8 May 2007

The future of games – user created content

by Anton Piatek

At work at Hursley there is an annual event organised called Hursley Techincal Exchange (HTX). It aims to inform the lab about some of the new technology being developed both inside IBM and in the rest of the world. I went to one talk today which was mostly about the Cell Processor and other “next gen” (well, current gen now) consoles. It gave some background on the hardware architecture of the top 3 consoles, but specifically looked at the PS3. At the end was a video from a demo of a new game being developed for the PS3, called Little Big Planet

The video below gives an idea what the game can do, but the basic idea is that all the objects and levels are easily user created. It is quite a demo of what the Cell processor can do as a complex physics engine

It also reminded me about Spore, which is also based around the idea of user created content. Not the levels, but the creatures within the game are all either randomly generated by the computer or pulled down via the internet from another players computer, giving some truly interesting characters. The big idea in Spore is that however your creature is designed it will develop a unique way of walking, using tools, eating etc. The videos give a better idea (The long demo will take a while to watch, but is definitely worth it!)