Media Molecule’s surprisingly comprehensive game-design tool Dreams has amassed a reputation for creating (and re-creating) a variety of fantastic games and art pieces. During its early access period on PlayStation 4, players have made tons of fan re-creations of games, re-imagined worlds, artistic experiences, and even their own original game ideas in Dreams.
With Dreams officially releasing this week, here’s a look back at some of the most interesting and unique Dreams creations made in early access, a sneak peak of what’s to come with the full release.
Promethus – Rothniel
One of the most fantastic builds in Dreams thus far has been “Prometheus,” a fully functional first-person-shooter built entirely within the engine. Prometheus is a futuristic shooter filled with several different weapon types, enemies and environments, like a retro-atmospheric version of Doom. Currently players can swap between a pistol, shotgun, and assault rifle to attack the alien-like enemies.
There’s only a few enemy types thus far, but each one is relatively unique and reacts differently to the player. There’s a brawler type enemy that jumps at the player while there’s others that fire projectiles from long range. Pair that with a futuristic synth soundtrack and old ruins environments, and it’s already a prototype shooter in Dreams with a lot of character. It’ll be interesting to see how far Arguise’s project can go after full release of Dreams.
Beech pool – THE_ARCH1TECT
Going off of simulating other games, “Beech pool” takes it a step further in simulating real-life Billiards. It’s actually impressive seeing the depth of the gameplay mechanics the player is capable of using in Beech pool. There’s functionality for zooming in and out for each shot, geometry lines the player can use to angle their shot and predict where it will send the cue ball, there’s multiple camera angles, and even a rudimentary AI opponent that can be used to play against.
All of this within Dreams is truly game-changing, a completely functional simulation of Billiards that can be played solo or multiplayer. The author of Beech pool John Beech (Senior Principal Designer at Media Molecule) even went the extra mile to detail a rich and complex environment of the world around the player as well, creating a rustic/Victorian room for the pool table to live in. Players should absolutely check out Beech pool if they want a prime example of what Dreams is already capable of pre-release.
Haus of Bevis – Bevis 2
This one’s a bit of an add one. Similar to an off-broadway play or an indie art exhibit, “Haus of Bevis” is an interactive experience that’s wildly conceptual and bizarre. Haus of Bevis takes place on an island with an art museum exhibit inspired by a twinge of strange. There’s several marble sculptures of voluptuous, slightly inhuman creatures that each play an isolated voice recording. Each respective recording is ripped from the actors in the internet-famous “You Could Stop at Five or Six Stores” screen tests. There’s muffled background music that vaguely sounds like opera echoing around the player.
The whole experience starts like it’s something pulled from The Witness, but it very quickly becomes something much more perplexing and weird. The main hall of the museum has a map of the world on the domed ceiling, with a giant interactive black block in the middle of the room. Activate this block and it starts up a distorted version of the musical number from American Tail, paired with a light show in the room that locks the player in. User Bevis2’s Haus of Bevis is eerie and uncomfortable, yet encapsulates this feeling and celebrates it in one of the oddest Dreams creations seen in Early Access thus far.
Full English Breakfast – Various Artists
Even getting away from the gamification portion of Dreams, just designing art pieces alone can yield impressive results. John Beech and several other members of the Dreams community (Snaggs, Lucid Stew, DirtyHarolds) collaborated on a hyper-realistic breakfast food design, showcasing the level in detail that can be added to smaller items in Dreams as well as games themselves. Beech posted images of the world to his Twitter, and the results are pretty solid. There’s several different plates of food, with things like eggs, bacon, sausage, toast, beans, each with varying amounts and detail.
Outside of the food itself, there’s different items on the table, lighting elements, shadows, all contributing to the impressive images. They’re obviously not perfect when compared to anything animated or designed by any special effects artist or graphic designer on PC, but it’s important to remember this was all done natively on PlayStation 4. It goes to show that Dreams isn’t limited by its scope to create intricately detailed pieces like Full English Breakfast.
The Last of Us Part 2 PS1 Edition – Bearly Regal
Re-creations are also a very popular aspect of Dreams creative projects, and Bearly Regal’s “The Last of Us Part 2 – PS1 Edition” stands out for their homage to PlayStation 1 games. This project was an attempt at imagining what The Last of Us Part II would look like if it were developed during the 90’s. Without any context this Dreams world could easily be mistaken for any 3D PlayStation 1 game. The project plays out a lot like a tech demo, and exudes retro nostalgia in its art design. Complete with a shaky framerate, stiff controls, muddy textures and hard edges, it’s as if the author found a scrapped tech demo from 1996 and posted footage online. This The Last of Us Part II “de-make” shows that even with hyper-realistic projects like the previous project, Dreams is capable of so much more.
Even before the full game has been released Dreams has become the home of some fantastic artistic creations by players, ranging from downright impressive to downright weird. Even without some of the added features coming in the full release, which early access players will be able to use early, creators are really picking apart the tools in Dreams to craft some beautiful stuff. Whether that’s re-designing an old game into something new, or making something wholly original, Dreams is going to make news every time something new and exciting is made.
Dreams will be available on PS4 for early access players on February 11 and for everyone on February 14.
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