Dreams Pre-E3 2018 B-Roll Footage and Previews
Dreams, the mysterious new project from LittleBigPlanet creators Media Molecule, has been the subject of much speculation and head-scratching since it made its nebulous, untitled first appearance at the PS4 reveal event way back in 2013. What the heck is this thing? Is it a game? Is it a creative tool? How flexible is it, really? How do you play it? What the heck is this thing?
If you played Dreams developer Media Molecule’s Little Big Planet series, then what Dreams is planning to offer will seem familiar. Both Dreams and the LBP series are games with creation tools built-in, but the scope of what Dreams will allow players to create is magnitudes more than those earlier LBP games. Little Big Planet helped you make games, Dreams looks like it wants you make nothing short of, well, art.
There are two ways to play Dreams. Dream Surfing allows players to play already created content and Dream Shaping enables players to unlock their creative side to create content. Last week’s demo started with a look at Edit Mode. This is similar to the maker mode in Little Big Planet, but there are just so many more options. Players can change the art style of a scene with a push of a button or easily copy and paste an asset. I was able to create a giant cactus in the first level I tried out. Players can easily plop down moving platforms and dictate their 3D motion by simply drawing their path. Within a few minutes, I had made the template level into my very own creation. Next step was to drop in one of the pre-made characters into the level and try it out. It is remarkably easy to jump between playing a level and editing it while Dream Shaping.
The next part of the Dreams demo was a look at Dream Surfing. This mode is essentially a Netflix queue of games and levels. Players will be able to search for games that feature cats or any other topic and have a playlist created instantly for them. The playlist that I played was full of games and levels created by the Media Molecule team inside of Dreams. There were a ton of very different experiences. One that stood out was a sidescroller game that tasked players with navigating an adorable box-shaped character through some slopes and jumps before transforming the box twice. The first transformation came from a pencil that appeared on screen and gave our box protagonist some legs. After some more intense platforming with a sweet soundtrack, the 2D level ended and revealed that our box-shaped hero was actually three dimensional all along. There was one more part of the game that controlled more like a traditional 3D platformer before the next game started up.
There were several more games in the demo ranging from a character who just wanted a hug and some more scary, horror-driven levels. Dreams is truly what players make of it. I am somewhat concerned that the deep set of tools available for players to create may go over many gamers’ heads, but Dream Surfing should help to mitigate those potential issues. The intuitive controls should definitely help folks unleash their creativity, but there are just so many things to do. The game even has its own electronic music sequencer, for the love of Sackboy!
I don’t think Dreams will be for everyone at first, but over time if the right people get their hands on Media Molecule’s amazing game creation engine, it seems inevitable that gamers will want to play the infinite array of creations via Dream Surfing.
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