LittleBigSlots

2009-02-15 12:18 - Gaming

Some time late last year I heard about this strange new game called LittleBigPlanet, available only on the PS3. I didn't know very well what it was at first, as best I can remember I first heard about it through the user creation Little Big Computer, a simple arithmetic calculator, created within the game's level creation engine.

That level creation engine, and the user's access to it, is really the fundamental point of this game. The story mode is wonderful, but the whole time through you're collecting items to build levels with. As that calculator "level" shows, things can get quite complicated in these levels, even with the relatively simple parts provided. After finishing the story mode myself, I took on level creation.

My first attempt was some sort of volcano-climbing mission, ending in a battle with a fire breathing dragon at the top. I didn't know what I was doing with the tools and materials that the game provides, yet, and my lack of artistic talent made the dragon rather disappointing. I took another shot with a maze-based level which I deferred (but haven't given up on yet). It was when I was chatting with a friend of mine, Kathryn, whom I've been playing this game with (we serendipitously both started at almost exactly the same time) that she gave me the idea for a slot machine. There are a few others out there, but they're generally underwhelming. My first shot at this machine got some of the basic mechanics down, but I had to scrap it and start over with what I'd learned. This is the second generation, and the first one that I've shown to anyone.

It's called LittleBigSlots (yes, so original, I know), and if you have the game you can find it and try it out yourself. Linked there, and embedded above, is the best video capture I could get of it. The right edge is cut off a bit there — if you're really playing it, you can see the whole thing. It was quite a fun challenge to make up some "randomness" with no tools to do so directly. The scoring was also devilishly complicated for my first creation, but after all the prep work described above, I think I finally got it all working as intended, which ends up being quite well!

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