Monday, July 30, 2012

Home Gets Something Genuinely Interesting in Blueprint: Home

So, I have said it times in the past, and I bear no shame in admitting that I am in the apparent minority of folks out there who sees Playstation Home as something that -isn't- a waste of time or a failure or a waste of resources.  It is a thing that is not for everybody, certainly, and it is never fair to judge something by the lowest common denominator of folks that use it, as some do.  Honestly, if we did, Multi-player as a -thing- would have died out years ago, and don't try to disagree on that point since I'm sure we all know it's likely not a very arguable thing.  Regardless, though I'm likely not going to bother with Home anytime in the near future (talking year or so), I can't help but try and keep up with the news of how it's going, since there's always a chance of something genuinely neat getting into it, like the oft-requested and likely never-happening Trophy room, or things that add a more game-like feel to it that aren't necessarily mini-games and/or AR games or whatever Home has catered in the past.  And that hope, or at least that bet on a chance has certainly been validated in my opinion with the preview of a new thing coming to Home called, appropriately enough, Blueprint: Home.

It is appropriate because it involves Blueprints and Home on two different levels; not only is it for Playstation Home, obviously, but the space allows you to build your own Home (as in your own personal space) by making it up on the Blueprint offered.  While not as advanced as the Sims home creation, it can, nevertheless, be likened to that which is only a good thing in my opinion.  You get a rather large space to work with and are then allowed to draw a series of rooms on the Blueprint offered before deciding their style (basically the carpet, walls and ceiling), putting in as many doors and/or windows as you want and sprucing it up with a few additions.  Then, after it's made, you can obviously furnish it to your own whims as well using Home's own system of picking out items from your collection and plopping them down in 'real' gravity, meaning you can even sort of set a scene if you want to, with toppled chairs and knocked over items and such.  Which is kind of not the point, since the point is that you can make your own damn living space.

There are limitations, of course; judging by the instructional video a lot of content is going to be behind a pay-wall which is no good.  On top of that, it seems like only single-level structures will be possible at first at least, which is a shame considering stairs in Home are fun because of the simulated gravity.  Since you can drop things down stairs and watch them tumble.  Beyond that, while there are somewhat limitless possibilities already if you have even a slight bit of creativity, I imagine building single-level dwellings eventually gets old when they are just boxes, notwithstanding the possibility of putting 'rooms' together and knocking down entire walls to make odd-shaped rooms as is shown in the video for all of about ten seconds.  Without a lot of landscaping options on top of that, it seems like you're just getting fairly flat houses, no matter how intricate the insides can look depending on if you maze things up or get really wild with it.  All things that could likely get rectified, of course, but whether or not it will be free to do so remains to be seen, and I would bet fairly heavily against it.

Still, limited or not, it offers more than it doesn't, I feel, and can probably be used to make some really nice looking Home Spaces.  Certainly the fact that you can make and save up to five designs at a time will pay for it in itself if you have a bit of creativity or those folks with the creativity upload some youtube tutorials or something similar.  If you're so inclined to build a space and decorate it, that is, since not many seem to enjoy just the act of doing that.  My experiences in Home have mostly -been- those types of actions.  When I was not straying out into the different spaces to get free items, I was in one of the several Personal Spaces I had (all free of course) and playing around with different places to put things and different things to put in places.  It's just -fun- for some reason and I understand that I am more the exception than the rule in that aspect.  It is kind of why I long for a similar Home-like Application for the Vita; something that, judging by the assumed success of Home on the PS3, might not be an entirely far-fetched idea.  They did think something similar up for PSP, of course, even if it barely made it to a beta phase.

I'm pretty sure I'm the only person that honestly cares even a little about this.  That doesn't really bother me a whole lot all things considered.  Whether you're a fan of Home or not (most of you are the latter, I realize) it -is- a fairly neat thing on its own merits, considering it is a Building Tool in a semi-MMO type of -thing-.  I'm not quite sure how that works on the technical level, but I'm sure magic is involved on some layer.  Even if it's a little simplistic in design (or seems so) it's still got quite a lot of potential, and I hope that it manages some level of success so that others might try it, or at the very least, they feel the need to continually support it with the obvious upgrades it could receive.  It could just be the next 'thing' for the Home-space and something that might change a couple minds out there which will probably be more of a benefit than not in all reality.  If it's a success, Home makes money for Sony after all, and we all know they sort of need it at the moment.

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