Project Lighthouse Dev Log July 2022: Development Continues

LBP Union and Project Lighthouse are not affiliated with Sony Computer Entertainment or their subsidiaries. Project Lighthouse is a clean room reverse engineering project of now defunct PlayStation 3 and Vita LittleBigPlanet online features. No proprietary code is distributed. Under no circumstances will we endorse or support piracy. You must have your own copy of the game in order to use the custom features once they become available. When using these features, you release Sony Computer Entertainment (Sony) as well as any employees or agents of Sony, from any and all liability, corporate, or personal loss caused to you or others by the use of Lighthouse custom servers for LittleBigPlanet.

Hello again, everyone! It’s been a long time since our last dev log. A lot has happened since we last shared our work in March. Development on Project Lighthouse has come a long way, and we’re excited to share what we’ve done over these past several months. Let’s talk about the biggest highlights of our work on creating our LittleBigPlanet custom server for PlayStation 3 and Vita.


New Team Member

We are very happy to introduce Zaprit as our newest member of the LBP Union Research and Development team. He’s been focusing a lot on Lighthouse by helping us add new features like a page to reset user passwords. He’s also implemented a system for creating one-time invite links to help bring more players into the Union Space Corps beta testing program.


Expanding Beta Testing

In the past, we have struggled to maintain a growing beta testing team. At the moment, there are 279 users on our beta testing instance of Project Lighthouse. Creating accounts, performing password resets and account renames must be handled by an administrator, not by the user. This is because we want to keep the beta testing instance closed down for security.


To tackle this problem, a lot has changed and is being developed to make administrating and moderating easier.


One-Time Use Invite Links



We invite users periodically to join beta testing on our Discord server. However, this is a tedious process because we have to create accounts manually. However, Zaprit and Jvyden created a new system that allows us to send users one-time use invite link for them to create their account on their own. This link can be distributed by a bot for further automation.


Expanding Moderation Tools

The team is working to create a set of new moderation tools for Project Lighthouse. This includes an upcoming moderator panel and role. In addition, grief reporting has received several updates. One of the most interesting bits about grief reports is that we now can receive grief reports directly to a channel on Discord. This helps us become aware of reports and respond to them more quickly.


UI Changes

There are a number of changes to the UI that have been made to the project over the past few months. These involve ways the user can interact with the current website, as well as how it's presented. Keep in mind this may not be what a final release will look like. It's also possible that in the future, instance administrators can create their own website with custom visuals that can use Lighthouse's API to load level data instead.


Password Reset


Zaprit added a way for users to reset their password without help from an admin. This significantly reduces the workload of our admin team and makes everyone’s life easier!


reCaptcha

Instance admins also have the option of using Google reCAPTCHA for verifying user humanity, rather than hCaptcha. Captchas help to make sure that spammers and bots aren’t maliciously creating accounts on websites like Lighthouse - and up until this point, Lighthouse only took advantage of hCaptcha, which can be thought of as a third-party replacement for the more common Google reCAPTCHA. This should make logging into Lighthouse instances even easier in the future, thanks to a few key improvements over hCaptcha;


  • reCAPTCHA is more accessible for users with visual impairments - hCaptcha does not offer an audio option

  • hCaptcha will always force you to do an image verification

  • reCAPTCHA v3 supports noCAPTCHA, so if your browser has proof that you are a real person through usage with a Google account, etc., you will not even be given a captcha.


Home Page Updates


The Lighthouse website home page has also received a bit of a facelift. You can now see team picks and newest levels right from the home screen!


Dive In Broke…But We Fixed It™

For a while, Dive In was broken on Lighthouse. This was due to some issues we were experiencing with the groups that people play in called rooms. These rooms were getting purged every time the server restarted. There were various other technical issues as well with the system. The Dive In system was fixed this month after moving the rooms system to new software called Redis. Redis is a database that works very quickly, making it a great choice for handling LBP rooms.


Now that the bugs have been handled, players can jump into a session with another player just like on the official servers!


Translation Effort

We are working to help support localization for Project Lighthouse, and you can hep too! Not everything is translatable yet, so you may not be able to provide a translation for every part of Lighthouse just yet. You can help provide translations here. Translations must be approved by a LBPU R&D lead developer.


Patched RPCS3 No Longer Necessary

There was a bug in RPCS3’s sys_net implementation that prevented LittleBigPlanet from connecting to Lighthouse without patching RPCS3. This bug has since been fixed and, as long as you are on the latest version of the emulator, a patch is no longer necessary. We don’t know why it didn’t work before. We also have no idea how they fixed it. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ If you’re interested, have a look at the pull request that fixed it.


  • Before, you needed to patch RPCS3 to play online while emulating the game.

  • Not anymore! RPCS3 devs fixed that!

Union Patcher Unified

UnionRemotePatcher and UnionPatcher were the two primary applications that we’ve made that are designed to help make the process of patching LittleBigPlanet EBOOTs for Lighthouse easier.


But, as the USC Starblazer team helped us realize, having these two as separate programs added extra complexity, both in their code, and in trying to assist players with getting the right piece of software for their platform. To solve this, jvyden integrated all of the features of the UnionRemotePatcher app into the original UnionPatcher. Now, you can do all types of patches for any supported console from the same UnionPatcher.


  • Before there were a lot of different Union Patcher projects

  • They’ve been unified into a single Union Patcher.

  • Pun entirely intended

Enlist in Beta Testing!

We are looking for help beta testing Project Lighthouse. If you’re interested in joining the Union Space Corps beta testing team, please enlist in the waitlist on our Discord server. We bring on new cadets every Saturday. We are also looking to increase the rate at which we bring on new cadets once the technology is available.


Thank you for your support! We’re super excited to share more of Lighthouse with you to get everyone back online again. Follow us on Twitter to get updates about new events and happenings as well.

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