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Are you ready for LittleBigPlanet's next big community contest? Sharpen your wit and shake up those creative juices; today we're going to cover everything we know about Mark Hall's LittleBigPlanet 3 Context Contest and the prizes that you can win!
On January 23rd, 2022, Mark Hall, the Principal Level Designer at Sumo Digital, posted a tweet announcing that he was planning a LittleBigPlanet 3 Context Contest. This tweet was followed by several replies answering some questions about the event.
He later went on to post a tweet on February 1st announcing that he had partnered with BlazingVictini, a popular YouTuber, to create the contest announcement video. It's from this video that we get the official information about the contest. As Principal Level Designer for Sumo Digital, Mark Hall was responsible for work on both LittleBigPlanet 3 and Sackboy: A Big Adventure.
Is the Contest Official?
As a developer working for Sumo Digital, many jumped to the conclusion that his LBP3 context contest was an official event run by the company. However, when asked about this, Mark clarified by saying "[while] I may be a developer...I'm running this as a member of the community. It's not officially tied to Sony but there will still be prizes!"
Although the contest is not official, Mark wrote in the description of the contest level that a team pick would be available as a prize, so it's highly likely that the rest of the official LBP community team is in on the event, making this as close to an official LBP community event that we've had in a very long time.
What is the Context Contest About?
Mark Hall has described the contest as being "a contest where [he provides] the level blockout with the gameplay and contestants decorate it all up with the context of their choosing." Much of what we know about the contest comes from BlazingVictini's video, shown below.
That blockout level is called 'Bubble Blockout'. As the title implies, it's not decorated and is simply a sketch with platformer gameplay elements. It's up to the player to decide what the environment looks like by copying the level and editing it. The main gameplay theme of the level centers around what BlazingVictini calls "bubbles that fling Sackboy in a particular direction."
Mark Hall elaborated a bit when asked if the level could be turned into a cutscene. He wrote a reply saying that it's possible this could be done, perhaps with quick time events. This implies that the level must still have gameplay elements and not simply play on its own.
How Do I Find the Level?
To participate, creators will need to find the level and copy it to their Moon so that they can edit it and republish it. Sackfolk can find the level on Mark Hall's LittleBigPlanet 3 profile. His PSN is HallM3 and the level title is "Context Contest #LBPCC1 - Bubble Blockout"
Creating the Theme
Essentially, contestants need to remix a copyable level created by Mark Hall and make it their own while maintaining the same gameplay and feel of the level. Mark's level description suggests that creators could dress it up so that players are "practicing a levitation spell in a witch's swamp" or using "anti-gravity pockets [on] a spaceship", or "Sackboy takes a trip back to Crablantis", but ultimately the design is entirely up to the player.
BlazingVictini says in his video that creators can change anything about the level, including its layout as a whole. Creators are encouraged to corner edit and even delete whole sections of the level and add new ones so long as the main gameplay elements like the bubbles remain.
A Note on Copyright
BlazingVictini says in his video that Mark encourages players to consider what they create when theming the level after other franchises. Mark's advice is that if creators are to use other IPs, they should stick to franchises that have been used in LittleBigPlanet DLC such as Marvel, Garfield, and Toy Story.
This is interesting advice because both Marvel and Toy Story are both owned by Disney and the licenses for these two DLC packs have expired and are no longer purchasable.
How Do I Participate in the Context Contest?
To participate in Mark Hall's Context Contest LBPCC1, follow these steps:
Find Mark Hall's contest level on his profile, his PSN is HallM3.
Copy the level to your Moon.
Edit the level so that it has your own design. Make sure to keep the same gameplay elements as the original level, but you can decorate it however you'd like.
Make sure the level is not set to copyable.
Include the hashtag #LBPCC1 in the title of your level and change the description and icon.
Publish the level before April 1st, 2022.
When Will the Contest Take Place?
What Will the Prizes Be?
According to BlazingVictini's video, Mark Hall is offering a $50 PlayStation Network gift card and a chance to earn "an illustrious Team Pick"!
Will There be Future Context Contests?
Based on the way Mark Hall and BlazingVictini discuss the contest as the 'first' context contest, it's heavily implied that there will be more context contests in the future. Be sure to keep an eye out on our website and Twitter for more information about this contest and future events!