September 19, 2007 // 4:42 pm
- The first noticeable difference with the Tokyo Game Show build was the addition of a new display to house and showcase your and others' created games: a globe. All of the levels that you, your friends, or random others create appear as little patches on a big world. Although it wasn't visible in the TGS version of the game, the idea is that your world will eventually fill with patches -- some through your own doing, sure, but mainly by being populated via the network.
To help promote the game's viral nature, your world will fill up with some of the best or most popular levels from others -- but you can also apply all sorts of filters, such as to display only levels from friends, or levels above or below a certain rating, and so on. Also not implemented in the TGS version, you'll be able to zoom in and out of the globe, so as it fills with hundreds (perhaps thousands?) of levels you'll still be able to navigate through them.
Interestingly, the developers hope to see lots of players placing levels according to geography or proximity (for instance, some people may want to place levels near each other). In fact, according to the developers, the concept of the world as a hub for the game came about from LittleBigPlanet's mission of incorporating and celebrating elements of countries and cultures from around the globe.
We also got to see an early glimpse of the game's rankings for each level. Although the developers maintain that these will change in appearance later on, it was a chance to get a sense of what will be possible for each level that someone creates: top score rankings, as well as rankings for individual achievements.
Unfortunately, it's the game's size and complexity that has us worried about if it'll be ready when Sony had originally anticipated. When asked about whether a beta will still be available later this year, the developers said they "hope" to make that happen -- that's not as sure as they used to be.