DreamsPS4 10 Year Plan Teased at VFX Festival
At the 2018 VFX Festival, Kareem from Media Molecule was at it again front stage demonstrating Dreams. The Dreams presentation focused on digital sculpture and Escape Studios was kind enough to capture it on video. From the YouTube video you’ll see straight forward techniques for sculpture. Towards the end of the video there is a small Q&A session where you’ll hear a little about the 10 Year plan for DreamsPS4.
Kareem Ettouney, Co-Founder & Art Director at Media Molecule, tells of a new way to think of the new IP releasing this year in 2018. Dreams lets you focus on big things like games, movies, and more but it also has a section to focus on smaller details of creation and play.
It was said that the biggest starting point for Dreams was wanting to watch someone using it to be entertaining as a performance. You can note this from the early E3 tease with puppeteering. “We started it with a small group, very R&D oriented. Media Molecule was doing Tearaway at the time, and a small group of us starting R&D. Sony really gets what this is a about and they know that we need to iterate a million times to get breakthroughs. It took a small group of R&D growing very slowly, finishing Tearaway and Tearaway Unfolded, and moving to the Dreams project.”
There has always been and always will be software to making anything and everything but here is the differentiation as said by Kareem. “Obviously the tools are working, they’re really incredible, the quality and attention to detail… The big problem in our opinion was how it was made. What we tried to do here is the equivalent of unplugged for the digital medium. The tools out there are not very sketch oriented, they are more like the execution tool, very serious oriented. This is super serious but this is trying very hard to allow the sketching.”
"It's like Netflix but with a tool that allows you to make the things in Netflix"
Media Molecule excels at making playing, learning, and creating fun. Just from the livestreams alone we’ve seen people learn about some great sketching techniques. Even just speaking keynotes from the likes of Alex Evans helps you see and understand things more clearly. The way things are explained and developed to be intuitive makes Dreams a great experience on PlayStation.
“Our existence is kind of like a hybrid between a game development studio…and then you have a tool development company that is kind of like Adobe, but not really because we are not targeting only the graphic designer, we want to bring it back to everyone again.” Kareem exclaims.
Someone mentions Project Spark
The spotlight was put on Kareem on thoughts about Project Spark from Xbox. “We have lots of respect to their efforts in the past and they had a lot of good ideas. One of the very key ingredients of dreams that we wanted was to capture the uniqueness of every person using Dreams. Even if someone uses premade assets in dreams, you can still see the difference as people can remix and use things in different ways.”
As far as things like textures, a reason for not using textures like wood helps for people to make their own style. Even though one can use other public objects made in Dreams, the act of placing and morphing will still make similar or same objects unique enough to not look the same across the game.
Creation, remixing, and credit
“We have a whole system in Dreams called the genealogy system. If you create a piece and someone remixes it if they allow it, your name is kept in the DNA of that piece. Your piece of work and your credit is part of it forever, and when you go the the genealogy view it shows you the history of the DNA.”
One of the cool things about DreamsPS4 is that its creation in layers. You can make something and then use that to make something out of the prior objects you just made. “People can not only make brushes, but fully performable musical instruments, a complete character that is ready for you to act with and perform with a whole movie and change is ts animation states, but do that live! People will make everything.”
The social aspect of Dreams
There are many aspects of Dreams keen to social media. Concepts derived from LBP are the web counterpart LBP.me where your stats from the game are reflected. Videos that you’ve made with DreamsPS4 can be shown on the Dreams site, and your profile will be a way to represent you.
Back in Dreams, your persona and popularity will shape you into the Imp you truly are. “The game tracks your behavior and tells you, ok you’re a musician, gives you musician points, your aura is now the aura of the musician.” You can like other people’s work and follow them. Think of the social side of Dreams a bit like Facebook, and these social interactions can take place on the site as well as in-game. The favorites and collections part of DreamsPS4 took some inspiration from Pinterest as well.
When an audience member from the 2018 VFX Festival presentation asked about moderation, Kareem explains how a lot has been learned since the days of LBP. Moderation teams will be in place as well as the grief system for inappropriate/offensive content. It may be a surprise to you but there was very little incidents of griefing in retrospective of the LBP series.
DreamsPS4 10 Year Plan Teased
Keep in mind is that Sony understands and trusts Media Molecule. Sony knows about the 10 year plan for DreamsPS4 and PlayStation has been on the ball; you’re in good hands. During Q&A an audience member asked Kareem if Dreams can be combined with FBX and PSD using other software or if Dreams is self containing. “For the 1st generation of Dreams we start exclusively on the PlayStation. You have to have a PlayStation to do all this stuff on, that’s Phase 1. Then we have after that, what we called the Export Path, where you can take things out Dream[s] and use it in the bigger world, of the tools and publishing, etc. but that is definitely in the Phase 2.”
Clearly these phases that Dreams will have are very significant game changing updates. One of these phases will be the equivalent of the LBP water update. For Dreams, this highly anticipate phase will add PSVR functionality. Media Molecule will support all areas of Dreams through this 10 year plan. When you get Dreams, there will be premade content of models, music, sfx, etc. all made by Media Molecule. We can expect to see some form of DLC for even more content throughout that timeline.
Possibilities throughout the 10 Year Plan
Despite DreamsPS4 focusing on creating things from scratch, there can still be the possibility of having things such as texture packs. It was mentioned that Dreams wants to avoid textures to allow the uniqueness to show throughout the game. When Dreams reaches a certain amount of levels and objects made, who knows, there could be the possibility to add texture packs.
There is the possibility for Dreams to include an update to allow real-time musical instrument input. This was shown tested with a bass guitar via Twitter. There could be peripherals made for DreamsPS4 and that would be fine because you can do everything with the PS Move controllers or Dualshock 4 already. Peripherals would add another layer of interactivity in playing, maybe even Nintendo Labo style.
Going back to the Export Path Phase, if things work out, we may get 3D printing support as a neat novelty. It’s looking like 3D printing for DreamsPS4 will be happening. It’s known that Dreams will allow importing of sounds with the second screen app, but there can be more that could be imported such as OBJs if it gets approved. Something like that would come later in the game to allow things created from scratch to flourish first.
With Dreams there is much still to be revealed even post launch day. Media Molecule are going above and beyond with their full vision for Dreams to still be completed. If their past titles didn’t clue you in, you can definitely see that Mm is full of multi-talented people, and we’ll see this from the community more-so with DreamsPS4. In fact, we are already seeing lots of amazing work from the Dreams community right now prior to the release date of Dreams. Keep up with ImpSpace for more updates and news coming up soon. You can find us on YouTube, Twitter, and don’t forget to join the DreamsPS4 Discord Server!