Hey! It’s me, Jackcaver! It’s been a long time, hasn’t it? PLGarage has had a lot of changes since it was first announced. Because of that, I wanted to update everyone about what was going on behind the scenes with my LittleBigPlanet Karting server over the past year. Let’s dive in quick, because there’s a big surprise later in this post.
What’s Going on with PLGarage?
First, let’s get into a few commonly asked questions and topics before we get into the main feature updates.
Without many updates, I wouldn’t be surprised if you thought that the project was dead. The project isn’t dead, but it’s progressing rather slowly. I’m the only person working on it at the moment, so I have to work on it in my free time. However, I’m still working on it and I’m excited to keep making progress.
Not Ready for Public Use
My LittleBigPlanet Karting custom server, PLGarage, is not ready to be used publicly. I’m also not ready for a private beta yet, and only a few people that I trust are able to use my instance of this server.
The project is open source so you could technically host it yourself. However, please do not use it in a public environment. There are currently a lot of bugs that could soft lock or completely crash the game. That could result in safe file corruption, an unstable experience, or a bad perception of the project itself.
PLGarage is Not Related to Project Lighthouse
Project Lighthouse is a completely separate project. There are currently no plans on making it compatible with Project Lighthouse because the server infrastructure between the main LittleBigPlanet games and Karting are completely different.
Have More Questions, Bugs, or Feature Requests?
Review: Old PLGarage Features
Let’s review some of original features of PLGarage from when it was first announced:
- Player profiles: you can visit another player’s planet to see their tracks, planets, and photos.
- Player creations: creators can upload new tracks, photos, and custom planets.
- Team picks: server administrator can set levels as team picks.
- Comments: you can post comments on user profiles and levels.
- Reviews: you can review other creators’ tracks.
- Leaderboards: your scores and finish times are posted automatically once you finish an online race. However, LittleBigPlanet Karting won’t allow you to share a result you’ve earned offline.
- Grief report: you can send off grief reports to the server administrator if you see something naughty.
If you want to read more about that stuff, read the original announcement to see more!
New PLGarage Features
So, there are number of new features that I’ve added since that announcement a little over a year ago. Among the technical changes are:
- Ticket verification
- Filter changes
- Level coolness (how the server sorts the cool levels pages)
- Player session management
- Update to .NET 7.0
- Recent activity!
This is the probably the most anticipated feature. Here’s some examples of it in action!
As you can see, you can see when people play tracks, when scores have been beaten, and when levels are published.
ModNation Racers Support
Surprise! PLGarage isn’t just a LittleBigPlanet Karting server anymore. It also happens to support the ModNation Racers series! That includes not only the PS3 title, but also the ModNation Racers: Road Trip game for PS Vita!
Unfortunately, ModNation Racers PSP is not yet supported. This is because the PSP title uses a different server architecture, and new software would need to be developed to support it. The PS3 and Vita titles utilize a backend server called ‘Bombd.’ However, the PSP game uses a server called ‘FLS’. I’m not there yet, but it’s on my radar, because why not?
If you weren’t aware before, ModNation Racers and LittleBigPlanet Karting share a very similar network architecture. That means making PLGarage compatible with these three games relatively simple. With that in mind, let’s talk more about how compatible ModNation Racers is with PLGarage right now.
This feature works the same as LittleBigPlanet Karting profiles, but with different avatars and UI.
You can create your own tracks, mods (characters) and karts and share them with everyone on your server!
You can talk to people and share opinions on the server.
Votes / Stars
Everyone can vote on your profile or creations. However, the ModNation Racers client will only display votes when a minimum of five votes has been reached. That’s a client-side limitation and not something the PLGarage can fix.
You can exchange direct messages with other players in ModNation Racers with PLGarage as well!
You can track race times with track and global leaderboards, so you can compete with anyone on the server!
Weekly challenges randomly choose a community-made track. Whoever can complete the fastest lap time possible before the end of the week wins!
By playing the game online, you can get experience points that change your level. This rewards you based on your gameplay.
Just like on LittleBigPlanet Karting, you can send grief reports to the server administrator to report inappropriate content.
Thank You For Reading!
Thank you for reading! I’m excited to continue working on PLGarage. If you’re interested in following my work, please add a star on the repository. If you’re interested in contributing, please check out the repository and feel free to send in a pull request so we can work on restoring online access to LittleBigPlanet Karting and ModNation Racers together!