The Aftermath - It’s all true

Apr 2nd 2009 - 11:41 AM

April 2nd has arrived, and with it the truth, no more fooling –  I’m simultaneously happy and sorry to say that it is all true: This site will be ‘closing down’ and we really do have jobs at Media Molecule.

We’ll be updating our new home with some introductions shortly, and have plans in the pipeline for all the ways to improve and have fun with the LittleBigPlanet Community, and beyond. There are various things we need to set in motion, move over, archive, change, or fix up. We may not update the news here again very much, but keep your eye on our twitter feed – We’ll keep that updated when we can, and possibly rename it and make it official. Maybe. It’s over here:

I’m in ur office stealin’ ur BAFTA.

We’re just transitioning into our new jobs, learning all the secret things, meeting all the cool folks and signing legal documents; so updates might be slow at first. When we get into the swing of things, you can expect a steady stream of information to come flowing forth!

So, with that in mind, we hope you will all join us over on…

See you there!

Good news, Bad news - So long and thanks for all the fish!

Apr 1st 2009 - 2:00 PM

Dear Planeteers

As the headlines suggests, we have some good news and some bad news. First of all, let’s go for the bad: I’m afraid the news is true, we are closing the site, and ceasing updates of news articles, features and LBP tidbits, which we have been bringing to you since the start of November last year.

It will remain as an archive of news and features, and the comments will remain open for a time, and eventually all expire so that the site is a static archive of information, forever floating in space.

Do not fear however! We are not leaving the community, the opposite of that is the truth, for we are broadcasting to you now from the offices of Media Molecule, in our new jobs as Community Managers. You heard us right - after a long period of proving ourselves worthy, we have been hired by the creators of LittleBigPlanet!

Whilst we join you in the mourning for this site, we hope you can join us in celebrating our new positions. Everything you love here, we will bring to you again in some form, although what form that will be is yet to be decided, but with the backing of Mm and Sony, we promise to bring you something bigger, better, badder and sexier that the Planetoid could ever become.

Thanks to everyone for sending us news, reading the site, and taking part in the community, and basically helping to make this site so great - you shall not be forgotten, we’ll see you on the other side….. Or other site perhaps? wink It just remains for us to say, this…

So long, farewell, Auf wiedersehen, BBIAB!

See you shortly,

James and Tom

Worlds Collide - The Planetoid Asplode

Apr 1st 2009 - 12:00 AM


The Little BIG Planetoid has crashed uncontrollably into the LittleBigPlanet!!!

We and everyone on board have been saved however, thanks to our escape vessel.
Reports from the surface indicate no loss of life below, and minor damage to the Planet itself, thanks in part to its spongy surface.

We report to you now from our escape ship, its limited broadcasting resources running overtime to get you this message.

We have some sad news. With our observation deck gone, our telescopes and consoles destroyed, we will no longer be able to report news, events and happenings on the LittleBigPlanet.

LittleBigPlanetoid will cease transmissions as of today.

We thank you all for your continued support of our publication and media broadcasts, and will bring you further news of what will happen next, once we are safely landed, some time in the next few hours.
But be sure of this - The LittleBigPlanetoid will never be the same again.

Goodbye, for now Planeteers, and God bless.

Awooga! Awooga! Abandon ship!

Mar 30th 2009 - 7:09 PM

We are reporting to you now, from the command deck of the Planetoid, which we are about to evacuate. Our escape ships stand by, and will allow us to relay news through our satellites for a limited time. Our observation point has become dangerously unstable, we are plummeting dangerously close to the LittleBigPlanet, and pending a miracle it looks like the planetoid is in for a crash landing! Where’s Bruce Willis when you need him?

Look out below people! Brace for Crash landing.



Surface Scientists calculate impending doom

Mar 30th 2009 - 12:10 PM

All systems continue to be on full alert today, and our teams of scientists and brave astronauts are working like crazy to find the source of these disturbances. One thing remains clear though, the stabilisers are rapidly failing and the core temperature of the Planetoid is… scaring us.

