BS: To me, that seems to be a bit
of a conceptual leap, in terms of how people are trying to run stuff.
Maybe I've got it all wrong.
MR: No, that's what's so special about
this game. We're enabling people not just to move the furniture around
in the levels we give them. You've seen in-game level editors, and that's
essentially what they do. They let you move blocks and stuff they already
created around, and in the most sophisticated one, maybe it lets you
make terrain and things like that. We're divorcing ourselves from that
kind of ridiculousness.
This is the full power of the Unreal Editor.
The same editor we used to create the games is now available to you.
You want to import your objects you made in 3D Studio Max or Maya? Bring
them in! You want to code an UnrealScript? Code an UnrealScript! All
those things you can do. If they fit on our map, you can stick them
on the PlayStation 3 and they'll run!
BS: How does exactly that go through
MR: It doesn't go through us.
CN: Does Sony not care?
MR: It's user-created content! It's
fantastic! I can't understand why people are so nervous about what Sony...
no, Sony's wonderful. When they embrace user-created content, that's
what it means to be an open system. That's why we're on PlayStation
3 first -- because they are embracing user-created content. It's not
just moving the deck chairs around the boat. They are embracing real
CN: They have
technical requirements for people who make packaged games. Someone could
make a giant map that says "F*ck Sony. Microsoft rules!" or
something like that, or even something that's just offensive to other
MR: If you're going to allow user-created
content, you're going to allow user-created content.
CN: It's not going to be...
I bet they're going to police LittleBigPlanet and other stuff.
MR: Well, LittleBigPlanet is
more of an example of rearranging chairs on the deck, right?
MR: This is the real thing. You can't
import your own models in LittleBigPlanet. You can't write script
code in LittleBigPlanet.
BS: I think it's kind of like baking
the stuff so that it's proper for release. Is there going to be any
MR: We have nothing to do with that
process. Users do that themselves. It's user-created content. This is
amazing! It's a little tough to get your head around. We don't know
how deep people will take it, or how players will embrace it. They could
do lots of things or littler things. We're going to encourage it, because
we're going to create a mod contest. We're basically going to throw
money at people to take a chance at it.
CN: You're saying that Sony understands
and they're really into it. This isn't going to be happening down the
road on the 360 version, will it? Or can it?
MR: We'd like to. That's one of the
challenges in figuring out how to bring this game to the 360. Right
now, Xbox Live is a closed system, so when we finish the PC and the
PS3 one and maybe take a little break for Thanksgiving and Christmas,
we will sit down with Microsoft and have a dialogue with them and say,
"Here is what we want to do. How can we do it?" They may or
may not embrace it. We don't know. That's why we've made the game for
the PlayStation 3 first, because we knew exactly what the boundaries
were going to be.
BS: I feel in a way like the PlayStation
3 -- in terms of downloads -- is kind of like the Wild West. Since they
haven't set up a specific structure, it's "every man for himself,"
in a way.
MR: That's what user-created content
is. I'm always shocked when I talk to media, and it's like, do you want
to censor people? I know it sounds incredulous to say that, but that's
kind of what I hear you say.
The PlayStation 3, the "Wild West" of downloadable content?
CN: I never came from a PC gaming
background, so that sounds totally weird.
MR: "Why aren't they putting chains
on people?!" Why do you want that?
BS: It's not like that with YouTube.
MR: When YouTube finds questionable
content, they take it down. We'll have a mechanism do that too.
CN: Well, if it's an open system,
how can you take it down?
MR: We have a way to blacklist mods
that do bad things.
BS: It's not that we want
chains, it's just that it's so...
CN: I mean, look at
all the different console systems. They've always been like that.
BS: Sony is very conservative with
what they will release on their console in a package.
MR: Again, I think it's really clear.
If you want to make a DVD and play it on your PlayStation 3, you can.
If you want to make a DVD of whatever it is -- whatever questionable,
crazy, ridiculous movie you want to make -- you can burn it on a DVD-R
and go play it on your PlayStation 3. If you want to record music on
an MP3 CD or a memory card or play it off your computer, you can do
that now on PlayStation 3, right? If you theoretically had a Blu-ray
burner, you could do the same thing with Blu-ray. If you want to have
your movies or photos on the PlayStation 3, you can do that. It's your
content! There's really no difference.
CN: But it's point-to-point.
MR: It's not point-to-point. They're
going to let you show movies to other people in Home, for example.
CN: Yeah, but your house is locked
or open as you choose.
MR: That's not that much vastly different.
CN: I don't disagree...
MR: I have to make the choice to go
and download the mod.