*Update* GDC: PlayStation Home Tools and Details
Today we attended Sony's PlayStation Home session where Senior Producer of Home Tools and Support James Cox discussed how developers can use Home to create public and private spaces for gamers to explore. Also covered in the session was discussion on the development of Home Tools themselves, with v.8 out now, and v1.0 to soon be released. With each update, Sony hopes to make development easier and more flexible for 3rd party and 2nd party Home developers.
To begin, the first key feature shown was how PlayStation Home tools will allow developers to create custom clothing, custom animations, furniture, and avatar heads for Home users. An example could be having an unlockable Sweet Tooth head from Twisted Metal for your Home character. Now while this is a cool feature, gamers must know that these heads are static and are not customizable.
The custom animations also sounded interesting as developers can give Home characters custom animations for using special items, playing mini-games, or wearing specific outfits. An example of this could be could be a Home character performing a signature animation well-known from another title.
The next features that were shown were using scene tools for creating private and public spaces and how to create a menu system for Home users to jump from Home into multiplayer games.
The video below shows how users will use the in-game PSP to launch into multiplayer games.
Developers will be allowed to create Home Interactive Items. The first item shown was something called a "Bubble Machine" which users can pull out using their in-game PSP menu and drop on the ground. Other items talked about included a virtual camera, tv remotes, and footballs. Developers can produce items to both sell or giveaway. Also items in the game can be interactive (such as the football which uses Home physics) and be picked up and dropped. Items can have animations, collision, and audio. (Developer shows images, inlcuding a scene with 20-30 Home users dancing with Bubble machines all around)