During a livestream on Twitch, Media Molecule Co-Founder and Technical Director Alex Evans provided a lot of new information on the upcoming PS4 exclusive game-building game Dreams, also heavily teasing what we’re going to see at Paris Games Week.
Below you can read a summary of the info that he provided.
- The user interface of the game is being redone in time for Paris Games Week.
- The game is being optimized and now it runs faster. The development team shaved off about 30 milliseconds per frame.
- The team makes videos for Sony roughly once a month to keep them up to date.
- In the Props and Special Effects tray there’s a feature called “hard edge” that lets you model more crisp and precise builds like architecture and spaceships.
- The team started transitioning from PC to PS4 about two years ago. Since then, the tools have been improved.
- Experimenting with the tools and trying new things yielded much better results than the developers initially expected.
- Dreams doesn’t just have sculpting tools. It also has music tools, assembly tools (that let you assemble other people’s builds) and animation tools (that simply let you record what you do on the screen, more details will come at a later time on this).
- The first cut of the “Bear Dream” E3 trailer was made in a single day. Everything (excluding the music) from it was captured on a PS4, even if the tools evolved a lot since then. The music was not made in Dreams, but was still created by the same developer that made the trailer.
- The “Bear Dream” trailer inspired another developer to build a snow boarding game.
- At Paris Games Week we’ll see something that has to do with “people.”
- Media Molecule worked “very hard” on the demo that will be shown at Sony’s conference at Paris Games Week. It will be a “big big reveal” of lots of things that they can’t spoil for now.
- The Paris Games Week conference is gonna be “epic.” According to Evans. Even if you’re only half interested in Dreams there will bee many more “amazing” games on display. That said, he quickly clarified that he doesn’t really know anything specific about other games. For instance. at E3. developers were backstage and no one was allowed to know what the others were going to show.
- Dreams is similar to LittleBigPlanet, but still different. It’s broader and more accessible, but if you know how LBP works you probably have a “head start” on Dreams.
- After E3 the folks at Media Molecule have been “coding like crazy.” They “dismantled the whole game.” Artists kept working on the E3 build, while programmers took the entire game and tore it apart, and then slowly pieced ip up together. Finally the artists got the functioning Paris Games Week version of the game only three weeks ago.
- Alex Evans is “super proud” of what everyone built for Paris Games Week, but it’s still work in progress. He thinks that in six months they will look back to what they will show at PGW and think that it’s “so minimal.”
- At PGW they’re gonna show “a lot,” but they’re still keeping something hidden in their “back pocket.”
- Media Molecule still looks at the LittleBitPlanet games for inspiration. They cherry pick the best bits and then re-imagine what they want to be different.
- Dreams is not a “movie maker.” You can make movies, and that’s useful to learn the animation tools, but ultimately it’s main purpose is to create games, so it needs logic tools for that.
- Talking about memory management, Dreams is about “linking together.” If you run out of space or memory, you can link things together in a way that Evans still can’t explain. Linking things together isn’t just a memory saver, but it’s an “amazing part of the game in itself.”
- You can model things very precisely if you want, down to the individual pixel, creating very “tight” models. On the other hand, you can also be very loose, creating more impressionistic models. The variety is quite high between those extremes. “Loose” modeling is easier and good for beginners, while tighter modeling puts the burden of doing a good job more on you, as you can’t hide details. It’s better for those that have already improved their skills or are already good artists.
I don’t know about you, but the more I see and hear about Dreams, the more I want to try my hands on it. While it was very cool to hate on Second Life back when it was big, it really provided a way to let people’s imagination run free, and I had a lot of fun with that.
If you want to see the whole livestream, including quite a lot of footage of the sculpting tools, you can check it out here. Incidentally, if you like Warhammer 40,000, check out below what a Media Molecule artist created: