Thursday, March 08, 2007

Son of E3

Apart from a lack of imagination or any mathematical or programming ability, I could easily be a game designer. Which brings me around to thinking, when did GDC get hijacked?

A few years ago, the only news stories out of GDC would be about people getting drunk and being overheard badmouthing Sony at the bar. Now it seems to be a major launching point for new franchises. Why publishers have chosen what is meant to be a symposium on the curent nature of game development as a forum for large, elaborate press junkets I do not know, but I imagine if I was a developer, I wouldn't really want these people within 100 yards of the building, let alone swaggering around with their mighty marketing balls dragging on the floor.

I digress. The PS3 finally has an exclusive that I would actually want. Up until now, PS3 exclusives have taken the form of 'look at the dragon' or 'look, it's a first person shooter! Are you excited yet?'. But LittleBigPlanet is the first game I've seen for the PS3 that's actually interesting.

From what I can see in the trailers, you play one of a series of little felt dolls (including one in an Evil Knievel outfit!), and you build the world you occupy out of household items. You can then decorate it with any of the images on your hard drive. It's all controlled with the pad, can be shared online, looks amazing, and it serves absolutely no purpose whatsoever.

Once you've built you world, you can tear around it with other players. It's not clear whether or not you can put goals into your level or not, but I'm not really sure that matters.

On the other side of the coin, there's Playstation Home. This is the sort of 'lifestyle' nonsense that I truly hate. You get a virtual house in which to store trophies from your in-game achievements (which of course Sony said they were not going to have), fill with Sony branded virtual TV's and all the rest. A persistent online world full of glossy, dead-eyed avatars showing off imaginary consumer products? And I get to look at plenty of dynamic advertising for the privelage? No thanks.

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