"We're not a bunch of gamers here," a faculty member of the Parsons New School told the audience. "A project like this means much more to us than working with a new game. What we're interested in is collaboration, learning in new tools, in testing possibilities with environments and products we haven't worked with before. The experience we had with LittleBigPlanet this weekend is more than that."
Over the weekend, students from NYC's Parsons School worked for twenty four hours continuously with LittleBigPlanet. Their challenge? To create a level from scratch using early copies of the PS3-exclusive. With little or no background in the game, the students were able to create a wide assortment of hugely innovative and different levels.
There were a number of winners, across multiple categories. In fact, additional prizes were handed out by Sony due to the overwhelming number of great submissions. However, one level stood out as the single best level -- one created by Team Sportsmanship. We've lovingly dubbed the level "Shadow of the LittleBigColossus." Watch the video (above) and see why.
We were thoroughly amazed by all the finalists on display at Parsons last night. Getting our hands on "Shadow of the LittleBigColossus" left us absolutely awe-struck. Not only was the concept of the level truly outstanding, but the execution was spot-on. Yes, a little more playtesting could be done to make it not as challenging, but to know that such a massive moving level was created in the time of just 24 hours is an incredible achievement.
More impressive than the level itself is the process. The winning team, Team Sportsmanship, essentially became a mini games design studio, with various pipelines handling the different aspects of production. Many of the textures and objects you find in their level were created by hand, and then captured through the Eye camera. Being able to create and manipulate textures in such a way show the near-infinite possibilities that LBP can offer.
Although this level won Best of Jam (and the accompanying $1000 prize), it was far from the only noteworthy level on display. Each of the levels that made it to the awards ceremony showed incredible promise. One of our other favorites from the evening had to be the level created by Team Bloody Clowns. It appropriately won the award for "Most Fun." And why? Just watch this video to see:
Thankfully, you'll be able to play all of these levels when LittleBigPlanet launches on PS3 in October. Just look for the Parsons city in the online world and start downloading. Simply seeing such creative designs done in such a short amount of time is so incredibly humbling -- makes us realize that we're going to have to up the ante quite a bit when we want to make our own levels.
- Most Persistent - Team Smiley
- Best Use of Tools - Team Sleepwalkers
- Most Innovative - Team Awesome / Team MakeShift
- Most Personal - Team P3
- Most Fun - Team Bloody Clowns
- Most Beautiful - Team Rocket
- Best of Jam - Team Sportsmanship