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Transparency built trust, says Media Molecule co-founder

Thu 19 Jun 2008 7:00am GMT / 3:00am EDT / 12:00am PDT

Evans says transparency in the LittleBigPlanet development process better equipped Sony to evangelise

Media Molecule

Media Molecule was founded by a small troupe of Lionhead veterans who, bolstered by their work together...

mediamolecule.com

Sony Computer Entertainment

Sony Computer Entertainment is a Japanese videogame company specialising in a variety of areas in the...

playstation.com

Media Molecule co-founder Alex Evans says that transparency in the LittleBigPlanet development process helped Sony to become more excited about the title internally and equipped them to better evangelise about it.

Evans told GamesIndustry.biz that, rather than a long phase at the beginning of development when things are under wraps, the company decided to have a more open process with the publisher from the get-go.

"We actually decided at the beginning of the company that we would evangelise and be very open about the processes we were going through with our prospective publisher - even before the company began we wanted it to be one of the defining features of the development process."

Evans said that they actually used to walk around Media Molecule with handheld video cameras, sending videos of everything that was going on.

The transparency of the development process led to the initial announcement of LittleBigPlanet at GDC much earlier than it normally might have been announced - something that was actually useful for the company.

"The reaction at GDC was such that we've been able to build on that initial reveal, and talk about more and more features, and one of the nice things for me is that at that early stage we weren't shown very much about the other features - but now when I talk about the game there are so many more elements that I can bring out and discuss," Evans said.

He said that the relationship has worked well both ways, with Sony providing huge support. At the same time, he noted that the developer had to tell them when things weren't so good - such as when they tried a feature that didn't work.

"But it's built up a level of trust, and I think that's helped them to be excited about the title both internally, and it equips them better to evangelise about it - because obviously a company like Sony is very large, so the more we can reveal to them, the more they can help us across the different bits of Sony."

Transparency, Evans said, helped Media Molecule get across what could have been quite a difficult concept. It's the same with the company's relationship with the rest of the games industry.

"We were worried that LBP wouldn't come across, but we've been amazed that people do get the idea of what we call 'creative gaming' - user-generated content and the concept of Game 3.0 could be quite complicated and messy, but because it's coming out through a game, that's helped to drive excitement."

Part One of our interview with Alex Evans is now online.

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