For this second installment of the less than irregular creator picks interviews we have chosen somebody who the hardcore amongst you might well have overlooked. However those guardians of younger planeteers will almost certainly be familiar with our choice constructor Candyjunky. In fact it is through the elfin offspring of our own code-guru Anton that we have been introduced to her levels.
There is keen story teller at work here, and levels such as “Yarn Factory” and “Gnome Liberation Front” show a paced lyrical wit that entertains without necessarily taxing your digits. This is an exuberance that can be enjoyed by both children and adults alike.
Anyway, enough waffling, on with the interview!
Media Molecule: So, introduce yourself!
Candyjunky: Hi! My name is Shannon, candyjunky on PSN. I’m a crafty girl from Iowa, a state right in the middle of the US. I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve never heard of it. We’re known mostly for growing corn & the Iowa caucuses.
MM: How did you find out about LBP?
CJ: When we bought our PS3 last July there was some info about LBP tucked inside. Right away I knew I had to have it, and couldn’t wait for it to come out!
MM: Where do you start when you’re designing a level, do you begin with a specific idea or just doodle until something happens?
CJ: I usually start out with a basic idea or theme, and just go from there.
MM: How do you know when you have finished working on a level?
CJ: There is always room to improve, I wouldn’t say any of my levels are finished. I like to keep going back to add details, and make improvements as I think of them. Suggestions from the community are really great too! I always test play my levels a few times & have my boyfriend play them as well before I publish. It’s good to have someone other than yourself play a level before you publish, they’ll catch things you’ve overlooked or assumed people would get.
MM: Do you have any tips for people making their own levels?
CJ: Think of something that you’re really into, and base your level around that. A favorite hobby, sport, style, time, place, theme.. whatever, as long as it’s something you really love. If you make levels for you, you’ll have a lot more fun doing it! Don’t do it for the plays or hearts, do it because it’s fun! & for the love of LBP no more trophy levels!
MM: You’ve made tons of good levels, how do you produce them so quickly?
CJ: At first I couldn’t keep up with all of the ideas floating around in my head! Once I start a level I get super excited, and can’t seem to put the controller down!
MM: Who or what influences your designs, including from outside of games? Is there anyone you would like to collaborate with?
CJ: I’m influenced by anything and everything! There really is no limit to what you can create with this game! I would love to collaborate with other crafty girls & guys on crafty themed levels!
MM: We especially liked Gnome Liberation Front. It has some really original gameplay like carrying an object all the way through a level, looping back to the start, and probably the best use of photobooths we’ve come across. What inspired that level?
CJ: That one was inspired by one of my favorite movies, Amelie. In the movie her fathers prized gnome is taken from his garden. The gnome is returned later with an envelope full of photos of him all around the world! It’s a really adorable french movie, I highly recommend checking it out! Someday I hope to have a pretty little garden of my own filled with little gnomes in red pointy hats. Omg! A gnome costume! I can haz?
MM: Do you have plans in the works for any new levels?
CJ: I love the new Paintinator! That’s mos def going in my next level! It’s top secret though. Shhhh…
MM: What’s your favourite Story level? Community Level? Material/Object/Sticker? Popit tool? Costume?
CJ: It’s so hard to choose! The Wedding Reception or The Dancers’ Court. I enjoy anything original & fun to play! The Fabric Room is a fun one that deserves more attention. World of Color of course! I love to knit & sew, so I love the knitted & fabric building materials. I love the flowers, and I use the solid colored stickers the most. I’m almost always sporting my cute little Mini Sackboy & Dollar Chain. C=
MM: Have you designed games before? If so, what sort of stuff?
CJ: Nope. Nothing before LBP.
MM: If you could ask for one more feature in LBP, what would it be?
CJ: I would love to be able to import sticker images that I’ve made myself on my computer, that would be beyond awesome! If not that, more solid colored stickers would be great as well. Or an alternate alphabet set. Or a way to add text with the keyboard that would be applied as a sticker/stickers. Wait only one?
MM: What other games live on your PS3/Xbox/PC?
CJ: When I’m not playing LBP, my boyfriend is usually playing COD5. Just finished BioShock, we both really liked that. SingStar got a lot of play over the holidays with our family and friends, hilarity ensued. We got BUZZ! Quiz TV for Christmas, but my boyfriend has already given up trying to beat me! =D
MM: Have you got any other creative pursuits?
CJ: I enjoy all types of arts & crafts.. drawing, painting, graphic design, sewing, jewelry making, knitting, crochet, paper making.. pretty much anything I can get my hands on.
MM: Any greets or shout outs?
CJ: Hi to all of my LBP friends from Ravelry! I’m still waiting on your levels! ;) If you run into AnybodyKillah on COD5, tell him to get off, it’s my turn!