Reports arriving to us from surface scientist Kimura by way of the comments indicate some frightening statistics:

Anyway, I’ve had the Supercomputer calculate the orbital paths of the Planetoid, LittleBigPlanet itself, and the MyMoon and InfoMoon. Here’s what it came up with:

  • 25% chance of hitting one of the moons, either destroying the moon or the Planetoid;
  • 10% chance of hitting one of the moons, BUT instead of destruction, knocking the moon out of orbit and causing the Planetoid to assume a new orbit;
  • 30% chance of creating a 5000-sackmile-radius crater in LittleBigPlanet;
  • 5% chance of getting a binary orbit with one of the moons, swing around in a stable figure-8 path;
  • 20% chance of catastrophic failure (the Planetoid hits a moon, the moon hits LittleBigPlanet, and the resulting collision sends sponge and rubber fragments flying off into the rest of the LittleBigGalaxy);
  • 15% chance of the collective Rocket thrust of all the Pods being enough to get the Planetoid back into its orbit;
  • -5% chance (yes this all equals 100%) of a team of sackpeople getting into Lyoko and deactivating the tower that X.A.N.A. is clearly using to crash the Planetoid, then using a Return to the Past to fix everything. Of course, what he wants with LittleBigPlanet is a mystery in itself

That pod idea sounds worth a try, we’re gonna get to it. In the mean time, maybe we will have some more cake news to keep us distracted?

Oooh err look over here, part 3 of The Bonus Round on Gametrailers, featuring Alex Evans. (Thanks Robin)

Another amazing LBP cake!

Mar 30th 2009 - 12:51 AM

Another delicious and finely crafted cake has been sent our way, this time from an aunt and uncle to their nephew, Gab.

Breathe in its glory!


Check out more shots of the cake over on Flickr. And anyone else out there making cakes, how about sending us a slice to, you know, make sure it isn’t poisoned. wink

Emergency broadcast: Planetoid systems failure?

Mar 29th 2009 - 6:04 PM

After days of tinkering and freaking out, we think we’re close to working out what’s been going on with our system up here on the Planetoid.

The system is reporting some very dangerous measurements that threaten the very existence and stability of this planetoid.

It appears that we might be falling out of the sky and heading on a collision course with the LittleBigPlanet… errrr help?

- Please stand by for more information -

GDC: How Sackboy Learned to Love Physics

Mar 28th 2009 - 2:20 AM

Dave Smith, the technical director at Media Molecule, delivered a talk at GDC yesterday on the complexities and rewards of implementing physics in LittleBigPlanet.
Gamasutra folk were there recording the events, for us to copy paste their words today. (thank you Gamasutra!)

What is physics in games?

Smith wondered about the original 1981 Donkey Kong. “Does this have physics? I would say yes. You have objects moving, colliding with things… Arguably this is a form of physics.”

Though it’s limited, so is the current definition of physics in games, he argues. “We generally refer to rigid-body physics simulation as physics”; in real life objects collide and deform, and liquids aren’t yet simulated very well. Like with what Donkey Kong chose to simulate, “It’s a question of computing power.”

But with more realistic physics, Smith argues, you can make something that’s more than the sum of its parts—all items in DK act alone; in World of Goo the developers simulate a great deal through the use of springs, and “build complexity, which is interesting and useful in different ways.”

Why implement physics?

“The first possible answer, and I think it’s one a lot of games would give, is to make the game pretty,” says Smith. “It makes the world more believable.”

Many developers think physics allow you to get away with a smaller team, since things are simulated rather than hand-created. “I think there’s some truth and some wrongheadedness about this answer,” says Smith.

“Even though you get a lot of odd behavior [with a ragdoll simulation] it’s preferable to have the odd visual effects than having the characters not respond correctly to the environment,” Smith admits.

“But I think developers feel you can get something for nothing… You can just rely on one or two simple physical principles… As humans I think we’re good at seeing through, seeing to the heart of a game and seeing the true content. You have to have some sort of structured experience you’re given to the player.”

For LBP, the real reason to use physics was to “make use of players’ expectations.”

Says Smith, “From a very early age, we develop a very sophisticated understanding of the world around us. I think this is something games can really leverage. Your players already have a whole wealth of experience to solve problems the game poses.”

When you use physics, then, “You throw up less walls to define what the player can do. The game becomes more believable as the players can do more what they can do in real life.”

To read more of Dave’s very development focused talk, head on over to Gamasutra.

P.S Please bear with us through these bursts of technical failure, we’re not entirely sure what’s happening but we are working around the clock to resolve it!

