Media Molecule, the Sony studio behind beloved games like LittleBigPlanet and Tearaway, has had its hands full these past few years with an ambitious project. Simply called “Dreams,” this new game/toolset takes much of the creative spirit of their previous releases and blows it out to fill a full voxel-driven 3D world.
While the finished product with a traditional campaign isn’t quite ready yet, Mm has already released the Dreams Creator into early access on the PS4. If you’re willing to drop $30 now, you can jump in, and start making something cool right away.
Using a controller, you’ll be able to develop your own music, models, effects, animations, and even complete video games from scratch. Not everyone has the skill set to do everything by themselves though, so Media Molecule has prioritized sharing assets, snappy remixing tools, and automatic attribution. As soon as you begin the “dream shaping” part of the game, it’s easy to hit the ground running regardless of your creative proclivities or prior experience.
Knowing that I was going to write about Dreams at some point, I assigned myself a task to see exactly how much effort it takes to get going. I quickly decided on music creation, so I started small: Mary Had a Little Lamb. I had already gone through about 30 minutes of basic tutorials to help explain the controls and quirks, but I jumped into the music creation tool with little more than my general knowledge about plotting notes in other software.
After just a few minutes of fooling around in the menus, I found the synth piano I needed. I was able to quickly lay down the melody, tweak some settings, and that was that. From there, I could use that as the soundtrack in a game, publish the music asset for other people to use, or simply keep it for my own enjoyment. I don’t see much of a market for a simplistic public domain tune though, so it’s staying local.
Of course, the creation tools are only half of the overall experience. The other half is dedicated to enjoying what other people have made. I spent a few hours “dream surfing” through the creations of other people, and I’ve highlighted some of my favorite finds in the gallery above. And if you’ve already picked up the early access version of Dreams, you can click each image to discover more about each one.
First-person shooters, rhythm games, pinball, gorgeous digital sculptures, remakes of classic games, and so much more are already populating the Dreamiverse. And with the promise of PSVR functionality down the road, the potential that Dreams holds excites me more than any other video game slated for 2019.
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