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Media Molecule toyed with full 3D level design in first LittleBigPlanet

The original LittleBigPlanet was billed as a platform for platformers -- but what about those gamers whose favorite entries into that particular genre include Kazooies, Ratchets and Bandicoots? Media Molecule co-founder Alex Evans recently revealed to Joystiq at Gamescom that an early build of the original LittleBigPlanet allowed for that kind of 3D gameplay, explaining, "LBP 1 had free depth and completely moving cameras, and the gameplay engine wasn't layered fundamentally."

Evans added that while the developer "used to make levels that could travel into the screen," this feature was ultimately removed from the game. "It's really unconstrained in 3D. It's really hard -- I mean creatively unconstrained, it's really difficult to have something to push off," Evans explained. "We found our level designers wasted tons of time in 3D land, so we iteratively reduced it, first of all we reduced the scope, then we added the layers, and with each restriction we did, it improved the quality."

According to Evans, the lack of 3D platforming wasn't due to a technical snafu, but rather, "entirely a game design decision." He added, "so when we go 3D, and I'm assuming at some point we will go 3D, the challenge we will have, and any other user-generated content company -- you know, I want to be one-upped, I'd love to see a fully-3D creation game. I'm not saying it's impossible, I'm saying we haven't cracked it yet." Keep an eye out for our full interview with Evans in the coming days.

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