++++ ALERT ++++

Mar 28th 2009 - 1:01 AM


Fddh>>>€íóg b۞۞BbB►bnk:op@g*6



>Power grid online
>Initialising system
>Planetoid systems report


Life support: 100%
Observation deck: 100%
Shields: 99%
Stabilisers: 83% and falling

Zone 1: Systems operating at 98%
Surveillance systems:  functioning at 87%
Broadcast systems: functioning at 90%

*** DANGER ***
Core temperature rising
Stabilisers failing

Early video of LBP shown at GDC

Mar 27th 2009 - 5:42 PM

A video from GDC09, showing the talk which Alex Evans and Mark Healey gave, has popped up on YouTube, giving some interesting insight in to the early development of LittleBigPlanet.
We won’t waffle on, check it out:

There are many interesting things in this video - like the Phil Harrison level patch, or the original sizes and shapes of the concept Sackboy designs. Also shown in the video is a Katamari Damacy costume - something which we can’t help but pray to eventually be released!

The Katamari costume ‘head’ can be seen here in this early screenshot, along with other costume items.

Via Mercury News and thanks to cya8a for sending in the Katamari costume screenshot.

Cornish Yarg patch notes released

Mar 26th 2009 - 5:38 PM

Sam Protagonist has just revealed the feature list for the upcoming 1.12 patch, Cornish Yarg.

  • There is a new music player which lets players choose their own music from the XMB to play during create mode and in their Pod
  • Improved decoration mode makes it easier to customise your Sackboy
  • New options to help prevent profiles becoming full of unwanted community objects:
    • Option to delete all (unhearted) community objects and photos
    • Option to select whether to automatically collect community prizes and photos
  • A number of improvements have been made to make profiles more robust and to recover from certain errors
  • We now support Japanese and Korean IME for text chat.
  • Emitter prediction has been improved (this should help fast-moving projectiles e.g. in MGS levels)
  • The player proximity switch now has a ‘require all’ option in it
  • An option has been added to cycle between various level information when viewing community levels on the earth
  • Various LittleBigStore improvements

Wow. There are some great fixes and updates there.
The patch still does not have a date though, but so long as there isn’t an almighty balls-up somewhere along the line, we’re expecting this *soon*, but not before the 1.11 content update which is due next week. Sam’s exact words were:

To add some timing context to this, the 1.11 update, which contains content only, is due for release next week (I’ll update if this timing changes). Cornish Yarg is a little after that release, but I’ll give a better timeline once it’s looking concrete.

Some of you might still be fretting about what this patch is not addressing, but fear not - Sam also has some titbits of information about what else is coming soon.

We don’t yet have a fixed release date for this update, but it has now finished primary development so won’t be too much longer. Additional fixes, particularly for online connection reliability and save game/profile size problems are already well into development and we’ll bring you more news on that just as soon as possible.


Thanks to mnimmo once again for the heads up.


Michelle at Media Molecule has posted another lovely list. Arguably juicier than the first one too as it’s worded in a way which makes our tongues swell with anticipation. Loving lists today!

  • A super awesome set of 5 new tutorials in “Create Pack 1”! These tutorials unlock some lovely new creative tools to play about with and help you make even cooler levels. The new tools are as follows:
    • Infinite lives checkpoint
    • Visibility tweak option on certain joint objects (to hide these in Play mode)
    • Global settings object (to trigger lighting changes)
    • Tetherless jetpack - [OH EMMM GEEEE!!!!11!twelve!!11!]
  • Angle range proximity switch (additional functionality on proximity and magnetic key switches)
  • IME text chat support for Korean and Japanese
  • Some nifty profile managing tools and menus for better profile management when receiving community objects and photos.
  • A very sleek music player which is available to use while in create mode, meaning you can listen to your own MP3s while you make!
  • Advanced Sackboy customisation mode to help you decorate all those hard to reach places
  • Anton’s sweated blood to try to fix the level loading issues some of you may have experienced, so if you have a broken level, why not give it another go?


Error messages?

Mar 26th 2009 - 1:18 PM

Some of you will have noticed some error messages cropping up in some of our broadcasts, we’re not sure what’s causing them yet but the readouts are… interesting. Hopefully normal service will be resolved shortly, please stand by!

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