Lock it, fill it, call it, find it, view it, code it, jam, unlock it
When he unveiled Little Big Planet at GDC in 2007, Phil Harrison described it as being at the vanguard of a new movement called Game 3.0. Version 1.0, he said, was the PC floppy disk and console cartridge, and 2.0 added online play. Game 3.0 was about sharing. At the time, it felt like a buzzword. Looking back, however, it’s clear he was onto something.
After all, this issue finally yields a review of Player unknown’s Battlegrounds, a game that wouldn’t exist without the mod scene and whose success can be in large part attributed to its popularity among Twitch streamers. In Pushing Buttons, we speak to a new breed of developers and broadcasters who are subverting our expectations of how games are played, be it with a one-of-a-kind museum piece or a YouTube video of Overwatch being played on a banana. Elsewhere we check in on what Unity, one of the most popular game-development platforms on the planet that’s used all over the world, from big studios to tiny bedrooms, has planned for its millions of users in 2018.
Harrison’s ‘Game 3.0’ may not have stuck around, and not everything he predicted that day in 2007 came to pass ( he also announced PlayStation Home, and we all know how that turned out). But the ‘Play, create, share’ tagline with which LittleBigPlanet will be forever associated is so in tune with the gaming zeitgeist in 2018 that it wouldn’t look out of place on a new Edge masthead. Games these days are about so much more than just play; they are defined by what you can do in them, the people with whom you can play them, and the audience with which you can share the results.
LittleBigPlanet felt brave and risky back then; today, Dreams feels thoroughly of the moment, an all-purpose creation tool that takes the flexibility of a powerful game engine and tunes it elegantly to the PS4 controller, then makes sharing your work – or borrowing others’ – easier than ever. It is contemporary, and astonishing. Our story begins on p60.