Eurogamer: Despite Stephen Fry's wonderful voice, I'm quite daunted by LBP2's creation mode. It sounds like you're making it more complicated.
James Spafford: The things that make it more complicated also make it a lot easier. We're not level designers but we can knock together a spaceship in 60 seconds with the new stuff. We looked at what everyone was trying to build and said, well, there's a much easier way of doing that. If we just made a switch and put in stuff that would make it stay level or go forward, it would really make sense.
We've watched little kids come along and in half an hour they've built themselves a little tank top-down shooter game, which is really impressive. The people who know the game really well can push it to a whole new level using these things as well.
Tom Kiss: You can spend a lot of time getting really involved with the tools. But just out of the box you have the controllanator. The interface on that is easy to get to grips with. It brings up the physical DualShock. If you're familiar with connections in LBP then it's as simple as grabbing the button you want and connecting it to the thing you want.
I guess it's just learning some of the new items. If you want to make a car, for example, it's exactly the same as LBP1. You shove your wheels on, put the motor bolts on, as you would, and then you can wire in a button to the motor and you've got it. It's working.
But with the simple addition of one thing, the Mover, you put that on and you wire in the analogue stick to the axis, that will move that whole object in whatever direction you control in. That would just be so hard in the first game. You would have to play around with trying to get it floaty and take away its gravity and stuff. You just couldn't do that in an easy way.
Eurogamer: So you have more tools, but it's easier to create stuff?
James Spafford: It's definitely a lot easier and quicker, absolutely. We can make stuff that we never thought we could make. Before people would make a side-scrolling shooter, but it would be a little bit naff. We would all be saying, look, that is amazing, but it's only amazing because they've managed to build it.
That would have taken them 10 hours, but now they can spend five minutes getting the spaceship working and they spend 10 hours making a really fun level that's actually playable and enjoyable, rather than just, look at my feat of engineering.
Eurogamer: You guys haven't been shy in hiring some of the people from the community.
James Spafford: We're the community team. We came in from the community as well. We built a fan site and that's how we got the attention. We worked in the industry previously to that, but that was part of our strategy to get in there and get our hands dirty.
Eurogamer: Well it worked.
James Spafford: John, who's here today, he's one of the guys we hired from the community. He was a builder from the age of 16 onwards. He'd never written a CV. He'd never had a job interview. Didn't even have a computer. But his levels were just absolutely mind-blowing.
We got him to come up into the office. It was a case of insta-hire. It was just like, look at this crazy thing.
Tom Kiss: He'd published these levels online that were really awesome. When he came in for his interview he brought his whole PS3 that had loads of stuff on his profile that no one had ever seen before. He was too afraid to publish it. It wasn't good enough yet. He showed off all his stuff and everyone was just like, ah, oh my God.
Eurogamer: I wonder how many people will do the same with LBP2?
Tom Kiss: Yeah. There will be a few.
James Spafford: Victor, he used to skin Rag Doll Kung-fu. Kristoff as well, he was hired from the community. He should be around. So yeah, quite a lot of people come in that way.
Eurogamer: What is the development team doing right now?
James Spafford: John, for instance, was up all night delivering levels. They're all still working their arses to the bone. That doesn't make sense, but yeah. Right now, what time is it? They might be having some doughnuts or something. They might have gone to the pub. But if they haven't gone to the pub, then they're working really hard to get this game finished.
Tom Kiss: Everyone is working so hard. It was disappointing about the delay, but it's all good because it's going to be so much better. We can polish it it the level we want it to be.
Eurogamer: That's the whole point of the delay, right? To make the game better.
James Spafford: Yes. We wouldn't slip a game to make it worse. It's unfortunate, but our community has been really understanding. It's great because we all feared we would get shouted at quite a lot. But everyone was just like, fair enough, I'd rather the game is better.
Eurogamer: Perhaps fans of other games might have reacted differently.
James Spafford: Yeah. Our community is really awesome. The core community is creative at heart. All of them have got a basic level of creativity, which makes them really interesting. There are obviously people there that...
Eurogamer: Are a bit special?
James Spafford: Yeah. But most of them are so wonderful. They're just really nice. They send us lots of art and make lots of cool things outside of the game even.
Eurogamer: Did they send you messages saying everything was okay after you delayed the game?
James Spafford: Yeah. They sent us biscuits, and they're like, I hope you're okay. Don't work too hard. Have some tea. We tweeted we'd run out of tea once, and loads of people sent us tea, which was nice.
Someone sent us a rice crispy cake in the shape of sackboy. We were like, that's brilliant. But you probably can't eat it. Company policy: don't eat weird cakes you get sent.
LittleBigPlanet 2 is due out in January 2011.