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Hands On With The Limitless Possibilities Of Dreams

Dream a little Dreams

Perhaps one of the most misunderstood games in existence, Dreams by Media Molecule continues to be an ethereal and ungraspable thing, one that just won’t really give away what on Earth is meant to be going on. Apparently it’s a place you can go to experience the creations of the community as well as make your own bits of media. As it stands though, the actual tool-set that is used is a mystery, making the opportunity to clear up some of this fog and get a firm grip on the game was too good to pass up.

Upon starting the demo up I was greeted with a few different examples to sample; there was a text adventure, a multiplayer game about hammers, a platformer starring a cute little robot, and a few other little oddities. What there wasn’t any sign of was the creative suite that all of these little games were built in, which is a real shame. In fairness, it’s bound to be very difficult to demo, but given how long the game has been in quiet development, it’s becoming increasingly frustrating to feel so incredibly uninformed about what your average play session will be like.

The games themselves were well made and interesting enough. The platformer was the most substantial of the experiences by a significant margin, it took centre stage of the selection and is clearly the one that was meant to be showed off the most. Moving around was slick and responsive, the double jump felt good and the hover was essential for some of the trickier jumps too. There was a lot going on in the background as well, with little bits of animation that helped make it feel like a full game.

That level of quality was evident in all of the creations available and each one felt like a well polished indie game that had been created with a good attention to detail and a lot of time and effort. Even the less meaty options were well made and all clearly designed to prove a point; you can do a lot with this game. In fact it doesn’t even seem to be a game, it appears to be a straight up game engine as much as anything else. According to recent features in Game Informer, Dreams could be used to make pretty much any genre you can think of, the tool set is way beyond anything that people will have known in a video game, going far, far beyond what you could even imagine in LittleBigPlanet.

There will even be a social interface, one that tracks your skills and the kind of things you like to create. This will allow people to find those who can help fill in the gaps in their own abilities, so if you are brilliant at modelling but terrible at animation then you can find someone to cover that weakness. It actually seems like this might not really be a game at all, and the more we hear about it the less like one it becomes. Maybe this a new Sony game engine. Perhaps this is something that will allow developers that choose to use it to do even more in the games industry?

The trouble is that this doesn’t demo well and the minigames at EGX don’t do justice to any of these ideas. We still don’t have a release date and we still haven’t seen enough of Dreams to really know what it is capable of. Whether or not this is revolutionary is incredibly hard to say when there are still so many questions. What can the average person create here and how long will it take? How many Media Molecule created games will there be within it at launch? Is there ultimately an end goal beyond the creation itself?

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5 Comments
  1. tantalus_blank
    Member
    Since: Nov 2008

    I think the launch content will likely be pretty good given that the beta will probably have run a month or two already (if previous LBP games are anything to go by).

    Things seem to be ramping up with GameInformer doing a whole month of features on it, increased Mm stream rates, and a gradually building buzz. Hopefully we’ll hear something about the beta at PGW at the end of the month.

    I’ve been gaming for 25 years or so, and I’ve never been so pumped for a game/engine/software package. I don’t know how huge it’ll be for the industry, but I know it’ll be a breathtaking creative tool like nothing else before it.

    Comment posted on 09/10/2018 at 13:43.
    • MrYd
      Member
      Since: Mar 2011

      I think it’s going to be especially popular with PSVR owners. They’re always after new things, and are a particularly social and creative lot. Give them the tools to build something together in VR and good things could happen.

      Comment posted on 09/10/2018 at 14:12.
  2. TheShepanator
    Member
    Since: Nov 2009

    They’ve shown off tonnes of stuff in their live streams, if you’re interested in what creating looks like, check them out.

    Comment posted on 09/10/2018 at 15:08.
    • Stefan L
      Community Team
      Since: May 2009

      Yeah, definitely, but there’s a lot that needs to be felt through playing around with the tools themselves. All the demos for LBP, for example, are great, light examples of how to create, but to get the best out of it you need to get your head around the in-game logic, and it’s only through trying that out that you get a feeling for how easy or difficult it is.

      Comment posted on 09/10/2018 at 15:44.
  3. TSBonyman
    Member
    Since: Dec 2009

    Aw man, i knew the E3 demo had the create mode locked off but i thought maybe you guys had blagged an exclusive hands-on with create mode! Oh well. :)
    Even understanding the reasoning behind a play-only demo it still seems a bit off demoing just the play mode when the create mode will absolutely be the making of the game, so to speak. Now just remains to be seen whether the beta will be closed or open. Open and i’ll happily jump in for a tinker about but if it’s closed i’d rather someone more creative made use of the beta slot.

    Comment posted on 10/10/2018 at 14:58.

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