2 Feb 2018

LittleBigPlanet Community Corner - smallant1

It's time to take another trip to Community Corner to meet smallant1, a worker ant of the highest degree that is always working on building his latest and greatest creation that would make any colony proud. He talks to us about his first steps into creation and how his creation livestreams helped motivate him to create for the community.

Hello! We already know who you are but perhaps you should introduce yourself to everyone else before we begin...

I'm smallant1, I'm 21 and have been a long-time fan of LittleBigPlanet! I own all of the games in the main series and played them all passionately. I messed around making things in the first two games in the series, never really working on any big projects until LittleBigPlanet 3 came out.

One day, I decided to start streaming my level creation live for people to watch, I made some decent levels, and the rest is history!

We have always enjoyed watching your livestreams and it certainly helped us become aware of your earlier creations too!

So your livestreams are more recent but how long have you been playing LittleBigPlanet in total?

I've been playing LittleBigPlanet since around 2010. The first time I came across LittleBigPlanet was when I was visiting some family members and saw my little cousin playing around in Create Mode, just adding random shapes and jumping over them.

After watching for a few moments, I was immediately hooked. I went home, saved up enough money for a PlayStation 3 and LittleBigPlanet, and bought it right away. I've been playing ever since!

In fact, I bought a PlayStation 4 solely for LittleBigPlanet 3. I don't even own any other games for it!

We're not surprised to see fun and ANTics in Small Ant's Quest for Jelly Beans.

So moving on from making random shapes...
What are your favourite things about creating in LittleBigPlanet?

My favourite thing about creating in LittleBigPlanet is the incredible variety of things that can be created. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of my friends and I staying up super-late to build some random ridiculous contraptions or figuring out some weird logic gate thingy.

I try to utilise this variety as much as I can in my levels. I always try to create something entirely different from the last!

Is the variety of things that can be created your main inspiration for diving into Create Mode?

Definitely! I knew from the moment that I saw LittleBigPlanet in action that I would be sucked into Create Mode. The idea of having a blank canvas with so many tools and objects was totally inviting to me. It was such an easy and accessible creativity outlet.

TWiiNS challenges you to control two characters with just one controller!
Good luck perfecting all of its levels!

So let's go back to your very first "proper" creation, can you tell us a bit about this level?

The first full level that I remember making was in the original LittleBigPlanet.

It was a big bathroom. I had Sackboy navigating his way over the bathtub, riding on rubber duckies over deadly blue gas, climbing up toilet paper, bouncing up plungers, and getting flushed down the toilet. It definitely wasn't an amazing level but I found it really fun to build and play at the time!

You do have many, varied ceations but you do you have a favourite amongst them? What is it that sets this one level apart from the rest?

My favourite level amongst my creations has got to be Pixel Wizard. The idea of the whole game was in my head since LittleBigPlanet 2. I remember talking to my friends about it. We planned out how the whole story would go and what the gameplay would be like.

I tried to start making it in LittleBigPlanet 2, but realised that it was a bit too big of a project for me to finish at the time. A few years later, the level crossed my mind again and I decided to commit and just do it! It was such an enormous undertaking.

It took around 3 months total of building for at least 20 hours a week. It's so satisfying now to look back and see that I had the dedication to work on a project of such magnitude of my own volition. At the end of it all, the level isn't perfect by any means but I put so much work into it that I love everything about it.

Pixel Wizard is a wonderful throwback to the era of 16-bit RPG adventures.

Do you have a favourite type of level that you like to play in LittleBigPlanet?

I don't often play levels in LittleBigPlanet admittedly. I'm nearly always in Create Mode! When I do play levels though it's most often puzzle levels or really tricky platformers. Examples being Kaleida's Maze by RikiRiki-ita or any puzzle level from Enigma_0123.

Do you draw many inspirations from outside LittleBigPlanet when creating your own levels?

The majority of my levels are largely based off of games that I have played! Two of my levels are straight up recreations of two mobile apps that I enjoyed.

Much of the music in my levels that I create also sample little bits of melodies from songs that I listen to. My levels are basically my everyday life's games and music mishmashed together!

Smove quickly in this grid-based puzzle and avoid those incoming black circles.
Trust us... It's much more difficult than it sounds!


Are there any creators or levels that have inspired you create that you would like to talk about?

I think the two creators that made the biggest impact on me the most were steve_big_guns and evret.

Just after I got my hands on LittleBigPlanet 2, I actually got internet for my home at the same time and before that I had lived in the middle of nowhere with no internet.

So I hadn't played online yet and had a chance to see all the amazing things people were building. When I played their levels for the first time though, I remember sitting in shock.

I had no idea how some of the things they were doing was even possible. They were the creators that made me realise the full potential of LittleBigPlanet and made me determined to improve.

Are you a creative person outside of LittleBigPlanet? What do you create outside of the game?

I do enjoy creating outside of LittleBigPlanet. When I was younger I was always playing with LEGO and similar toys of that nature.

My dad has a woodworking shop and I spent a decent amount of time in there helping out and building things as well! Lately, I've been into graphic design in my free time as well as various photo editing stuff.

Do you have any upcoming levels or projects that wish to share with us now?

I have one level which is nearly done called Magma Factory! It's a full 3D platformer that is basically regular LittleBigPlanet but in 3D!

All that needs to be finished is the ending section and some minor gameplay stuff/optimisations. It's a big project but it should be out within the next month or so, I hope!

Magma Factory is coming soon... And it's already looking like hot stuff!

Do you have any LittleBigPlanet community members that you would like us to chat to in a future Community Corner interview or have any questions that you have always wanted to ask your favourite creators? Just let us know on Twitter @LittleBigPlanet or message us on Facebook!