Develop '09: Media Molecule on lost levels, arguing, and lessons learned

LittleBigPlanet’s design secrets revealed

Speaking at the Develop Conference 2009, Media Molecule staff provided a detailed insight into the creative processes that made LittleBigPlanet one of the most critically acclaimed and popular releases of the past twelve months.

"Art and crafts and those things are something everyone can relate to," said Media Molecule art-director and co-founder Kareem Ettouney, discussing the inspirations behind the game’s look, later confirming: "Creativity with a budget; that handmade look is part of the language of the people. That handmade analogy was pivotal to the look we went with."

"When deciding on 2D or 3D, there was also lots of bitterness and pain and arguing and talk of semantics, so pre-visulisation was very important to solving those disagreements," added co-founder Mark Healey, who also admited the development process "tested friendships".

In the same session, Healey offered advice to fellow developers about the pitfalls Media Molecule suffered from when developing : "If anybody’s planning to make a game that features user-generated content, and you plan to release extra content in the future, you have to be careful with what you include at the start, as people can begin to create things before you, with those tools. There’s a lesson we had to learn.

Healey also revealed details on a theme and level that was dropped from the final game: "It was seaside level. We had time constraints, and it was the weakest link, so it went. It was a painful decision to make."

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