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Games industry obsessed with complexity

LBP dev: Why not "simplify games" instead?

The games industry spends too much time concentrating on the complexity of new technology when it should instead be thinking about how it can use new innovations to make things simpler, claims LittleBigPlanet developer Media Molecule.

Speaking at a BAFTA Video Games Lecture in London, Media Molecule technical director Alex Evans said, "I think there's a huge mistake that the industry makes as a whole and that is to talk about technology as this arms race – who's got the coolest shaders and who's got the most polygons.

"Why are we not using this fancy technology to make the images that we deliver more beautiful?"

"Back in 2005 when we started Media Molecule," he added, "the next generation of consoles were just arriving on the scene and it was expected that the technology was going to be an incredibly difficult and complex barrier. We were aware of this but really wanted to use technology to simplify games."

He went on to complain that the range and complexity of tools available to developers can stifle creativity by making troubleshooting and iteration a painstakingly slow process.

"All the people who have a desire to create something end up being utterly miserable because they can't iterate. It's like being punched in the face – you have to fail at something to know how to fix it and if you can't fail quickly you're doomed."

You'll have to wait a while to find out whether Media Molecule have delivered on its promise of beautiful simplicity in LittleBigPlanet 2. The PlayStation 3 game was recently pushed back to January 2011.