Q&A – We asked the makers of Dreams for their creative top tips

Dreams Interview
Dreams Interview

Media Molecule’s game design workshop Dreams has finally landed in the hands of gamers and we’ve already seen some incredible creations emerging. If you’re new to the world of Dreams or considering dipping your toe into game design, you’ll want some tips on how to get started, and who better to guide you than the developers themselves?

We caught up with Tom Dent, Media Molecule’s community manager to find out what every new dreamer needs to know before starting their adventure.

Dreams logo

Media Molecule’s game design workshop Dreams has finally landed in the hands of gamers and we’ve already seen some incredible creations emerging. If you’re new to the world of Dreams or considering dipping your toe into game design, you’ll want some tips on how to get started, and who better to guide you than the developers themselves?

We caught up with Tom Dent, Media Molecule’s community manager to find out what every new dreamer needs to know before starting their adventure.

Your first Dream

Dreams Interview

Where would you recommend players start when making their first project in Dreams?

Tom Dent: The best place to start is our tutorials, where you can learn the ins and outs of how our creation tools work. We have a whole host of tutorials that cover art, animation, music, and even character creation. They’re the perfect jumping off point for anyone looking to create in Dreams. It’s also good to keep in mind that you don’t need to make things from scratch – you find remixable levels, use art or music or logic other dreamers have made, and start to make something from their work that feels like your own!

How much time should you set aside to make your first Dream?

How much time you’ll need will come down to what you want to create and how ambitious you get. I’d absolutely recommend taking your time – even if you’re just putting together a simple platformer game, or creating your first animation, take as long as you need and don’t place a timer on it – you’ll soon pick up the skills you need and be able to create faster and faster. We have players who spend weeks or a month on a creation and some who like to see what they can make in a day or even a half an hour!

What kind of ideas make the best Dreams – simple or complex?

A simple idea can go a long way! One of our most popular community creations is Pig Detective which is about, yep, a pig detective. It’s a relatively simple point-and-click adventure game, but it’s become this huge franchise within Dreams where people get very excited about a new episode being released. And don’t forget, you don’t need to make a game – you can make a very simple thing and find it used in people’s creations across the Dreamiverse. Dreams is all about collaboration!

What are some things that most new players don’t think about?

One thing I always love to remind new players about is that you don’t need to do everything yourself! The Dreamiverse is full of creations made by both us at Media Molecule, and the community, that can be used to piece together your own creation. Sometimes, the idea is there but you may not know how to craft the perfect platform, or compose the right kind of soundtrack. Luckily, one of the main ideas behind Dreams is collaboration, so you can use creations by others, or you can even ask someone to help you out!

Any basic dos and don’ts for new creators?

Take your time! Don’t rush, and when you do finish your first creation – don’t be scared to publish it! The first time you publish something into the Dreamiverse is the best feeling, and the Dreams community is so kind and caring, expect positive feedback and maybe even some helpful tips!

Community

Dreams Interview 2

Where are good places to share your Dreams?

Tom Dent: There’s so many! There’s our community-run Subreddit and Discord, where creators and players share their latest creations, works-in-progress or ask for help on a particular subject. There’s also the #MadeInDreams hashtag on Twitter, which you can easily get lost in. People are able to share directly from their PS4s and the hashtag is automatically applied, so you get to see so much! Our players are also using the hashtag to look for collaborators, or ask for help from other dreamers.

What tips and tricks make the creation process go smoother?

Definitely spend some time with our tutorials, as well as our how to videos in-game or on our YouTube channel, and don’t be afraid to ask for help! It can be daunting to ask for help, but the Dreams community is full of the most helpful and kind people, who are just waiting to help new dreamers. Using creations from the Dreamiverse can be a great way to kick off your creation, as it’ll take away the need to create your own content from scratch and will ease you into the creation process in a great way. And, experiment! Don’t go in with a be-all-and-end-all idea – try out different things until something clicks. Even our art director will jam on an idea, and then just delete it and move on. It’s a great way to get into the flow of creating, and is another great way to get yourself familiar with the tools.

Finding new creations

Dreams Interview 3

What are some of the most impressive, strangest, or most unique levels you’ve seen since the game launched?

Tom Dent: This is both my favourite question, and the hardest to answer! Pretty much everything I’ve played in Dreams would be worthy of being my favourite, either because it’s jaw-droppingly well made, wonderfully silly, or just plain funny! I’m a massive fan of SamurEyeS Slash by Benji_Dixon (who’s currently working on SamurEye Slash 2!) as it’s the ultimate one-more-go game, and the Pig Detective series is a studio favourite because of its brilliant writing.

That’s also a great example of something that is only possible in Dreams. Where else would you find a game about a pig detective, in a world of over the top animal characters, being created by a bunch of community members all over the world?

One of the more recent creations that’s blown my mind was RED, which is inspired by retro fighter games like Streets of Rage. It’s so well made, features great mechanics, and really captures the feel of that genre.

What’s the best way to find new Dreams to play?

In-game, we have a whole trending system which serves you up the content that’s popular in Dreams right now. We stream every Thursday too, where we’ll showcase some of our highlights from the past week and that gets featured at the top of DreamSurfing, which is the hub for playing everything published in Dreams.

Following the #MadeInDreams hashtag is a great way to keep up with everything in Dreams too, whether it’s works-in-progress or recently published creations. You can also use our companion site indreams.me where you’re able to launch things from your internet browser straight on to you PS4!

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