation types and more

3D Shapes are now in the game as Objects, you can change color and size, but not depth

There is a type of currency called the Collectibells which can be used to be spent on goodies such as costumes in a shop using a shop stall or a score sensor


Creating with Sackboy's friends is just as much fun as creating with sackboy. Swoop in create mode

More screenshots:



Links:

LBPCentral -> Game Jam 2014
LBPCentral -> Game Jam - Create Mode Revealed
LBPCentral -> LBP3 - Everything We Know So Far
Twitter -> LittleBigPlanet
Twitter -> StevenIsBell
LittleBigForum -> My Experience At The LBP Jam
LittleBigNetwork -> LBP3 Game Jam