Sunday, September 30, 2012

LittleBigThings: Welp, Working on Some Stuff

As I sort of imagined, though feared against, I am finding it a little easier than it was on the PS3 to set about actually building a level and getting stuff put down.  Not -much- easier, mind you, but I have a days-worth of progress on something done up versus....well, no progress at all, so that's something.  As is generally the case, that's more or less what I've been doing since I aced the Story Mode, though I have put in some time to actually attempt the whole online thing to get some of the 2-Player required prize bubbles and have met with limited amounts of success.  While I can actually play online as opposed to some games, I'm sure the NAT factor is still in play when it comes to my ability to actually enjoy the online aspect of the game.  Which is marginally strange to me since I apparently have the same on my PS3 but I guess having a cable hooked up makes all the difference in the world.  Regardless, I have taken down about four of the levels with two-person-only Prize bubbles which means great success where I come from.

Create mode in LBPV has been a little bit of a different beast than its console counterpart however, at least in terms of a few things.  Mechanics-wise, it's generally the same aside from a few improvements that I may or may not touch on tonight, but what I'm talking about...well, does sort of matter in that context, as it's about the content available.  You see, LittleBigPlanet 2's big billing thing was "You get -everything- from LittleBigPlanet to carry over!" which means costumes, stickers, bits and bobs, objects, materials, etc. etc. etc.  Everything when it means everything.  Going from LittleBigPlanet 2 to Vita, however?  You get.....DLC costumes that were purchased in either LBP or LBP2 which are appreciated of course, but nothing else that isn't mechanical.  To tell the truth, I haven't really looked, but I do believe that the Paintinator has been completely phased out for the Creatinator which is admittedly basically the same thing but still, that's...something.  Water has been implemented properly, as a core mechanic, so why not bring that along as well?  (I might have overlooked it, however, will probably edit in here after I check when I'm done with the post itself.)

As such, I find it odd, trying to do some things in it as I remember bits and pieces of my excursions with the console versions and the things I used there, only to find that they're simply not here.  Almost disconcerting, even.  To top that, some of the LBP Costumes in the actual storefront on the Vita are for packs that include more than just costumes.....if you buy them on PS3.  For the Vita version itself, you only get the costumes, thought I suppose a theoretical LittleBigPlanet 3 would eventually use all the elements again if you're worried about having to 'go back' to LBP2 to get the full use out of them.  Still, I hold out a little bit of hope that something will be done here in the future to allow us access to the rest of the stuff from the DLC, the materials and the like, though I suppose I will understand if it's just not really possible.  If we're throwing out dreams as well, hoping they are heard by the powers that be, being able to get base things, again materials and the like from LBP 1 and 2 would also be nice, but I'm mostly just concerned with the stickers and materials from the DLC as I would assume they have all the rights they need to bring them over - after all, they were alright enough to tinker with bits of all of them as is.

Anyways, the point was to talk about the creating thing so I should probably do that instead of anything else like whining about not having enough stuff to build with.  Which I suppose is still talking about creating things in a sense but it's a bit heading off the topic an- right, right, moving on.  It's an odd thing, trying to build something in LittleBigPlanet because I have sort of been ruined by the community.  You go into other levels and see things and marvel and wonder at just how the hell they made that, and then go into one of your levels and have a dumpy little outline of a house started.  It's....intimidating to say the least.  I can't help but equate it somewhat to making things in Sound Shapes, where I didn't really -have- that.  Sure, there were nice looking things in Sound Shapes, but the bulk of them were just creative usage of pre-made things.  In LittleBigPlanet, entire levels are literally hand-crafted things and sometimes they are just amazing.  I freeze up just thinking about trying to replicate anything that has the sort of grandeur I've come across or, more importantly, just thinking about what I make in comparison to those other things.  It's.....never pretty.  And unnecessary.  I cannot -not- do it, however.

Still, for whatever reason I have found that it's easier to get past that in LBPV - perhaps because I really don't care about being judged in the same scope as those other types of levels (which I don't think I would, since they're separate entities) or perhaps because I'm getting more confident about being able to make things that look kind of half-decent.  I mean, take a look at the screenshot provided at the top - it's not bad I'd say, for being very early on in planning out.  I have the planters and no idea how to actually put plants in them yet which I can get past, a doormat on the step up, and a doorway with a door that actually has a little detail on it with the knob, the lock and the stickers.  Also in the level is a white-picket fence, a mailbox and a tree with a Tire Swing because -why not-.  It's all very basic yet because...well, that's how you gotta do it.  I have to lay the framework for things before putting anything else down.  Not because I want everything to be perfect because it assuredly will not be, but because I need to try at least, because it's only with trying that you get better and such.

The issue I'm running into with all my levels, not just this basic house one (which will be used as a sort of 'hub' level for my other things) is that I just don't know a whole lot about what I want.  I can't really visualize and I can't really replicate with scale.  Everything looks okay until you put it in contrast with something else.  For example, the planters and the step look a little big when you compare it to the door, and the space of the entry room seems like it might be a little big compared to the door as well, but the door scales really nicely to Sackboy itself - a little taller and a little wider than him, like any good door to a person.  In the end, I'm sure I'll probably just have to not -care- so much about scale since Sackboy isn't really a thing of perfect proportions himself and trying to base around him specifically is something of a fool's errand.  Still, I operate under the theory of doing something right when you do something at all, or at least I pretend I do, so I am trying to stick with that if nothing else.  And I'm not about to publish a level unless I'm mostly happy with it.  And it's done and such.  My House level is pretty good so far for being like 1% done, so small victories here.  When I get some more done with it, I'll do an update here and/or when I start working on the other two projects, I'll do something for them here as well.  With any luck, it will be soon!

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