Six to Start

Game 3.0

LittleBigPlanet is probably going to be the reason we finally get a PlayStation 3 in the office. We nearly had one, back when the wonderful folks at Harmonix were kind enough to send us a copy of Rock Band for this year's GameCamp.

It was last year, at GDC 2007, when Phil Harrison gave a keynote speech about Game 3.0. We were in the throes of integers at the time, and it seemed like the games industry desperately needed to get some of the hype the internet/new media side of the equation had brought itself with a 2.0 moniker.

This time last year, with Harrison's Game 3.0 speech, we got to see glimpses of Little Big Planet with OMG ORSUM The Go! Team soundtrack (which, apparently, won't be featuring in the shipping software), along with promises that Home was going to be the Greatest Thing Ever and more than that, was going to ship Real Soon Now.

Well, LBP is finally coming out soon - and Simon Carless over at GameSetWatch has put together his list of why LBP finally brings Web 2.0 to gaming.

It seems to me that it's not so much about LBP's use of creativity and more that Media Molecule have really spent time honing the interface which exposes web 2.0 facets. You can have all the tagging, rating and filtering in the world, but unless you're presenting the right information at the right time and in an intuitive way, you'll end up with a complete mess.

I had the chance to play LBP when I was up in Edinburgh for EIF, but I didn't manage to spend any time with the level creation utilities. The part that I did play - a standard level - I have to say I didn't find that interesting. I mean: it was a gorgeous 2.5d platformer, but (and this is a hard admission to make) as someone who didn't grow up training my muscle memory with Sonic and/or Mario, I find platformers pretty hard to deal with. I keep dying. I appear not to have that sense of timing that helps me jump at the right time. An aside: Braid has the ultimate killer app in platformers for me. I'm annoyed that I didn't get to play with the level creation side of LBP, as it's probably that that's going to interest me the most.

I'm not sure if LBP is going to be the big revolution everyone thinks it's going to be - it's just a game, and one with pretty solid social features. My main worry is that as with Spore, everyone's going to be fawning over it and, in the end, nothing's going to live up to those kinds of expectations. Having said all of that: thin end of the wedge. You'll be hard-pressed to start building or finding games that don't have these social features in the near future.