Author Topic: Little Big Planet  (Read 2447 times)

bluemonkmn

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Little Big Planet
« on: 2009-01-02, 06:53:26 AM »
This almost isn't even off topic  Has everyone heard of the PS3 game Little Big Planet?  I got it for Christmas and started playing it a few days ago, and found it quite enjoyable, but not until last night did I realize how little its popularity probably has to do with the game itself and how much it probably has to do with the ability to build your own levels.  I thought maybe playing the game was one third of the fun and building your own levels was two thirds.  But the power and fun of building your own levels outweighs that of playing the game by far more than than.  For me, building levels is probably going to be at least 90% of the fun, though I will still play through the whole game.

I started out building levels a couple days ago after playing it only once before.  I saw that you could add to your own levels many of the fancy pre-designed objects that you had encountered in the game.  And then there were a few simple objects (basically solids that you could shape and texture) that you could add beyond that.  I didn't have time to investigate further at the time.  But last night I discovered that all these fancy pre-designed objects could be built from components available in the level editor.  Suddenly I realized the power of Little Big Planet and almost got depressed at how much this game had over SGDK2.  Why would anyone want to build games with SGDK2 when you could do it in Little Big Planet instead?  Well, there are a few reasons, I hope, but LBP has an amazingly usable interface for building remarkably complex levels.

As I started to use more of the objects in the level editor I realized I hadn't even begun to see its full power.  I picked one of the objects that had a question mark on it, indicating that there was a tutorial about how to use it.  And when the tutorial was done it filled my toolbox with a dozen new objects and tools that I could use to create levels.  Many of these new objects had their own tutorials.  As I proceeded to review more tutorials, the power just exploded with subsequent tutorials adding dozens more new objects and tools to the toolbox.  And I still haven't played with everything.  But as I played with what's there, I realized that this game is like a super version of a physics simulator that my family and I were once playing with on a laptop.  You draw shapes on a screen and attach forces to various places on the shapes, then tell it to go and watch how things play out.  It was very fun even if it wasn't perfect and some objects would fly off with some calculation problem from dividing by zero or something - who knows.  But it was fun.  Well this it like that times ten.  Not only can you draw the shapes, apply forces and tell them to go.  You can design a whole game around it.  And you can add multiple layers of shapes, and apply textures to the shapes and attach machines and buttons and switches to the shapes.  And I haven't seen anything flying off into outer space by dividing by zero yet :).

Have you ever played a video game too long, and then you dream about it when you fall asleep.  Except the dream is much more interesting than the game because new and impossible things develop in the dream that weren't possible in the game, and the game takes on a whole new magic?  Then you wake up and find that this amazing game or device from your dream is sadly not real.  I feel like Little Big Planet is that impossible dream.  It's like the impossible toy you dream about and can never have... but it's real this time.   ;D

Jam0864

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Re: Little Big Planet
« Reply #1 on: 2009-01-02, 08:19:18 AM »
I want this game quite badly, but I do not own a PS3.  :(


PS: i've heard one major cause of physics glitches is unstable fps. In an attempt to make the game skip frames rather than go in slow motion when fps is low, calculating objects speed is more complex because the object should move the same speed regardless of fps, so if the objects movement cannot be based on frame timings, it is instead based on something else. (here's where my knowledge ends) If the FPS is fluctuating then it obviously becomes more complicated to make the objects speed moving across the screen seem consistent. (This is also evident in some physics games when your FPS is low, and objects manage to pass through each other because there is only one physics calculation per frame. (diagram below.))


First Frame:


|                                           |

^Object1                               ^Object2



Second Frame:

                           |                |


Third frame:

                                            |        |



Since the FPS in the above diagram is so low, the object manages to pass from one side of another object to the other in one frame, meaning there's no "collision frame" in between, meaning no collision at all - according to the computer.

Wow, i never intended to talk about physics in this thread....



I suppose a PS3 has quite stable fps since the games are made specifically for that system. (Especially in the case of little big planet which is not a half-arse port of a PC or another console game since it's a PS3 exclusive)
« Last Edit: 2009-01-02, 08:35:13 AM by Jam0864 »

durnurd

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Re: Little Big Planet
« Reply #2 on: 2009-01-02, 10:03:52 AM »
The most amazing thing I saw in Little Big Planet was the creation of a computer.  All the switches and everything, which worked together to create multiplexers and 3-bit registers.  It was truly a colosal waste of time.  But it was used to demonstrate the Game of Life, which was really pretty nifty.

As for the physics thing, the unstable fps is just an excuse.  It's really not "unstable" that's the issue, it's just "low" that's the issue.  The same issue appears if the object is moving fast enough such that it's velocity puts it completely beyond the blocking object even with a fast FPS.  This can actually be seen in SGDK 1.4 if you try hard.

SGDK2, however, deals with this in a different way.  No matter how fast you're going, you can be stopped by an infinitesimally thin wall due to how SGDK2 handles solidity.  It looks for the first solid point in the complete area that the object traverses between two frames, rather than just ensuring that its next position is not within a solid.
« Last Edit: 2009-01-02, 10:07:30 AM by durnurd »
Edward Dassmesser

Jam0864

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Re: Little Big Planet
« Reply #3 on: 2009-01-02, 07:50:46 PM »
Of course it's possible with higher FPS, it's just a lot harder is all. :/

A similar thing was created in garry's mod, someone created a pretty functional computer, you walk up to it and your crosshair in the game controlled the cursor, and you could actually click your way through the windows (98) ui, and open simple applications like paint or calculator. It was quite amazing.

bluemonkmn

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Re: Little Big Planet
« Reply #4 on: 2009-01-03, 08:11:13 AM »
I've never heard of this "Garry's Mod".  Are you talking about http://www.garrysmod.com/about/?  I don't see anything about this Windows UI there.  If you're talking about some Little Big Planet level, I don't know what this "crosshair" you're talking about is.  I'm not aware of any crosshairs in LBP.

Jam0864

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Re: Little Big Planet
« Reply #5 on: 2009-01-03, 07:54:53 PM »
Yep that's the correct one, the computer UI was made by someone else though, using the wiremod addon for garrys mod. I'll see if I can find it again.


EDIT:// Couldn't find the same Computer UI I found ages ago, but I found someone who made a more ms-dos/console style PC.

http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=wghkhmVLCrQ&feature=related

here's some weird mario clone

http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=z3dM0TriFtQ&feature=related

and here's someones mechanical crab

http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=x0HejJnv0SA&feature=related

an engine

http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=n8KAOTUSba8&feature=related





There's heaps more on youtube, some pretty cool stuff. Problem with it is it can get quite glitchy, as Garrys Mod is just a Half life 2 Mod that allows you to do things that only the Source SDK allowed previously, and Valve obviously never intended things this complex to be done (physics-wise) with their engine. A lot of physics glitches happen, especially using the elastic or hydraulic tools. :(  Oh and by the way, these videos have used many addons for garrys mod as well, without addons garrys mod is nothing. By the looks of it they used the Phx model pack, which put a whole lot of basic models (rectangular prisms, cubes, spheres, cylinders etc) into the model list, whereas previously everyone had to use half life 2 or counter strike source props, like tables, chairs, other things like that used in the game. They're also using the Wiremod addon, which allows people to program things into their creations, as you can see in the first video linked above, at the start the creator is doing something with the address bus and cpu tools. (I'm not sure how those tools work, the most complex thing I made with wiremod was a car that followed you around, it worked by taking your position relative to the cars position, and then deciding to turn left or right.
« Last Edit: 2009-01-03, 08:53:27 PM by Jam0864 »