Behind the Scenes of LBP Reconnected 2

Back in August, we posted the results of our biggest creative contest yet: LBP Reconnected 2! We received many awesome submissions across LittleBigPlanet 1, 2, 3, and Vita that aspired for an optimistic future and celebrated the return of online connectivity. We unveiled a brand new, custom Reconnected prize crown for the contest, treading new ground and opening up so many possibilities for the future of LBP on PS3, Vita, and RPCS3.

Let’s go behind the scenes and meet the winners of Reconnected 2! We’ll see their crowns, their levels, and all the hard work they put into their contest submissions.

Blow Over: By Mr_Man_Guy35

Hey, I’m Mr_Man_Guy35! I created Blow Over, a LittleBigPlanet 1 level for LBP Union’s Reconnected 2.

I was inspired by the Canadian wildfires earlier this summer causing severe air quality pollution in New York and elsewhere around the time of the contest. I was also inspired by the construction site levels from the Metropolis in LBP1, that’s probably obvious.

When the servers went down in 2021, I was kinda disappointed but not too surprised. The servers had been up for nearly 12 years, so I figured it was only a matter of time. It gave me an excuse to back away from LBP and gaming in general for a bit while I sorted out some personal stuff and got caught up with school.

One of the hardest parts about making Blow Over was getting the intro scroll to work right. I also like to listen to music while I work, and it took me a minute to find a good playlist to listen to while working on it. Aside from that, the level was pretty easy to make, and I think I finished it in about five hours.

If I could go back and change anything, I would have made it longer. I saw some feedback on the level saying that it probably should have been more serious, especially with the dialog. However, I definitely wouldn’t have changed it. I make levels I enjoy, and I enjoy dumb New York accent NPCs.

Presentation is everything, Your level can be horrible, but if it has amazing visuals you can make up for it. If your level is funny, people will be more inclined to like it too.

The Dark and the Light: 92Dexter11

Image by SaCkBoYjR07

Getting Rid of the Final Remains: Palolito_cl

Hi! I’m Palolito_cl, and I created Getting Rid of the Final Remains on LBP Vita for Reconnected 2! I haven’t really gotten a picture of my Reconnected crown yet since it’s not available on LBP Vita due to limitations of modding, but I enjoy the crown on LBP2 and 3 for PS3.

The server shutdown in 2021 was an unexpected blow for me. I didn’t think that it would happen so suddenly. I literally shed a tear! Fortunately, thanks to archived levels and Beacon, I was able to continue playing other people’s creations and sharing my own!

My original idea was to make a mini adventure, where the player would help trigger the creation of Beacon servers by LBP Union. I procrastinated for so long that I decided to cut it down to something a lot simpler: “Getting Rid of the Final Remains”. I hope to use the scrapped ideas for future projects.

The level itself wasn’t that difficult, but I think the deadline was the toughest part. I was in a hurry throughout the last week to create the level because I didn’t want to start it until there was almost no time.

I got some feedback from some friends like Sackboydjso, such as using more varied decorations to achieve a better atmosphere, using more dynamic camera angles and more visual indicators like bubbles to improve the gameplay and balance the difficulty. Personally, I don’t feel that it’s a difficult level. However, based on user feedback, I made an update to the level after the contest was over that added better cameras and better score bubble placement to help a bit.

The Great Server Outage of 2050: Bruce1947

  • Dr. Who and the Infinity Clock is the game that inspired the pipe gameplay.
  • The film Logan’s Run contributed to the look and feel of the level.
  • Blade Runner is my all time favorite movie, and I referenced it a lot throughout the level.
  • The various LBP Union hubs out there like Keystone Park, the headquarters levels, and others.

The server shutdown in 2021 made me a lot more sad than I expected it would. At the time, I hadn’t played the games in a while since my PS3’s disc drive died. Before that, I was on LBP games nearly daily since 2009/2010. It was a big part of the formative years in my life. I made a lot of friends in there and seeing it all gone genuinely hurt in the same way that a house fire burning old photo albums/tapes might. Seeing such a massive collection of blood, sweat and tears by a massive community just disappear was a little terrifying and more than everything just very unfortunate. It would’ve been one thing if it had just naturally shut down after years and years of operation, but the circumstances surrounding its shutdown made it extra painful.

The Pipe System

Debug level selection and final level contraption.

Screenshot of the level selection logic. The controllinator logic unfortunately had to be hooked up individually for all 24 segments as it had to be unique for every single one.

Dealing with Limited Space

Creating Everything from Scratch

Lessons Learned

I learned a couple of other cool things too!

  • The physics chip is an extremely useful tool!
  • Your costume affects the thermometer!
  • For big levels, saving the level with your sackboy in his birthday suit can be a life saver! LittleBigPlanet has a size limit for levels!
  • Using the highlight option in your tools bag is incredibly useful for optimization!
  • The wave generator can be used to move any object in between layers!

Tempering my ambitions was critical in getting this level done in 30 days, and the extension then allowed me to add extra fun stuff like the 3D skateboard and the standalone puzzle level.

Thank You, Reconnected 2 Contestants!

LBP Reconnected 2 was a blast, and we can’t wait to do it again next year! If you see our contestants around in the community, please be sure to thank them for all the hard work they’ve put in for this contest. Also, thank you for your support and continued passion for the LittleBigPlanet community!