Dreams

Is anyone playing/creating with Dreams? I‘ve been curious but a little afraid to take the plunge (don’t have a whole lotta spendin‘ money right now amid all the horror). Since there seem to be a lot of developers as well as people who are thoughtful about games here I thought it might be interesting to hear people’s thoughts on it as a creative tool, discuss any interesting things ppl have made with it, etc.

Back in the Little Big Planet 1 days I had a vague idea for a sort of interactive "anxiety settler" based on this Eels song called Blinking Lights, but I never really figured out how to turn it into a 2D platformer, and also I got daunted by the task of actually making it. Dreams might at least resolve one of those issues--provided it can do blinking lights! Anyhoo.

Somehow I‘ve never been able to get into any of these game making games, not even mario maker… because it kinda feels like the sort of work I avoid doing! But then, I don’t play animal crossing either, because that also feels like labor to me, ha ha.

If it weren't for the concerns about expense, I'd say just go for it though - people seem to be making neat stuff in there and enjoying it, and you have a neat idea, so to me it seems like... why not do it!? If you can afford it!

@exodus#299 Generally I'm of that same mind, but now feels like the right time to obsess over a project like this. I might cave and spend the forty bucks just to see.

I know some folks are really happy with it! if you get it, will be curious to hear your impressions.

I have Dreams. It‘s really cool and I want everyone to play it and make things with it! While it is very accessible and robust in ways other game making softwares might not be it does still come with a heavy learning curve. The tutorials it comes with do a good job bringing you up to speed on the basics but as you get deeper into it you’ll utilize outside resources the most, like youtube videos from other creators or the r/ps4dreams subreddit. I‘m continually impressed with the things people are able to do with it despite it’s limitations.

The sculpting tools are probably my favorite right now. It is kind of like Zbrush but for the masses. You can make really hyper detailed sculpts with these tools (and if you do it right they'll be optimized enough to not have a bunch of graphics overhead) and after you've got some familiarity with them you can block out huge scenes really quickly.

My main complaint is that it doesn't let me just plug in a mouse. The dualshock is fine and the move controllers are better but there are still times where things are a bit fiddly and I just wish I could use it like a computer program. But one of the great things about it is that it isn't like a computer program so I don't know. At least you can use a keyboard.

I haven't made anything worth sharing yet since I'm still learning and I've got too many big ideas I can't settle on which direction to focus on at the moment. Like I said right now I've the most fun learning how to sculpt so I've been doing that mostly when I'm not surfing the Dreamiverse and playing everyone's weird little vignettes.

If you've got an idea and want to try your hand at making a game (or a video or a digital painting or a song etc.) there are worse ways you can do it. Dreams is a cool package with a lot of versatility and a long lifetime planned ahead of it. There will be PSVR support at some point, as well as increased functionality and raising the caps on some of the technical limitations among other things. A year from now there will be even more cool stuff being done with it and eventually even some sort of way to use assets or content you've made in Dreams in a context outside of Dreams for your own profit (though I don't expect it to become another tool like Unity or Unreal but that would be neat if it happened). Definitely check it out when you are able to.

Dreams is definitely worth trying out. Like Mr_Mech said, it is quite accessible and you can jump right in and start creating things. However, you will quickly discover a gap between what you know can be done and what you are able to do. Fortunately, there are good tutorials that not only cover a particular topic but throw in a lot of other shortcuts and things.

It takes some patience to go through the tutorials when you want to start creating, but I've found them essential. As Mr_Mech also said, you might also want to look at outside sources at some point. You can also simply look behind the scenes in projects created by other people. It's kind of like the early days of the WWW, where you could learn Web design after knowing a few basics just by looking at the source code of various sites.

It's also a lot of fun to explore things that other people are making just to see what's out there. New creations pop up constantly, and many are entertaining and impressive. It reminds me of participating in a forum surrounding a specific tool in the 1990s and 2000s.

So far, the only things I have released are a modified pack-in game (something Dreams encourages you to do in learning the environment) and a collection of some of my favorite creations by others. (Any user can curate a collection of works, whether games to play or elements that you might want to include in your own creations.) I'm working on several other things off and on, but just as in hobby game development of any type it's easy to get carried away or distracted and never finish anything. Fortunately, it's also easy to release a project and then iterate it.

I made this grappling hook playground in Dreams that got a satisfying number of plays! https://indreams.me/dream/msEozCKpdqQ

Here's a video of me doing (a now rather sub-optimal run) of it. It's very momentum-y and fun pretty fun to speedrun! https://youtu.be/JsErle-5yNA

I also was working on a forklift game; I should probably get back to it at some point. Just needed to implement a little structure and a few more mechanics and I'd have a game.
https://youtu.be/-j31-iEsGFM

I played gate‘s grappling hook level for over an hour. It feels good, the grapple has to actually attach to the geometry in the environment in order for you swing. It isn’t just faked like in some games (cough most of the Spider-Man games). @gate, have you made it remixable yet?

@Mr_Mech#399 Not yet – it's sort of a mess right now, and it has some caveats, like you have to make all your walls thick enough because of the amount of speed I let you get.

I should probably do the work at some point!