LittleBigInterview: GruntosUK (Sackometry Wars)

With nothing more than a little mopping up left to do from our Eurogamer Expo coverage, we continue our focus on the unsung stars of the LittleBigPlanet 2 beta; the community creators. Today: GruntosUK.

CG: Did you make this level (Sackometry Wars) from scratch, or was it first created in LBP 1? If the latter, how have you been able to improve it with LBP 2 features?

GruntosUK: I created it solely in the LBP2 beta. I don’t think it would be even possible in LBP, simply for the controls. Plus it uses a lot of emitters, and the new way the engine calculates emitted objects kept it within the thermometer’s boundaries. And it uses holographic material, because it’s based on Geometry Wars and the mechanics rely on overlapping materials.

CG: How long did the level take to create?

GruntosUK: I’d have said around 10/11 hours start to finish. I had the basic enemies and controls done in a couple of hours, then spent maybe another 3 or 4 adding in another type of enemy, the effects, the play area and generally tightening it all up. I published the first version after that was complete.

After a lot of feedback I spent another 5/6 and basically revamped most it except the craft itself. I added a HUD, Megabombs, more enemies, more waves and much tighter controls.

I’d like to add more actually, but behind the scenes is pretty much a mess, and I don’t want to attempt to untangle it all. I have since learned to use notes and make things tidy as I go now though 🙂

CG: Did you expect your level to get the amount of attention it did?

GruntosUK: Not really, I knew friends might have a play, and I might get a couple of people coming across it but I thought most people would be in Create to be honest. I’d had fun making it and learning as I went along, and still enjoy playing it so anything else was a bonus.

The MM pick was a great surprise and when was opened I was blown away it had over 7000 unique plays :). Most of my levels on LBP1 don’t have that.

CG: What levels do you admire, from either game?

GruntosUK: There are literally hundreds from the first game, many many creators and many more levels; hearted lists are always the best place to begin. From there move to other people’s hearted levels from levels you have enjoyed – Morgana25’s list is a great place to start. I know I will mention some and forget others and want to change it so I’ll leave it at that.

Luos_83 has made a fantastic level, his Caves Of The New Beh’ta level is awesome, as is faith_rips Ice Age level, two traditional LBP levels using the new features really well. Fyshokid’s Audio Visuals and Stereo/Mono are fabulous, as are LadyLyn’s movie levels. And I have loved most, if not all, multiplayer mini games I’ve played; great fun with plenty of laughs to be had.

CG: Are you working on any more levels at the moment?

GruntosUK: At the moment no, I’m just playing around with the movie camera and sackbots. I have got an idea, to do a small trailer movie and a typical LBP platformer, but whether I get the time to finish is another thing.

CG: Any tips for other LBP creators?

GruntosUK: Always get your gameplay right first, make it pretty afterwards and take in any feedback you get. “Generally” the player is always right 😉

CG: What’s your most favourite thing about the LBP 2 beta… and your least favourite?

GruntosUK: My most favourite thing, definitely the experimentation with the wealth of new tools and features available to use. I’m being extremely erratic in Create mode because of this, always finding new things to play with for a couple of hours before getting completely sidetracked with something else.

The worst is most certainly not being able to keep what we make. There’s some mind-blowing stuff on the beta at the moment, with the promise of even better stuff to come along. It would be a great kick to the start of the game if they could be carried over for the first couple of weeks after release. Plus I’ve got some stuff for future projects I’d like to keep a hold of. 😉

The video used in this article is taken from ChimpanzeePS3’s YouTube channel, as this channel is unofficially approved by Media Molecule. ChimpanzeePS3 is in no way affiliated with Critical Gamer or any of its staff.

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Written by Luke K

Luke plays lots of videogames, now and again stopping to write about them. He's the editor in chief at Critical Gamer, which fools him into thinking his life has some kind of value. Chances are, if you pick up a copy of the latest Official PlayStation Magazine or GamesMaster, you'll find something he's written in there. Luke doesn't have a short temper. If you suggest otherwise, he will punch you in the face.

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