July 12, 2007 - We've seen 2008's LittleBigPlanet before (enjoying it every step of the way), but never had the chance to try out its "Pop It" creation feature. For the unfamiliar, "Pop It" is the same cool-looking menu system that we've seen demoed a million times before but weren't allowed to touch. Now that we have, however, we definitely like it.
How does the creation system work? ...Pretty easily actually. Once a player has decided to manufacture something, they simply need to tap a button and bring up the onscreen menu. Once the HUD is active, users can then scroll through a series of material and item types and pick the things they want to work with. Not surprisingly, there are a lot of pieces to scroll through but they're themed to the selected backdrop. So in the E3 demo, for example, there was a blank white slate, a graveyard, the area from GDC, a desert, and a cool-looking garden.
Once players have selected their background and item types, the creation process begins. Each object is entirely physics-based too; so if a ball falls from the sky and lands on a hardwood floor then it will react just as it should (as will all objects). Once users have chosen what they need (no word yet on whether or not there's a limit to how many pieces can be inserted into a level), they can further customize them by adding stickers, changing their position, or erasing parts of these objects entirely. Players can even put items together to create new working contraptions -- cars, carts, you name it. Oh, and yes -- it's as cool as it sounds.
The best thing about this entire process, though, is that you can build entire worlds populated with funny gadgets and obstacles in minutes. LittleBigPlanet is one of those rare examples of finding something that really is limited only by your imagination. Expect plenty of awards for this one in '08.