Eurogamer: Is there any criticism you don't agree with?
David Smith: There were one or two fairly negative reviews, which I found confusing, just because it appears the people writing the review hadn't played the game. Some suggested the sequel hadn't improved on certain areas when we spent a huge amount of time improving them. There were perhaps a few lazy reviews, but that's always going to happen.
And there were a few reviews that were overly positive; they just adore the idea so much that they just give it amazing reviews. You have to take everything with a pinch of salt. We did pretty well.
Eurogamer: Where do you stand in the Mario-jump debate?
David Smith: The simple answer is that it's just very different to Mario. It's very awkward even comparing it to Mario. Some people really want that jump that's faster or more controlled, but it doesn't as easily fit the freeform physical environment of LittleBigPlanet.
We've tried lots of different control methods with different levels of arcadiness, different levels of physicality, and we went for one we felt works best. But it was definitely a shock for some of our players that are really used to Mario, switching from that to LittleBigPlanet. It's something that we feel just works better with LittleBigPlanet. We've taken on board some of the criticism and tried to tighten up a few points, but there's only so far we'd want to change it before it stopped being the sort of game we wanted to make.
Also, one interesting little feature we added, and I'm not sure it's been picked up, is a gravity tweak that allows you to alter the gravity of a level. Sneakily, we've made it so that if you make the gravity a lot stronger, Sackboy is able to still jump to the same height he becomes a lot stronger to compensate. In effect you can have a much faster, crisper jump. It's still quite physical, there's still inertia there, but we've made it so that if you increase the gravity it becomes a bit faster and more twitchy, which I think some players prefer.
We have a certain style that we prefer, but ultimately it would be a bit arrogant if we tried to enforce that too much. So we've tried to empower the community to resolve that debate to some degree. The community will find exploits to do things the way they want, so we may as well try and support them doing it.
Eurogamer: Did everything turn out as you'd hoped with LittleBigPlanet 2?
David Smith: That's an incredibly hard question to answer! Um, yes, I think we really did what we set out to do, because the high-level ambition was in many ways to address all the different areas of 'Play, Create, Share' and I think we actually have done that, which was a fairly lofty ambition.
You play some of the games our community has made and they stand up fairly well as standalone experiences. In some senses, it's going to be in a year's time when we can truly see whether that created all the possibilities we wanted.
LBP1 does have this huge life-cycle and the concurrent play-count is just continually increasing. You expect these things to spike and then boil down to almost nothing, but it's been quite the reverse. LBP2 offers so many more creative possibilities that I hope in a year or two's time you will still see really fresh new things being made with it that keep surprising you.