Dreaming of making your own game, but don’t know where to start? Do you have a story in your mind that you would like to share with other gamers? Do you lack the tools to create an original flying shark? Media Molecule Dreams (LBP) lets you do all of this without having to study game design or gold-fill a game engine.
As Media Molecule itself claims, Dreams is about dreams, be it games, art, movies, and music or anything in between. In short, Dreams is a machine that provides animation, level, character, music and more design tools with the ability to share them with other players as well as lend jobs to others to enrich your own (giving automatically the right credit, of course).
The pleasant, colorful and almost childlike interface at first glance may not be liked by all or at least not by those who would prefer something more “serious”, but Dreams is by no means exclusively aimed at children. You start by selecting your imp, that is, a cute fluffy ball that responds to your movements, acting as a means to make specific choices on the screen (imagine it as a mouse cursor). The control is as user friendly as possible for the console, as it can in no way compete with the use of a mouse/keyboard.
Then you are offered to play the story campaign called Art’s Dream, where you get a taste of the Dreams tools. With a smooth learning curve, the story of the hero, Art, introduces you to the basic handling of the camera, the use of the imp, as well as the different types of gameplay (action, adventure, music, first or third-person perspective, etc.). Through its subversive direction, Art’s Dream is a pleasant few hours’ worths of experience worth living to the end, even though parts of it consist of parts of games you don’t normally play (eg adventure). Through short levels of platform, puzzle and more, you try out items and get inspired by what you can make. After completing Art’s Dream, you can explore other player creations or start creating tutorials.
Dreams developers know how “mountainous” each startup looks, so they have divided the tutorials into areas that even look like games themselves, as you are rewarded as you progress. You simply start by refining scenes already in place, putting characters into them, and then learning to share this new content with other players in an easy way. By making one scene/level at a time, you end up making whole games. Another player might prefer to only do animation, a third only to music and a fourth to text only. If they all work together, a game is created with love. Dreams makes full use of DualShock 4’s capabilities, with the imp-creator tracking the movements you make through the motion sensor rather than just using the levers, which are used for moving characters and the camera. With R2 you drag or drop objects, such as bricks, open/close doors, or take control of a character to see how easy or difficult it moves to the level you made.
As you learn to enrich your home, your personal profile space, with decor, buildings, plants and sloping surfaces, and as you explore the creations of others, you rise to the level. Missions, like sharing something with others or changing a scene, reward you with new characters and separate imps. Every so often a central theme emerges that the community is called upon to make something relevant around it. In the end, the players choose their favorites, with the first three playing in the respective field. When the theme of the week was food, players rushed to create the perfect fast food animation, cooking games, and fruit tables. Other topics that have come up so far are science fiction, winter, classic novels, and the Wild West.
If you do not feel particularly “artist” at this time does not mean that you will not enjoy Dreams. After all, all creators need someone to test their end result. There are countless games to try, a thumbs up to show you liked, comments to help the creator improve, or just a comment. The presence of works in other languages, such as Spanish and French, shows that even non-English speakers are involved, overcoming language barriers.
As for the gameplay itself, the graphics and the sound of the games themselves, this is up to each creator, with instructions usually found on the title screen of each title. In first-person shooting, you are most likely to shoot, while in basic platform games you press X to move from one level islet to another. Nothing is a fact. Here are some examples of games that have been uploaded by users and invite you to beat their high score: Try cooking with one hand as you talk on the phone, dismantling a museum in three minutes, scattering the horror of an entire city as a monster, startle with a sudden noise coming out of the controller and play as Trump or Freddie Mercury. Try short horror games or long dating focused on dating. There are no limits. Each creation loads up very quickly, allowing you to try out games without thinking, so you soon find yourself with favorite games and creators to follow.
How much fun you have with Dreams depends on how much you enjoy creating and trying out other creations. So far, the samples have been very positive, with users enjoying experimentation and constructions on a consistent basis. All the worries about is that his success and endurance depend on the community, which always has a degree of risk. Also, while Dreams is rich in fun and unique creations, there are a plethora of others that are neither fun nor particularly interactive, so spend enough time “flipping through” until you find something that will win you over. However, the filter search gives you a very good chance of finding something interesting.
Whether you are a single player or a creator, Dreams has something for you. Play, turning stairs and escaping carnivorous plants or creating a bathtub in the kitchen and raising a cat’s scale by 100%. Even now in its infancy, Dreams is, above all, entertaining, encouraging experimentation and can only get better as more users get involved and share their own “dreams”. Making full use of the capabilities of the PS4 and its controller would probably earn more if it had been released in the early years of the console (don’t forget that it was revealed at the PS4 launch in 2013). Sure, most games right now look more like an early access demo, but there are some amazing things to do, especially in the areas of animation, of humor and design, resembling professional projects. If you enjoy creating your own games or playing other users’ games, you’ll be lost in the “dreamy” world of Dreams.