A self-employed builder joined team after impressing with his custom level

Media Molecule: We hire community level makers

In what could signify the embodiment of its Play-Create-Share ethos, Guildford studio Media Molecule has revealed it hired a game development first-timer after being impressed with his user-generated levels.

John Beech, now a level designer at the Sony-owned studio, was up until a year ago a self-employed builder – but one that could apply his architectural skills in LittleBigPlanet’s level editor.

“We’ve hired people from the community, people for whom LittleBigPlanet was their first chance to have a go at making games,” said studio creative director Mark Healey in an interview with GamesTM magazine.

“John didn’t have a clue about how to make games but he got LittleBigPlanet, managed to alienate his girlfriend and was just making this stuff and really stood out in the community.”

Beech is, says Healey, not the only person who Media Molecule has hired from its community of users.

The developer’s breakthrough title, LittleBigPlanet, is based on the premise that users can build their own levels from scratch. The studio was praised for how this was done with a delicate balance between a comprehensive tools set and a simple approach to using them.

“I think one of my main contributions to the team is my obsession with making it possible for people to create games and get into the industry without going through the formal channels,” Healey added.

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