Why We Can't Swap Echochrome Levels Cross-Platform

Newsweek's N'Gai Croal has an idea: enabling user-generated content across asymmetrical platforms through extensible markup language.

...Wait, wait, don't glaze - in plain language, this means making it possible for the levels you built in Echochrome or your Spore creature creations, for example, to be swapped around to any platform where the game resides. Ever wonder why you can't transfer user-created Echochrome levels between the PlayStation 3 and PSP versions of the game, when it seems so theoretically possible?

Echochrome associate producer Kumi Yuasa explained at Croal's Level Up:

There is a large size difference between PS3 levels and PSP levels, PS3 levels being 8 times larger than PSP levels. So if a user decides to create a small PSP-size level on PS3, technically it may be possible to have the levels downloaded to PSP.

However, Yuasa told Croal that the goal for different platforms was decidedly different experiences - meaning more than technical compatibility is at issue here:

The team didn't want to implement the markup solution to make PS3 and PSP levels compatible because of the basic rule of this game: optical illusions. This game is based on optical illusions when you see a level as a whole, not when you zoom in certain parts of levels. So if you were to convert a level into something 8 times smaller and transfer to PSP, it would make it very difficult to see levels unless you can zoom in.

Basically the team wants users to experience the difference between PS3 levels and PSP levels solely. PS3 levels are larger and more dynamic, whereas PSP levels are smaller and more condensed/concentrated. Smaller the level does not mean easier it is to clear.

Ohhhh. See, this is why I just write about the games. I'll just duck back into my media cave now.

The XML-isation of Videogames, Part I: A Chat With Echochrome Associate Producer Kumi Yuasa [Level Up]


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